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County leaders stand united to create a Racial Equity and Social Justice Policy for Montgomery County Government

For Immediate Release: Friday, March 8, 2019

Council President Nancy Navarro and County Executive Marc Elrich will host a joint press conference on March 13 at 10 a.m. in Silver Spring 

ROCKVILLE, Md., March 8, 2019—Council President Nancy Navarro and County Executive Marc Elrich will be joined by Councilmembers, top County leaders, youth leaders and students representing Montgomery County Public Schools, the Montgomery County Board of Education, Montgomery College and the Montgomery Planning Board on Wednesday, March 13 at 10 a.m. at the Silver Spring Civic Building (1 Veterans Plaza) to urge residents to share their thoughts with County leaders on how we can build a better and stronger Montgomery County that meets the needs of all residents through a racial equity and social justice policy.

“Our population is growing, both in numbers and in diversity—this did not happen overnight,” said Council President Navarro. “Addressing issues of racial equity and social justice are a must if we seek to ensure the continued economic vitality of our county. While the County is known for embracing its diversity, disparities in education, employment opportunities, health care and housing persists across races and ethnicities, income levels, genders, and English language proficiency. Meaningful involvement from all communities in the County is essential to tackle issues related to equity, particularly for those who are most directly affected by the inequities. Community engagement is the most important factor to ultimately achieve the goals of the racial equity and social justice legislation that the Council will introduce this fall. We look forward to engaging with our constituents throughout the process on this effort.”

“I am committed to leading our County efforts to examine our policies and practices through a racial equity lens,” said Elrich. “In partnership with communities and advocacy organizations, we are evaluating those impacts in order to be transparent in documenting whether, based on well-researched metrics, our policies are matching our words. My administration and I are focusing on social and economic justice initiatives to ensure that everyone can succeed regardless of race, ethnicity, or economic circumstances. It is critical that we understand and address the history and impact of slavery, racism, and discrimination on the African-American community.”

Decisions are being made by local government without a full picture of how these decisions impact unrepresented communities experiencing inequities across the county. These decisions impact education, housing, health care, transportation and more. A racial equity and social justice policy is needed so that county government decisions can be made through a racial equity lens.

Montgomery County leaders recognize that government at all levels has helped to create and maintain systematic racial inequality. These same leaders and community members have committed themselves to envisioning and operationalizing policies to institutionalize new models of governing that uses the lessons of the past to create a more equitable future.

Community members and organizations are encouraged to host community conversations on racial equity with their friends, neighbors and colleagues and report their findings back using a survey tool. Montgomery County leaders will also host the first Community Conversation on Racial Equity and Social Justice on March 13 at 7:30 p.m. in the Silver Spring Civic Building. All residents are encouraged to attend and discuss the following:

  1. Why does racial equity matter?
  2. Are you impacted by racial inequality?
  3. What changes do you want to see to promote racial equity and social justice?

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Release ID: 19-086
Media Contact: Sonya Healy 240-777-7926, Juan Jovel 240-777-7931