Councilmember Nancy Navarro on the FY16 Budget

 

Statement from Councilmember Nancy Navarro on the Approval of the FY16 Operating Budget:

“This budget affirms our values. We are making important investments in Montgomery County Public Schools, Montgomery College, and our social safety net.

This is a budget that truly puts young people first. We included $250,000 for the Children’s Opportunity Fund, which is an important first step toward creating a dedicated Children’s Trust. The Council voted to fund the newly created Child Care and Early Education Policy Officer and Child Care Strategic Plan, which was established as part of the Child Care Expansion and Quality Enhancement Initiative, which I sponsored. The Council added more than a half a million dollars to the County Executive’s recommended budget to provide child care subsidies to the lowest income families in our County. This budget expands the hours of operation for recreation centers in the mid- and east-county and will ensure that the Wheaton High School Wellness Center will open at the same time as the new Wheaton High School.

I’m pleased the Council decided to make a down-payment on fair elections by approving $1 million for the Public Campaign Election Fund. This landmark program will make Montgomery County a national model for public financing of elections. We are also making sure employees of County contractors are treated fairly by fully funding my recently passed legislation to strengthen the Living Wage Law’s reporting requirements.

The approved budget funds our priorities in a fiscally responsible way. We kept the property tax rate at the County’s Charter Limit, while fully funding our future pension, health care, and reserve obligations. We are restoring funding for libraries that was drastically cut during the recession and providing much-deserved compensation for our County employees, who made many sacrifices during the economic downturn. The tough decisions we have made will put Montgomery County in a favorable position to retain our Triple-A Bond Rating.”

Montgomery Council Unanimously Approves Bill 11-15 to Expand Child Care

Councilmembers Navarro and Riemer Partnered In Legislation to Provide Quality Enhancement Initiative And Create Strategic Plan for Child Care Expansion 

ROCKVILLE, Md., May 5, 2015—The Montgomery County Council today unanimously approved Bill 11-15 that will expand affordable, quality child care services in the County and develop a strategic plan for child care services. 

Bill 11-15 is the Child Care Expansion and Quality Enhancement Initiative. The bill’s lead sponsors are Councilmembers Nancy Navarro and Hans Riemer. The bill was co-sponsored by Councilmembers Roger Berliner, Marc Elrich, Nancy Floreen, Tom Hucker, Sidney Katz, George Leventhal and Craig Rice.

The approved legislation requires the County Executive to designate a Child Care and Early Education Officer in the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), establishes the Early Childhood Advisory Council and creates a Child Care Expansion and Quality Enhancement Initiative focusing on family child care providers.

 The new DHHS policy officer must develop a data-driven strategic plan that defines the child care needs in the County and maps a path to universal access to affordable, quality care. The policy officer must also participate in the selection process for providers located in public spaces.

 “My top priority has been, and continues to be, ensuring our lowest-income and most vulnerable families have access to quality, affordable child care,” said Councilmember Navarro, who as an appointee to the President’s Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics serves on the Early Childhood Education Committee.  “The first five years of a child’s life is key in predicting future academic success. Every dollar we spend toward quality early care and education will save taxpayers 10-fold in the future. Closing the academic achievement gap does not begin in kindergarten—it starts with quality child care at a licensed home or center.

“The Child Care Expansion and Quality Enhancement Initiative is an important step toward County Government prioritizing early care and education by creating new structures—a high-level DHHS position, a coordinating council and culturally competent support for family child care providers. The Council’s approval of Bill 11-15 reinforces our commitment to investing in our future.”

Bill 11-15 requires DHHS to hold informational sessions for prospective family child care providers about how to become licensed providers. It also requires DHHS to provide the following services to family child care providers: technical assistance and business training; site-visits, if requested; feedback and assistance to obtain licenses; and services in Spanish and other languages.

The bill also requires that an annual report be delivered to the Council by Feb. 1 of each year about the activities, accomplishments and plans of DHHS related to the initiative and an assessment of the County’s child care needs. 

“As fast as child care costs are rising in Montgomery County, this need is becoming as big of an affordability crisis as higher education has already become,” said Councilmember Riemer. “How can families really be expected to pay for child care, save for college and retirement and have anything left?  In his 2015 State of the Union Address, President Barack Obama said, ‘It is time we stop treating child care as a side issue, or a women’s issue, and treat it like the national economic priority that it is for all of us,’ I couldn’t agree more.  And I know there are a lot of dads out there who will agree with me when I say that, as a man and a father, child care must be a personal priority for all of us.”

Councilmember Riemer had proposed that an independent Office of Child Care be created with the director reporting directly to the County Executive. However, DHHS suggested the option to create the new, senior-level policy officer position be created within the department. Councilmember Riemer and his colleagues agreed with DHHS’ approach.

There are 477 State-licensed child care centers in the County with the capacity to serve 32,879 children, but the demand for quality child care far exceeds the supply. Data from 2012, provided by the Maryland Child Care Resource Network, estimates that the number of children under 12 with mothers in the workforce in the County is 121,859.

 The goals of Bill 11-15 are to generate a strategic plan for child care services in Montgomery County, develop new partnerships, assist potential providers in navigating the procedures required for licensing, increase the number of children being served, and ensure quality child care programs.

Montgomery Councilmembers Navarro and Riemer Partner to Expand Child Care

Quality Enhancement Initiative, Strategic Plan for Child Care Expansion Unanimously Recommended by Health and Human Services and Education Committees 

ROCKVILLE, Md., April 27, 2015—The Montgomery County Council’s Health and Human Services Committee and its Education Committees voted unanimously today to combine ideas from two bills focused on improving child care services in the County to create one bill that would expand affordable, quality child care and develop a strategic plan for child care services.

Today’s worksession addressed Bill 11-15 on child care expansion and quality enhancement—which was introduced by Councilmember Nancy Navarro—and Bill 13-15 that was introduced by Councilmember Hans Riemer and would have established a new County Office of Child Care.  The joint committees have recommended creating a new, senior-level policy officer position focused on child care in the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). The recommendation is part of amended Bill 11-15 that is tentatively scheduled to go to the full Council for final action on May 5.

The new, combined Bill 11-15 is sponsored by Councilmembers Navarro, Riemer, Nancy Floreen and Marc Elrich. The new DHHS policy officer must develop a data-driven strategic plan that defines the child care needs in the County and maps a path to universal access to affordable, quality care. The policy officer must also participate in the selection process for providers located in public spaces.

“My top priority has been and continues to be ensuring our lowest-income and most vulnerable families have access to quality, affordable child care,” said Councilmember Navarro, who as an appointee to the President’s Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics serves on the Early Childhood Education Committee.  “The first five years of a child’s life is key in predicting future academic success. Every dollar we spend toward quality early care and education will save taxpayers 10-fold in the future. Closing the academic achievement gap does not begin in kindergarten—it starts with quality child care at a licensed home or center.

“The Child Care Expansion and Quality Enhancement Initiative is an important step toward County Government prioritizing early care and education by creating new structures—a high-level DHHS position, a coordinating council and culturally competent support for family child care providers. The Council’s approval of Bill 11-15 will reinforce our commitment to investing in our future.”

Bill 11-15 requires DHHS to hold informational sessions for prospective family child care providers about how to become licensed providers.  It also requires DHHS to provide the following services to family child care providers: technical assistance and business training; site-visits, if requested; feedback and assistance to obtain licenses; and services in Spanish and other languages.

The bill also requires that an annual report be delivered to the Council by Feb. 1 of each year about the activities, accomplishments and plans of DHHS related to the initiative and an assessment of the County’s child care needs.

“As fast as child care costs are rising in Montgomery County, this need is becoming as big of an affordability crisis as higher education has already become,” said Councilmember Riemer. “How can families really be expected to pay for child care, save for college and retirement and have anything left?  In his 2015 State of the Union Address, President Barack Obama said, ‘It is time we stop treating child care as a side issue, or a women’s issue, and treat it like the national economic priority that it is for all of us,’ I couldn’t agree more.  And I know there are a lot of dads out there who will agree with me when I say that, as a man and a father, child care must be a personal priority for all of us.”

Councilmember Riemer had proposed that an independent Office of Child Care be created with the director reporting directly to the County Executive. However, DHHS suggested the option to create the new, senior-level policy officer position be created within the department. Councilmember Riemer and his colleagues agreed with DHHS’ approach.

There are 477 State-licensed child care centers in the County with the capacity to serve 32,879 children, but the demand for quality child care far exceeds the supply. Data from 2012, provided by the Maryland Child Care Resource Network, estimates that the number of children under 12 with mothers in the workforce in the County is 121,859.

The goals of Bill 11-15 are to generate a strategic plan for child care services in Montgomery County, develop new partnerships, assist potential providers in navigating the procedures required for licensing, increase the number of children being served, and ensure quality child care programs.

 

 

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Montgomery Council’s Government Operations Committee Recommends Funding for New County Public Campaign Finance System

Committee Recommended Today That Up to $2 Million Be Available for Landmark Program

ROCKVILLE, Md., April 16, 2015—The Montgomery County Council’s Government Operations and Fiscal Policy (GO) Committee today unanimously recommended that the full Council consider adding up to $2 million to begin funding a new Public Election Fund that will allow candidates for County Council and County Executive to qualify for partial public financing for their campaigns.

 When the Council approved Bill 16-14 in September, it was the first measure of its type for County elective offices in the Washington Region and in the State of Maryland. The plan was to have partial funding added each year to the campaign fund to prepare for the next County election, which will be in 2018. However, County Executive Isiah Leggett, who signed the bill, did not include any money for the election fund in the Fiscal Year 2016 operating budget that he presented to the Council on March 16.

The Council is now reviewing all aspects of the recommended budget and is scheduled to approve the FY16 operating budget in late May. Today, the GO Committee, which is chaired by Nancy Navarro and includes Councilmembers Sidney Katz and Hans Riemer, in its review of the Public Election Fund, recommended that up to $2 million (in four increments of $500,000 each) be placed on the “reconciliation list” of items that the Council will consider for funding as part of its budget discussions.

“Public financing is proven to get people involved in elections who otherwise would not participate,” said Committee Chair Navarro. “With the dismal voter turnout in the 2014 gubernatorial election, it is critical that we do whatever we can to increase civic participation, voter turnout and fair elections.”

Since 2001, members of the Montgomery County Council have urged the Maryland General Assembly to provide the County with the authority to adopt campaign finance reforms. In 2013, the General Assembly enacted a bill that enables counties to provide for the option of public financing for county elective offices beginning with the 2015-18 election cycle. Participation by candidates would be voluntary.

“I think it is crucial that we make a down payment to the Public Financing Fund this year to prove that we are serious about making public financing work in Montgomery County and getting big money out of our politics,” said Councilmember Riemer.

Councilmember Katz said: “I believe that it was necessary to take the initial step of placing funds on the reconciliation list in order to ensure funding for this important endeavor.”

Bill 16-14 established a Public Election Fund. To qualify for public financing, a candidate would have to:

  • File a Notice of Intent prior to collecting qualifying contributions
  • Establish a publicly funded campaign account
  • Only accept contributions from an individual of between $5 and $150
  • Refuse to accept a contribution from any group or organization, including a political action committee, a corporation, a labor organization or a State or local central action committee of a political party
  • Collect a qualifying number of contributions from County residents: 500 for County Executive candidates, 250 for at-large Council candidates and 125 for district Council candidates
  • Meet qualifying dollar thresholds of $40,000 for County Executive, $20,000 for at-large Councilmember and $10,000 for district Councilmember
  • Limits are indexed to inflation
  • Only contributions from County residents are eligible for matching funds.

The plan provides strong incentives for candidates to seek out many small individual contributors. Matching public dollars for County Executive candidates would be $6 for each dollar of the first $50 of a qualifying contribution received from a County resident, $4 for each dollar for the second $50 and $2 for each remaining dollar received up to the maximum contribution. Matching dollars for County Council candidates would be $4 for each dollar of the first $50 received from a County resident, $3 for each dollar for the second $50 and $2 for each remaining dollar received up to the maximum contribution.

The maximum limit on public funds per candidate for either the primary election or the general election will be $750,000 for a County Executive candidate, $250,000 for a Council at-large candidate and $125,000 for a district Council candidate. Matching dollars would not be distributed for self/spouse contributions or to candidates running unopposed.

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Montgomery Council Approves Bill to Increase Access to Health Insurance for Employees of Contractors

Nancy with workers

ROCKVILLE, Md., April 14, 2015—The Montgomery County Council today approved amended Bill 14-14 that will require the County’s Department of Health and Human Services to assist employees of County contractors and subcontractors who do not have employer-sponsored health insurance to apply for insurance on the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange. The bill also will require contractors and subcontractors to permit employees to meet with HHS representatives for this purpose on company time.

The chief sponsor of the bill is Councilmember Nancy Navarro. The bill was co-sponsored by Councilmembers Roger Berliner, Marc Elrich, Nancy Floreen, Hans Riemer and former Councilmember Cherri Branson. The bill was approved today by a vote of 9-0.

The amended bill also will require contractors to report to the County’s Office of Procurement on the number of its employees who have health insurance. Procurement will be required to report to the Council and the County Executive on the number of County contractor and subcontractor employees without health insurance. Additionally, the bill strengthens the existing Living Wage Law by requiring the County to retain quarterly payroll reports submitted by contractors. The law would sunset after two years unless the Council decides to extend it.

“Employees of County contractors deserve access to affordable health insurance,” said Councilmember Navarro. “Bill 14-14 is an important step toward ensuring that the County Government assists low-income employees, such as sanitation workers, in obtaining health insurance and receiving federal subsidies for which they are eligible. This bill will allow the County to collect and retain data, for the first time, to better understand how many of these employees do not have access to health insurance.”

The provisions of Bill 14-14 apply to contractors who are covered under Bill 5-02—the Living Wage Law—that was enacted by the Council on June 11 2002. The Living Wage Law requires certain businesses that provide services (but not goods) to the County to pay employees working on a County contract a minimum living wage effective July 1, 2003. The current living wage has been adjusted to $14.15 per hour.

Bill 14-14 takes another step toward making sure employees of contractors are aware that they could be eligible for federal health insurance subsidies under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and will assist them in applying.

Wheaton Library & Recreation Center

 

Click here for the latest information on the Wheaton Library & Recreation Center Project.

Kemp Mill Civic Association

Last night, I had the pleasure of speaking with residents at the monthly meeting of the Kemp Mill Civic Association. WeSpeaking at Kemp Mill  had a great conversation about some of my top priorities for the area, including: the Wheaton Library and Recreation Center, Wheaton Redevelopment, and the renovation of Kemp Mill Urban Park. We also discussed a number of other important issues, including deer management, resurfacing of roads, and WSSC billing issues.

Download my complete presentation to the Kemp Mill Civic Association:

 

Councilmember Nancy Navarro Pushes to Expand Licensed Child Care and Provide Affordable Community Use Space for Programs Serving Vulnerable Youth

News Conference on Tuesday, March 17, Will Precede Montgomery Hearings on 2 Bills Addressing Child Care Needs

ROCKVILLE, Md., March 16, 2015—Montgomery County Councilmember Nancy Navarro will be joined by childcare providers, nonprofit leaders and community advocates at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 17, to explain how her two newly-introduced bills will help expand and enhance the provision of child care in Montgomery County. One of the bills would help provide public space at an affordable rate for organizations serving low-income families and vulnerable youth—including those that provide childcare services. The other bill would help expand licensed child care opportunities.  

 The news conference starting at 7 p.m. will be held in the Third Floor Conference Room of the Council Office Building at 100 Maryland Ave. in Rockville. At 7:30 p.m. in the Third Floor Hearing Room, the Council will hold public hearings on Bills 11-15 and 12-15. The public hearings will be broadcast live on County Cable Montgomery (Cable Channel 6 on Comcast and RCN, Channel 30 on Verizon) and will be streamed live via the Council web site at: www.montgomerycountymd.gov/council .

 Councilmember Navarro’s child care bill (Bill 11-15)—which is cosponsored by Council Vice President Nancy Floreen—would create a Child Care Expansion and Quality Enhancement Initiative in the County’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). The bill would require DHHS to hold informational sessions for prospective family child care providers about how to become state-licensed providers. The bill also requires DHHS to hold informational sessions for current child care providers, including information on how to obtain additional licenses and accreditation.

 For both current licensed family child care providers and prospective child care providers, the bill requires DHHS to provide technical assistance and business training, site-visits (if requested) and services in Spanish and other languages. This bill also requires an annual report to the Council by Feb. 1 about the activities, accomplishments and DHHS plans related to the initiative and an assessment of the County’s child care needs.

 “When it comes to parents’ decisions about child care arrangements, many low-income and immigrant communities rely on relatives and/or home-based care—often unregulated care settings,” said Councilmember Navarro. “It is imperative to continue placing emphasis on family childcare providers as one component of the early care and education continuum of service to raise the quality, affordability and accessibility of child care.”

 The Maryland Child Care Resource Network estimates that in Montgomery County, the number of children under age 11 with mothers in the workforce is 138,292. There are currently 933 family childcare providers with the capacity to serve 7,012 children, and roughly 64 percent of these providers speak a language other than English. The goals of Bill 11-15 are to assist, in a culturally and linguistically competent manner, potential providers in navigating the procedures required for licensing, increase the number of children being served and ensure quality childcare programs.

 “The need for affordable, quality child care continues to increase in Montgomery County, but the availability of child care slots is failing to keep pace, especially in the category of family child care providers,” said Councilmember Floreen. “Obviously, this is unsustainable, and we must take action sooner rather than later to make quality child care more available to our working families. It benefits not only our children and families, but the County’s economic vitality as well.”

 Bill 12-15, also sponsored by Councilmember Navarro, would increase the affordability and use of public facilities by organizations serving vulnerable youth and low-income families. The bill would create a program that provides fee waivers or reductions for eligible organizations in need of public use space. It requires the Director of Community Use of Public Facilities (CUPF) to conduct outreach and provide technical assistance to help encourage the use of public facilities by organizations that serve some of the County’s most vulnerable residents. It also would require a biennial report from CUPF, which would highlight the successes and challenges pertaining to the implementation of this program.

In the past, non-profit organizations and community-based groups have identified the need for more affordable community use space in the County. In Fiscal Year 2013, the Council funded a Community Access Pilot Program to provide financial assistance and increased opportunities for groups, organizations and community members to receive financial assistance from the County to secure space in the Silver Spring Civic Building. The pilot program is open to various community groups and civic organizations. Bill 12-15 expands on the practice by providing financial assistance to groups serving vulnerable youth and low-income families across all public space managed by the County.

 “I am proud to sponsor these bills. Before holding elected office, I trained hundreds of providers and watched informal babysitting arrangements transform into successful, legitimate businesses,” said Councilmember Navarro. “The national trends show that the academic achievement gap is present before children enter kindergarten. As a member of the Early Childhood Committee of the White House Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, I know that providing a high-quality education for all children is critical to America’s socio-economic success.”

 

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Our Children, Our Future

Dear Friends,

For me, access to quality and affordable child care is personal.

About 20 years ago, my husband and I were raising our first daughter at our home in Wheaton. While he was starting his business, I was working full-time. Spending more time with my daughter was a priority, but financially there was no way I could quit my job and stay at home. One day, I decided to open a family child care business at my home. I prepared my home, took the required training, applied for and received the required state license, and started seeking clients. This allowed me to have an income, but more importantly it allowed me to prepare my daughter and the children in my care, to enter kindergarten “ready to learn.” Some of them even decided to acquire a second language and today are fully bilingual.
As I talked to more people about my new 

business, I realized there were many women in the community starting to care for children out of their homes. Many would care for several children without a license, compromising safety and quality. For some, the language barrier and confusing state bureaucracy in applying for a license was a hurdle that was difficult to overcome.

A few years after starting my business, I founded a nonprofit called Centro Familia to help train other family child care providers about the right way to start their business. We developed a state certified curriculum, provided the necessary technical assistance and mentoring necessary to pass the state licensing requirements. Once licensed, the participants would continue to receive support that ensured quality and best business practices. The most important outcome was school readiness for the children in their programs. I left Centro Familia in 2004 to join the Board of Education.During my tenure at the Board of Education, and since being elected to the County Council in 2009, I have made early childhood education and access to quality, affordable child care a priority. During every budget, I have fought to increase funding for child care subsidies for low-income families and have been a leader in working to expand pre-kindergarten opportunities for every Montgomery County family.In 2011, President Barack Obama appointed me to serve on the White House Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. I serve on the Early Childhood Education Subcommittee on the Commission, where I work with Latino education leaders from around the nation.The only way we can meet demands of the 21st century job market is by investing in quality early childhood education. Research shows that for every dollar invested in early childhood education, there is a return of $2.50 to $17Not building this critical infrastructure of opportunity jeopardizes our nation’s ability to thrive in a global economy and maintain our competitive edge. The U.S. is already falling behind–ranking 25th in the world in early learning enrollment of 4-year-olds. By investing in the future of all our children we are making a commitment to the success of our country.

nancy in classroom

Next Steps

Long Term: Establishing a Children’s Trust Fund

During difficult economic times, early childhood education programs are often the first on the chopping block. While cutting programs may ease budget challenges in the near-term, these are short-sighted decisions that will have negative consequences on our future success and competitiveness.
Several jurisdictions, including Miami-DadeSan Francisco, and Los Angeles have a “Children’s Trust Fund” that provides resources for children and youth programming. While there are a variety of “Children’s Trust” models, the most successful programs dedicate a portion of tax revenue for children ages 0-17. I believe that it is important to explore the establishment of a Children’s Trust in Montgomery County. I plan to work with stakeholders in order to propose a Charter Amendment that would establish a Children’s Trust for Montgomery County. For example, this Trust could set aside a portion of the County General Fund Property Tax revenue each year. Establishing a trust ensures that even during the most challenging economic times, Montgomery County is committed to funding the most essential services to give our children a great start.

Short Term: Reforming Child Care Services

Before we can establish a dedicated funding source for programs serving youth, we need to establish an infrastructure that will help make sure those funds go where they are needed most. That’s why during this year’s budget, I plan to work collaboratively with the County Executive to establish a Children’s Opportunity Fund. This Fund, in partnership with Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) and the County Government, will be used to hire a Fund Coordinator and a researcher that will study the outcomes of youth programs. The Fund will also help us pay for new initiatives targeted at supporting services for children and teenagers.

nancy with girlsWe need wholesale reform of how Montgomery County ensures that every family has access to high-quality, affordable child care. I am working with my colleagues on legislation creating a Child Care and Early Education Officer within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

I am also introducing legislation that will create a Child Care Expansion and Quality Enhancement Initiative. This Initiative would require County Government to do much of the work I did while at Centro Familia. HHS staff would be responsible for:

  • Educating prospective family child care providers on steps necessary to become licensed by the State;
  • Providing technical assistance and business training to family child care providers;
  • If requested, conducting a site-visit for potential family child care providers to provide feedback and assistance to obtain state licensing;
  • Providing services in languages other than English, in a culturally competent manner; and
  • Conducting an annual assessment of child care needs in the County and preparing an annual report.

Closing the academic achievement gap and making sure every student is prepared to learn on their first day of school is the socioeconomic imperative of our time. Every child deserves a chance to succeed and that cannot happen without access to quality, affordable child care for all. It won’t be easy to accomplish this goal, but with your help and support we will ensure every child can have a strong and bright future.

Sincerely,

Nancy Navarro
Councilmember, District 4

Montgomery County Councilmember Nancy Navarro to Receive ‘Outstanding Elected Official Award’ from Governor’s Commission on Hispanic Affairs

She Will Receive Award on Wednesday, Oct. 15, at
Reception at Governor’s Home in Annapolis

ROCKVILLE, Md., October 8, 2014—Montgomery County Councilmember Nancy Navarro at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 15, will receive the “Outstanding Elected Official Award” from the Governor’s Commission on Hispanic Affairs. The award will be presented during a reception at the Governor’s home in Annapolis in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.

“Under the administration of Governor Martin O’Malley and Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown, our Hispanic community has flourished,” Y. Maria Martinez, chair of the commission, wrote to Councilmember Navarro. “We’ve grown rapidly, not only in numbers, but in our daily contributions to this great State we call home. We’ve advanced policies that affect our community such as the Maryland Dream Act, licenses for undocumented immigrants, limiting the State’s cooperation in the federal Secure Communities program, supporting children seeking refuge from violence in Central American countries and so many more.

“Our community’s achievements have been made possible because of this administration’s commitment to diversity and the belief in the dignity and respect of every individual. However, we also acknowledge that we could not have done this without the individuals like you who are committed to working on behalf of the Hispanic community to make this State a great place.”

Councilmember Navarro, who chairs the Council’s Government Operations and Fiscal Policy Committee and previously served as Council President, said she was honored to be selected to receive the award.

“It is a privilege to represent the good people of District 4—working on their behalf to bring increased economic opportunities, build a stronger culture of civic participation and ensure that all children receive a quality education,” said Councilmember Navarro. “In my capacity as chair of the Council’s Government Operations Committee, I have worked to close budget gaps, strengthen our County’s fiscal position and bring unprecedented transparency to our local government. It is an honor to be recognized for my service by our outstanding Governor.”

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