The Glass Gazette: July 2019


The Glass Gazette: July 2019

Pedestrian Deaths

Since taking office I have focused on ensuring that our streets are safe for every resident – regardless of age or socioeconomic background. Living two blocks from a major state thoroughfare, I am acutely aware of the need for improved pedestrian safety infrastructure, which is why I was pleased to sit down with NBC 4 to discuss how technology can help prevent pedestrian fatalities. 

Pedestrian collisions during the first half of 2019 in Montgomery County have increased 14% compared to the same time last year. The need for fully committing to Vision Zero has only increased so we can eliminate all traffic deaths. Protecting pedestrians is an important equity issue, as Latino and African-American residents have a 33% higher traffic fatality rate compared to other residents. I will continue working with the Montgomery County Department of Transportation, the Maryland State Highway Administration and community stakeholders to end traffic fatalities.   


Pride and Prejudice

June was Pride Month and I had the honor of hosting inclusive events throughout Montgomery County. The festivities I organized ranged from a Family Day at Glen Echo Park to a movie screening of "Before Stonewall" at AFI and an inaugural pride flag raising on county government property. These events brought hundreds of friends and allies together in a celebration of our diverse LGBTQ+ community.

Unfortunately, following these events came a flood of hate-filled emails, phone calls and social media posts from people upset that we would celebrate Pride here in Montgomery County. My office also received angry phone calls from all over the country, which led us to turn off our phones for four days. 

While some did not agree with our efforts to recognize Pride Month, I am so proud of everyone who continues to speak their truths and be who they are. These efforts are how we ultimately change hearts and minds.


Photo Credit: Justin Baker

Celebrating Pet Adoption Month

In June I was proud to proclaim Pet Adoption Month here in Montgomery County. Joining me in the Council chambers were representatives of Canine Warrior Connection, Montgomery County Humane Society, Animal Welfare League of Montgomery County and Alley Cat Allies. Together we celebrated all of Montgomery County’s rescue partners, veterinary practices, pet stores, and wildlife rehabilitation centers and sanctuaries – businesses and organizations that provide their love and support through volunteer efforts, donations, fostering activities, health care and adoption services.

While we consider pets to be members of our families that provide us with undeniable joy and unconditional love, they are also there for us in times of sadness and mental distress. Service pets provide comfort to everyone ranging from our veteran neighbors who suffer from PTSD to our young teenagers who may be grappling with social anxiety. It is assuring to know that pet organizations in our community support us and our furry four legged friends.


Ending Metro’s Red Line Turnback

The beginning of July was very exciting for transit users in Montgomery County. We ended Metro’s Red Line turnback – which means that Metro will now run the full length of the Red Line, from Shady Grove to Glenmont, without turning back at Wheaton, Silver Spring or White Flint. An additional benefit is that riders will no longer have to wait in extreme weather when transferring trains – something they have had to deal with since 1984. 

July 1 also marked the first day that my Kids Ride Free initiative went into effect, providing all Montgomery County residents under the age of 18 the ability to take Ride On and Metrobuses for free in Montgomery County. 

As an avid user of our public transportation system, I am excited to continue strengthening transportation options for all Montgomery County residents. I look forward to working with you and my colleagues to ensure that our public transportation continues moving forward – we cannot ‘turnback’ progress!


Vaping in Schools

The Health and Human Services and Education and Culture committees recently met to discuss the alarming national increase in nicotine use among our youth. E-cigarettes like JUUL, blu, Logic, MarkTenXL and Vuse are growing in popularity among school children. Panelists at the presentation – including leaders from Montgomery County Public Schools and the Department of Health and Human Services – presented compelling evidence about vaping use, such as the fact that usage has nearly doubled among high school students in the last two years. 

We need to do everything we can to monitor and mitigate this public health emergency so that our youth remain healthy in the long term.



Montgomery County recently implemented the Neighborhood Events Matching Funds (NEMF) program to provide neighborhood groups with financial assistance to promote community engagement and encourage capacity building. 

Neighborhood organizations, tenant associations and civic groups may apply for funds to hold events and activities by completing this application. The maximum fund amount is $1,000 per applicant per year and funds must be matched. While there is no deadline to apply, funds are limited and an event must take place by June 30, 2020. 

As a former president of a neighborhood civic association, I hope that this fund promotes events that will help build relationships among neighbors and strengthen ties within our community. And if you have an event, don’t forget to invite me!