The Glass Gazette: September 2020


September 2020

Seniors Town Hall

I recently hosted a Seniors Town Hall for residents to ask public health questions of Dr. Travis Gayles, who leads the country’s Covid-19 efforts. We discussed the latest guidelines on reopening, where to get a coronavirus test, and how older residents can keep themselves safe and healthy. Participants also heard about local housing, meal and grocery delivery options, as well as mental health resources, and public transportation options for seniors and those who are disabled. We also discussed the upcoming election and how best to keep everyone healthy and safe, while also ensuring that every vote is counted.

If you were not able to join us for the live event, you can view a recording of the town hall here.

If you need assistance with food access, rental support or public health resources, my office stands ready to help you get connected. Call my office at (240) 777-7966 or send me an email at

town hall

Supporting Small Businesses

I am pleased to introduce Bill 40-20, which would modernize our business practices. This legislation, which I am leading with Councilmember Andrew Friedson, will save mom and pop retail stores and restaurants hundreds of dollars a year in government fees and help level the playing field between them and large national restaurant chains and retailers.

In 2019, the Maryland General Assembly passed a bill by Montgomery County State Senator Ben Kramer and Delegate Al Carr, that allows the counties to set a Trader’s License fee; a state fee collected annually on all brick and mortar retailers based on their inventory. Presently, those fees range from $15 to $800. This legislation will create a uniform fee of $15 -- recognizing that this amount isn’t going to save a business on the precipice of closing, but it is a step in the right direction toward supporting small businesses that are desperately in need of assistance. 

With passage of Bill 40-20, Montgomery County will be the first jurisdiction in Maryland to modernize our license fees.

This is a challenging year for our small businesses, and this legislation will help them save much needed money without representing a significant revenue loss to the County. 

shop local

Meeting Constituents In Their Community

Juanita and Don asked me to visit their North Kensington street to share with me that the new parking permit program in their neighborhood has been working great for them and their neighbors. They also told me about other pressing issues happening in their neighborhood and ways we can continue making Montgomery County a great place to live. 

If you or your neighbors have an issue or concern that I can help with, send me a message and my office will be in touch.


Unemployment Inequities in Montgomery County

The Labor Day holiday is a tribute to the hard work and achievements that workers have contributed to our society. But as we celebrated Labor Day in 2020, we must also recognize that currently, many people in our community are not working as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. 

As this map shows, the highest rates of unemployment in Montgomery County are in the zip codes with more diverse populations, bringing into focus the inequities here at home. This pandemic has exposed the inequality between front-line service workers such as clerks, janitors and child-care workers, and high-end earners who are able to work from home. These service jobs are more likely held by people of color, as well as by women.

This September, let’s recommit ourselves to standing together and creating positive change for those in need today and for those generations to come.


County Services: Who to Call

Residents contact me every day because they are in need of county services. Whether individuals are seeking financial support to pay their rent or request a new blue bin for recycling pickup, my office is ready to provide assistance. These are the most requested services that the county's 311 system and my office can help you receive.


Ensure That Your Vote Gets Counted

With the recent changes and cutbacks to the U.S. Postal Service, you can avoid the uncertainty of returning your ballot by mail and instead, place your ballot in a ballot drop box, which will be under 24-hour a day surveillance and emptied twice daily. The ballot drop boxes will be located throughout the country at all of the early voting centers by October 1, and at all high schools by October 17. You can find the locations for each drop-box here.

After a constituent who lives at Leisure World contacted my office to let me know that it may be difficult for many of the older residents to get to a drop box at an early voting site or high school, I asked the County Board of Elections to locate a box there, as well as at the Riderwood and Asbury Methodist Village retirement communities. Don’t take a chance on mailing your completed ballot in and ensure that your vote will be counted! Click here to request your mail-in ballot.


Did You Know?

Did you know that the Montgomery County Humane Society offers free pet food for pets of families in need? Thanks to the staff and volunteers who ensure that the 60% of county households with a four legged friend are able to care for their loved ones during these economic and health crises. 

You can learn more about the Humane Society and their upcoming food drives by visiting their website: