State Senate Candidate Karen Montgomery Decries Hate Crimes at Olney Synagogue

Olney, MD, July 31, 2010 --( Delegate Karen Montgomery, candidate for District 14 seat in the State Senate, has pledged to support a community –wide effort to fight and prevent hate crimes, such as the anti-Semitic graffiti painted this week on B’nai Shalom of Olney.

Montgomery was one of more than 500 attendees at Monday evening’s prayer service to support members of the B’nai Shalom community. Vestiges of the hateful words and symbols remain on the synagogue’s walls, parking lot and light poles today despite clean-up efforts by area residents. Synagogue officials have said sandblasting will be required to remove the graffiti.

“When I attended the service at B’nai Shalom following the discovery of anti-Semitic graffiti written on the walls of their synagogue, I did so out of the unshakeable conviction that community solidarity is the only true antidote to the social poison of hate speech,” Montgomery said. “As County Executive Ike Leggett said at the service, we have stopped the forces of division and bigotry before, and we will stop them again. I have every confidence that District 14 and all of Montgomery County will unite in rejecting this act of prejudice, and I will personally do everything in my power as a citizen and elected official to see that it does not happen again.”

A member of the Maryland House of Delegates since 2002, Montgomery is running for the District 14 seat in the State Senate in the 2010 Democratic primary election on Sept. 14. She is a longtime resident of Brookeville and has been active in many community efforts. She has been endorsed by the Montgomery County Education Association and Maryland State Education Association, the League of Women Voters, the Sierra Club Maryland Chapter, the League of Conservation Voters, Progressive Maryland, the Services Employees International Union and other major organizations.

Citizens for Karen Montgomery
Robyn Quinter