The Glass Gazette: Special Edition

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March 2020: Special Edition

Dear Neighbor, 

We are living in an unprecedented time. In less than one week, we’ve gone from conducting our regular daily routines to conducting social distancing. We’ve gone from eating out to eating alone. And we’ve gone from educating our children in classrooms to educating them in our living rooms. With so much of our lives at a standstill due to the novel coronavirus, we are left to wonder how much longer this situation will go on. 

Montgomery County residents are concerned about the health of their loved ones, small businesses are nervous about being able to pay their employees, and nonprofit service providers are uneasy about having the staff to ensure that our social safety net remains strong. Many people will have trouble paying for basic expenses: food, housing, utilities, phone, transportation. While the unpredictable nature of this crisis can be unnerving, I want you to know that here in Montgomery County we are working to protect the health and safety of every resident. On Wednesday, the Council spoke with one voice to call on banks, financial institutions and public utilities to institute a 60-day moratorium on customer defaults so we can stem additional financial hardship. 

Over the last few days, I’ve personally joined MCPS staff in handing out “grab and go” meals for students so they remain well nourished, and I have also been coordinating with our social service agencies and nonprofit providers to ensure that those who are experiencing homelessness are cared for and have the food and shelter they need. We have tremendous need in our community, but we also live in a community of good-hearted residents who are stepping up with love and support to meet these challenges.

I am committed to keep you informed of our activities in Rockville and our coordination with Annapolis and Washington. We are all in this together. 

Stay safe and healthy. 



p.s.: I know that you are following the news very closely, so in addition to providing information about government services, I am sharing some tips on ways to mentally and physically manage this situation.

Ideas For Managing Social Distancing

Not being able to interact with family, friends and colleagues can be isolating and make the days feel even longer. In terms of entertainment, it also probably means you’re in for a lot of boredom, a lot of Netflix, and a lot of browsing the internet. Here are a few ideas to keep your mind busy and stimulated.


You don’t have to visit a brick and mortar library to get access to great reading material, videos and music for adults and children. Online MCPL services include e-books, digitized versions of magazines, tools to learn a new language, and even unlimited access to diverse children’s content.




Parks and Playgrounds

You can still enjoy the outdoor areas of Montgomery County’s 422 parks, which are open to the public from sunrise to sunset. Adults and children can take advantage of the county’s 200 miles of hiking and biking trails.




Online Arts and Culture

Viewing a museum sometimes means hours of travel and waiting in line, but now we have the opportunity to witness masterpieces online, thanks to Google Arts & Culture, which features thousands of high-resolution images from more than 1,200 museums globally, including the National Gallery in London, the Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid and the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia.

If it’s performing arts that you are missing, you can see a performance by the Metropolitan Opera,which will be streaming performances nightly. And literary buffs can attend author talks at D.C.’s Politics and Prose bookstore, which will be streaming their events using an online platform that enables participants to ask questions in real time.


How to Support Small Businesses

I understand the dramatic financial losses that our residents, business owners and nonprofit organizations have already undertaken and will continue to experience as circumstances unfold. Below are some useful tips to keep our local economy going:

  • Buy gift cards from your favorite local restaurants or shops. Buy from local businesses online or by phone, order takeout or delivery.
  • The Greater Bethesda Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Silver Spring Chamber of Commerce have compiled a useful list of restaurants that are offering carryout and delivery services. You can also follow this Facebook group to Support MoCo Restaurants
  • As local artists are moving to perform live stream shows via Facebook live, Instagram live and other social media outlets, consider providing virtual tips if you are so moved. 

For impacted businesses looking to assist their employees, they can visit the Maryland Business portal, which is updated multiple times a day. Email to ask specific questions impacting your business.


Essential Montgomery County Information

Montgomery County has worked with state and federal partners to help lessen the economic burden on residents.This includes a moratorium on evictions for tenants who are unable to pay their rent due to COVID-19 financial loss. Listed below is essential information I am sharing, based on constituent emails and phone calls my office has received:

  • Employees in Montgomery County are entitled to one hour of paid leave for every 30 hours worked or a maximum total of 56 hours per year. 
  • Residents can apply for unemployment insurance benefits online. 
  • Montgomery County Public Schools have announced "grab and go" meal sites offering students breakfast, lunch and dinner from 11 AM - 1 PM Monday - Friday. For a full list of the meal sites, click here.
  • Manna Food Center will remain open during the COVID-19 crisis. To schedule a food pick up, call 301-424-1130 by 3 PM the day before. Visit for a list of pantries and soup kitchens.
  • EveryMind offers free support to help us all manage stress and anxiety during these difficult times.You can call/text them at 301-738-2255 or visit their website.

You can find updated COVID-19 information on the State or County’s websites, and you can also find more in other languages, including in Spanish and Chinese.



Offering Constituent Services

My office continues to be fully running albeit using social distance practices. We are holding all meetings, casework and constituent concerns by phone, email and through platforms like GoogleHangout and Facetime. We are checking voicemails and constituent emails regularly. 

Please call my office at (240) 777-7966, or you can email me at For casework, you can fill out our constituent services request form and fill out the privacy release form. Someone from my team will be in touch with you.