Letter Text *
Dear State's Attorney John McCarthy,
As a member of the River Road Unitarian Universalist Congregation, I'm becoming increasingly concerned that Montgomery County officials have been working hand-in-glove with developers to desecrate the sacred land that is Bethesda’s Moses Cemetery.
We all know that kidnapped Africans were first enslaved and then, during Jim Crow, exploited and terrorized by the Klan, private developers, and County officials to build the wealth of of our county, even as they destroyed the once-flourishing Black community along River Road in Bethesda. Moses Macedonia African Cemetery contains the remains of this community.
Less than two miles south of my congregation on River Road, you can see a deep hole behind McDonald’s which a developer dug next to McDonald’s, and where Bethesda’s African Americans buried their ancestors. The hole constantly fills with water. And so, the county’s Parks & Planning Commission has allowed the developer to run pipes across another section of Moses Cemetery to drain the water into the Willett Branch. Both P&P and the developer are breaking the law that prohibits damaging a cemetery. State's Attorney McCarthy, the defacing of a cemetery, according to Section § 10-404 of the Criminal Law of Maryland, is a violation of law. We expect you to keep the promise you made to BACC and our community by initiating an investigation and if required to charge the violators.
Mr. McCarthy, County Council, our County Executive and developers wash each others’ hands at Moses Cemetery, while Mr. Elrich complains, “I can’t do anything,” as he first agrees to meet with citizens like us and then repeatedly cancels because P&P refuses to attend. Towns across the country, from New York to Los Angeles, are listening to descendants of Black communities destroyed by politicians and developers, and helping repair the damage.
Anything you can do to remind our County officials that they should serve us, and not the developers, will be appreciated.
[name, address, county, state, congressional districts]