The Glass Gazette: 2023 Wrap-Up

The Glass Gazette

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Special Edition:

End of Year Wrap-Up

December 28, 2023

I was honored to serve as Council President this year and lead the body as we worked to make Montgomery County a wonderful place for everyone to live, work and raise a family. As we head into the new year, I want to reflect on all we accomplished in 2023.

2023 was the year of…

Combating Hate

Nonprofit Security Grant Program

As houses of worship and religious institutions across the country face heightened threats of hate and violence, the county has provided $900,000 toward keeping residents safe while praying and congregating in their houses of worship. The Nonprofit Security Grant Program provides funds for nonprofits and faith-based organizations to cover security expenses. No one should be harmed while practicing their faith.

Anti-Hate Task Force

I extend my deep appreciation and sincere gratitude to the members of the Anti-Hate Task Force, who worked over the last five months to develop strategies and proposals for protecting our diverse community from hatred. I led the effort earlier this year to create the task force, and in the months since, we have only experienced more and more reasons why this work is so necessary. In the coming year, my colleagues and I will work with county agencies, MCPS educators and administrators, law enforcement officers, and community leaders across the county to implement the task force’s recommendations

We live in one of the most diverse communities in the country and we will continue doing everything we can to ensure that everyone is able to live without fear of hatred or bigotry. 

Councilmember Glass in front of a sign that says "Hate has no home here"

Councilmember Glass delivers remarks at the Anti-Hate Task Force's final meeting

Housing Affordability

Zoning Changes to Reduce Housing Costs

Housing is extremely expensive in our region, which is why I joined Councilmembers Andrew Friedson and Kristin Mink to introduce a zoning measure that will reduce the cost of housing and promote car-free living.

When new apartment buildings are developed in our urban downtown areas, each parking spot costs anywhere from $70,000 to $100,000 to build, and that cost is typically passed along to our residents, even if they do not own a car. When parking minimums are eliminated, studies have shown that the cost of a mortgage or rent can be reduced by $200 to $500 a month.  

The proposed zoning measure — which was co-sponsored by every member of the council — would not take away existing parking; instead it would eliminate minimum parking requirements near Metro, the Purple Line or Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) stations, where people are more likely to use public transportation. If adopted, Zoning Text Amendment 23-10 would encourage the development of housing, including affordable units, near transit corridors and would help Montgomery County reach its climate goals by promoting public transit and walkability. 

Councilmember Glass speaking at the press conference introducing the measure

Councilmember Glass provides remarks at the press conference introducing the zoning measure

Gun Safety


Approximately one third of all deaths by suicide in Montgomery County occur with a firearm. Those numbers are far too high. As the nation deals with a historic mental health crisis and increasing suicide rates, it is our obligation as leaders to do something about it. 

That's why I introduced the Suicide Awareness and Firearm Education (SAFE) Act, which passed the Council earlier this month. The law requires gun and ammunition retailers in Montgomery County to display and distribute pamphlets on suicide prevention and how to access help. 

Anyone who has lost a loved one knows the particular pain of wishing there had been a way to prevent it. While there is no way to bring back those we’ve lost, this law will help us save others while we still can. 

Councilmember Glass speaking at a press conference with advocates

Councilmember Glass gives remarks with gun safety advocates after the SAFE Act's introduction

Addressing Climate Change

Protecting Our Trees

As one of our most important natural resources, trees play a vital role in enhancing quality of life and contributing to the well-being of residents and wildlife. A thriving tree canopy reduces air pollution and water runoff, reduces heat islands, and positively impacts our physical and mental health.

This year, I introduced legislation (Bill 40-23) with Councilmember Andrew Friedson that would update our laws to further encourage the conservation of trees in Montgomery County. This bill adjusts the fee structure for trees removed in the county’s right of way to ensure that there is funding to replace them with new trees. This legislation will help us mitigate climate effects and reach our county’s climate goals. I look forward to its passage next year.

Councilmember Glass standing among rows of tree saplings

Future trees that will keep Montgomery County green for years to come

Economic Investment

Economic Development Committee

The first action I took as council president was to create the Economic Development Committee, a place dedicated to elevating issues of job creation, business retention and individual economic opportunity, which had not traditionally received the time or attention they deserved at the council. Despite being brand new, the committee’s importance was quickly understood—as it is currently the largest standing committee at the council. In the year ahead, we will continue looking for opportunities to cut red tape, streamline regulatory compliance, and reduce barriers for small, women-owned and minority-owned businesses in Montgomery County.

Trip to Vietnam and India

I had the distinct privilege of traveling to India and Vietnam for an economic development mission with the County Executive, the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation and members of the Indian and Vietnamese community. We had productive meetings with business leaders, entrepreneurs and elected officials about economic cooperation and partnerships. As the third largest life sciences hub in the country and with our proximity to the nation’s capital, it’s no surprise that there was great interest in bringing businesses to Montgomery County.

Our presentation to international business leaders and colleagues

Councilmember Glass provides remarks during Montgomery County's presentation in Hyderabad, India

Pedestrian Safety

Pedestrian Master Plan

After years of planning and engagement, the council approved the Pedestrian Master Plan. Developed by the Montgomery County Planning Board, the first-of-its-kind plan is a comprehensive, data-driven and equity-focused approach to making our streets safer for everyone—pedestrians, cyclists, people using mobility devices, and drivers. By creating a safe, connected and convenient pedestrian network, we can eliminate pedestrian and cyclist deaths, lower our dependency on cars, and generate safer environments for shopping and retail experiences.

Safe Streets Act

The council unanimously passed the Safe Streets Act in September, legislation I introduced that is a major step towards meeting our Vision Zero goal of eliminating traffic deaths. You may have already noticed some of the changes beginning to take effect, like enhanced walk times at crosswalks and prohibiting “right turn on red” at busy intersections in downtown areas. The law also requires infrastructure reviews following incidents in school zones, walksheds and bus stops. MCDOT is also currently developing a plan for increased automated traffic enforcement to keep our roads safe.  

Councilmember Glass and a resident stand in front of a sign that reads "safe streets for all"

Residents across the county celebrated the Safe Streets Act's passage with me

Constituent Services

One of the reasons I ran for office was to help as many of my neighbors as possible. I am proud of the constituent service work we do every day in my office—this year, we helped hundreds of residents, some of whom you’ve read about in the recurring “Constituent Corner” section of this newsletter.

You can see more detail below about the kinds of work we’ve done:

A word cloud graphic detailing the different kinds of constituent services my team provided this year


If you or your neighbors need any help, from receiving housing assistance or fixing a pothole to determining the status of a permit or connection to a public utility, my team and I are always here to help. You can email us at

Happy New Year!

Wishing you a happy and healthy new year. I look forward to seeing you in 2024.

Please do not reply to this email. To contact my office, email me at