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Office of Community Partnerships Newsletter
September 2010, Issue 31

In This Issue
commservicedayprimaryelections Primary Elections Tuesday, September 14
Primary Elections will be held Tuesday, September 14th
Polls will be open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. 
Visit the Maryland State Board of Elections for ballot samples, to verify your voter registration, get polling place information, rumor control, and all other voting and election information. 
MontgomeryCounty and State results may be found at www.777vote.org, or at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/elections where an election-related logo will provide a link directly to the Board of Elections return page, as well as links to the Prince George's County, state, and national election returns. The direct link to the Board of Elections returns page is www.777vote.org/electionresults/elec_results.html
Five ways to ensure your voting rights
1. Be on time
2. If voting on election day, vote in the correct precinct.
3. If you choose to vote during the early voting period, check the wait time prior to leaving your home or office.
4. ID may be required if a first time voter.
5. Fill out sample ballot and take to the polling place

Don't Forget....


General Election Day - November 2, 2010

7 A.M. to 8 P.M.
commservicedayParticipate in Community Service Day
How will you be a part of the 24th Annual Community Service Day?  Plan a project now for October 23rd or 24th and make a difference in your community!  If you know what your group will be doing in honor of the day, tell us here.  If your team is interested in signing up for a project looking for additional volunteers, a list will be posted September 15th! 
Click here if you'd like us to send you a reminder. For more information or questions, please visit www.montgomerycountymd.gov/volunteer or email servicedays@montgomerycountymd.gov



Bruce Adams

Director, Office of Community Partnerships


One of the first things Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett asked me to do as part of our work at the Office of Community Partnerships was to establish a Sister Cities program. A good idea I thought at the time. Well, I had no idea what a great idea it was until a visit last month to El Salvador. Mark Twain wrote in Innocents Abroad that "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." Put in a more positive light, we envision our Sister Cities program as a valuable part of Montgomery County's commitment to become the nation's model multicultural community.
First we recruited Mier Wolf, a retired federal HUD official and former Mayor of the Town of Chevy Chase, as a part-time Senior Fellow responsible for establishing the Sister Cities program. Recognizing that a strong and sustainable Sister Cities program needs to have a community-based board independent of short term politics, we recruited Bill Hudnut, the internationally recognized expert on regional governance and smart growth who has served as a Member of Congress, Mayor of Indianapolis, and Mayor of the Town of Chevy Chase, to establish and chair the board of our public-private partnership. In June of 2009, our Sister Cities Board hosted an open house to seek input from the community on shaping our organization and selecting our Sister Cities.
Our leader Evelyn Gonzalez greeted us at the airport in San Salvador.
Evelyn Gonzalez in San Salvador Airport
In part because of the strong interest at our June 2009 open house and in part because it is the number one country of origin of our immigrant population, the Board focused on El Salvador. Sister Cities board member Evelyn Gonzalez of Montgomery College suggested Morazan, a department (like one of our states) in the rural, eastern part of the country. After research and discussion, the Board selected Morazan. The home of thousands of Montgomery County residents, Morazan turned out to be a fabulous choice. In late August, a Montgomery County delegation of nearly 20 visited Morazan (Fear not taxpayers: all participants paid their own way and the two full-time County employees took furlough and personal leave time to participate.). Thanks to an extraordinary job of organizing by Evelyn Gonzalez, we had an inspiring and productive visit. The trip was billed as an exploration. No formal Sister City agreement has been signed. We met with government officials and community and business leaders throughout Morazan. Karla Silvestre, the County Executive's Latino liaison, has turned her blog into a preliminary report:
Click Here for the Sister Cities Exploratory Trip to Morazan Preliminary Report
Our exploratory visit to Morazan was just a small step toward the robust Sister Cities program that we envision to connect Montgomery County to communities across the globe. But it was a fabulous first step that shows the extraordinary potential of Sister Cities to establish greater understanding of the people (and their cultures) from around the world who have come to Montgomery County and so enriched our lives. The Sister Cities Board is looking at other potential Sister Cities partners. Our El Salvador committee is already planning a return visit to Morazan next Summer with the County Executive to formalize the partnership between our communities. If you are interested in joining our El Salvador committee or exploring our Sister City options, please let me know: bruce.adams@montgomerycountymd.gov  

AfricanHeritageMonthEventsSeptember is African Heritage Month

Daniel Koroma, Senior Fellow & Liaison to African and Caribbean Communities 
On September 2nd 2010, Continental Africans came to the Downtown Silver Spring Regional Service Center to celebrate the Annual African Heritage Month Proclamation ceremony. In celebration of the collaborations that has taken place among Africans and the non-profits serving the community, this year's theme is "Unite and Collaborate - Partnerships for Progress."
Through collaboration, the African community was able to establish an African Cultural and Resource Center. The Metropolitan Community Development Corporation (MCDC) and the Volt Association are the lead non-profit for collaborations and program offerings within the Center. A great summer camp was just successfully completed and on graduation day, all of the children were exclaiming as a slide show of the educational activities and places the children visited projected through the screen. The African Cultural and Resource Center is preparing a schedule of programs for the community e.g., computer training classes in French and English, classes on how to navigate resources in Montgomery County, and classes for teachers and accountants who have migrated to Montgomery County and wants to continue in their profession. Through collaboration, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Minority Health organized series of Health Fairs and Seminars within the African communities. At one of the Health Fairs, with the help of Margaret Korto, they tested for 23 different diseases.

Leggett and other officials celebrate African Heritage Month

On September 2nd 2010 Continental Africans living and working in Montgomery County came to celebrate the Annual African Heritage Month Proclamation: Officials on the picture from left to right: Congresswoman Donna Edwards, Congressman Chris Van Hollen, and County Executive Ike Leggett, , and members of the African Affairs Advisory Group: Left to right: Daniel Koroma, Lilian Ibeh, Dr. Fuambia Ahmadu, Remi  Duyile, Malabani Ameduite, Daniel Kakapula, Amie Jallah, Kennedy Odzafi, Soffie Ceesay, Kemi Onanuga, Patrick Tangelo, Ivo Tasong, Mumin Barre, Kwame Ansah-Brew
This year the County Executive's African Affairs Advisory Group hosted the Proclamation ceremonies at the new Silver Spring Regional Services Center at One Veterans Plaza, downtown Silver Spring. The logistics needed and the time and resources it took to plan for such outdoor locations was unimaginable.  Nevertheless, the Planning Committee headed by Patrick Tangelo, did an awesome and impressive job, which made the 2010 African Heritage Month proclamation ceremony the most successful since the Advisory Group started the ceremony in 2008. The celebrations were officially opened by County Council President Nancy Floreen and a joint proclamation was issued by County Executive Ike Leggett and the County Council. In addition, proclamations/citations were issued by State Senator Jamie Raskin, Delegate Tom Hucker, US Senators Barbara Mikulski & Ben Cardin, Governor O'Malley, Congresswoman Donna Edwards & Congressman Chris Van Hollen. Also members of the African Diplomatic Corps attended the event with displays of their country's artifacts.
I would like to thank the Planning Committee, the volunteers, performers, the staff in the Office of Community Partnerships, and the Silver Spring Regional Service Center for joining us and making the event a success!!!

African Heritage Month celebrations continue this weekend and throughout the month:

Sept. 11 - Soccer tournament, ***CANCELLED***

Sept. 18 - Pan African Cultural Festival, Silver Spring Civic Center, One Veterans Place, Silver Spring, MD 20910 - Cultural Dances, African Arts & Craft exhibits, live performances by African artists, Kids' talent contest, Vendor exhibitions and a taste of exotic African cuisine and a celebration of African Americans who have traced their ancestry to several African countries.

Sept. 21 - Africa Leadership Congress at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel

Sept. 25 - Miss Sierra Leone-USA Pageant, Montgomery College Performing Arts, Georgia Ave, Silver Spring, MD


LitScrollRight to Literacy Scroll Comes to Montgomery County

From August 18th to 25th, the Montgomery Coalition for Adult English Literacy hosted the Right to Literacy Declaration Scroll.  The Declaration, a national pledge for literacy, acknowledges that the ability to read, write, and communicate in English is fundamental to full and equitable participation in American democracy.  The Declaration also calls for access and support for the educational services required to achieve English literacy.

County Executive Leggett signs the scroll with Lily Qi, Language Access Coordinator & Community Liason, and leaders of MCAEL
Leggett signed Literacy Scroll
On August 25th at 11:30am, County Executive Isiah Leggett signed the scroll and acknowledged his support for literacy and the County's partnership with MCAEL in advancing English literacy in Montgomery County. Upon signing the scroll, Leggett joined with the many leaders from across the country who have supported literacy by signing the scroll.  Today in Montgomery County, more than 130,000 residents are limited in their ability to communicate in English, and more than 80,000 adult residents lack basic literacy, i.e. the skills to complete a job application.


The Scroll has traveled across the country and been signed by tens of thousands of supporters at community events, city halls, conferences, and in classrooms in 31 states and 76 cities.  It has been supported by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Council on Foundations, Literacy Funders Network, ProLiteracy, National Center for Family Literacy, WE LEARN, Department of Education's Office of Adult and Vocational Education, and many others. The scroll is making its way to the White House and is expected to be presented to President Obama in September 2010. 


HispanicHerMonthMontgomery County Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

Montgomery County will kick off Hispanic Heritage Month - September 15 to October 15 - with a celebration on Thursday, September 16 from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Executive Office Building Auditorium, 101 Monroe Street, Rockville.


County Executive Isiah Leggett and County officials will present a proclamation commemorating Hispanic Heritage Month in Montgomery County and honoring Montgomery County's Latino Parents and Students in Action (Padres y Alumnos Latinos en Acción- Grupo PALA). A panel titled Latinos in Montgomery County: Past, Present, and Future will feature Dr. Jorge Hernandez-Fujigaki with Montgomery College; Dr. Mark Hugo Lopez with the Pew Hispanic Center; and Kate Garvey, co-chair of the Latino Youth Collaborative and Chief of Children, Youth, and Families, Department of Health and Human Services. Delegate Ana Sol Gutierrez will make closing remarks.  The event will conclude with a musical performance by Tambores de San Juan, a Venezuelan drum ensemble.   

The free event is co-hosted by the County Executive's Office of Community Partnerships and the Montgomery County Government Hispanic Employees Association and is open to the public. 

For the full calendar of Hispanic Heritage Month events, go to www.montgomerycountymd.gov/latino, or call the Office of Community Partnerships at 240-777-2525.

HispanicHerMonthMaryland Hispanic Business Conference (MDHBC)

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett recently presented a proclamation of appreciation to the Maryland Hispanic Business Conference (MDHBC) Chair Lorna Virgili at the 2010 MDHBC Conference held at the Hyatt Regency Bethesda. 

Maryland Hispanic Business Conference (MDHBC)

The annual event is the premier Hispanic business event in the region; attracting over 500 Hispanic entrepreneurs. Pictured left to right are: Governor's Office of Minority Affairs (GOMA) Secretary Luwanda Jenkins, Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR) Secretary Alexander M. Sanchez, Leggett, Virgili, Governor Martin O'Malley, 2010 MDHBC Vice-Chair Jerry Godwin, and Lt. Governor Anthony Brown.  Photo Courtesy: Legacy Photography by Beverlee.

AsianCtyCnclForumAt-Large County Council Candidates Forum Focuses on Asian American Community

Lily Qi, Language Access Coordinator and Community Liaison

A coalition of over a dozen Asian American community organizations hosted a County Council At-large Candidate Forum on August 17 at Richard Montgomery High School.  The 12 candidates (out of total of 14) who were vying for the four at-large County Council seats were from both the Democratic and Republican parties, including the four Democratic incumbents Council President Nancy Floreen, George Leventhal, Duchy Trachtenberg, and Marc Elrich.  The eight new candidates were Jane de Winter (D), Robert Dyer (R), Fred Evans (D), Mark Fennel (R), Raj Narayanan (D), Hans Riemer (D), Brandon Rippeon (R), and Becky Wager (D). 
Candidates fielded questions from a panel of Asian American leaders representing a broad range of community-serving organizations from the Chinese, Indian, Vietnamese, and Korean communities-the largest Asian ethnicities in the County.  Key questions included the impact of budget cuts on education and after-school programs for working parents, public transit for seniors and those who don't drive, access to public services for people with limited English proficiency and equity of funding for health programs serving Asians and other minorities. 
Led by Dr. Michael Lin, a long-time community leader and chair of the Asian American Political Alliance, this forum brought the candidates much closer to the Asian community, which now comprises of more than 13% of the County's nearly one million population.  It also served as an excellent forum to educate the candidates about the Asian American community's needs and concerns. 

CEAapplicantsLeggett Seeks Applicants for Committee for Ethnic Affairs

County Executive Isiah Leggett is seeking applications to fill four vacancies on the Committee for Ethnic Affairs.
The 26-member Committee serves as an advisory group to the County Executive, County Council, and the Office of Community Partnerships about ethnic affairs. Specific objectives of the Committee are to create a forum for all ethnic groups in the County, to help integrate diverse communities in the County, to identify existing and potential problems and possible solutions, and to promote maximum involvement of all residents in the County's government, business and community affairs.
Committee members serve three-year terms without compensation, but are eligible for reimbursement for travel and dependent care for meetings attended. Meetings are held on the first Thursday of each month at 7:00 p.m. in Rockville.
Applicants of diverse backgrounds, professions, gender, geography, disability and ethnicity are encouraged to apply. An application, consisting of a brief cover letter and resume (detailing description of interests, experience, community group affiliations and community activities) 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. The deadline for application is September 17, 2010.
Members of County boards, committees and commissions may not serve on more than one such group at a time. 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.

OutcastsUnitedOne Maryland One Book Author Tour Comes to Montgomery County

Outcasts United Author Warren St. John will speak at the Montgomery College Cultural Arts Center in Silver Spring on September 28, 2010 at 7:00pm
Outcasts United by Warren St. JohnCommunities around the state are reading this fascinating story of a soccer team of refugee boys, their coach, and the small town where they live in Georgia as part of the One Maryland One Book program.
Book discussions and other programs related to Outcasts United--including this author tour-are taking place across the state. It's a great opportunity to start a book club, attend a great program at your local public library or strike up an interesting conversation with a colleague. 
Past One Maryland One Book have included Song Yet Sung by James McBride and A Hope in the Unseen by Ron Suskind. Learn more about One Maryland One Book here!
Barnes & Noble is offering 10% off the purchase of Outcasts United from September 24 to October 4 at all Maryland Stores.  Offer available in store only.
ForcesforGoodWhat Makes Great Nonprofits Great?

Monday, October 4th at VisArts at Rockville
8:00 AM Networking Breakfast; 8:45 - 11:00 AM Program
Join community leaders in a conversation about the attributes of high impact nonprofits and how best to nurture them with Leslie Crutchfield, co-author of the critically acclaimed book, Forces for Good: The Six Practices of High Impact Nonprofits which was recognized by The Economist on its Best Books of the Year list.  Leslie is serving as a senior advisor with FSG Social Impact Advisors and working on a new book about high-impact philanthropy that will show donors how they can apply the best practices in Forces for Good to achieve greater results with their charitable resources.

CivilRightsTourThe 2011 Civil Rights Educational Freedom Tour

Join the Montgomery County Office of Human Rights on a fun filled and educational tour traveling south to visit the birth place of the Civil Rights Movement. The trip will retrace the Freedom Trail and participants will learn about Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks & the Montgomery Bus Boycott, Voters Rights and other significant events of the Civil Rights Movement. Come and travel on a state-of-the-art bus with internet access, movies, and snacks as part of the educational experience.
Visit the Montgomery County Office of Human Rights website for the full itinerary, pricing, and how to sign up.

FloodDonationsCounty Executive Leggett Urges Aid for Pakistan and China Flood Victims

"In the past several weeks, Pakistan has suffered the worst floods in recent history claiming more than 1,500 lives and displacing an estimated 20 million people.   In early August, a massive mudslide caused by the worst flooding in a decade in northwest China's Gansu Province has left an estimated 1,200 people dead and more than 500 missing." 


"While these events happened half way around the globe, they inevitably affect our local communities as Montgomery County is home to residents from nearly every corner of the world.  In fact, nearly one-third of our County residents were born outside of the United States, with the Chinese and Pakistani communities among two major ethnic groups living and working here." 


"On behalf of the residents of Montgomery County, I want to offer our condolences and sympathy for the many lives lost and for those affected by these disasters.  I urge our County residents to support humanitarian efforts to save lives and help feed and shelter survivors by contributing to relief efforts."  Among the many organizations accepting donations are the following:




Department of State's Pakistan Relief Fund 


JazzFestAaron Neville Headlines This Year's Jazz Festival

7th Annual Silver Spring Jazz Festival
Saturday, September 11, 2010, 3:30 - 10 p.m.
Silver Spring Civic Building at Veterans Plaza
One Veterans Place, Silver Spring
Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett will present trophies to the winners of the Youth Jazz Ensemble Competition at the annual jazz festival.
The free, outdoor music festival attracted more than 20,000 music lovers last year.  This year's all-star line-up of entertainment will begin at 3:30 p.m. with several perofomrances leading up to Aaron Neville at 9:15 p.m. 

McplhispanicLibraries Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with Performances

Montgomery County Public Libraries will celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month - September 15 to October 15 - with free music and dance performances at local branches by Ritmos del Peru (Rhythms from Peru), Master Guitarist, Dani Cortaza and Cantaré.  No registration is required. The programs -- all held on Saturdays -- are funded by the Friends of the Library, Montgomery County, Inc.


Ballet Folklorico Ritmos del Perú (Rhythms from Peru):

September 11, 2 p.m., Long Branch Library, 8800 Garland Ave., Silver Spring.

October 2, 2 p.m., Marilyn J. Praisner Library, 14910 Old Columbia Pike; Burtonsville. 


Latin Jazz with Master Guitarist, Dani Cortaza:

September 25, 2 p.m., Wheaton Library, 11701 Georgia Ave. 


Cantare, Songs and Rhythms of Latin America:

October 2, 10:30 a.m., Aspen Hill Library, 4407 Aspen Hill Rd., Rockville.

October 2, 2 p.m., Germantown Library, 19840 Century Blvd.


To request ADA program accommodations, call the library hosting the event at least five work days in advance. For library locations and hours, visit or call the local library, log on to www.montgomerycountymd.gov/library or call the Ask-a-Librarian Language Line/Línea en otros idiomas at 240-777-0001. TTY users call Maryland Relay at 7-1-1.

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, Meets 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 September 22 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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