Montgomery County Council to Commemorate Hispanic Heritage Month

On Tuesday, Sept. 29, Special Ceremonies and Panel Discussion
in Rockville Will Highlight ‘The Current State of the Latino Community in Montgomery County’

ROCKVILLE, Md., September 25, 2015—The Montgomery County Council at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept, 29, will hold special ceremonies to commemorate Hispanic Heritage Month. The special event on “The Current State of the Latino Community in Montgomery County” will include a panel discussion with Hispanic and Latino leaders in the County whose work on social justice issues have helped shape the community. There also will be a video presentation featuring Hispanic and Latino residents who will share their life experiences and express their views on issues that will shape the future.

This Hispanic Heritage Month celebration will be part of the County Council session that will take place in the Third Floor Hearing Room of the Council Office Building at 100 Maryland Ave. in Rockville. The special ceremonies will be televised live by County Cable Montgomery (CCM—Cable Channel 6 on Comcast and RCN, Channel 30 on Verizon). The broadcast also will be streamed at:

Among those to share their experiences with Councilmembers during the panel discussion are Jose Antonio Tijerino, president and CEO of the Hispanic Heritage Foundation; Alberto Avendaño, executive editor of El Tiempo Latino; Angela Franco, president and CEO of Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; and Jonathan Jayes-Green, community activist and former administrator for the Governor’s Commission on Hispanic Affairs.

The event will include a demographic overview of the Hispanic and Latino community in Montgomery County and a panel discussion on shared history, personal contributions and observations on currents issues facing the community.

“The Hispanic/Latino community in our County mirrors the nation,” said Councilmember Nancy Navarro, who initiated this Hispanic Heritage event. “It is a young, hard-working and forward thinking community. Contrary to the negative rhetoric espoused by some, this community continues to make valuable contributions to the fabric of our County and our nation. This month we celebrate our shared heritage and we salute those who make a difference each and every day.”

According to the Montgomery County’s Planning Department, 192,887 County residents self-identify as Hispanic, which represents 18.7 percent of the population. In this group, 61,802 residents are from El Salvador, 15,755 are from Mexico, 12,769 are from Peru, 12,164 are from Guatemala and 9,034 are from Honduras. Of the overall total, 29 percent is under age 5 and approximately 75 percent is younger than age 34. More information can be found by watching: .

“Montgomery County is fortunate to be a magnet for capable and talented people from around the world,” said Council President George Leventhal. “Immigration to this County is a compliment because it indicates that of all the places in the world to choose, this growing, vibrant community wants to make Montgomery County its home. And so we value the contributions of all our residents and the Latino community provides a special flavor to our cultural and economic life.”

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Councilmember Nancy Navarro Schedules Committee Meeting with Montgomery Board of Elections to Discuss Selection Process for Early Voting Sites in County

After Changes to Established Early Voting Sites, Government Operations and Fiscal Policy Committee Worksession on Oct. 1 Will Address Actions to Encourage Voter Participation

ROCKVILLE, Md., Sept. 25, 2015—Montgomery County Councilmember Nancy Navarro, who chairs the Council’s Government Operations and Fiscal Policy (GO) Committee, has scheduled a worksession with the County Board of Elections at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 1, to address steps that can be taken to encourage voter turnout after the board relocated two established early voting sites in Montgomery County.

The GO Committee, which includes Councilmembers Sidney Katz and Hans Riemer, will meet in the Seventh Floor Hearing Room at the Council Office Building in Rockville at 100 Maryland Ave. in Rockville. The meeting 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: .

On Sept. 21, the County Board of Elections, which became controlled by a Republican majority after the election of Governor Larry Hogan, voted to relocate two popular and heavily utilized early voting sites in Montgomery County. As a result of the 3-2 vote, the early voting sites at the Marilyn Praisner Community Center in Burtonsville and the Jane Lawton Community Recreation Center in Chevy Chase were eliminated. New early voting sites will be the Longwood Community Recreation Center in Brookeville and the Potomac Community Recreation Center on Falls Road.

Councilmember Navarro said the board’s decisions relocated two easily accessible voting centers in densely populated areas with sites near areas that are sparsely populated and difficult to reach by public transportation.

“We all know that voter turnout is an issue across the nation, and Montgomery County is no exception,” said Councilmember Navarro. “Moving early voting locations away from where people live is only going to discourage participation. Voting is one of the most fundamental civic duties in our democracy. Part of my job is to make sure that our residents have access to polling places in all parts of Montgomery County.”

All early voting sites are open to all voters across the County. Approximately 8,000 voters cast ballots at the Burtonsville and Chevy Chase early voting sites in the 2014 general election. In that election, Burtonsville was the second busiest early voting center in the County, behind the Silver Spring Civic Building.

“In 2013, I garnered unanimous Council support to create the Right to Vote Task Force,” said Councilmember Navarro. “The resolution establishing the Task Force directed the Montgomery County Board of Elections to select early voting sites that are ‘easily accessible by public transportation’ to help ensure that all eligible voters, regardless of income or access to a vehicle, have an opportunity to cast a ballot. The actions by the Board of Elections move us away from this goal. Now, it is time to roll up our sleeves and do everything possible to educate the public about these changes.”

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Proclamation Recognizing National Voter Registration Day

Councilmember Navarro on MCPS Revitalization & Expansion

Affordable Health Insurance for County Contractors

In the fall of 2013, I began working to make sure the lowest income employees of Montgomery County’s contractors had access to affordable health insurance. In 2014, I introduced Bill 14-14, requiring County contractors to provide affordable health insurance to
health-insurancetheir employees.

Through the legislative process, the bill was amended (and passed in April 2015) to make some very important changes to help these employees obtain health insurance. First, the new law requires County contractors to allow Health and Human Services (HHS) employees to help their employees sign up for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) during work hours. The Council added $30,000 to the budget this year for HHS staff that will focus on this target population. Next, Bill 14-14 requires all County contractors to submit payroll reports that include information on how many of their employees have health insurance and the premium split. This information will allow the County to better understand the universe of uninsured employees of County contractors so we can provide help to get them covered. Finally, the new law strengthens the Living Wage Law by requiring the County to keep these payroll/health insurance records on file for at least three years. This provision will enable employees to challenge employers in court if they believe they were paid less than the Living Wage. The Council added about $100,000 to the budget to enforce this section of the law.

While Bill 14-14 was a good first step, the work of making sure employees of County contractors have access to affordable health insurance is not over. That’s why I introduced Bill 5-15, which creates an incentive for businesses to provide insurance to their employees that seek to do business with the County. The bill creates a preference (to be determined for each contract) for businesses that offer health insurance to their employees. Today, the Council approved Bill 5-15 by a vote of 7-1.

I want to thank my colleagues for their support of these initiatives over the past two years. Bill 14-14 and Bill 5-15 will ensure more of our lowest-paid workers have access to affordable health insurance.


FY16 Savings Plan Update

FY16 Savings Plan Comparison

Click here for all the details about the FY16 Savings Plan approved by the Council on July 28, 2015.

Council Passes Bill to Limit Predatory Towing of Vehicles

No Boundaries – Discussion with Dr. DeRionne Pollard

Nancy Navarro on Comcast Newsmakers

Councilmember Nancy Navarro on Fatal Shooting at Wheaton Metro Garage

ROCKVILLE, Md., July 15, 2015—Councilmember Nancy Navarro, who represents District 4, which includes Wheaton, released the following statement about the fatal shooting at the Wheaton Metro Garage that occurred last night:

My heart goes out to the family of the victim of last night’s homicide in Wheaton. Montgomery County Police Department (MCPD) did a tremendous job responding to this incident and quickly bringing the suspects into custody.  MCPD continues to investigate the circumstances that precipitated this incident.

Montgomery County is making a tremendous infrastructure investment over the next few years in Wheaton, which on the whole, continues to be an extremely safe place to live, work and raise a family. With Wheaton redevelopment kicking off in just a few short months, it is more important than ever that our residents are safe and secure in their community.  I have tremendous confidence that our outstanding police force, working in partnership with the Metro Transit Police Department, will redouble their efforts to keep Wheaton safe.  We will not let one violent incident deter us from making Wheaton—and all of mid- and east-Montgomery County the best it can be.

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