Guess what’s new in Montgomery County? I am!! Not only is my position brand-new, but I am a new resident and very excited to be living in such an amazing county. As the new Residential Energy Program Manager I have been tasked with…well, anything energy! But I don’t want to bore you with my job description so please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have specific questions.
This blog is an opportunity for me to let you know why ENERGY is so important to me and how I hope to make the county an even more amazing place!
For as long as I can remember, I have been obsessed with the democratic process. In fact, my first career goal was to be President of the United States! But because I fell asleep in all of my Political Science classes in college, I decided to go a different route, and received my B.A. in English and Sociology from Tufts University.
Although I didn’t go into politics, my soul is still fueled by the notion of equity, and to me, energy is a human right. We need it for transporting and cooking our food, heating and cooling our rooms, manufacturing, lighting, and entertainment (just to name a few things). Despite these necessities, our electricity bills are often a huge proportion of our total income. Some people actually have to choose among heating their homes, rent, and medicine.
One of my hopes as the Residential Energy Program Manager is to make sure all residents know about the energy-saving programs the county offers because they can help us reduce our costs!
Prior to moving to Maryland, I worked in California in the public health arena and what I learned was that the environment is at the center of literally everything we do in life. Without clean air to breathe – how do we stay healthy and combat preventative illnesses? Without clean water – how do we grow nutritious, locally produced food? And without green spaces – how do we learn to play and enjoy the outdoors?
This concept of interconnectivity became quite apparent to me so I went back to get my MPA in Environmental Science and Policy from Columbia University. Now I am ready to bring this notion of connected-ness to the county and start working with partners to connect all of our worlds.
Before coming to Montgomery County, I worked for a few different groups in Maryland. In fact, I was working for the Maryland Climate Coalition when offshore wind energy legislation passed in the state, and I created characters called The EmPOWERS who were named by students. Characters like these are one way that I hope to help teach students of all ages (1-101) about our electricity choices in the county.
When you meet me you will most likely notice that I rarely sit still. I have been dancing my entire life, and I now use my energy and excitement to engage my community around energy topics.
I’m even certified to teach Zumba to Aqua to Pilates to Body Pump, to…Jumping Fitness (yes, on the trampoline!!). I promise to bring kinetic energy to all the work I do throughout the county!
As you can see, I am pretty passionate about all things energy whether it’s radiant or chemical or electrical or potential, I love it in every form. My big vision for the county? Like the “farm to fork” concept, I would like to see the same thing happen to the energy sector or a “source to socket” movement, if you will (copyright pending), where we recognize the interconnected nature of all our energy sources from food to fuel to electricity.
I look forward to working with and for the residents of Montgomery County and remember, I am only a phone call/email away!
Larissa Johnson, Montgomery County’s Residential Energy Program Manager, can be reached at email@example.com or 240-777-7711.