Life Long County Resident • Husband • Father • Public Servant • Community Advocate • Leader
Gabe is a lifelong resident of Montgomery County and is deeply committed to our County, its people, and, as the son of immigrant parents, its diversity. He grew up here, graduated from Montgomery County Public Schools and has dedicated his career to public service and advocating for just social policies.
With proven experience in the nonprofit sector and local government, Gabe will bring his commitment, perspective and unique skills to the County Council as an at-large member.
Gabe’s father, Marcelo Albornoz, immigrated from Ecuador, and his mother, Marisol, immigrated from Chile. Both attended Montgomery College and instilled in Gabe the importance of education and treating all with dignity and respect. Gabe graduated from Walt Whitman High School, received his Bachelor of Arts in Communication from the University of Maryland, and an MBA from The Johns Hopkins University.
Gabe is truly “at-large,” having lived in Gaithersburg, Silver Spring, Bethesda; and now, Kensington, where he lives with his wife Catherine, also a Montgomery County native, and their four young children.
A record of excellence
As Director of the County’s Recreation Department, Gabe has built a reputation for fairness, steady leadership, innovation, and service to our residents.
Appointed by County Executive Ike Leggett in 2007, Gabe is the youngest cabinet-level appointment in the history of Montgomery County. He oversees a $37 million budget, more than 3,000 employees and 41 recreation facilities, serving hundreds of thousands of County residents.
During the “great recession” of 2009, Gabe was able to maintain excellence in the Recreation Department despite the challenges of an austere fiscal environment.
Under his leadership, the department expanded programing to vulnerable populations, and with its dedicated staff and volunteers, has received dozens of awards for programming excellence from organizations such as the National Association of Counties.
Highlights of his tenure as Director include construction of four new senior centers, six new recreation centers, and major renovations to six others.
Gabe is respected for his ability to forge collaborations with a wide range of stakeholders and for building innovative programs such as Excel Beyond the Bell, TeenWorks, and TechConnect, which helped close the achievement and opportunity gaps for thousands of participants and ensuring vital living for senior citizens.
Among his many accomplishments, Gabe:
Earned the University of Maryland Rawlings Fellowship and is a graduate of Leadership Montgomery
Graduated in 2017 from the national Presidential Leadership Scholars program, a collaboration of the William J. Clinton, George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush and Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Foundations.
Elected by Maryland District 18 voters to serve on the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee (MCDCC) and was unanimously voted by his colleagues to serve as Chairman, becoming the first Latino to serve in that role. In that capacity, he oversaw the successful reappointment process of a Maryland State Senator and Delegate and worked on expanding the Democratic Party’s reach to new and emerging communities.
Served on 37 boards, commissions and committees, including serving as the Chair of the Board of Directors for the Collaboration Council for Children, Youth and Families, Co-Chair of the County’s Positive Youth Development Initiative as well as the Age Friendly Montgomery Advisory Group and on the County’s Economic Interests Committee. His accomplishments in these roles include expanding evidence based after-school programs and helping to secure the county’s World Health Organization’s Age Friendly Community designation from AARP.
Appointed to serve on Maryland State Boards and Commissions, including as Commissioner of the Maryland State Park System where he helped to develop a system-wide multicultural training initiative for Park Rangers and staff.
Held leadership positions at Children’s National Medical Center and the Latin American Youth Center (LAYC). His accomplishments include chairing a regional gang intervention partnership, establishing a youth civic engagement initiative, producing a city-wide immunization campaign, and beginning LAYC’s operations in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties.
Why I'm Running
I love Montgomery County. I feel a duty to serve my community and work for the common good. I believe that elected office is a noble profession and provides a clear opportunity to impact social change and serve as a bridge between communities and sectors.
There are challenges ahead and limited fiscal resources. What is not limited is this County’s ability to be imaginative, thoughtful and determined in efforts to address our challenges justly, creatively and effectively. I will bring experienced, inclusive and bold leadership to the next County Council as it carries out its role in charting our county’s future.
I have always considered my work as Director of the Department of Recreation, Co-Chair of the Senior Sub Cabinet, Chair of the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee and service in other public-sector roles to be a privilege. Through that work, I have come to realize that elected office offers the best way to impact sustainable change.
Maintaining the greatness and opportunity of our County will require commitment and effort. We are facing difficult challenges, including an aging infrastructure, a widening achievement and opportunity gap among our children and youth, a stretched safety net struggling to keep pace with the needs of our more vulnerable residents, growing economic disparity among communities, difficult traffic challenges and unmet housing needs. These come as financial support from federal and state governments are at significant risk and our local fiscal options to respond are limited. Facing these challenges will take experienced and collaborative leadership.
Collaboration and Partnerships
I intend to work closely with other key public stakeholders including the Board of Education, Planning Board, Executive Branch, State Delegation, Montgomery College and others along with leaders in the non-profit, business, LGBTQ, labor, faith, and civic communities to collaboratively address the known and unknown challenges ahead. I know this can work. We were able to navigate the recession by forging strong alliances that leveraged resources, staff, and more effectively served our community.
Thank you for your support!
I am choosing to access the County’s new public finance option for my campaign which matches donations with public funds. To access public funds, candidates may only accept contributions between $5 and $150 from individuals. All can and are encouraged to donate, but only Montgomery County residents’ donations will be matched.
Here is how the public match works for Council races:
- Donate $5, campaign receives a total of $25
- Donate $25, campaign receives a total of $125
- Donate $50, campaign receives a total of $250
- Donate $100, campaign receives a total of $450
- Donate $150, campaign receives a total of $600
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, December 6, 2017
Gabe Albornoz Reaches Matching Funds Threshold for At-Large County Council Race
KENSINGTON, MD – Gabe Albornoz, a Democratic candidate for an At-Large seat on the Montgomery County Council, announced that he had received over $20,000 and 250 contributions from Montgomery County residents. Albornoz’s campaign will be qualified to receive matching funds from the Montgomery County Public Campaign Financing Program upon certification by the Maryland State Board of Elections.
“I’m humbled and honored to receive this support. The Campaign Finance Program is working and has ensured that Montgomery County residents set the tone of our politics. I’m pleased that our campaign is playing a role in democratizing our county’s politics to give more power to people,” Albornoz said.
"I am very pleased to hear that Gabe has achieved this important milestone in his campaign. He has earned a reputation for strong leadership, collaboration and commitment to public service, which is why I'm happy to endorse his campaign,” said Councilmember Nancy Navarro.
At-Large candidates for County Council must receive at least 250 qualifying contributions, totaling at least $20,000, in order to qualify for a public financing, according to a law previously passed by the Council. Only contributions of up to $150 per election cycle from Montgomery County residents qualify for matching funds. Candidates in the program cannot accept any contributions from special interest groups, businesses, political action committees, unions, or political parties. Participating candidates are eligible to receive up to $250,000 in matching funds during the primary and general election campaigns.
"We are grateful to Gabe’s many supporters and their confidence in him to represent them as a member of the County Council. Gabe's message of optimism for Montgomery County has been enthusiastically received," said Campaign Chairman Chuck Short.
Albornoz is a lifelong Montgomery County resident and a past Chairman of the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee. He is the current Director of the Montgomery County Recreation Department. He was appointed to that role by County Executive Ike Leggett in January 2007.