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Press Releases - County Council

Government Operations and Fiscal Policy Committee to receive update on implementation of Racial Equity and Social Justice Act on June 15 at 9:30 a.m.

For Immediate Release: Friday, June 12, 2020

Authored by Councilmember Navarro, the Racial Equity and Social Justice law aims to dismantle and eliminate institutionalized racism through legislation

ROCKVILLE, MD, June 12, 2020—The Government Operations and Fiscal Policy (GO) Committee will meet on June 15 at 9:30 a.m. to receive an update on the implementation of the Racial Equity and Social Justice Act, which was unanimously enacted by the Council on November 19, 2019. Councilmember Nancy Navarro is Chair of the GO Committee and Council President Sidney Katz and Councilmember Andrew Friedson are members of the committee. The County's Chief Equity Officer Tiffany Ward, County Council Attorney Bob Drummer and Elaine Bonner-Tompkins, Ph.D., senior legislative analyst in the Office of Legislative Oversight will provide the committee with a status report on implementation actions.

The County’s Office of Racial Equity and Social Justice in the executive branch is responsible for implementing the Racial Equity and Social Justice Act, which among all other things, requires racial equity and social justice training for all county employees and racial equity and social justice impact statements for budget, legislative and land use decisions.

“This work is of increased urgency because crises like the Covid-19 pandemic and police brutality disproportionately affect communities of color,” said Councilmember Navarro. “We worked very hard on this legislation, which is meant to set the framework for our County government to systematically change the culture and dismantle the institutionalized racism that has kept us stuck in the current status quo.”

Formal community conversations on racial equity and social justice, which were co-hosted by then Council President Navarro and County Executive Elrich, began in March 2019.  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.   These conversations centered around the fact that decisions are being made by local government on issues like education, housing, health care and transportation without a full picture of how these decisions impact under-represented communities experiencing inequities across the county.  

The Council staff report can be found here. More information on the Racial Equity and Social Justice Act can be found here.

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Release ID: 20-255
Media Contact: Bertha Cerzosimo 240-777-7986