Town of Somerset Mayor Jeffrey Slavin crossed "the so-called 'picket line' " of people boycotting and protesting against the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee's Spring Ball on May 11 to receive the Rita Morgan-Bruce Jerney Community Service Award at the event.
Protesters and boycotters were making a statement against a 2-year-old Montgomery County law that inhibits the power of county police leaders to negotiate decisions that effect rank-and-file officers.
Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown (D) joined in the protest/boycott, Rockville Patch reported.
Slavin—a lifelong Democrat and a representative at last summer's Democratic National Convention—is no stranger to receiving awards for his philanthropic work. In November 2011, he was honored by The Community Foundation for Montgomery County as Philanthropist of the Year for his many charitable acts, which include managing his family's charitable foundation, the Sanford and Doris Slavin Foundation; connecting possible donors to local charities and getting donors to donate time and money toward helping the people of Montgomery County, Patch reported.
Accepting the Philanthropist of the Year award was a joyous occasion. In contrast, on May 11, Slavin "with great sorrow, cross[ed] the so-called 'picket line' (which I do not believe was voted on by the rank [and] file and is not a strike or work stoppage) ... [to] accept [the Morgan-Jerney Community Service Award] and dedicate it to the thousands of workers here who have been left behind by Republican Tea Party inspired policies like the sequester," he said.
Regarding the protest against and boycott of the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee's Spring Ball, Slavin said that "[it] seems [to] me that the protest activity that is being proposed is more of a power play by some elite leaders," and that it could lead to county Democrats "losing sight of our common Democratic and union goals to provide a better quality of life for the working families in Montgomery County."
"That makes me sad," he said.
The Rita Morgan-Bruce Jerney Community Service Award was established in 1985 to recognize party activists who devote substantial time to community service. Jerney was a precinct official and worked with mentally and physically disabled children in Takoma Park, and Morgan was active in supporting fair housing and worked with autistic children, according to Maryland Politics Watch.