The Glass Gazette: May 2021


May 2021

Vaccination Rates

Montgomery County maintains the lowest average COVID-19 case rate in the region and a vaccination rate of 56.8% for first dose and 44.7% for full vaccination –– which means that hope is on the horizon. And with Pfizer vaccinations now available for youth 12 to 15 years old, more residents are on the verge of being vaccinated.  

The plan for reopening is based on the percentage of people vaccinated. Expanded reopenings will be automatically triggered when vaccination benchmarks have been achieved. Based on our trendlines, we expect to resume normal operations across all indoor and outdoor businesses, restaurants, theaters, arts and entertainment venues and sports facilities by May 29. 

You can read the re-opening plan here and register for County-operated vaccination sites here.  

We are making great progress towards a full reopening. The more of us that get vaccinated, the safer we’ll be and the sooner we’ll reopen. 


National Nurses Week

Our nurses and healthcare professionals have been on the front lines since the start of the pandemic, working day and night to keep us healthy and safe. Saying “thank you” is not enough to express my gratitude, which is why I helped brighten the day of the nurses at Medstar Montgomery in Olney by bringing some adorable puppies from Warrior Canine Connection. These puppies, raised here in Montgomery County, will be trained and become service dogs for veterans. 

National Nurses Week is timed to celebrate Florence Nightingale’s birthday and it is a moment to celebrate and honor those who have worked tirelessly for us. Thank you to all of our nurses.


Housing is a Basic Right

Finding rental housing in our area is challenging, but the search is even more difficult for justice-involved persons. 

With the recent passage of the Housing Justice Act, legislation I introduced with Councilmember Sidney Katz, we will ensure that more individuals have a safe place to call home. 

The new law essentially “bans the box” for what are known as “survival crimes,” prohibiting a landlord from denying housing to an individual simply because they had been arrested or because they committed a victimless crime. Individuals who were formerly homeless and those who have served their time need housing just like everybody else. 

Black residents are four times more likely to experience homelessness and they are disproportionately over-represented among individuals exiting the justice system. This law takes us one step closer to turning back the discriminatory history of red-lining and housing segregation that have had generational effects on communities of color and cycles of poverty.

You can read more about the law here.

housing justice act

In the Community: Guru Gobind Singh Foundation

Last week I joined members of the Guru Gobind Singh Foundation, a Sikh community based in North Potomac to pack 201 meals for families in need. The event was part of the “Day of Unity” organized by the Interfaith Council of Metropolitan Washington. Over the last year, the Foundation has distributed thousands of meals and administered hundreds of vaccines as a community partner. 

I greatly appreciate all the efforts from our faith community to care for our neighbors and ensure a healthy community.

Evan and Friends

Constituent Corner: Hoop Dreams

Earlier this spring when the Parks Department began reinstalling basketball hoops that had been removed during the pandemic, some were in poor shape. When hoops at the Long Branch - Wayne Avenue Local Park were returned, a constituent contacted me to let me know of the unsatisfactory condition –– shedding paint, rust and tattered nets. My office immediately contacted the Parks Department and a maintenance team was immediately sent to address the situation. Just days later, the constituent informed me that the court was full of youth safely playing.   

My appreciation to the tremendous Parks Department staff for their efforts to keep us safe and healthy.

Hoop Dreams

Did You Know?

It wasn’t West Virginia but a road in Montgomery County that inspired John Denver’s ubiquitous campfire song, “Take Me Home, Country Roads.” Songwriter Bill Danoff said he had begun writing the song while driving to a family reunion along Clopper Road near Gaithersburg. He and his future wife, Taffy Nivert, completed the song in December 1970 with Denver’s help. 

“Back then,” Danoff wrote, Clopper Road “was still a country road.”