First elected in 2006 to the Montgomery County Council, Council President Roger Berliner represents the Western part of Montgomery County from the DC line to the Frederick County border. This year, for the second time, he was elected by his colleagues to serve a one-year term as Council President. Roger also served as Council President in 2011.
As Chair of the Council’s Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy, and Environment Committee, Councilmember Berliner has led the charge on creating more multi-modal transportation options. He guided the Council to unanimously support rapid transit; he was the lead sponsor on moving Montgomery County forward in adopting an urban road code bill that will narrow lanes, slow traffic thru our urban nodes, and provide for greater bicycle and pedestrian safety; he has formally requested our Planning Board to consider new and innovative traffic tests that will promote multi- modal options rather than only road widening and intersection improvements; he was the leader of the successful effort to plow the Capital Crescent Trail so that bikers could continue to commute to work; and he was at the forefront of the successful effort to reduce the number of traffic lanes in the county’s most successful new urbanism community at Pike & Rose, which he helped bring about through his work on the White Flint Master Plan.
A committed environmentalist, Councilmember Berliner has been the author of more than two dozen laws that make Montgomery County one of the most sustainable communities in the country, including ensuring that our County buys 100% renewable power. He is also recognized for having guided the Council to provide unprecedented protection to 10 Mile Creek from the threat of over-development. On energy issues, Councilmember Berliner’s background as an energy lawyer has allowed him to play a lead role for the County and the state in holding Pepco accountable for greater electric reliability, and founded the Coalition for Utility Reform that is pressing the Maryland Public Service Commission to require more clean, distributed energy.
As a member of the Health & Human Services Committee, Councilmember Berliner has been a strong advocate for seniors, library users, the disabled, and the poor. Beyond his committee assignments, Councilmember Berliner is the lead sponsor of legislation to end predatory towing; authored the anti-mansionization bill that reduced the size of new homes on small lots; is the lead sponsor on legislation supporting a new approach to workforce training; and is the co-author of legislation that required the county to produce a coherent economic development strategy.
In addition to his council roles, Councilmember Berliner currently serves as a Council representative to the Pedestrian, Bicycle, Traffic Safety Advisory Board, and previously served as the Council’s representative to the County’s Sustainability Working Group, the Green Economic Task Force, and the Transit Task Force. Regionally he is Chairman of the Washington Regional Board of Directors of the Council of Governments, where he also chairs the Climate, Energy, and Environment Policy Committee. The Councilmember is a graduate of the Leadership Montgomery Program (Class of 2002) and is currently a participant in the Leadership Greater Washington program.
During his time on the Council, Councilmember Berliner received the 2015 Washington Area Bicyclist Association Award, the Solar Energy Industries Association Solar Champion Award, was named 2010 Best of Bethesda’s County Councilmember of the Year, honored by the Montgomery County Fire Rescue Association for outstanding leadership, and received the Inter ACC-DD Community Services Community Builder Award.
Prior to his two plus terms on the County Council, Councilmember Berliner served at virtually every level of government, from City Hall to the Executive Branch, including serving as Legislative Director for U.S. Senator Howard Metzenbaum; a Policy Advisor to U.S. Congressman Henry Waxman; a Senior Policy Advisor to the California State Legislature; and the Director of Congressional Liaison for a federal agency in the Carter Administration.
Councilmember Berliner’s commitment to inclusion and civil society is reflected in his service on the Board of Directors of the internationally-renowned nonprofit Search for Common Ground, and on the Council of Advisors to the Interfaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington.
Councilmember Berliner obtained his law degree from McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, California, and his undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. He is an avid fly-fisherman, and is a huge fan of the Washington Nationals and Wizards.