The Glass Gazette: March 2021


March 2021

Covid-19: Hope Ahead

Last week, the county’s Covid-19 vaccine clinics expanded vaccination eligibility to residents age 65 and older, people with developmental disabilities and certain essential workers. While this is a sign of progress in our efforts to maintain the health and safety of residents, we still need Governor Hogan to provide Montgomery County with more doses and open a mass vaccination site in our community. As the most populated and most diverse jurisdiction in the state, we have tragically experienced the highest numbers of coronavirus deaths and second-highest numbers of coronavirus cases in Maryland. During the last twelve months,1,426 County residents have lost their lives and more than 60,000 County residents have contracted Covid-19.

Over this past year, the county has distributed more than $80 million for small business relief programs and $53 million in rental assistance from the CARES Act. Through the latest American Relief Fund, Montgomery County and our municipalities will be receiving an additional $304 million, which includes unemployment benefits and tax relief, child tax credits and further relief for restaurants, transportation and small businesses. 

As more of us receive the vaccine, it remains important for all of us to remain vigilant and continue using all the tools available to help stop this pandemic. We are all looking forward to being able to safely spend time with friends and family, and resume the activities that we enjoy.

coronavirus map

More Transparency for Public Meetings

This month marks one year since the pandemic began and people across the globe adapted to social distancing and remote communication. Online platforms have become the medium by which many of us work and connect –– especially here at the Council. If this year has taught us one thing, it's that governments and organizations can be easily accessible to the public. 

To further our goal of using technology for the public good, I have introduced legislation that will ensure the live streaming of the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation’s (MCEDC) open meetings. 

MCEDC has an important mission to attract, retain and grow the business sector in Montgomery County. Since its inception in 2016, the County has allocated nearly $40 million to fund MCEDC’s efforts to implement and manage the County’s economic development programs, with an additional $15 million in special appropriations being allocated to implement important Covid-related programs such as the restaurant relief fund.

Given the substantial investment made by County taxpayers, residents should be able to easily access MCEDC’s open meetings. This crisis has demonstrated that technology can make nearly anything available with the click of a button –– including public meetings.


Shovel Our Sidewalks Act

Spring-like temperatures may be upon us, but it wasn’t long ago that we had snow and sleet at our feet. In just the first two months of this year, Montgomery County experienced five winter weather events that impacted pedestrians’ ability to safely walk on the sidewalks to their bus stops, especially affecting front-line essential workers who rely on public transportation to get to their jobs. 

That’s why I introduced the Shovel Our Sidewalks Act, legislation to require the Montgomery County Department of Transportation to clear snow from sidewalks in the county’s “equity areas,” which is a classification by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments for low-income communities with a greater percentage of people of color and areas which also have higher ratios of pedestrians and bus riders. 

The county already shovels nearly 60 miles of sidewalks along major roadways. This legislation builds on those efforts and does not create an additional burden for homeowners or businesses. 

By taking a more active role in sidewalk snow removal, we will increase pedestrian safety and be one step closer to achieving our Vision Zero goal of eliminating traffic fatalities by 2030. This will also ensure that our underserved communities receive fair attention during snow emergencies.

snow bill

Glen Echo Carousel Turns 100

Considered to be one of the most beautiful carousels in the country, the Glen Echo Park amusement ride was installed by the Dentzel Carousel Company in 1921. The carousel is one of only 135 functioning antique carousels in the U.S. and is truly a Washington-area treasure. 

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the carousel, Glen Echo Park is planning a series of events and activities (many virtual) for the whole family to recognize the enduring role the carousel has played in the community for a century. 


Photo taken in 2019

Constituent Corner

A growing number of county residents are accessing government services using their phones, tablets and computers. In an effort to provide you with the newest and most relevant information, I’d like to share with you my updated homepage

When you visit the site, you’ll find a landing page with Covid-19 resources, links to my latest legislative activity and how you can contact me to request proclamations, read my newsletters, and even request help navigating county agencies. 

Visit my website and let me know how I can be of help. 


Did You Know?

Montgomery County continues being the home to four of the ten most ethnically diverse communities in the United States, according to WalletHub

Latest census data shows that close to one third of Montgomery County’s population was born overseas. Additionally, the most common languages spoken other than English are Spanish, Chinese and Amharic. This diversity is also present in our school system with more than 150 different languages spoken by students. As an At-Large Councilmember, it is my honor to represent such diverse communities. The ranking of the top four are:

#2 Gaithersburg

#3 Germantown

#5 Silver Spring

#7 Rockville

Our diversity is our strength!

immigrants pic

Photo taken in 2019