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Press Releases - County Council

Council scheduled to vote on Racial Equity and Social Justice Act and approve Economic Development Platform resolution on Nov. 19

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Also on Nov. 19: Council will receive an update on Vision Zero, conduct public hearing on telecommunication towers and introduce bill that would impose reasonable costs for filing grievances or pursuing arbitration 

The Council will meet on Tuesday, Nov. 19 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.

Bill 27-19, Office of Racial Equity and Social Justice - Racial Equity and Social Justice Advisory Committee - Established
The Council is scheduled to vote on Bill 27-19, the Racial Equity and Social Justice Act. Council President Nancy Navarro is the lead sponsor. All other Councilmembers are cosponsors. 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.

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. More than 45 individuals, including County residents, heads of County departments and agencies and representatives of nonprofits testified at the Oct. 29 public hearings on Bill 27-19.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

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

Resolution to adopt an Economic Development Platform for Montgomery County
The Council is scheduled to vote on a resolution, introduced by Council President Nancy Navarro, to adopt a new Economic Development Platform for Montgomery County. The Council’s Economic Development Platform Resolution is a guiding document that identifies a thriving and diversified economy, greater innovation, racial equity and social justice, and environmental sustainably as desired outcomes. The goal of the resolution is to grow the County’s tax base by creating new, well-paying job opportunities, removing regulatory barriers for new businesses seeking to locate or expand operations in the County, and investing in business development, housing, transportation and workforce development. Council President Navarro is the lead sponsor of the resolution, and all other Councilmembers are cosponsors.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Resolution to support refugee resettlement in Montgomery County
The Council is scheduled to vote on a resolution, introduced by Councilmember Hans Riemer, supporting refugee resettlement in Montgomery County. The resolution reinforces the Council’s support for the principle of accepting refugees into the County regardless of their religion, race, nationality, sexual orientation, gender identity or country of origin. It notes that among the refugees who need to be resettled in the U.S. there are torture survivors, people with severe medical conditions, LGBTQIA individuals who faced prejudice, violence and precarity in their countries of origin, children who are in the U.S. without family or guardians, and women and children whose lives would be at risk had they remained in their countries of origin. Councilmember Riemer is the lead sponsor. All other Councilmembers are cosponsors.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Bill 35-19, Personnel – Collective Bargaining – Certified Representative – Duty of Fair Representation
The Council will introduce Bill 35-19, which would amend the duty of fair representation for a certified representative of County employees and authorize a certified representative to impose the reasonable costs of filing a grievance or pursuing arbitration on an employee who does not pay membership dues or the equivalent. Councilmember Tom Hucker is the lead sponsor. Bill 35-19 also would require a certified representative to file a grievance or pursue arbitration for an employee who does not pay membership dues or the equivalent only if the employee pays the reasonable costs imposed; and generally amend the duty of fair representation of a certified representative of County employees. The goal of this legislation is to permit a union to receive payment for filing grievances on behalf of an employee who chooses not to pay union dues.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

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

State Legislative Program
The Montgomery County Delegation will hold public hearings on Montgomery County local and bi-County bills that will be introduced in the 2020 state legislative session on Dec. 2 and 9. The purpose of this memo is to provide information on the local and bi-county bills introduced by individual state delegation members so that the Office of Intergovernmental Relations (OIGR) can obtain Councilmember positions on the bills.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Vision Zero Program to promote pedestrian, bicycle, and traffic safety
The Council will discuss Vision Zero, a wide-ranging program of engineering, education, and enforcement initiatives to significantly reduce and even eliminate fatal and severe accidents to pedestrians, bicyclists, and motor vehicle users by 2030. The Council will hear updates from Greg Slater, administrator, Maryland State Highway Administration; Wade Holland, acting Vision Zero coordinator, CountyStat; Captain Tom Didone, director of Traffic Division, Montgomery County Police Department; and Chris Conklin, director, Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT).

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

The Council will hold the following public hearing:

Zoning Text Amendment (ZTA) 19-07, Telecommunications Towers - Limited Use
At 7:30 p.m. the Council will hold a public hearing on ZTA 19-07, which would amend the Montgomery County Zoning Ordinance to do the following:

  • allow certain telecommunications towers as a limited or conditional use in certain residential zones;
  • revise the standards for telecommunications towers allowed as a limited or conditional use;
  • revise the conditional use findings required for the replacement of a pre-existing pole; and
  • generally amend use requirements to address certain telecommunications towers.

This ZTA would allow poles with antennas as a limited use in residential zones where the pole for the antenna would replace a pre-existing utility pole, streetlight pole, or site plan-approved parking lot light pole. This ZTA also would change the standards and procedures for poles that require conditional use approval. A Planning, Housing and Economic Development (PHED) Committee meeting on ZTA 19-07 is tentatively scheduled for Jan. 23, 2020. The Council staff report can be viewed here.

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: 19-362
Media Contact: Sonya Healy 240-777-7926 , Juan Jovel 240-777-7931