The Glass Gazette: May 2020

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May 2020

Support for Renters

Every day my office hears from hundreds of residents who have lost their jobs and have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. I have personally talked to many residents –– pregnant women, recent college graduates, senior citizens –– struggling to pay all or a portion of their rent, compounded by the fact that many people in our community do not qualify for federal or state assistance. 

As the Council’s lead on Homelessness and Vulnerable Communities, I led a $2 million rental assistance and emergency eviction prevention program to ensure that everyone in Montgomery County can keep a roof over their head during this unprecedented crisis. 

To protect the 130,000 renter households in our county, the Council also passed the COVID-19 Renter Relief Act, which limits how much a landlord can increase rent during the coronavirus pandemic. The goal is to ensure that tenants do not face major rent increases during this crisis and to prohibit rent increases in excess of the Department of Housing and Community Affairs rent guidelines of 2.6% during and within 180 days after the state of emergency. 

NBC Interview

Honoring Women on the Frontlines

One in three women in our workforce are deemed essential, playing a key role in our battle against the coronavirus epidemic. Those essential workers are nurses, grocery store cashiers, office cleaners and transit operators. Ana Rivera is one of those essential women in Montgomery County. 

A single mother of two, Ana cleans offices in downtown Silver Spring while trying to keep herself and her family safe, which can be a challenge with only being provided one mask a week and traveling via bus to her jobs. On May 1, International Workers Day, I honored Ana with a formal Council Proclamation to thank her and all frontline workers.

Women on the Frontlines

New Video Series: Community Conversations

Our community is full of amazing people who are working hard to keep us safe and strong. In an effort to support and promote these unsung heros, I have started a new video series, “Community Conversations,” to showcase some of the incredible individuals working to keep our neighbors safe and healthy

In my first two episodes, I spoke with Theresa Hyatt of MoCo Mask Makers, a grassroots organization made up of a wonderful team of local volunteers who are sewing and assembling face coverings for community members in need. Here’s the link to our Community Conversations.

I also spoke with Linda Youngentob, CEO of CollegeTracks and the 2018 Montgomery County Philanthropist of the Year, to discuss the current needs of first generation college students and how residents can best support charitable organizations. View the conversation here.

Community Conversations

Maryland is Leading COVID-19 Research

Prior to the covid crisis, I organized a meeting with emerging biotech companies based in Montgomery County to discuss their research and how best to support them in their efforts, including through legislation I introduced to expand research and development funding. In Montgomery County’s biotech corridor along Interstate 270 multiple companies have pivoted to work on possible vaccines and cures and to expand testing

I’m proud of all of the public and private sector scientists, technicians and staff that are on the front lines of our fight against this pandemic. Montgomery County is a great place for life sciences!

Community Breakfast

Get Outdoors, Safely

We’ve all been feeling cooped up in our homes, and the month of May is the ideal time to get out and enjoy the outdoors –– safely and responsibly. Spending time in nature is proven to reduce stress, anxiety and depression, so taking time to get out there can not only burn some calories, but can also lift your spirits. My husband, Jason, and I recently put on our masks and spent a few hours enjoying the spring blooms at beautiful Brookside Gardens. 

Read what the NIH says about how exercise can improve your emotional and mental health.

Evan and Jason

Nominate a COVID Community Hero

Are you a community hero? Do you know someone who is working to ensure the well-being of others? We are greater as a whole when we support each other in times of peace as well as in times of crisis, which is why I would like to recognize and celebrate members of our community who are going above and beyond to ensure the health and safety of their neighbors and community. If you would like to lift up a member of our community, I encourage you to complete this form and share your #LocalCovidHero story with me.

Community Heros

Did You Know...?

If you are looking for a change of pace from your usual television shows or favorite book, Montgomery County’s Roundhouse Theatre is presenting FREE digital programming designed to bring Round House into your house. The Bethesda-based theater has gathered DC-area playwrights, actors, and designers for Homebound, a ten-episode web series that explores life under Stay-at-Home orders in the Nation’s Capital. The series stars local artists who lost work as a result of the cancellation of their spring shows. Homebound premiered on April 27, 2020 on the Round House YouTube page and new episodes will be added and archived on their website every Monday through the end of June.