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Office Of Community Partnerships Newsletter, February 2010, Issue 24
   
 
In This Issue
 
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CensusEveryone Counts in Montgomery County:
2010 Census is Important, Safe, and Easy;
Hop on the Be-Counted Express March 27


Bruce Adams
Director, Office of Community Partnerships

CensusLogo

April 1 is just two months away. County Executive Ike Leggett's Office of Community Partnerships is working hard with partners throughout Montgomery County to do our very best to ensure that everyone is counted so that Montgomery County gets our fair share of political representation and federal funding. There are now nearly 200 members of the County's Complete Count Committee. The committee, chaired by our bipartisan former Members of Congress Connie Morella and Mike Barnes, met on Thursday morning, February 4 at the Kensington Town Hall.
 
Photo from left: Mike Barnes, Connie Morella, Kensington Mayor Peter Fosselman, Gaithersburg Mayor Sidney Katz and the OCP's Bruce Adams at February 4 meeting of the Complete Count Committee.
 
CCCMeeting
 For background information about the Census, please log onto the County's Census webpage at:
http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/census. In addition to a map of the hard-to-count Census tracts in Montgomery County, you will find our Montgomery County Census flyer in Chinese, English, French, Korean, Spanish, and Vietnamese. The Census has materials in an even larger range of languages at: http://2010.census.gov/partners/materials/inlanguage.php.
 
The Census is going to hire 1,000 people to help ensure a complete count in Montgomery County, and it is not too late to apply for a Census job. People with language skills are needed most. Log onto: www.2010census.gov/jobs
 
Talk with your friends and neighbors. If you or your organization would like to promote the Census, here are some resources to help you spread the word (just click on the link and cut-and-paste):
Newsletter, E-mail Blast and Website Copy

The Census forms will begin arriving in mailboxes across the country in the middle of March. The actual Census count day is April 1, 2010. The Office of Community Partnerships is organizing a whistle stop tour down Montgomery County's hard-to-count corridor on Saturday March 27. The Be-Counted Express is going to start at Gaithersburg City Hall with a rally at 10 a.m., then travel to downtown Wheaton for a noon rally, and finish up at Takoma Park City Hall for a final rally at 2 p.m. Please hop on the Be-Counted Express with County Executive Ike Leggett and former Members of Congress Morella and Barnes or join us at one of the stops.
 
This is important. Millions of dollars of federal funds for critical services are at stake. If you can lend a hand, please let me know. Just send me an email at: bruce.adams@montgomerycountymd.gov.
EthnicAdvisory
Ethnic Advisory Groups Discuss Budget with County Executive Leggett
In December and January, five of the County Executive's Ethnic Advisory Groups met with County Executive Ike Leggett to discuss the budget and submit recommendations on behalf of their communities. Copies of their budget priorities can be found at the following links:
 
librariesLibraries Celebrate Black History Month with a Variety of Programs
In celebration of Black History Month during February, Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL) will host a variety of programs of interest to the public at branches throughout the county. A special keynote program featuring A'Lelia Bundles, great-great granddaughter of philanthropist, social activist and pioneer of the black hair care and cosmetics industry, Madam C. J. Walker, will be held on February 9 at the Rockville Memorial Library, at 7:30 p.m.  Bundles will discuss "Black Economic Empowerment."

AleliaBundlesThe Emmy Award winning producer and former ABC News executive is the author of "On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C. J. Walker." She has appeared on numerous network TV shows and has spoken at institutions such as the Library of Congress, London's City Hall and Harvard University. The library is located at 21 Maryland Avenue in the Rockville Town Square.

To request ADA program accommodations, at least five work days in advance, or to receive more information about the event, call the Rockville Memorial Library at 240-777-0140.
 
Black History Month Programs at Branches
 
Charlotte Blake Alston, master storyteller, narrator and singer, will share traditional and contemporary stories from the African and African American oral and cultural traditions. She will bring her unique talents and knowledge of cultural lore to four MCPL branches in programs geared for various age groups. Her solo performances are often enhanced with traditional instruments.
 
February 23 -
"Come Tell with Me! Stories for three- to five-year olds. 10:30 a.m.Long Branch Library, 8800 Garland Ave., Silver Spring. Call 240-777-0910.
 
February 23 -
"Tell the Stories So That They May Know" program for adults. 7 p.m.Germantown Library, 19840 Century Blvd.  Call 240-777-0110.
 
February 24 -
"Come Tell with Me!" Stories for three- to five-year olds. 10:30 a.m. Chevy Chase Library, 8005 Connecticut Ave.  Call 240-773-9590.
 
February 24 --
"Let My Stories Tell You Who I Am." Stories for all ages. 7 p.m.  Silver Spring Library, 8901 Colesville Rd.  Call 240-773-9420.
 
Other programs include:
February 27 -
The Black Hall of Fame Show, an interactive program about contemporary and historic figures in African American culture. Presented by John Taylor, a.k.a. The Kinderman, three-time Emmy Award winning host and co-producer of ABC, Channel 2's "The Kinderman Show."  For ages six to 10. Bethesda Library, 7400 Arlington Rd.  Call 240-777-0970.
CommemorativeCommitteeApplicants Sought for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
 Commemorative Committee
County Executive Isiah Leggett is seeking applicants to fill six general public vacancies on the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Committee. The deadline for application is February 19, 2010.
 
The Committee includes up to ten members of the general public and fifteen primary and alternate representatives of various county and city agencies and departments. The Committee plans and implements Montgomery County's annual program to observe the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Additionally, the committee works to promote greater public awareness of the contributions of Dr. King and foster the ideals and goals that Dr. King espoused.
 
Members serve two-year terms without compensation, but are eligible for reimbursement for travel and dependent care for meetings attended. Meetings are held in the Office of Community Partnerships in Rockville on the first Monday evening of each month at 6:15 p.m.

Please share this notice with anyone who may be interested. You may access vacancy announcements for boards, committees, and commissions through the following link.
http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/apps/exec/vacancies/pr_list.asp
 
Applicants of diverse backgrounds, professions, gender, geography, disability and ethnicity are encouraged to apply. An application, consisting of a brief cover letter and resume, should be sent by mail to County Executive Isiah Leggett, 101 Monroe Street, 2nd Floor, Rockville, MD  20850, or by email to countyexecutive.boards@montgomerycountymd.gov. Home and employment addresses, as well as contact phone numbers and email addresses should be included. If appropriate, applicants should indicate the position for which they are applying.
 
Members of County boards, committees and commissions may not serve on more than one such group at a time. Members of these boards are eligible for reimbursement for travel and dependent care for meetings attended. Leggett's appointments are subject to confirmation by the County Council. Applications of those selected for appointment are made public as part of the confirmation process.
 
Contact:  Beth Gochrach, 240-777-2528
serviceawardsSeeking Nominations for Governor's Volunteer Service Awards
THE 2010 AWARDS
 
The Governor's Volunteer Service Awards are presented by the Governor's Office on Service and Volunteerism (GOSV) each year. These awards recognize significant contributions of Maryland citizens to the life and health of the State and its people. The awards are presented during National Volunteer Week, April 18 - 24, 2010.

Nominations for the 2010 Governor's Volunteer Service Awards are now being accepted. All nominations must be postmarked or submitted via email no later than 5:00 pm on Monday, March 1, 2010. Download the application at www.gosv.state.md.us.

QUESTIONS?

Contact Jeanne Hegarty, Special Projects Coordinator at the Governor's Office on Service and Volunteerism. Jeanne can be reached at 410-767-1821 or at jhegarty@gosv.state.md.us.
MannaDr. Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend of Service Draws More than 3,000 Volunteers; Collects 11 Tons of Food for Manna
On Monday, January 18th, 2010, more than three thousand Montgomery County residents engaged in service to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.  Volunteers made 1,500 sandwiches for local shelters, collected over 11 tons of food to support Manna Food Center, donated blood and saw record attendance at the Strathmore Tribute and Celebration.  Together volunteers empowered, improved, and made a lasting impact with various nonprofits in our region.  To see photos from the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, click here.   
 
To continue volunteering with many of the nonprofits that need help throughout the year, click here, to visit our database of volunteer opportunities.  
 
The Montgomery County Volunteer Center extends a warm thank you to our seasons of service sponsors: Comcast, The Gazette, and M&T Bank; our event sponsors: HandsOn Network, Maryland Governor's Office on Service and Volunteerism, Whole Foods of Montgomery County, Marriott International, Gentle Giant, and Joe Foley Photography; our partner agencies: Manna Food Center, Gapbuster Learning Center, East County Regional Services Center, Silver Spring Regional Services Center, and AFI Theatre.  But most of all we thank the thousands of volunteers who dedicated their day off to remember Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr'.s memory through service. If you have photos from MLK Day 2010, please email them to mcvolunteers@gmail.com
 
Food Drive for Manna Food Center Big Success
 
To honor Martin Luther King, Jr., Manna Food Center, County Executives' Office of Community Partnerships, 2010 Census, Gazette Newspapers, Giant Food, Jewish Community Relations Council, and Neighbors In Need Montgomery Fund of The Community Foundation for Montgomery County, organized a food collection drive that collected 22,000 pounds (11 tons!) of food for the Manna Food Center at 20 different Giant Food Stores across Montgomery County on January 16 and 17. Manna values the food collected on the MLK Weekend at $33,000.
 
To volunteer or donate to the Manna Food Center, please log onto: http://www.mannafood.org/. Another great opportunity for those able to lend a hand to our neighbors in need is the Neighbors in Need Montgomery Fund of the Community Foundation for MontgomeryCounty. Every $1 given is matched dollar for dollar by an anonymous County resident. Contributions to the Neighbors in Need Montgomery Fund support organizations like Manna and other County nonprofits providing a safety net of services for our most vulnerable neighbors. To contribute to the Neighbors in Need Montgomery Fund, please click here

FoodDriveVolunteersMuslimFoundationMLKFoodDrive

teleconferenceUpcoming Teleconference on Community Gardens at Houses of Worship
Montgomery Victory Gardens, in collaboration with the Office of Community Partnerships and the Master Gardeners of Montgomery County, will be hosting a teleconference briefing for those wishing to start a community garden at their house of worship. The teleconference will be on Tuesday evening, March 2, from 8-9 p.m.

Food gardening is sweeping the nation. This is especially true in faith-based communities, where food gardening addresses many of the ministries that faith-based communities most actively pursue, including education (about our health, about growing and cooking good food, about our own faith traditions), ecology (practicing low-impact, sustainable methods of growing food that heal the earth), and social justice (many faith-based community gardens contribute produce to local food pantries - all the more critical in these challenging economic times).

The teleconference will feature short presentations by leaders of the Master Gardener's "Grow It Eat It" program, and coordinators of several current faith-based community gardens in Montgomery County. There will be ample time for questions, as well as expert support provided post conference.
For more information and to RSVP, please contact Montgomery Victory Gardens Project Director Gordon Clark at gordon@montgomeryvictorygardens.org, or at 301-801-3406. Please also contact us if you are already growing a community garden at your house of worship - we'd love to hear about it!
MCPSShare your Talents and Expertise with MCPS Students

Students

There are many requests from the schools to bring in experts to interact with students to help support the MCPS curriculum. Please consider taking some time to share some of your talents and expertise. Your real life experiences and dedication really can help make a difference. Your participation as a role model is immesurable!
 
You are invited to visit the Connection Resource Bank (CRB) website and register as a volunteer serving our students, teachers,parents and programs within Montgomery County Public Schools.  Please register under the Volunteer section as an Individual and/or Company at:
 
Thank you for your help in opening up pathways to success for our students. Please feel free to contact me if you have further questions.
 
Sincerely,
 
Gail Woolf
Partnership Manager/Connection Resource Bank
MCPS Department Family and Community Partnerships

850 Hungerford Drive, Suite 50
Rockville, MD 20850
T-301/517-5066,301/279-3100;F-301/279-3815
http://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/crb
palaLatino Parents Organizing for Change through the PALA Congress
There is much talk about parent involvement these days and its importance in the educational outcomes of students. Latino parents in Montgomery County know this and are taking action. For several years now, Latino parents around the County have started organizing themselves in PALA groups. PALA stands for Padres y Alumnos Latinos en Acción or Latino Parents and Students in Action in English. PALA is a group of Latino parents at a school that advocate for: improving the educational and social opportunities for our children; promoting parental involvement in academic success; facilitating knowledge and utilization of the school system; and working together with the school system, the PTSA, and other groups to improve the education of all children. Currently there are five PALA groups in the County, and last year they decided to form an umbrella group to work to expand the model to more schools throughout the County. PALA President Jose Otero is actively meeting with members to plan their next steps. If you want more information please contact PALA Vice President Cielo Renteria at cielorenteria@live.com or call 301-326-4565.
RitaMeet Rita Silkensen
Rita Silkensen
Intern
Office of Community Partnerships
 
Hi, my name is Rita Silkensen, and I am interning for Lily Qi at Montgomery County Office of Community Partnerships. I have come to intern at this office through the China-U.S. trade program with The Washington Center.  I am grateful to be out here in Maryland, it is a welcome change of style to my hometown near Los Angeles, and I enjoy the cold winter here!
 
During my internship with Lily, I will be assisting her with coordination of events such as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, Muslim Women in the Arts, and Understanding Diversity through the Arts.  I will also research and gather material for the Limited English Proficiency program that Lily leads. This is a great opportunity to learn how Montgomery County builds community trust through dedication to the advancement of its citizens.  In a time of economic hardship, it is more important than ever for a community to join together and thrive.
ObamaThe Obama Urban Vision: Can it Come to Pass?
by William H. Hudnut III
 
An Indianapolis-area ex-CEO of a hospital group called me the other day - not about health care policy, but rather regional planning in central Indiana. He wasn't interested in some way to force unified regional government - to expand the geographic scope of Indianapolis' Unigov system, which Dick Lugar (now Indiana's senior senator) founded in 1969-70 and I later led as mayor for 16 years. This ex-CEO's concern was different: How do we get the region's top players on the same page when it comes to such critical issues as land use, transportation and housing.

The call was heartening because it demonstrated to me how America's business leaders are starting to grasp that in this new, mobile, wired age of ours, boundary lines are relatively meaningless and obsolete. And that some are willing to take the lead to create new ways of approaching regional problems-quite far ahead of most political leaders, I might add, who too often are little more than self-protecting institutionalists, or so rigidly ideological that pragmatism has fled them. Read more.
 
William Hudnut is the former Mayor of Indianapolis and the Town of Chevy Chase. He currently serves as Chair of Montgomery County's Sister Cities Board.
EmergencyIncrease Your Emergency Preparedness Capacity
Chuck Bean
Executive Director
Nonprofit Roundtable
 
Nonprofits around our region have been adversely impacted by the economy.  What would your organization do if another Hurricane Katrina, H1N1, or even another September 11 were added to your challenges?  For example:  
 
How would you carry out your mission if half your employees were out with Swine Flu? 
How will you continue delivery of critical services if a water main break keeps you out of your building for several days?
 
Nonprofits in our area can invest 10-15 minutes to increase their own nonprofit emergency preparedness capacity by filling out an assessment on a new, robust online tool: www.PreparedOnline.org. This investment will let you know how prepared you are and will show you how your organization can maintain your mission in times of crisis.
 
Who Should Fill Out the 15 Minute Survey? 
Ideally, any employee in charge of emergency planning at your organization should fill out the survey.  This could be an office manager, a program staff, or the Executive Director.  This is open to ALL NONPROFITS around Greater Washington.
 
How Can I Fill Out the Survey?
1). Register online at www.PreparedOnline.org
2). After registering, you will be asked to take a brief survey to assess your current "readiness score card" which offers customized resources, tools and templates.
3). This online Continuity Of Operations Plans (COOP) tool is confidential and lets you engage in planning at your own pace. You can edit your COOP planning process at any time and as often as you'd like.  Your progress and COOP information can only be viewed by you.  It's free, easy and an investment to ensure your organization maintains its mission in times of crisis.
 
Why Should I Fill This Out?
What if I already have a COOP Plan?
This is a robust yet simple online tool to assess how strong your particular capacity is for Emergency Preparedness.  It customizes resources, tools and templates for your organization, based on this assessment in just 15 minutes. It can make an existing COOP Plan stronger.  In addition, here's an opportunity to tell your funders and others you are making your organization stronger in the event of a disaster.
 
How Can I Get More Information About This?
You can email Terry Lavoie for more information. (Terry helped lead the Survivor's Fund at the Community Foundation for the National Capital Area.)

BACKGROUND
Two Key documents: 
taxTax Tips from Social Security
LawrenceFishmanLawrence J. Fishman
District Manager
Social Security Office, Rockville, MD
 
 
The holidays are over, the gift-giving (and spending) is done, and you're almost finished returning all of the things you don't want or need.  You've even jotted down your New Year's resolutions and plan to stick to them.
 
Time to relax?   Maybe not right away - it's time to start thinking about your taxes. Here are Social Security's top three tips for making tax time a lot easier.
 
1) Don't forget the children.  Make sure the kids (and all the dependents) you list on your annual tax forms have Social Security numbers.  Yes, children do need Social Security numbers.  There once was a time when a child did not require a Social Security card until later in life, but in 2010, that day is long gone.  If you want to claim your child as a dependent on your tax return, your child will need a Social Security number.  For many families, it's not only the kids who will need a number.  All dependents listed on your federal tax returns will need Social Security numbers, including a dependent parent who lives with you and receives support from you.  If any of your dependents needs a Social Security number, you can get an application at www.socialsecurity.gov.  
 
2) Check the names and numbers.  It's not enough for everyone on your tax return to have a Social Security number - they also must be the correct numbers, and they must match your names exactly.  The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) checks all the names and Social Security numbers on your tax return against Social Security's records.  If the names and numbers do not match Social Security's records, you will receive a letter from IRS asking you to explain the discrepancy.  You cannot receive a tax refund until the discrepancy is resolved - which could mean an unnecessarily long delay.
 
3) Social Security tax on Social Security benefits.  If you receive Social Security benefits and your total income, including benefits and any other income such as wages, pensions, or investment income is high enough, you may have to pay taxes on a portion of your benefits.  So plan accordingly as you work out your budget.  You may have to pay taxes on your Social Security benefits if:
·        you file as an individual and have a total annual income of $25,000 or more; or  
·        you file a joint return and have a combined total annual income of $32,000 or more.
 
These simple tips can move taxes from monumental to manageable when the time comes to file your tax return.

Learn more about Social Security at www.socialsecurity.gov
oOffice of Community Partnerships Calendar
Community Outreach Forum: Meetings third Wednesday of every month from 2 -4 p.m. at Executive Office Building Auditorium. There will be no meeting in December. Contact Karla Silvestre for more information: karla.silvestre@montgomerycountymd.gov
 
Committee for Ethnic Affairs: First Thursday of every other month, 7 pm at the Executive Office Building Auditorium. Contact Lisa Austin for additional information: lisa.austin@montgomerycountymd.gov.

Down County Latino Network, will meet on February 24,  April 28, and June 23, at the Mid County Regional Services Center. Contact Karla Silvestre for more information at: karla.silvestre@montgomerycountymd.gov.

Up County Latino Network, will meet on March 24th, and May 26th from 9:30 am - 11:30 am at Bohrer Park, Activity Room A of the Activity Center, 506 South Frederick Avenue, Gaithersburg, MD 20877. Contact Karla Silvestre for more information at: karla.silvestre@montgomerycountymd.gov.
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