Help Wanted!


In order for VOCAL to vigorously pursue its priorities, the group needs more hands on deck. For the current initiatives, the following positions need to be filled:

TOWN/CITY LIAISONS – ethics ordinance advocacy: individuals who reside within the corporate boundaries of the municipalities that remain out-of-compliance with the Maryland state public ethics law are needed to serve on this working group. Duties include research, attending planning and council meetings, and outreach. 1-2 people are needed from each of three jurisdictions: Hampstead, Mount Airy, and Westminster. Time commitment of about 1 hour per week, except for occasional meetings of 2-3 hours.

STUDY GROUP MEMBERS – charter government issue: individuals who are interested in attempting an unbiased, thorough examination of the question of whether Carroll County should switch its form of government are needed to help research and report on findings. 1-2 people from each Commissioner district, at minimum, are desired. Time commitment of 2-3 hours per week.

AMBASSADORS – building awareness and engagement. If you support the mission of VOCAL, please help us spread the word by sharing social media posts, forwarding email updates, and bring friends to meetings. Strong representation countywide is necessary. Time commitment of about 1 hour per month, except for occasional meetings of 2-3 hours.

If interested, please Contact us.

Communicating Across the Political Divide


One of VOCAL’s key priorities is “To embrace nonpartisan community building, rejecting divisiveness.” For its next educational program, the group is hosting a Better Angels skills workshop on Communicating Across the Political Divide.


There’s a lot of stress these days among family members and friends who are divided politically, and the current polarized public conversation doesn’t help. Please join us for a Better Angels Skills Workshop to learn skills for having respectful conversations that clarify differences, search for common ground, and affirm the importance of the relationship. After a presentation, you will have an opportunity to practice listening and speaking skills.

THIS WORKSHOP IS FREE. So that organizers can plan appropriately, please register on the Eventbrite page to reserve your spot.

Better Angels is a national organization focused on uniting Americans of all political persuasions in a working alliance to depolarize America. 

Get Informed & Vote!

The 2019 Carroll County Municipal Elections get underway Monday, May 6th. Get all the details of each and learn about the candidates using the web pages linked below.

Charter Study Group

The issue of whether Carroll County’s Commissioner form of government is the best structure has again been raised in our community. This conversation is something that all citizens should understand, participate in, and have their voices heard. Therefore, VOCAL aims to encourage that engagement. Here is the outline of our plan.

Candidate Tool Kit

VOCAL Carroll County is excited to unveil a Municipal Candidate Tool Kit in advance of this spring’s local elections! Prospective candidates will find lots of information about:

  • eligibility criteria
  • where and when to declare candidacy
  • links to relevant notices and laws for each town and city

If you are thinking of running for one of the open mayor or council positions, know somebody who is, or know somebody who should, this information will help them and you as a supporter. Check it out today!

Building VOCAL



Two of VOCAL’s core principles are:

  • We work to mobilize residents who feel unheard or unrepresented.
  • We will build community power to hold decision-makers accountable.

How can we get stronger and better? Are these and the other stated principles still the most appropriate way of defining the group and its goals?

Join us at the March meeting as we refine our statement of purpose and collaborate on how to maximize our impact.

Focus on Municipalities


This May, Carroll County’s eight incorporated towns and cities will have elections for the local-est of our governments. Join VOCAL to learn all the details, including how to run for one of these offices!

Plus, after our success advocating for the County to come into compliance with state law regarding ethics ordinances, find out how you can help encourage the three non-compliant local municipalities – Hampstead, Mount Airy, and Westminster – to follow suit.

January 2019 Monthly Meeting



The nextgathering will be at the Finksburg library on Saturday, January 26th from 1:30 until 3:30.

With the gubernatorial election behind us, it is time to turn our attention to other issues and initiatives.  Whether it’s continued work on ethics, the municipal elections in the spring, or other initiatives to advocate for good local government through grassroots civic engagement, there is a lot of work to do. No special skills are necessary and every hand, head, and heart makes a difference.

So please join us as we finalize action and communication plans for the first half of 2019.