The Glass Gazette: November 2020


November 2020

Election Results: Change to the Council

This has been a big week for strengthening our democracy. The nation has selected a new president and Montgomery County residents have voted to expand their representation on the County Council. 

By a nearly two-to-one margin, voters overwhelmingly supported Question C which will expand the Council to 11 members by adding two districts. After a 50% increase in our population over the last 30 years, voters agreed that the best way to reflect our growth is to increase the size of the County Council. Smaller districts will be even more reflective and inclusive of our beautifully diverse communities. 

As Washington Post columnist Robert McCartney noted in his column on the election’s winners and losers

"Winner: Northern Montgomery County. Voters in Maryland’s most populous jurisdiction added two seats to the county council, which will ensure better representation for the growing population in northern Montgomery. Voters also opted to keep four at-large council seats, thus providing a buffer against excessive parochialism."

I spearheaded this initiative because now is the time for more representation and increased diversity on the Council. I look forward to working with residents and my colleagues to ensure that everyone from all corners of the county are heard as we move forward.


Greening Montgomery County: More Composting

In order to stop climate change we must also reduce our waste, which is why I'm proud to introduce legislation that will increase composting and mulching capacity in Montgomery County. This proposal will allow farmers to bring on more food scraps and yard waste onto their farms so they can compost it. Our county generates a tremendous amount of yard and food waste, and composting will prevent that material from going to the incinerator and polluting the air. I appreciate the support of all my colleagues, in particular my co-leads Councilmembers Andrew Friedson, Nancy Navarro and Craig Rice, whose districts encompass the Agricultural Reserve. 

This initiative will increase the percentage of off-site material that can be used in accessory composting and mulching uses from 20% to 50%. By encouraging more composting, we are helping our farmers, helping our residents, helping a greener economy and helping our planet.

I recently visited One Acre Farm in Dickerson to see how they are turning organic waste into a rich soil nutrient. 

The public hearing for this legislation (ZTA 20-04) is scheduled for Tuesday, December 1, 2020. Sign up here to testify in support.

Evan at Farm

Honoring Local Organizations: Story Tapestries & Victims Services Advisory Board

I’m proud to congratulate Story Tapestries on their tenth anniversary as a Montgomery County arts organization. Formed to address the systemic inequities in access to the arts, the organization’s founding principal is: “With arts, understanding; with understanding, community.” On October 13, my council colleagues and I presented Story Tapestries with an official proclamation honoring them for their achievements in providing equitable access to the arts.

I also recently presented a proclamation to the Victim Services Advisory Board, part of Montgomery County’s Department of Health and Human Services. During the pandemic, we know there has been a 50% decrease in calls to domestic abuse hotlines nationally. Although this might seem like good news, it signifies that people are hesitant to call because they are in close quarters with family members or loved ones who are mistreating them. That means that the services of local organizations like the Victims Services Advisory Board are critically important — now more than ever.

I am so proud to have organizations like these in Montgomery County. If you know an organization or community member who deserves to be honored for their work in Montgomery County, please contact my office so they can be recognized.


Local NIH Scientist Wins Nobel Prize

Montgomery County is one of the most important biotechnology industry centers in the U.S, home to the National Institutes of Health, Food and Drug Administration, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and others. I would like to congratulate NIH’s Dr. Harvey Alter, a co-recipient of the 2020 Nobel Prize in Medicine for his contributions to the discovery of the hepatitis C virus.

Dr. Alter has worked at the NIH Clinical Center for more than 50 years, doing remarkable work to keep the blood supply safe. His research to identify the hepatitis C virus has saved millions of lives. Dr. Alter said that the call notifying him about the Nobel Prize at 4:45 a.m. was, “The best alarm clock I ever had!”


Constituent Corner

A constituent recently called my office in a panic because her SNAP food assistance benefits had been abruptly suspended. The woman — a single mother of three children — depends on these benefits to feed her family and help make ends meet. A member of my team called the county office and within a week, she had her benefits restored.

If you or someone you know needs help accessing government departments, agencies or programs, don't hesitate to reach out to my office. 

My team and I are here to help.

Glass Office

Did You Know?

As part of Maryland’s efforts to contain the coronavirus, health officials are launching a state-wide text message system to receive notifications of potential COVID-19 exposure. MD COVID Alert is available to users with both Androids and Apple phones and can be set up with ease. Utilizing technology, along with science and the advice of health experts, will help all Marylanders stay healthy during this pandemic. To learn more about MD COVID Alert click here.