Meet Councilmember Laurie-Anne Sayles
For Council Vice President Laurie-Anne Sayles, public service was seemingly inevitable. Her parents, both public servants in their own right, immigrated to the United States from Jamaica in search of the American dream. Her father Perry, recently retired from his second career as an Oncology Nurse, after serving 20+ years in the US Army. Her mother Hilda, a retired social worker with the Montgomery County Department of Health & Human Services, also served as an active member of the Montgomery County Government Employees Organization over her 30+ years of service.
Prior to her election to the Gaithersburg City Council, Councilmember Sayles served on several County and City advisory boards. Appointed by the County Executive, she has served on the Montgomery County Community Action Advisory Board & Executive Board. Appointed by the Mayor, she has served on the City of Gaithersburg Economic & Business Development Committee and the City’s Education Enrichment Committee. Councilmember Sayles was also appointed by the Montgomery County Public School's Superintendent, to serve on the MCPS Roundtable to address overcrowding in the Gaithersburg Cluster.
On November 7, 2017, Councilmember Sayles made history as the first Black person ever elected to the Gaithersburg City Council. She was recently elected by her peers to serve as the Council Vice President for 2020 and currently serves as the Mayor & City Council liaison to Seniors Aging in Place. In this role, Councilmember Sayles is tasked with facilitating a close working relationship between our seniors, retirees, and our senior activity centers and villages.
Following her historic election to the Gaithersburg City Council, Councilmember Sayles was appointed to the National League of Cities (NLC) Community and Economic Development (CED) Federal Advocacy Committee. After one year of serving as a member of the CED committee, Councilmember Sayles was appointed as the 2019 Chair of the Community and Economic Development (CED) Committee, providing strategic direction & guidance for NLC’s federal advocacy agenda, governance, and membership activities. Councilmember Sayles concluded her year as Chair by hosting the CED Committee's Annual Fall Policy meeting in the City of Gaithersburg. Following a successful year as Chair, Councilmember Sayles was elected by her peers to join NLCs Board of Directors, for a two- year term. This year Councilmember Sayles is the incoming Vice-Chair of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG) Chesapeake Bay & Water Resources Policy Committee (CBPC) and will serve as the Committee's incoming Chair for 2021. Moreover, Councilmember Sayles is entering her third year as an appointed member of the Maryland Municipal League's (MML) Board of Directors, Legislative Committee member, and elected to her second term as the current Vice President of the MML Montgomery County Chapter.
Furthermore, Councilmember Sayles is very active in her community and volunteers for a variety of causes that fuel her passion for advocating. In particular, Councilmember Sayles is an active Executive Board member of the Muddy Branch Alliance, having served as the immediate past Editor of the shared Environmental newsletter, for Seneca Creek Watershed Partners, the Muddy Branch Alliance, and Watts Branch Watershed Alliance. As Editor of the organization's newsletter, Councilmember Sayles enhanced the environmental focus area to the newsletter by conducting interviews with local environmentalists and timely legislative updates. Moreover, Councilmember Sayles received the City of Gaithersburg Environmentalist of the Year award in 2017 and continues leading advocacy efforts and community clean-ups for our local watershed. Councilmember Sayles also serves as the Political Action Chair for the Black Minister's Conference and was recently appointed to the Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake Board of Trustees, where she serves as a member of the Governance Committee. Moreover, Councilmember Sayles founded the Gaithersburg Upcounty Breakfast Club, to convene industry leaders, elected officials and residents in an informal environment, to discuss ideas and concerns unique to the Upcounty region. As a result of Councilmember Sayles' extensive record of accomplishments; nationally, across the state of Maryland, Montgomery County, and the City of Gaithersburg, she received a 2018 Daily Record Top 100 Woman in Maryland award.
In addition to Councilmember Sayles' substantial community involvement, she works at the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), performing essential public health duties to ensure safe and effective drugs and devices are available to improve the health of people in the United States.
Councilmember Sayles holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) from the University of Baltimore and a Bachelor of Science in Public Health from the University of Maryland, College Park. In 2016, Councilmember Sayles was selected from a competitive pool of applicants to participate in the year-long Leadership Montgomery-CORE program. This year, Councilmember Sayles was chosen to be a part of the Public Leaders for Inclusion Council class of 2020. The program focuses on challenging bigotry and other forms of hate while building inclusion and social resilience in communities. Councilmember Sayles is a proud member of the Montgomery County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and a long-time member of Mt. Calvary Baptist Church of Rockville, MD. She lives in the City of Gaithersburg with her daughter Mikaylah, and their rescue dogs, Bella & Max.