Glass Gazette: July 2021


July 2021

Minimum Wage Increase Benefits All of Us

As of July 1, the minimum wage in Montgomery County officially became $15. Hourly earnings increased for large employers with more than 51 workers, and wages for mid-sized and small employers will rise to $15 over the next three years. A $15 hourly minimum wage is an important first step toward providing a living wage, one in which people can pay for rent, groceries, medicine and other needs.

Raising wages for our residents will help reduce poverty and address long standing racial and gender inequities. It also fuels economic growth and saves taxpayer’s money by reducing the use and reliance on government programs.

More information about the County’s minimum wage increase is available here.


Picnic in the Park Program Should Continue

During the pandemic I pushed for innovations in county government that helped provide more services to residents in need. From medical care to food distribution to rental assistance, I helped cut red tape in order to protect livelihoods. Other changes were also made to support the mental and physical needs of residents, many of whom were stuck inside their homes all day. 

One of the innovations to support our residents was the “Picnic in the Parks” program. Managed by Montgomery Parks, the program allowed for safe outdoor dining experiences and the consumption of alcohol in several parks. The pilot program was an effort to encourage residents to support local businesses by purchasing take-out food and drinks from nearby restaurants. It was a creative way to support our local economy and encourage residents to get some fresh air and explore our parks system. 

Unfortunately that program ended when the Governor's State of Emergency ended on July 1. I am working with the Parks Department and state lawmakers to allow us to continue this program post-pandemic. Not only was this initiative enjoyed by visitors and residents, but there were no reported incidents at any of the parks. We need to continue innovating and providing safe recreational opportunities for people to enjoy.

You can read this DCist story for more information.


Vaccination Rate Update

At Tuesday’s Council meeting we learned the great news that 89.6% of eligible Montgomery County residents have received at least one dose and 81.4% are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. These rates are the best for any county in the nation with a population greater than 300,000 people. For the general public (including children under 12 who are not yet approved to receive vaccines), the rates are 68% and 62%, respectively. 

These rates are a true testament to the work that our public health officials, faith-based institutions and community partners have undertaken to ensure that no neighborhood or individual is left behind. It is also a reminder of the incredible neighbors we have, who understand the seriousness of the global pandemic and want to promote public health and safety. 

As a result of high vaccination rates and declining demand for shots, Montgomery County has closed its mass vaccination site on the Germantown campus and has opened a new, smaller vaccination site, at the Upcounty Regional Service Center in Germantown and at the Dennis Avenue Health Center in Silver Spring. Appointments are not required at the County-operated clinics but they are recommended. 

Visit for information on all vaccination sites operated by Montgomery County Health and Human Services and our community-based partners.


"20 is Plenty"

In June, the county launched the program “20 is Plenty” to lower speed limits on targeted streets in order to promote safer roadways. The “20 is Plenty” approach is intended to encourage lower speeds in areas where motor vehicles mix with pedestrians and cyclists. As a member of the Council’s Transportation and Environment Committee, I am committed to improving safety for our pedestrians, bicyclists, drivers –– everyone.

The pilot program includes the following streets:

  • Century Boulevard in Germantown
  • Executive Boulevard in North Bethesda
  • Greenwood Avenue in Long Branch
  • Pinnacle Drive in Germantown
  • Woodglen Drive in North Bethesda

The Montgomery County Department of Transportation will evaluate the success of this program in the coming months, with potential expansion to other streets in our county’s busy downtowns and residential neighborhoods where current speed limits should be lowered. 


Pride Month Writing Contest Winners

I’m so proud of the MCPS students who participated in my Pride youth writers contest. We had scores of students participate from nearly every high school and every submission was incredibly impressive. The winner was given an opportunity to read their poem at the Council, accept a Pride Month Proclamation, and receive a prize from the Sanford and Doris Slavin Foundation. 

Congratulations to Jasper, a rising junior at Northwood H.S. for writing the winning entry! 

Here is Jasper sharing their first place poem: Can’t You Hear Us?


Constituent Corner

The safety of our residents is a top priority of mine. A Silver Spring resident contacted me about a crossing at the intersection of 16th Street and East West Highway, observing that pedestrians did not have enough time to cross the intersection without needing to break into a jog. My office reached out to the State Highway Administration (SHA) and requested that the crossing time be increased for pedestrians. SHA did increase the time, allowing for a person -- regardless of age or physical ability -- to easily cross that busy street. 

If you need assistance accessing government services, do not hesitate to contact me or my office. My team and I are here to help. 

Constituent Services

Did You Know?

Did you know that Wheaton used to be called Leesboro? According to post office records dating back to 1826, Leesboro was the original name for this area of countryside outside of Washington, D.C. The location’s name was changed in 1869 when the post office was renamed in honor of Union General Frank Wheaton, who had defeated Confederate forces at Fort Stevens a few years prior. 

You can read more about Wheaton’s history here.


Viers Mill Road in Wheaton MD, circa 1911