About Councilmember Navarro

I serve as the Council Vice-President and the Montgomery County Councilmember representing District 4. I am the chair of the Government Operations and Fiscal Policy Committee and also serve on the Health and Human Services Committee.

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December 16, 2009

Save Money and Help the Environment!



Here's a way to save money on your electric bill and help the environment by supporting clean, renewable wind power!

What’s the Green Neighborhood Effect?: It’s a community supporting Clean, Renewable Energy! Imagine…whole neighborhoods making the switch to supporting wind generated electricity. Clean Currents, makes this possible by offering greener types of power for your home! As a community leader, council or home owner/condo association you can help encourage households in your community to sign up and, by doing so, leverage you efforts to have an even greater effect on reducing global warming gases.

Sign up your home here!


Sign your home & neighborhood up here!


Help the Environment: By default right now your home's electricity is coming from a mix of coal and nuclear sources. And, you may or may not want to hear this, but the average home is responsible for putting about 1,500 lbs of carbon dioxide, the main global warming gas, into the atmosphere each year. That's a 1,500 lb carbon footprint or the equivalent of 4 cars on the road for a year! Think you'll agree...that's a heavy weight to put on the environment if you don't have to... By switching to Clean Currents you personally eliminate your home’s carbon footprint. Get your community involved and you can see results like these or better: 10 homes = 15,000 Ibs of CO2 (or the equivalent of taking over 40 cars off the road). Your efforts have a huge impact!

Amplifying the Effect: For each household that enrolls between now and the end of June 2010, Clean Currents will donate $10 to your community to do a greening project of your choice. Whether you do a tree planting, start an organic community garden or replace light bulbs with more efficient ones in common areas – Clean Currents wants to support your efforts to green your community with some "green" from us! $10 x 100 homes = $1,000!

Special prizes will be given for the highest number of sign-ups within a community, the highest percentage of sign-up, greenest faith based institutions and the most innovative green project.

Take 3 Minutes to Sign up Online: All you need to do to enroll your community in Clean Currents Green Neighborhood Effect Challenge is to go to our website, www.CleanCurrents.com. Click the Green Neighborhood Effect button to access the signup page and fill out the requested info. (Clean Currents provides a complete packet of support materials for your community). We can't wait to help you get started!

It's all at www.CleanCurrents.com

Additional Questions? Contact Clean Currents at 301.754.0430 x716 or x716

P.S. Don't forget to type your neighborhood in the "how did you hear about us" section when signing up for "Wind Power for Home" to ensure your neighborhood gets recognition.

»»  read more

December 2, 2009

Reminder from Comptroller Peter Franchot: Enrollment is Now Open for the Maryland Prepaid College Trust

I wanted to pass along the following note from Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot, regarding the Maryland Prepaid College Trust:
I'm pleased to remind you that enrollment is now open for the Maryland Prepaid College Trust, which is administered by the College Savings Plans of Maryland. Enrollment opened on December 1 and will remain open until April 5.

The Maryland Prepaid College Trust is a golden opportunity for families who are concerned with the ever-rising costs of higher education. This program - which is backed by a Maryland legislative guarantee -- allows you to lock in tomorrow's tuition at today's prices. The funds may be used at almost any college in the United States, and those who enroll in this program can receive a Maryland state income deduction of up to $2,500 per account. The tuition plans are flexible, and payments can be made affordable by buying anywhere from one semester up to five years worth of tuition.

I hope you'll visit collegesavingsmd.org today and find out how you and your family can enroll in either the Prepaid College Trust or the College Investment Plan, which is open for enrollment throughout the year.


Higher education creates a climate of opportunity for all Marylanders, and the College Savings Plans of Maryland are making the dream of a college diploma more attainable for families throughout our state. I hope you'll learn more about the program, open an account, and spread the word to your friends and family.

I hope you'll learn more about the Prepaid College Trust and the College Investment Plan and signup today!


Thanks so much for your time.

»»  read more

Montgomery County Council Hearing on Equal Benefits for Same Sex Domestic Partners

Yesterday, the Montgomery County Council held a public hearing on my bill (37-09), which would require contractors doing business with the county to provide the same benefits to same-sex domestic partners, that they currently provide to married couples. The bill, co-sponsored by Councilmembers Andrews, Berliner, Elrich, Ervin, Floreen, Leventhal, Trachtenberg, received supportive testimony from County resident Nadine Mort, Joseph Sandler (Jewish Community Relations Council), Morgan Meneses-Sheets (Equality Maryland), David Fishback (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays), and David Dise (Office of County Executive Ike Leggett).

Below, you can read the testimony from Equality MD Executive Director Morgan Meneses-Sheets:
My name is Morgan Meneses-Sheets. I am the Executive Director of Equality Maryland. Equality Maryland seeks to end discrimination against lesbian, gay bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals in our lives as residents of Maryland, citizens of the United States, and neighbors in towns and cities across this great state. I am here today to testify in support of Bill # 37-09, the “Equal Benefits Bill”.

All across the country, gay and lesbian employees face discrimination in workplace benefits because they are unable to obtain a civil marriage license. Receiving equal pay for equal work remains an important aspect to achieving full equality for LGBT Marylanders.

I want to thank Councilmember Nancy Navarro for sponsoring this important bill. This legislation is simple. If companies and contractors do business with the county and provide benefits to married couples and families, they must provide the same benefits to same-sex domestic partners.

Montgomery County has continually been a leader in advancing fairness for all residents. This legislation continues that precedent by ensuring equal protection under the law and valuing equally the contributions and participation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and heterosexual individuals who do business with this county. This bill recognizes that differential treatment of specific groups hinders the county’s capacity to attract and retain a diverse body of highly-qualified individuals and therefore undermines its ability to do business.

If we want our economy to flourish – if we want to help attract and retain talented workers – then we must do all we can to make sure that workers have access to equal benefits. This is about decency, but it is also about maintaining a competitive workforce where people are evaluated and compensated based on performance and qualifications, not their sexual orientation.

Evidence suggests that employers with such policies enjoy a heightened reputation for respecting diversity. Without domestic partner benefits, a significant portion of overall employee compensation is unattainable for gay and lesbian workers. This bill will help provide equitable access to contractors in a range of areas including sick leave, health benefits, disability and life insurance and retirement benefits.

This is about real people’s lives. LGBT individuals struggling in today’s economy who need equal access to health care, but who are currently prevented from accessing their partner’s benefit plan. LGBT parents who are prevented from utilizing family medical leave because the law does not acknowledge their relationships. This is about the dramatic situation of the death of a loved one and the need to access bereavement leave, but it is also about the day to day of LGBT people being able to live their lives without worrying about whether or not whether they will be treated equally as employees or contractors simply because of who they are.

Opponents will often discuss the cost of providing benefits to domestic partners. It seems absurd to talk about economics when what we are really looking at are civil rights and equal protections. But it is important to note that in the studies that have been done the cost to most employers has been negligible. Coverage for domestic partners increases the number of insured individuals enrolled in the health insurance plan, but that coverage is no more expensive than for other individuals and enrollment overall is far lower than most estimates.

A 2005 Hewitt Associates study found that the majority of employers — 64 percent — experience a total financial impact of less than 1 percent of total benefits cost, 88 percent experience financial impacts of 2 percent or less and only 5 percent experience financial impacts of 3 percent or greater of total benefits cost.

Studies have also shown that domestic partner benefits programs improve employees' productivity and retention rate by alleviating personal stress that may keep workers from fully focusing on work, and by providing an inexpensive enhancement to an overall compensation package.

Today your colleagues on the DC City Council voted 11-2 in favor of marriage equality. The momentum is building, but many residents continue to await action on the issue of marriage equality at the state level. Montgomery County should do as much as it can to encourage progress at the local level. This bill would send a strong statement that Montgomery County believes in equal protections for all couples.

We all know that any advancement towards equality will be met with intolerance and prejudice by those who seek to intimidate and condemn our community. Equality Maryland applauds the Montgomery County Council’s commitment to fairness and continuing efforts to change exclusionary policies. Each incremental change that we make builds the momentum behind the movement to advance full marriage equality. We thank you for being such strong champions of equality.
I look forward to seeing this critical civil rights bill successfully approved by the full County Council.
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November 25, 2009

Montgomery College Scholarship Deadline is 12/17 - Apply Now

Montgomery College Career Path WD&CE Scholarship

The application for spring 2010 Career Path Scholarship is now available. Please note that the deadline for submission of the Spring 2010 application is December 17, 2010 at 5:00 p.m.


A limited number of scholarships are available, pending funding, through Montgomery College Workforce Development & Continuing Education for students pursuing career path courses with the intention to obtain entry-level employment. The scholarship is awarded for up to $1000 to cover tuition and fees only. The scholarship may be applied to one or more eligible courses, within the career area chosen, to pay tuition and fees not covered by another funding source, waiver eligibility, or payment plan (including employers). This scholarship will not cover 100% of the applicable tuition and fees if the total tuition and fees exceed $1000.

This scholarship opportunity has the following characteristics:
  • Up to $1000 maximum for tuition and fees only (does not include textbooks; students must purchase separately), see FAQs for more details.
  • Pays for specific career area course(s) tuition and fees only.
  • One-time award per student.
  • One career area (see application for choices).
  • All prerequisites, assessments and/or entrance requirements apply (refer to printed and/or online Schedule of Classes / Subject List for further information).
  • These scholarships are awarded without regard to race, color, creed, religion, sexual orientation, age, gender, disability, or national origin.

To be eligible to apply for the Career Path WDCE Scholarship, the student must:
  • Be a Montgomery County resident, and qualify for in-state tuition per College guidelines.
  • Have verifiable financial need, see attached chart based on FARM Income Criteria
  • Provide the completed Letter of Support
  • Have no unmet / unaddressed financial obligations to MC

Find out more and apply for the scholarship: [HERE]


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Internship Available for 2010 Session

Delegate Jeff Waldstreicher (District 18, Montgomery County) is currently offering internships for the 2010 legislative session (January 13 – April 5, 2010). This is an excellent opportunity to become involved in state politics and make valuable contacts for a future political career.

Elected in 2006, he serves on the Judiciary Committee and its Criminal Justice Subcommittee. His legislative priorities include education, the environment, and civil rights.

Interns will be responsible for drafting bills, attending committee meetings, and providing constituent services. A three-day work week is preferred, although accommodations for a two-day week may be made for the right candidate.

Young Dems and college students (both undergraduate and graduate) are encouraged to apply. Academic credit and a stipend are available for students who are enrolled during the spring 2010 semester.

Interested parties should contact Ellen Townsend, Chief of Staff, at jeff.waldstreicher@house.state.md.us or (301) 858-3130 to begin the application process.

»»  read more

November 20, 2009

Derwood Post Office to Remain Open

This August, the Washington Post reported that the U.S. Postal Service was exploring closing multiple post offices in Montgomery County, including their Derwood location. This post office services numerous District 4 residents, so we were disappointed to hear the news.

Thankfully, Senator Mikulski's office has informed us that the Montgomery County post offices that were under review for consolidation have been removed from the study. The other locations that will be spared are in Friendship Heights and Silver Spring.
»»  read more

November 19, 2009

A Rebuttal to the Gazette's Editorial Opposing My Equal Benefits Bill

Earlier this month, I introduced a bill to require contractors doing business with Montgomery County to provide to same-sex domestic partners the same benefits they provide to married couples. Seven of my colleagues and the County Executive have joined me in supporting this legislation, but the Gazette drafted an editorial opposing the bill, entitled "Equal rights bill needs work." The piece stated several incorrect assumptions about the impact of the legislation, which have been addressed in a rebuttal piece by David Fishback, advocacy chairman of the Metro D.C. chapter of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. More importantly, it misses the point of the legislation -- which is simply that this is a civil rights issue.

That's why it is critical that supporters of equality come testify in favor of the bill at the public hearing. You can read Mr. Fishback's letter to the editor below, or at: http://gazette.net/stories/11182009/montlet174625_32524.shtml

Equal Benefits Bill Public Hearing

Where: Montgomery County Council Building
100 Maryland Ave, Rockville, MD

When: Tuesday, December 1st at 1:30 pm

Note: if many people sign-up to testify, the hearing may be held at 7:30 pm

Sign-Up to Testify by Calling:
(240) 777-7803 (Please mention Bill 37-09).

You can read the text of Bill 37-09: [HERE]

Editorial on benefits equality missed mark

Your Nov. 4 editorial, "Equal rights bill needs work," questions the fiscal wisdom of County Council member [Nancy] Navarro's bill that would require county contractors to offer their gay employees with domestic partners whatever benefits they offer their straight employees with spouses. Since only a small percentage of people in our community are gay, the fiscal impact on a given contractor would be negligible; and in this competitive environment, contractors' bids are not going to be higher because a small percentage of their workforce would be able to avail themselves of benefits already offered to their colleagues.

More to the point, however, is that if a particular religious or ethnic group was discriminated against regarding work benefits, I doubt that The Gazette would argue that the council should refrain from making non-discrimination a prerequisite to holding a county contract because of the supposed potential cost or, as your editorial put it, the danger of "government interference in the private sector." And that is really the crux of the matter: The county would not contract with a company that engaged in religious or racial discrimination; nor should use the public's tax money to contract with a company that discriminates based on sexual orientation.

David S. Fishback, Olney

The writer is advocacy chairman of the Metro D.C. chapter of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.
»»  read more

November 16, 2009

BGE Plug-In Hybrid

Councilmember Navarro tweets:
"Just had the opportunity to see a demonstration of BGE's plug-in hybrid car. It gets 75-80 mpg! I hope to see more cars like this on the rd."
»»  read more

November 13, 2009

County Council Unanimously Approves Smart Growth Plan

Montgomery draws a car-free blueprint for growth
Council backs plan that pushes development near transit stations

By Miranda S. Spivack
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Montgomery County redefined the way it will grow in the next two decades when lawmakers endorsed a plan Tuesday that encourages development where residents can easily live a car-free lifestyle.

The County Council, after weeks of intense debate over the county's growth policy, unanimously agreed to give developers discounts to build dense developments near transit stations as long as they also construct bike paths and walkways, put shops and other amenities nearby, and use environmentally friendly construction methods.

Most suburban growth plans -- including Montgomery's, until Tuesday -- discourage development in congested areas, including those near public transit, and encourage construction in more sparsely populated communities, on the theory that new developments should arise where traffic is still tolerable.

But Montgomery's new plan takes a different tack, one that smart-growth advocates say is long overdue. With the population nearing 1 million, the Washington suburb is substantially larger than the big city to its south but is still managing growth as if everyone can hop in a car and quickly get where they want to go.

The county's growth policy is revisited every two years. The new plan could boost efforts to redevelop the jumbled White Flint area along Rockville Pike and provide new impetus to build a "science city" spearheaded by Johns Hopkins University west of Interstate 270 near Gaithersburg.

Montgomery is shifting direction at a time when jurisdictions across the Washington area are beginning to embrace transit-oriented development. Fairfax County is planning to remake Tysons Corner, and Prince George's County is proposing to redevelop the area around New Carrollton Station.

Montgomery's new growth policy will also give the county an opportunity to improve its bus system and encourage more people to take the bus or subway. It retains a cap on growth when schools get too crowded, a measure that has led to a building moratorium in Bethesda, Clarksburg and part of Germantown. The council hopes to lift that moratorium soon by approving extra funds to build more classrooms.

The council also endorsed a plan from County Council member Roger Berliner (D-Potomac-Bethesda), whose district is likely to be the epicenter of much of the urban-style growth, to use development fees to improve a transit system that commuters say is increasingly inadequate.

The county Planning Board, whose proposal the council was debating, had been willing to forgo many of the fees. But the council decided it should still collect them, even for developments near Metro stations, and steer the money toward improving public transit.

County Executive Isiah Leggett (D), who supported much of what was approved Tuesday, has proposed studying the feasibility of a countywide bus rapid-transit system being pushed by council member Marc Elrich (D-At Large).

On one key issue, determining how much traffic is too much, Leggett and the council decided to ignore the Planning Board's formula and try to develop a new one in the next several months. Leggett and some council members said the board was willing to tolerate more road congestion than the politicians. Leggett has hired a consultant to come up with a new formula for establishing tolerable levels of congestion while allowing for development.

Planning Board Chairman Royce Hanson said that more road congestion is inevitable but that alternatives such as bus rapid transit could help take cars off the road.

"I think that is where ultimately things have to go," Hanson said, referring to building more transit. "What is painful is to tell people that, yes, in a county of a million people, traffic is likely to be slower."

Montgomery has little buildable land, and what is available for redevelopment are lucrative strip malls and large parking lots that would have to be razed.

Planners predict that 200,000 people are likely to move to the county in the next 20 years, bumping the population to more than 1 million. To find a way to house the expected newcomers and get them to and from work, the Planning Board had recommended that developers get discounts and rewards if they are willing to idle their properties for a few years and to build denser development and taller buildings, up to 300 feet in some areas, near the county's Metro stations.

The Planning Board has also tried to make improving transit an ironclad condition of much new development.

When the board approved the proposed science city in July, members were adamant that it could not be built unless the proposed Corridor Cities Transitway bus or rail system is funded and built. Funding transit, however, is up to federal, state and local lawmakers, all of whom are struggling with massive budget shortfalls, so the Planning Board can advocate for but not create it.

Although the council did not endorse all of the Planning Board's ideas, Hanson pronounced himself satisfied.

"I think we got the conversation going in the right direction," he said.

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Photo of the Week - Tivoli Day Celebration 2009

At the Tivoli Day Celebration in Silver Spring, Dyson gets to sit in the driver's seat of a fire truck.
Photo Courtesy Donna Bruhn, Tivoli Community Manager

Reminder: You can submit your photos for Photo of the Week to councilmember.navarro@montgomerycountymd.gov
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November 10, 2009

Reoccurring Distraction Theft Schemes Target Senior Citizens

Dear Resident,

Please pass the following information along to seniors in your community. This is not intended to frighten anyone, but I do believe it is important to alert those who are more at-risk of being targeted of this sort of crime.


Nancy Navarro




For Immediate Release

For More Information:

November 6, 2009

Media Services Division, 240-773-5030

Montgomery County Police want to remind senior citizens and their families that there are specific distraction-type thefts which continue to occur not only in Montgomery County, but throughout the metropolitan area, and typically target senior citizens. The two primary distraction thefts occur most commonly in elevators in buildings with medical offices and in grocery stores, but are not exclusive to those locations. The suspects committing these crimes usually, but not always, work with an accomplice. Suspects could be a group of two to three males, or a male and female working together.

In May of 2009 there were a series of distraction thefts in buildings with medical offices in the greater Bethesda area. Those buildings included the Kaiser Building at 10819 Connecticut Avenue, the Chevy Chase Building at 5530 Wisconsin Avenue, and the Camalier Building at 10215 Fernwood Road. In those incidents, all occurring during midday, inside the buildings’ elevators, a variety of suspects distracted seniors by feigning the need for assistance (sometimes pretending to have an arm or sleeve stuck in the elevator) and took their wallets. The victims were usually men.

On Wednesday, October 28, 2009, a similar incident occurred. The 73-year-old male victim got on the elevator in the Camalier Building in Bethesda. Two unknown male suspects were on the elevator with him. One suspect stepped on the victim’s foot several times, apologizing each time, and one of the suspects dropped a paper. When the victim got off the elevator and went to pay for a prescription, he discovered that his wallet containing cash and credit cards was missing. He called police. The victim’s 10-year-old granddaughter was with him on the elevator and neither one was aware that the wallet was being taken.

These most recent suspects are described as two black males over 6’ tall with brown eyes and black hair. One was described as weighing 170 to 200 pounds; the other as weighing between 200 and 250 pounds.

In the distraction schemes in grocery stores, the victims are more commonly female. A suspect pretending to be a shopper will ask for some sort of assistance from an older woman. He may ask which brand of a product she would recommend. Or even claim to be allergic to peanuts and can’t read the label, so asks the victim to look at a product package to see if there are any nuts. While the female victim is trying to be helpful, the suspect removes the wallet from her purse. Sometimes the entire purse is taken.

Montgomery County Police want to make certain that senior citizens are aware that these types of crimes do occur and what steps can be taken to help prevent being victimized:

  • Men should carry their wallets inside a coat if possible or in a side pocket, never the back pocket. Wrapping a couple of strong rubber bands around a wallet makes it more difficult to extract.
  • Watch out for jostling and physical or verbal distractions which are probably being staged so that a pocket/purse can be picked.
  • If you are aware that your pocket has been picked, don’t be afraid to yell out or shout for help.
  • Be aware that pickpockets often work in teams. One person may appear to be asking you for help or engaging you in some way while an accomplice is after your valuables.
  • Woman should not leave their purses in shopping carts. Purses should be zipped or buckled closed, carried close to the body, and whenever possible keep a hand on the closure.
  • Have some sort of credit card protection in place where the credit card companies monitor the usage and can detect fraudulent activity.
  • Be sure to have account information and contact numbers easily accessible in order to call credit card companies as soon as possible after a theft.
  • After a theft occurs, call police as soon as possible at 911 or the police non-emergency number of 301-279-8000. Write down some notes of what can be remembered of the suspect(s) to provide as complete a description as possible to police.

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Equal Benefits Bill

Last Tuesday, I introduced a bill to require contractors doing business with Montgomery County to provide the same benefits they provide to married couples, to same-sex domestic
partners. Seven of my colleagues and the County Executive have joined me in supporting this legislation, but there is still more work to be done. To me, it is a matter of basic fairness to ask contractors to provide equal benefit for equal work, yet we are already seeing opposition to the proposal from
the Montgomery County Republican Party and the Gazette.

That's why it is critical that supporters of equality come testify in favor of the bill at the public hearing.

Equal Benefits Bill Public Hearing

Where: Montgomery County Council Building
100 Maryland Ave, Rockville, MD

When: Tuesday, December 1st at 1:30 pm
Note: if many people sign-up to testify, the
hearing will be held at 7:30 pm

Sign-Up to Testify by calling: 240-777-7803 (Ple
ase mention Bill 37-09).

You can read the text of Bill 37-09 here:

Press Coverage on the Bill:

MSN (article)
The Gazette (article)
ABC 7 (article/video)

Video from last Monday's Press Conference:

»»  read more

November 1, 2009

Montgomery Council to Consider Bill That Would Provide Equal Benefits to Same Sex Domestic Partners of Employees of County Contractors

Montgomery Council to Consider

Bill That Would Provide Equal Benefits to

Same Sex Domestic Partners of

Employees of County Contractors

At Event on Monday, Nov. 2, Councilmember Nancy Navarro Will Detail

Bill to Give Employees Working on

Certain County Contracts Equal Benefits as Others

ROCKVILLE, Md., October 30, 2009—Montgomery County District 4 Councilmember Nancy Navarro at 12:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 2, in Rockville will announce details of an “equal benefits” bill she will be introducing before the Council that would extend to employees of many contractors and subcontractors performing work for the County the same benefits already granted to County employees.

Councilmember Navarro will join other supporters to discuss the legislation at 12:30 p.m. in the Third Floor Conference Room of the Council Office Building at 100 Maryland Ave. in Rockville. Among those speaking Monday will be Morgan Meneses-Sheets, executive director of Equality Maryland. The bill will be officially introduced before the Council on Tuesday, Nov. 3.

The County has a longstanding policy, in law and practice, against employment discrimination based on sexual orientation. Montgomery County already grants equal benefits to a same sex domestic partner of a County employee that are offered to an employee’s spouse, through Bill 29-99, effective March 3, 2000. Navarro’s bill would simply extend this law to many employees of County contractors and subcontractors.

Councilmember President Phil Andrews, Vice President Roger Berliner and Councilmembers Marc Elrich, Valerie Ervin, Nancy Floreen, George Leventhal and Duchy Trachtenberg are co-sponsors of the legislation. The equal benefits bill also has the support of County Executive Isiah Leggett.

What It Does: The legislation would extend equal benefits to a same-sex domestic partner of a covered employee recognized under a marriage license, domestic partnership or civil union granted out of state or to a same-sex domestic partner as defined under Maryland law. The legislation would only cover employees who perform work for the County on a contract that is currently covered by either the County’s Wage Requirements Law or the recently enacted Prevailing Wage Law.

Benefits that may be extended under the legislation could include bereavement leave, family medical leave, sick leave, health benefits, dental benefits, disability insurance, life insurance and retirement benefits.

“When it comes to civil rights, it is critical that we treat contract employees with the same respect as County employees when it comes to something as important as same-sex benefits for their domestic partners. This is a matter of basic fairness,” said Councilmember Navarro. “Because we are a large County with a diversity of employment situations, we have people who provide services and do outstanding work over long periods of time, but who do it working as contractors instead of as County employees. This should not stop them from receiving the same benefits as their opposite-sex counterparts.”

Some of the important exclusions from this Bill would be:

· Non-construction services contracts for less than $50,000

· Contractors with less than 10 employees

· Contracts with government agencies or non-profit organizations

· Contracts for public utility services

· Emergency contracts

· Bridge contracts based upon a contract awarded by another government agency

  • Construction contracts valued at less than $500,000 or financed by State or Federal grants

Equal treatment for individuals who have domestic partners in Montgomery County is a right, and I strongly support efforts to provide equal treatment for those partners of employees of companies who do business with Montgomery County,” said County Executive Leggett.

Maryland currently grants limited rights to same sex couples through legislation passed in 2008 to establish “domestic partnerships” in the state. According to Equality Maryland, the 2008 State laws included 11 protections for domestic partners, including hospital visitation and the making of funeral arrangements for each other. The organization said the State laws also make allowance for a domestic partner's name to be added or removed from the deed of a residence, without incurring a tax liability, as with married spouses.

Montgomery County’s law granting equal benefits to County employees has been upheld in the Maryland Court of Appeals after it was challenged in the case Tyma v. Montgomery County, 369 Md. 497 (Md. 2002).

“I am joining with Councilmember Navarro to support equal benefits for same sex-domestic partners who have formalized their civil unions,” said Councilmember Ervin, who represents Kensington, Silver Spring, Takoma Park and Wheaton. “For me, equal protection under the law is a civil rights issue. Benefits such as health insurance, maternity leave and dental and vision coverage are critical for all working families. Same-sex couples should have the same protections.”

Councilmember Duchy Trachtenberg said: “While the County awaits the Attorney General’s opinion recognizing the valid marriages of out-of-state same-sex couples, as well as action from the General Assembly to recognize the humanity of all Marylanders by providing equal access to marriage and its rights and responsibilities, I fully support Councilmember Navarro’s bill to extend domestic partnership benefits to those who work for contractors doing business with Montgomery County.”

Councilmember Nancy Floreen said: “As a long time advocate of equal rights, I’ve always felt that the LGBT community has been underserved. I’m very proud to support this bill as another small step toward full equality in the workplace forMontgomery County’s LGBT community. I hope that, moving forward, LGBT couples and individuals are able to realize true equality under the law, both in Montgomery County and the State of Maryland.”

Councilmember Roger Berliner said: “This legislation builds upon Montgomery County’s proud tradition of fighting discrimination. Committed same sex partners do not have the same rights to basic health care that married heterosexual couples have. Our County extends these benefits equally; those who work for us should as well.”

Read today's Washington Post article about this legislation here.

»»  read more

October 29, 2009

Don't Be A Statistic!

Did you know that in Montgomery County, 22% of pedestrian collisions occur in parking lots?

Don't Be a Statistic!

Here are some tips from the Montgomery County Office of Public Information on how to be safe in Parking Lots:

For Pedestrians:

  • Always stay alert for vehicles.

  • Don't assume drivers see you.

  • Watch for vehicles pulling out of parking spaces.

  • Don't walk behind a vehicle that is backing out.

  • Be cautious and look around before walking out between parked vehicles.

  • Treat the parking lot as you would a road - be aware and constantly look for moving vehicles.

For Drivers:

  • Always stay alert for pedestrians.

  • Don't assume pedestrians see you.

  • Be especially cautious backing out of a space when parked next to taller vehicles that obstruct your view.

  • Parking lots are not speedways - slow down!

  • Never cut across parking space lanes.

  • Treat the parking lot as you would a road - be aware and constantly look out for pedestrians.

Safety is your responsibility!

»»  read more

Photo of the Week - Kennedy High School Community Service Week

Kennedy High School seniors Jonathan Jayes Green (left) and Nannette Nunu (center) collect clothing for
Community Service Week. Kennedy's Student Service Learning Coordinator Juanita Goudy (Student Service Learning Coordinator) collaborated with InterFaith Works on this community service project.

Kennedy High School students decided that, this year, instead of having Community Service Day, they would celebrate a Community Service Week. From October 19-23, they collected clothing items, shoes, and toys to be donated to Interfaith Works. Community Service Week was advertised through Facebook, fliers, and even with a video on the morning announcements.

"There are a lot of people in need out there, and it is our responsibility to help them," said Ms. Goudy, Student Service Learning Coordinator at Kennedy High School.
»»  read more

Consejo Legal Gratis

El Programa Pro Bono de la Fundación de Abogacía del Condado de Montgomery, con la ayuda del Centro de Servicios del Condado Este, tiene varias clínicas legales para residentes de bajo ingreso en las siguientes fechas:
  • 1 de Octubre

  • 8 de Octubre

  • 5 de Noviembre

  • 12 de Noviembre

  • 3 de Diciembre

  • 10 de Diciembre
Estas clínicas se llevarán acabo de 5:30 p.m. hasta las 8:30 p.m.

Estas consultas legales tendran una variedad de temas, incluyendo custodia, manutención de los hijos, las deudas, y la inmigración.

¡El espacio es limitado, así que por favor llegue a tiempo! Usted puede llamar a las líneas de nuestra programa de lunes a jueves, desde las 8:30 de la mañana hasta las 5 de la tarde:
  • (301) 424-7651

  • (301) 424-7652

  • (301) 424-7633
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October 28, 2009

Free Legal Advice Clinics!

The Montgomery County Bar Foundation Pro Bono Program, in partnership with the Eastern Montgomery Regional Services Center, will have free evening legal advice consultations for low-income community residents at the Eastern Montgomery Regional Services Center on the following dates:
  • October 1
  • October 8
  • November 5
  • November 12
  • December 3
  • December 10
The clinics are held in the evening from 5:30-8:30 p.m.

These legal consultations span a variety of topics, including custody, child support, debts, and immigration. You must complete a client intake within the first half hour to be assisted. Space is limited, so please be on time!

You may call the following client intake lines Monday through Thursday, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • (301) 424-7651
  • (301) 424-7652
  • (301) 424-7633
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The Parent Academy Fall 2009 Workshops

Welcome Back to Another Exciting Series of the MCPS Parent Academy!

Parent Academy workshops are designed to inform and empower parents as advocates and partners in their children's education. You can choose topics related to student achievement, advocating for your child, guiding your child's decision-making and behind the scenes tours of transportation, food services, Montgomery College, and the Universities at Shady Grove.

All workshops are FREE and held at locations throughout Montgomery County. Child care and interpretation service is provided.

For additional information, visit our website at www.mcpsparentacademy.org

Sign up for one or more workshops today!

To see a list of workshops and more information regarding registration (including the registration form), download the PDF here.
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Celebrate America Recycles Day!

America Recycles Day!

Paper Shredding/Recycling & Donation Drop-Off
Shred and recycle your personal papers and donate usable clothing and household goods at these locations (Montgomery County residents only):

Saturday, November 14 from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Upcounty Regional Services Center
12900 Middlebrook Road
Germantown, MD 20874


Eastern Montgomery Regional Services Center
3300 Briggs Chaney Road
Silver Spring, MD 20904

Sunday, November 15 from 8 a.m. - 12 p.m.

John F. Kennedy High School
1901 Randolph Road
Silver Spring, MD 20902

Sunday, November 15 from 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.

Walt Whitman High School
7100 Whittier Boulevard
Bethesda, MD 20817

These events will occur, rain or shine.

Services provided by Office Paper Systems, The Arc of Montgomery County Thrift Store, Lupus Foundation of America, Vietnam Veterans of America, and National Children's Center, Inc.

On-Site Paper Shredding and Recycling Guidelines
Services provided by Office Paper Systems

Paper shredding is available at no charge to Montgomery County residents only (no businesses are permitted).
  • Cars must be in line by closing time
  • All types of paper such as financial and legal documents, receipts, and tax and medical records will be accepted for shredding
  • Paper with staples or paper clips is acceptable
  • Envelopes with plastic windows are acceptable
  • No plastic or electronic items such as credit cards, CDs, or computer disks
  • Limit: five paper bags or small boxes per household
Clothing and Household Goods Donation Guidelines
Benefiting The Arc of Montgomery County Thrift Store, Lupus Foundation of America, Vietnam Veterans of America, and National Children's Center, Inc.

Bring quality items that are in working/usable condition. Please bring clothing and small loose items in bags or boxes.
  • Clean clothing, shoes, accessories, and bed and bath items
  • Miscellaneous household goods such as dining ware, pots and pans, glassware, picture frames, stuffed animals, games, power tools, small electronic, and garden tools
  • Books, CDs, DVDs, etc.
  • Furniture and other items such as tables, chairs, lamps, and exercise/sporting equipment
  • Do not bring large heavy furniture items such as sofas or loveseats, mattresses, large appliances, automobile parts, construction materials, televisions, computer monitors, or food
For more information, please contact the Montgomery County Division of Solid Waste Services by phone at (240) 777-6410, by fax at (240) 777-6465, by e-mail at recycle@montgomerycountymd.gov or by visiting www.montgomerycountymd.gov/recycling.
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A College Fair and Symposium with Congresswoman Donna Edwards

A College Fair and Symposium
Hosted by Congresswoman Donna F. Edwards (MD-4)

Planning for Future Success:

Helping students and families understand and navigate the college application process

Saturday, November 14, 2009
8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Bowie State University
14000 Jericho Road
Bowie, MD
(301) 860-4000

Representatives From:
  • Colleges and universities
  • Testing centers
  • Career training institutions
Learn More About:
  • Financial aid resources
  • Post-secondary education opportunities
Learn How to Write:
  • Winning applications
  • Essays
  • Resumes
For more information, visit www.DonnaEdwards.house.gov or call (301) 516-7601
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October 27, 2009

Choosing the Right Federal Health Benefits Plan





Invites you to his




In cooperation with the

Maryland Federation of Chapters of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association

Monday, November 16, 2009

9:00 - 11:00 am

(Panel begins at 9:30 am)

Holiday Park Senior Center

3950 Ferrara Drive

Wheaton, MD 20906

Thursday, November 19, 2009

7:00 - 9:00 pm

(Panel begins at 7:30 pm)

Executive Office Building

Executive Auditorium

101 Monroe Street

Rockville, Maryland 20850

(Ample parking is available on the street and in the parking garage across the street.)

Experts on federal health insurance plans and representatives of health insurance carriers will be present at both sessions to discuss various health plan options and answer individual questions. If you need special accommodations, such as a sign language interpreter, please call 301-424-3501 by October 26, 2009.

For additional information or directions, call 301-424-3501.

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