The Katz Update: Celebrating the Lunar New Year!!


January 31, 2020


I was honored to celebrate the opening ceremony of the Chinese Culture and Community Service Center's (CCACC) Lunar New Year at the Lakeforest Mall. CCACC was established in November 1982 and has grown to become an organization of over 2,000 members. They are a non-profit and non-partisan organization serving the greater Washington D.C. area.


My Responsibilities

I am honored to represent District 3 on the Montgomery County Council. I serve as President of the Council, Chair of the Public Safety Committee and as a member of the Government Operations Committee.


Council News

At the January 28th County Council Session:

  • I presented a proclamation recognizing Lunar New Year. The Lunar New Year begins on the new moon that comes between Jan 21st and Feb 20th. This year it started on Jan 25, 2020 and ends on Feb 11, 2021. It is the Year of the Rat, an animal that symbolizes wealth and is the first animal of the Chinese Zodiac.
  • The Council received a briefing on the Vision Zero Plan on Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety. Vision Zero is a wide-ranging program of engineering, education, and enforcement initiatives to significantly reduce and even eliminate fatal and severe injury accidents to pedestrians, bicyclists, and motor vehicle users by 2030. The Council received briefings from various state and county agencies.   
  • The Council held a work session on the Forest Glen/Montgomery Hills Sector Plan and discussed recommendations of the PHED Committee regarding this plan. Some recommendations addressed include land use, zoning, historic preservation, urban design, environment, parks, transportation, infrastructure, school capacity, and open space. This discussion is tentatively scheduled to continue on Tuesday, February 4th.  


Katz in the Community


I gave my first media press briefing as Council President on Monday. I spoke about the work the Council will be doing to grow Montgomery County’s economy, the Capital Improvements budget, our commitment to education, and the urgent need to improve pedestrian safety.  


I was pleased to host the third  meeting for my Student Advisory Group, which includes students from Montgomery College and the Universities of Shady Grove. We were joined by Assistant Police Chiefs Tom Didone and Ron Smith of the Montgomery County Police Department. The students asked many questions on topics including hate crime, pedestrian safety, distracted driving, and human trafficking.  


I attended the 40th Annual Montgomery County Commission for Women Legislative Briefing. It was an incredible turnout of advocates, policy makers, and elected officials. The briefing addressed issues affecting women around the state. The theme this year was "Women’s Voices and Votes Count!".


I spent time with members of the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce to discuss economic development and increasing job growth in our county. We engaged in a productive conversation about how the county can continue to be the economic driver of the state!!



Did you know that the Gaithersburg City Hall was once the home of Edward P. Schwartz who, in 1913, established a famous peony garden on land that stretched from the railway station to Hutton Street? The garden included 410 varieties of peonies from all over the world!!


Things To Do and See in District 3

Sunday, February 2nd: Super Groundhog Sunday Hike (13000 Veirs Mill Rd, Rockville), 11:00AM. Enjoy the great outdoors before the big game. Meet at Parklawn Local Park to explore more of our community's beautiful local hiking trails! More Info - Groundhog Day Hike

Wednesday, February 5th: Sahaja Meditation Class (Gaithersburg Library, 15831 Quince Orchard Rd, Gaithersburg),7:30PM - 8:45PM. Take some time to relax and focus on you. Meet at Gaithersburg Library Programming Room for Sahaja Meditation. More info - Sahaja Meditation

Wednesday, February 5th: Hooks & Needles (Twinbrook Library, 202 Meadow Hall Dr., Rockville), 6:00PM – 7:00PM. Socialize while learning to crochet and knit! For adults, teens and tweens ages 12 and up. No need to register, just come and have fun! More info –  Hooks & Needles

Thursday, February 6th: Integral Tai Chi (Gaithersburg Library, 18330 Montgomery Village Ave., Gaithersburg), 7:00PM – 8:45PM. Integral Tai Chi is a series of exercises and relaxation techniques that combine yoga, Tai Chi Qi Gong and meditation into a self-healing system that integrates body, mind, and spirit. More info - Tai Chi

Saturday, February 8th: Main Street Farmers & Artists Market (Main Street Park & Pavilion, 301 Main St., Gaithersburg), 9:00AM – 2:00PM. Farmers are joined by local artists and craftspeople with unique handcrafted items. You’ll also find purveyors of fresh prepared foods, potted plants & cut flowers. Farmers Market


Meet Sam Hellerstein!



Hello! I’m Sam Hellerstein, a MSW student at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. I’m interning with the Office of Council President Sidney Katz. My academic focus is on social policy issues, such as economic inequality and mental health treatment systems. I’ve had many opportunities to learn about these and other subjects during my time at the County Council. I’ve attended meetings with lawmakers and local organizations, spoken to policy experts, and done quite a bit of research on how other jurisdictions are tackling the problems that we face in our county.

I’m a lifelong resident of Montgomery County, and I’m proud to be serving the local government. In the future, I’d like to do research and advocacy for more sustainable community development, such as ways of developing local economies to provide benefits back to the surrounding community and environment. Until I graduate in May, I’ll be working in Sidney’s office, where I’m currently helping to plan a new neighbor resource fair. Please stay tuned for more on this and other initiatives that our team is working on. Thank you, and I hope to meet more of you soon!





Tuesday, February 11, 2020: The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, will host a moderated discussion on the relationship between economic health and multimodal transportation in Montgomery County. The event will be held at the Montgomery Planning headquarters (8787 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring) from 6:00PM to 7:30PM. The session will be available live and on-demand online. RSVPs are encouraged but not required. More info - Montgomery Planning


January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month, an important time to spread the word about this sight-stealing disease. Currently, more than 3 million people in the United States have glaucoma. The National Eye Institute projects this number will reach 4.2 million by 2030, a 58 percent increase. 


Please Send Us Your Thoughts, Concerns and News!

We want to hear from you about your achievements, celebrations, issues and ideas.  Email: 

To Subscribe to the Katz Update. Click Here!

Please Share the Katz Update with Your Listserv