The Glass Gazette: March 2022

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March 2022

Homeless Shelter Opens on Nebel Street

Last week we turned our compassion into action by opening a new shelter for individuals experiencing homelessness. The two-story facility will operate year-round and has 200 beds.

For the men who will be utilizing this space, they will have dignified living quarters, access to warm meals, laundry services, medical care and computer labs to help with ongoing education and employment opportunities. The North Bethesda facility is the largest and the only year-round shelter in the county, which was made possible by the advocacy and shared vision of a strong coalition of nonprofit, faith, civic and government leaders.

As the Council’s Lead on Homelessness and Vulnerable Communities, I am proud to live in a county where we invest in those who need it the most so that homelessness is rare, brief and nonrecurring.

Nebel St Picture of Evan

Friendly Garden Apartments

An explosion and fire recently devastated the Friendly Garden Apartments in Silver Spring, causing 14 serious injuries and displacing more than 200 residents. Upon learning of the incident, I immediately rushed to the scene to ensure that the residents were safe and had the support they needed to rebuild their lives. 

I am grateful for the swift action of our first responders and the selfless actions of those who risked their own lives to save others. Montgomery County agencies, including the Department of Health and Human Services, and community partners are working together to provide medical care, food, clothing and shelter to all those who have been displaced.

If you would like to help, Montgomery Housing Partnership has established a collection fund to support victims and provide them with transportation, clothing, children's supplies and other essentials. All donations will go to the families impacted by the fire.

Friendly Garden Fire

Hybrid Public Testimony Will Continue

As the pandemic eases, I’m pleased that the Council will resume in-person meetings starting March 15. Residents will be able to testify at Council sessions in person or they can continue providing testimony virtually. Among the many lessons learned over the last two years, one is that we can expand public engagement and access through online platforms as a way to strengthen our local democracy.


Gender-Inclusive Bathroom Legislation Introduced

Under new legislation I introduced with Councilmember Sidney Katz, single-occupancy bathrooms in county-owned buildings and places of public accommodation, such as restaurants, would be required to provide gender-inclusive bathrooms. This bill would allow anyone, regardless of any gender identity, to use single-user restrooms in public places. It is important to note that this only applies to single-occupancy bathrooms.

Members of our trans, nonbinary and disability communities often feel anxious and ignored by the choices of restrooms in commercial spaces and this legislation will help provide ease and comfort to them and everyone. It will also benefit parents when taking their children to the bathroom, caretakers assisting family members — and anyone who is simply tired of waiting for a single-gender bathroom to free up when a restroom for another gender is available.

Gender Neutral Bathroom

“Shovel our Sidewalks” Act Passes Unanimously

Over the weekend we received a small accumulation of snow, but during significant winter storms, county sidewalks often become covered in piles of snow that are pushed aside from the road by passing snow plows. Snow-covered and icy sidewalks most adversely affect essential workers and transit riders who often travel by foot or bus and must walk along busy roads to get to bus stops and stores. That is why I introduced the Shovel our Sidewalks Act, which was recently passed unanimously by the Council.

The county’s Department of Transportation will shovel an additional 40 miles of Montgomery County sidewalks that are in communities that are transit-dependent or have a high concentration of low-income residents. In 2021, 10 people died after being hit by vehicles in the county, and there were 480 such encounters in which people survived. The Shovel Our Sidewalks Act is one more tool in our toolbox to ensure that pedestrians can safely get to where they need to go – this includes ensuring clear sidewalks for those on wheelchairs or parents with strollers.

Snowy Sidewalks

Montrose Parkway Renamed in Honor of Local Abolitionist the Rev. Josiah Henson

The Montgomery County Planning Board has approved a resolution to rename Montrose Parkway, located in North Bethesda, in honor of the Rev. Josiah Henson. The street to be renamed Josiah Henson Parkway runs through the former plantation property of Isaac Riley, where Henson was enslaved. This property is also home to the Josiah Henson Museum and Park, operated by Montgomery Parks. Henson, a renowned international speaker and abolitionist, led 118 people from enslavement in the United States to freedom in Canada as a conductor of the Underground Railroad. His autobiography, which depicted his time enslaved on the Riley plantation until he escaped to Canada in 1830, inspired Harriet Beecher Stowe’s landmark novel, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” which fueled the abolitionist movement in the mid-nineteenth century and helped to propel the American Civil War.

Josiah Henson Pkwy

Constituent Corner

A resident from Montgomery Village alerted us to hazardous conditions along Watkins Mill Road between Club House and Stedwick Roads where poor lighting made walking difficult in the evening hours. There is also a bike lane along that stretch of road and the dark conditions made it hard for drivers to see cyclists. My office reached out to MCDOT's Division of Design and Operations and they sent a crew out to replace the lightbulbs.

As always, please feel free to reach out to me about any assistance you might need:

Constituent Services Graphic

Did You Know...?

March is Women's History Month — a time set aside to honor women’s contributions throughout American history. Montgomery Parks has outdoor interpretive panels throughout their parks, sharing stories about the history of places and people in our county and for Women’s History Month, they recommend four parks to visit to learn about women in the past: Jessup Blair Local Park, Little Bennett Regional Park, Burnt Mills West Special Park, and Edith Throckmorton Neighborhood Park. At Burnt Mills, visitors can view an interpretive panel about Rachel Carson, the founder of the modern environmental movement who lived in Silver Spring. Find out more here.

Women in Parks