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Press Releases - County Council

Council to receive update from County Health Officer and convenes annual meeting with the Commission on Health on Oct. 29

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Also on Oct. 29: Introduction of resolution to support Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments’ regional housing targets for Montgomery County and public hearing on the Racial Equity and Social Justice Act 

The Council will meet on Tuesday, Oct. 29 at 9:30 a.m. Individuals interested in attending a Council meeting should confirm the information on the day of the meeting by visiting the Council’s web page or by calling the Council’s Legislative Information Office at 240-777-7832. All meetings are held in the Council Office Building (100 Maryland Ave., Rockville, Md) in the third floor hearing room, unless otherwise noted.

Update from county health officer and annual meeting with commission on health
The Council is scheduled to receive an update from Dr. Travis Gayles, county health officer, and hold its annual meeting with the Commission on Health. Dr. Gayles will provide the Council with an update on public health issues in the County.

Desiree de la Torre, chair of the Commission on Health, will inform the Council about the Commission’s priority public health areas that are the current focus of the Commission’s work including: school health, vaping and smoking, and communicable diseases.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Resolution to support Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments’ regional housing targets for Montgomery County
The Council will introduce a resolution to support Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments’ (MWCOG) regional housing targets for Montgomery County. Council President Nancy Navarro is the lead sponsor of this resolution. All other Councilmembers are cosponsors. In 2019, MWCOG analyzed and reviewed cooperative employment and housing forecasts in the region. Employment growth is currently outpacing housing. Insufficient housing impacts housing affordability and undercuts economic development that relies on an available workforce. In addition, regional transportation systems are strained as workers commute long distances. As proposed in the resolution, the new housing target is 75,000 more units than the current regional forecast and allocates 10,000 of these additional units to Montgomery County (including a portion in the City of Gaithersburg and the City of Rockville).

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Fiscal Year 2021 Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission Spending Control Limits
The Council is scheduled to vote on the Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) Spending Control Limits. WSSC’s spending control limits process was established in April 1994 via resolution by both Montgomery and Prince George’s County Councils, with the goal of both Councils agreeing on certain budgetary limits by November 1 of each year. WSSC is the bi-county governmental agency charged with providing water and sanitary sewer service within the Washington Suburban Sanitary District, which includes most of Montgomery County and Prince George’s County.

Those expected to attend the meeting include the following: Fausto Bayonet, commissioner, WSSC; Howard Denis, commissioner, WSSC; T. Eloise Foster, commission vice-chair, WSSC; and Carla Reid, general manager and CEO, WSSC.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

The Council will hold the follow public hearings:

Supplemental appropriation to the County Government’s FY20 Operating Budget, Department of Health and Human Services, $239,492 for ACCESS Harm Reduction Grant
At 1:30 p.m. the Council will hold a public hearing on a supplemental appropriation to the County Government’s FY20 Operating Budget for the Department of Health and Human Services of $239,492 for an ACCESS Harm Reduction Grant. The County has been awarded a $239,492 grant to support efforts to address opioid and other drug addiction through the Leave Behind program (a naloxone and urgent follow-up program), the STEER (Stop, Triage, Engage, Educate and Rehabilitation) program which reduces the number of people in the criminal justice system through treatment and interventions after overdose, and training in the use of Narcan/Naloxone.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Bill 27-19, Administration - Human Rights - Office of Racial Equity and Social Justice - Racial Equity and Social Justice Advisory Committee - Established
At 1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. the Council will hold public hearings on Bill 27-19, the Racial Equity and Social Justice Act. This legislation would create a Racial Equity and Social Justice Program for Montgomery County government that would be implemented across county government by a new executive branch Office of Racial Equity and Social Justice. Council President Nancy Navarro is the lead sponsor. All other Councilmembers are cosponsors.

Under Bill 27-19, the County Executive would be required to adopt a county-wide racial equity and social justice action plan by regulation. Each County department and office also would be required to develop a racial equity and social justice action plan. In addition, Bill 27-19 would require that legislation, public policy initiatives and government programs, supported by budget requests, include a racial equity and social justice impact statement. The bill also would establish a Racial Equity and Social Justice Advisory Committee that would include members of the public.

Since land use plans and policies are major drivers for shaping communities, Bill 27-19 requires the Montgomery County Planning Board to consider racial equity and social justice issues when preparing master plans that are submitted to the Council. These plans include recommendations for land uses, transportation and public facilities such as schools, libraries, community and recreation centers, parks and fire and police stations.

Work on the Racial Equity and Social Justice Act officially began in April 2018 when the Council passed a resolution spearheaded by Council President Navarro, to create the framework to develop a racial equity policy. Since that time Council President Navarro has met with community members throughout the county on racial equity and social justice issues.

Formal community conversations on racial equity and social justice, which were co-hosted by Council President Navarro and County Executive Marc Elrich, began in March. These conversations in Silver Spring, Germantown and White Oak, and a youth meeting at Gaithersburg High School, were attended by more than 750 community members. Various community groups also hosted individual meetings at nonprofit organizations, religious institutions, community centers and in private homes.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

#EquityMattersinMoCo is being used for this bill on social media.

The Council meeting will be televised live by County Cable Montgomery (CCM). The channel can be viewed on Cable Channels 996 (high definition) and 6 (standard definition) on Comcast; Channels 1056 (HD) and 6 (SD) on RCN; and Channel 30 on Verizon.

The Council meeting also will be available live via streaming through the Council web site at: http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/COUNCIL/ondemand/index.html.

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Release ID: 19-343
Media Contact: Sonya Healy 240-777-7926 , Juan Jovel 240-777-7931