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Office of Community Partnerships 

Community Engagement Cluster

November 2012
, Issue 55

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In This Issue

World of Montgomery

Nominations - King Awards

Ethiopian Festival Tent

Program to Increase Access

El Salvador Committee at the World of Montgomery Festival

Applicants - Grants Advisory Group

Leggett Statement - 'Hate Speech'

Pepco Free Trees

Citizen Engaged Community

Scholarships - Jamaican Association

County Housing Policy

Literacy Fundraiser

Community Service Day

State of the Schools

Conflict Resolution Center Honors

Applications - Community Service Grants

Ubuntu Blog

Gondar Sister City

Panal on Immigration Issues

Center for Nonprofit Advancement Meets

Help Holiday Giving

American Indian Heritage Month

Applicants - Board of Appeals

Intergenerational Programs

M. L. KIng Awards (more)

Free Trees (more)

Citizen-Engaged Community (more)


Interfaith Tea Time 
The International Cultural Center


Interfaith Tea Time
The Heritage of Gratitude in our Traditions


The American tradition of Thanksgiving taps into the principle of gratitude which is inherent in all faiths. On November 4, the ICC invites the community to share that tradition.

  Event Details: 

Date: Sunday, November 4, 2012

Time: 3:00pm-5:00pm 

Tea and refreshments will be served 

Who: All ages are welcome (there will be a craft for children) 

Venue: The International Cultural Center / 19650 Club House Road, Suite 205 Montgomery Village, MD

Please Bring: Canned or boxed food item to donate to Manna Food Center. 

RSVP: Samia Haque ( samia@theicc.net or 240-396-5350)

Winter Clothing Drive 

November 9th

10:00 am-
4:00 pm

At the Suburban Washington Resettlement Center

8719 Colesville Road, 3rd Floor
Silver Spring, MD 20910

The International Rescue Committee is collecting warm winter clothing for refugee adults and children.  For information or to request an alternative drop-off date, contact Dana Henderson at SilverSpring@rescue.org or 301-562-8633 ext. 227.
Community Conversation on Public Schools 

The Montgomery County Board of Education invites participation in a conversation on the future of public schools.  The event will be Wednesday, November 14 in the Richard Montgomery High School Cafeteria, Rockville, 7 - 9 pm.  Registration begins at 6:30.  Childcare will be available. 


For information on the event and to register, visit the website

Rockville Women's Business Center Workshops.
The Rockville Women's Business Center offers a series of workshops.  For help on business plans and other assistance see the website, www.rockvillewbc.org
Sister Cities
El Salvador

Montgomery County Sister Cities El Salvador invites the entire Montgomery County community for their annual end of year celebration. Attendees will be able to learn about the Committee's activities this year, learn about what lies ahead in 2013, and celebrate with live music and traditional Salvadoran food. The event will be held at the Silver Spring Civic Building on November 24th 6pm-11pm. For tickets and more information, contact Karla Silvestre at 240-777-2525 or email.

The World of Montgomery  

Bruce Adams

Director, Office of Community Partnerships


When we brought the County's Ethnic Heritage Festival back to life in 2008, we renamed it the World of Montgomery Festival. And what a great "world" it is! Our outstanding schools and strong economy make Montgomery County an attractive place to live and work. But I believe it is our welcoming attitude that has made Montgomery County such an amazing magnet for talent from every corner of the world.


Events like the Sunday October 21 World of Montgomery Festival are prime examples of the value of this welcoming approach. Within 90 minutes you could feel like you had visited China, El Salvador, Ethiopia, and India. You could see and hear performances and taste food from across the globe. And did I mention the pupusas? My 90-year old mom, born and raised in Baltimore and a proud Montgomery resident for more than 65 years, tasted her first pupusa at the festival. And she really liked it!


The Washington Post perfectly captured the great meaning of an event like this. The article began with Ping Eng, who was born in China and now lives in Gaithersburg, and her daughter Sarah tasting the pupusas from four local restaurants. Sarah, according to her mom, really wanted to try the food from the country of origin of so many of her Salvadoran classmates. Wow, to spend a Sunday afternoon bringing your daughter to Wheaton from Gaithersburg to learn about the culture of her classmates. That's what this festival is all about -- our community giving our kids the opportunity to acquire the skills of twenty-first century citizens of the world. This is and will continue to be Montgomery County's edge in the global marketplace.

World Festival
Wheaton Triangle was the scene for the fourth Annual World of Montgomery Festival on Sunday October 21. Groups representing cultures from around the world performed in the heart of Wheaton's small business district with construction towers in the background.

It would fill this entire newsletter if I tried to thank all of those who helped make this event so wonderful. I only have room to thank a few. Cara Lesser and her colleagues from the KID Museum (Kids International Discovery Museum) deserve extraordinary credit for enriching the educational portion of the event through their tireless leadership of the hundreds of volunteers who created the experiences that made it feel like participants had visited China, El Salvador, Ethiopia, and India (I got my passport stamped at all four country tents). And thanks to all those volunteers from our ethnic communities (including our Salvadoran and Ethiopian Sister Cities) who shared with us their passions for their nations and cultures. Manny Hidalgo of LEDC (Latino Economic Development Center) has been my partner since 2008 on this project and this year brought us the fabulous pupusa cookoff contest. Megan Moriarty of our treasured Fenton Street Market brought us top quality craftspeople from around the world. Thanks to Keith Haller and all of the private sector sponsors (Comcast, Safeway, Adventist, Freeman Foundation, Fitzgerald Auto, Shulman Rogers, and the Slavin Foundation just to name the top donors) of the Fund for Montgomery for stepping up in a big way to support this new and improved World of Montgomery Festival. Gabe Albornoz and the crew from the Recreation Department were once again valuable partners. We hired Eric Cathcart of Potomac Talent to make sure all the sound systems worked and that the logistics and the weather would be flawless. Without Sidney Cooper and her awesome colleagues at the Wheaton Urban District, there would be no World of Montgomery Festival. To all of you and hundreds others, thank you. Job well done!


I hope I have convinced you that you should put this on your calendar for next October. If I haven't yet, check this out: Read The Post article. 

Nominations Sought for the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Humanitarian and Children of the Dream Awards
The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Committee is seeking nominations for the Humanitarian Award and the Children of the Dream Awards to be presented at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration on Sunday, January 20, 2013 at Strathmore Music Center. Nominations must be received by Friday, November 16.

Read more
Ethiopian Tent at the 2012 World of Montgomery Festival
Ethiopian tent 1 Members of the Montgomery-Gondar Sister City committee welcomed County Executive Leggett, Mrs. Catherine Leggett, and Cara Lesser, Kids Museum Founder and Director, to the Ethiopian tent. Alem Wedajo, second from the right, organized the Ethiopian community and put together a tent that was one of the best at the World of Montgomery Festival. For more information, visit: http://www.worldofmontgomery.com/
Ethiopian tent 2
Congressman Chris Von Hollen
with committee members
Program to Increase Access

The County's Pilot Program to increase community access to the Silver Spring Civic Building and Veterans Plaza is now available.


The application is available here.   Background information is here, and program criteria are here.
All this plus much more is also available at the
website for the County's Community Use of Public Facilities.  

Montgomery County's Sister Cities El Salvador Committee at World of Montgomery Festival
The El Salvador Committee helped organize the pupusa cook-off at the World of Montgomery Festival introducing county residents to traditional Salvadoran food.  Committee members also worked to organize the tent from El Salvador that featured traditional artifacts (hammocks, machetes, etc), a slide show of images from various regions, and children's activities including how to make tortillas, coloring the national bird of El Salvador, and playing with traditional Salvadoran toys such as the "capirucho". 
El Salvador Festival
Thanks to all committee members who helped organized the activities, and special thanks to Monica Delgado, Isis Salmeron, Neftali Granados, and Neftali Benitez for all of their support in organizing the tent, finding performers, and selling pupusa cook-off tickets.
Applications for
Grants Advisory Group

The County Council is seeking applicants for its Grants Advisory Group for the upcoming year. Each year the Council appoints a community panel of volunteers to review and advise the Council on grant applications from non-profit organizations that help fund a wide range of services for our community. This is an opportunity for community members to provide advice to the Council and learn more about the work and services of nonprofits in our County. The deadline to apply is November 15. For more information on how to apply: http://www6.montgomerycountymd.gov/Apps/Council/PressRelease/PR_details.asp?PrID=8876.

Statement by Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett on "Hate Speech" Advertising Placed in

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Locations

October 15, 2012


"I am very disturbed by advertisements placed within the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) system by an organization that calls itself 'The American Freedom Defense Initiative.'


"These ads state: 'In Any War Between Civilized Man and the Savage, Support the Civilized Man. Support Israel, Defeat Jihad.'


"This is Hate Speech - pure and simple. Its purpose is not to educate, but to incite  -- not to promote a point of view but rather to paint those with a different perspective as 'savages' or proponents of 'jihad.'


"I support Israel. I support its right to defend itself.  I support peace in the region among all the sons of Abraham. Simplistic and provocative jingoism furthers neither of those goals.


"Just because one can express extreme views under the freedom of expression we all hold dear does not mean one should.


"Montgomery County residents - whether they are Christians or Jews or Muslims or another faith or of no faith at all - have no use for this kind of intolerance."

Pepco Providing 2,300 Free Trees,
First-Come, First-Served   

As part of its Energy-Saving Trees Program, a partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation, Pepco is offering up to two free trees per residential customer in the Pepco region -- up to a total of 2,300 trees -- on a first-come, first-served basis. Our goal is to help customers conserve energy and reduce household electricity bills through strategic planting of trees.        


Read more.    

Montgomery County Designated as Citizen-Engaged
Community by Public Technology Institute
Montgomery County has been designated as a 2012-2014 Citizen Engaged Community (CEC) by Public Technology Institute (PTI) for its MC311 online and telephone information system. PTI created this annual designation program to recognize excellence in multi-channel contact centers and best practices for the use of Citizen Relationship/Records Management (CRM) systems, 311 services, web portal technology, telephone systems and mobile communications infrastructure. 



Scholarship Awards
JNA scholarships
(L-r) Nirica Clarke, Raquel Lowe, Tressan Gordon, JNA President, Milton Nicholas, JNA Education Chair, Dr. Agorom Dike, Camille Glennon-Hilmy, Shanquie Fletcher and Lloyd Thompson Taylor.
On Saturday, October 6, 2012, Jamaican Nationals Association awarded eight students of Jamaican heritage scholarships. Jamaica's Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Stephen Vasciannie (center), shares a moment with six of the 2012 Gordon Shirley Book Scholarship award recipients and members of Jamaica Nationals Association (JNA) Annual Student Reception and Book Scholarship Awards Committee. The Jamaican Nationals' Association (JNA) was launched in the fall of 1969, at the campus of Howard University.  The event was held at the Silver Spring Civic Center. You can read more at www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Eight-Jamaican-students-awarded-scholarships-#ixzz2AWIsNzPQ
Housing Policy for Montgomery County
The Department of Housing and Community Affairs has drafted a Housing Policy for Montgomery County, Maryland.  DHCA is scheduled to make a
presentation on the policy to the County Council on Tuesday, November 13.  The draft report is available at http://www6.montgomerycountymd.gov/content/DHCA/housing/housing_P/Policy /PDF/housingpolicy2012-draft.pdf.  You are invited to send comments to the County Council and DHCA Director Rick Nelson.

Literacy Fundraiser of the Year

Features Thomas E. Perez

Funds raised will go to individual English language programs and MCAEL.  

Help Build a 21st Century Montgomery County!


 Thursday, November 15, 2012
 7:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. -  

      Networking, Breakfast & Program
 Montgomery College Rockville Campus


Keynote Speaker:  Thomas E. Perez

Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division of the U S Department of Justice and former Montgomery County Council Member, who was instrumental in founding MCAEL


Email program@mcael.org to reserve a seat . Entry is by reservation only.

Can't attend? Donate now online at  http://www.mcael.org/donate or send a check to MCAEL at 12320 Parklawn Drive, Rockville, MD 20833.

Community Service Day
Community Service Day
at the Menare Foundation's Button Farm
Thank you to the hundreds of volunteers who participated in projects all around the area for Community Service Day this year! Volunteers cleaned parks, collected hundreds of pounds of food for our neighbors in need and much more. The Button Farm Living History Center combined volunteer work prepping the garden and grounds for winter with the kick-off of their restoration project and volunteer recognition event. Volunteers collected food for Manna Food Center at every Giant Food store in the County. The Montgomery County Alumnae Chapter (MCAC) of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority coordinated a collection drive for homeless families and brought in baby, toiletry and educational items and put together hundreds of gift packages for donation. Volunteers trimmed trees at the National Capital Trolley Museum in Silver Spring, and cleaned Maryvale Park with the City of Rockville. Woodlin Elementary School PTA managed a hugely successful Reduce Reuse Recycle Fair with donations going to many more local nonprofits. These are just a few of the projects completed.

Thank you to all who participated!  If you have photos from your Community Service Day project email them to mcvolunteers@gmail.com. Check the Volunteer Center website at www.MontgomeryServes.org for more photos and information as reports come in.   
State of the Schools
Join us for Joshua P. Starr's State of the Schools - Building the Future Together breakfast at The Music Center at Strathmore on Monday, November 12, 2012.  Light breakfast and student performances begin at 7:30 a.m.  Dr. Starr will present his State of the Schools address at 8:30 a.m.  


For more information.   http://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/publicinfo/stateofschools/invitation.html  

The Conflict Resolution Center of Montgomery County Awards Peacemaker of the Year to Chuck Short
The Conflict Resolution Center of Montgomery County (CRCMC)  honored Charles L. (Chuck) Short, Special Assistant to the County Executive, as its 2012 Peacemaker of the Year, in a ceremony October 18.  "Chuck Short's distinguished career in Montgomery County has included government service, teaching, and work with several county nonprofit organizations," noted CRCMC President Wayne Swann.  "Along with countless others, CRCMC has benefited greatly from his guidance and wise advice."

The October 18 ceremony also honored CRCMC volunteer Della Stolsworth as 2012 Volunteer of the Year.  Della was one of several CRCMC volunteers who began the organization's Community Solutions Program, which provides skilled facilitators to help neighborhoods and communities work through problems they face.
Applications for the FY 2014 Community Services Grants Program.

The Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services is now accepting applications for the FY 2014 Community Services Grants Program.   The deadline for submission of the FY 2014 applications is 3:00 p.m. on Monday, November 19, 2012.  For application materials, go to the HHS site.


A Pre-Submission meeting will be held on Thursday, November 1, 2012 from 4pm to 5pm.   The meeting will be held at DHHS, 401 Hungerford Drive, 1st Floor, Tan Conference Room, Rockville.


The purpose of this meeting is to answer questions. Attendance is not mandatory.  If you plan to attend the meeting, call Alma Laxa, Executive Administrative Assistant, at (240) 777-1211.
Ubuntu Blog
Ronnie Galvin, Executive Director of IMPACT Silver Spring has a blog at http://ubuntuhappenshere.blogspot.com/
County Signed a Second Sister City Agreement with Gondar City in Ethiopia    
Gondar 2
On Thursday, September 27, 2012, Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett signed the County's second Sister City agreement. At a signing ceremony in Gondar, Ethiopia, County Executive Leggett said "I am so pleased to establish this bond with one of Africa's most historic and important cities". Thirty-eight individuals, including County community and business leaders, representatives from Montgomery College, and County officials. All County government officials who participated in the trip paid all their own expenses and took vacation time. The purpose of the program is to encourage and foster friendship, partnership and mutual cooperation through educational, cultural, social, economic, humanistic and charitable exchanges between the people of Montgomery County and communities of other nations. For more information, go to: http://montgomerygondar.webs.com
Gondar 1
County Executive Leggett and Mayor Amare
Montgomery County's Office of Human Rights to
Host Panel Discussion on Immigration Issues

The Montgomery County Office of Human Rights (OHR) and the Human Rights Commission (HRC) will co-host a panel discussion on issues of interest to the immigrant community on Tuesday, November 13 from 7 to 9 p.m. The two-hour discussion will be held at the Silver Spring Civic Building, One Veterans Place. 

The panel discussion is a follow-up to a "listening session" held by the commission in June with various members of the County Executive's advisory groups. At the HRC's regularly scheduled monthly meeting, advisory group members were asked to share any concerns or issues related to immigration that they felt were impacting the community.  Topics discussed included education, domestic violence, housing and law enforcement. Following this meeting, the commission agreed to schedule a discussion with a panel of experts to address the issues that came up at the listening session. A question and answer session will follow the panel's presentations.

For more information about the forum, call James Stowe, director of the Office of Human Rights, at 240-777-8450. 

Center for Nonprofit
Advancement's 33rd Annual Celebration
With the Potomac River and flights connecting a fast-paced region as a backdrop, 300 nonprofit, corporate, government and philanthropic leaders came together on October 17 for the Center for Nonprofit Advancement's 33rd Annual Celebration.

The Gelman, Rosenberg & Freedman 2012 EXCEL Award was presented to three chief executives including Robert Goldman of Montgomery Housing Partnership.

Elected officials from the area were recognized with the 2012 Phyllis Campbell Newsome Public Policy Leadership Awards. Honorees included the Honorable George Leventhal, Council of Montgomery County.

For more, see www.nonprofitadvancement.org/Celebration2012.
Really? We can still help?
(Holiday Giving

Yup!  You sure can.

In fact, we need folks to step up and make the holidays a time for celebration for all of our Silver Spring neighbors.  Right now, we do not have enough groups stepping up to help folks
in zip codes 20902, 20903, 20906, 20910, and 20912.

Any organization can take a zip code; it does not have to be based in that specific zip code.  


Please let me know if you want to help - or email Susan at sklavon@awidercircle.org

Mark Bergel, Ph.D.
Founder, Executive Director, A Wider Circle

American Indian
Heritage Month Kick-off
Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown will bring greetings and proclaim American Indian Heritage Month at the Maryland Commission on Indian Affairs' official Heritage Month Kick-off.  This event is scheduled for November 1, 2012, at 12:00 noon at the Herbert R. O'Connor Building, 201 W. Preston St., Baltimore.

We invite you to join us for the 2012 Heritage Month Kick-off. There will be traditional Native dancing, cultural presentations, crafts, information booths, fellowship and traditional food.

See the 2012 AIHM Kick-Off Flyer (pdf)
Montgomery Council Seeks Applicants for
Position on County Board of Appeals   
The Montgomery County Council is seeking applicants for a partial term on the County Board of Appeals.
Duties of the Board of Appeals include making decisions on most applications for special exceptions as provided in the Zoning Ordinance; hearing and deciding requests for variances from development standards contained in the Zoning Ordinance; and hearing appeals from certain administrative decisions rendered by county government agencies.
The board normally holds weekly hearings all day Wednesday and work sessions every other week.

Letters expressing interest, including a resume listing professional and civic experience, should be addressed to Council President Roger Berliner, County Council Office, Stella B. Werner Council Office Building, 100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville, Maryland 20850. Applications can be submitted via e-mail to: county.council@montgomerycountymd.gov. Applications must be received no later than 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 5.
Intergenerational Programs for Your Faith-Based Communities       

The Jewish Council for the AgingŪ Heyman InteragesŪ Center is hosting a meeting on November 15 on the topic  "Learn About Intergenerational Programs for Your Faith-Based Communities." Speakers:  Margaret Eimer, Millian Memorial United Methodist Church; Brian Werth, St. Elizabeth Catholic Church; Jason Gottschalk, The Village at Rockville (a Lutheran community); and Deborah Rittenhouse, Ring House (a Jewish community). There will be an opportunity for Q and A and networking.  The meeting will be held from 9:00 am to 10:30 am at the Jewish Council for the Aging, 12320 Parklawn Drive, Rockville, MD 20852. Parking spaces are limited - metered spaces are available on Wilkins Avenue. RSVP to Mary Jane Kane at mkane@AccessJCA.org or 301-255-4233.

SSLcompleteM. L. King Awards (More) 

Humanitarian Award applications must provide a short narrative explaining the nominee's contributions to Montgomery County residents, including:

    The community-based or civic activities for which the nominee is being recognized;
    Whether or not the nominee is paid for the activities listed above;
    The specific period of time the nominee has been involved in these activities; and
    Other contributions of a humanitarian nature made by the person to the community.

Children of the Dream Awards will be presented to one male and one female student in grades 9 to 12, or a group or club, which demonstrates outstanding character and community/school involvement.  Volunteer activities may include a single significant project or an on-going effort and must be above and beyond routine class work or school or community projects.  

Montgomery County, the City of Gaithersburg, the City of Takoma Park and the Town of Garrett Park are co-sponsors of the celebration.  Nomination forms are available at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/humanrights. For more information, contact James Stowe, director of the Montgomery County Office of Human Rights, at 240-777-8491.


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cfwmoreFree Trees (More)

Program Period: Trees will be available to residential customers to November 5, 2012 on a first-come, first-served basis.

Program Goal: Conserve energy and reduce household electricity bills through strategic planting of up to two (2) free trees per residential household

Who is Eligible?: Residential customers of Pepco.

How to Reserve Trees: Pepco customers reserve trees at arborday.org/pepcotrees

What is Expected of the Recipient?: Customers are expected to care for the trees and plant them in a strategic location that is provided by the online tool accessed via the website address provided above.

How Do Customers Receive the Trees?: Once the customer reserves the trees online, the Arbor Day Foundation ships the 2'-4' trees to the customer.

Tools Available to the Customer from the Arbor Day Foundation's Website: Using the website's mapping tool, customers map the location of the tree planting to determine tree benefits. Once the tree is mapped, the online tool calculates the estimated benefits including energy savings, cleaner air, reduced carbon dioxide emissions and improved storm water management.

Energy-Saving Benefits of Trees: Shade trees can reduce residential cooling costs by as much as 30% if planted strategically to shade homes. In the winter, trees reduce wind speeds and infiltration of cold air into buildings thereby reducing the costs associated with heating. The trees also beautify customer homes and can add value to the property. Trees improve air quality, reduce storm water, increase carbon sequestration (capturing of carbon to reduce from atmosphere), and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Questions: Contact the Arbor Day Call Center at 1-855-234-3801. Customers can also visit the Arbor Day Website,



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nacoCounty Designated as Citizen-Engaged Community (More)
Montgomery County was one of nine jurisdictions with populations of more than 300,000 to be selected for this distinction.  Local governments were selected based on three key areas for multi-channel contact centers.  The criteria and how MC311 is meeting them are listed below:

    Citizen Participation Processes - MC311 offers customers online surveys to determine satisfaction of interactions, ticket numbers so customers can track progress on requests for services, and transfers of calls to experts when necessary.
    Integrated Communication Channels and Technology - Customers can contact Montgomery County's MC311 system by calling 311 or 240-777-0311 outside of the County, or visiting the website at www.MC311.com.  The website will be available for mobile devices in November. A knowledge base of information allows almost 70 percent of calls to be answered without a transfer to another person.  Additionally, MC311's CRM system is integrated with GIS (geographical information system) to expedite services that are location-based.  MC311 is also available to support public safety personnel in the event of an emergency.
    Performance Reporting - MC311 monitors performance on an ongoing basis, focusing on call handling efficiency and quality using a variety of measures including average call handling time, customer satisfaction, customer wait time and cost per call.  Industry best practice benchmarks are used to set goals.  Management analyzes data, regularly reviews core business processes and makes improvements when necessary.

Public Technology Institute actively supports local government executives and elected officials through research, education, executive-level consulting services and national recognition programs.  Created by and for cities and counties, PTI works with a core network of leading local officials - the PTI membership - to identify research opportunities, share solutions, recognize member achievements and address technology issues that impact local government.

For more information about this award, or about the MC311 Customer Service Center, contact Brian Roberts at 240-773-3583.


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