"Together we can accomplish great things!"
        County Executive Ike Leggett
January 2014 - Issue 69:
Leggett to Hold First FY15 Operating Budget Public Forum Next Week;
Residents' Input Crucial in Determining Priorities
Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett is sponsoring the first of five budget forums next week to seek input from residents about Fiscal Year 2015 Operating Budget priorities. The forum will begin at 7 p.m. on Monday, January 6 at the BlackRock Center for the Arts, 12901 Town Commons Drive, Germantown.

"These public forums give our residents an opportunity to tell me what's important to them as I prepare next year's operating budget for submission to the County Council on March 17," said Leggett. "Input from residents for the FY 15 budget is crucial in helping me determine the County's budget priorities."

Additional forums in other areas of the County are scheduled throughout January:
  • Monday, January 13, Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center, 4805 Edgemoor Lane, Bethesda.
  • Thursday, January 16, Eastern Montgomery Regional Services Center, 3300 Briggs Chaney Road, Silver Spring.
  • Monday, January 27, Mid-County Community Recreation Center, 2004 Queensguard Road, Silver Spring.
  • Wednesday, January 29, Silver Spring Civic Building, One Veterans Place, Silver Spring.

Sign language interpreter services will be provided only upon request with notice as far in advance as possible, but no less than 72 hours prior to the event. If these or other services or aids are needed to participate in this activity, please call 240-777-6507, TTY 240-777-6505 or email a request to

The County Executive announces his Recommended Fiscal Year 2015 Operating Budget on March 17. The County Council approves the operating budget at the end of May.
Volunteer Center
Montgomery County Plans
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of
Service and Celebration Events

Martin Luther King Jr. Logo
Montgomery County will celebrate the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a Tribute and Musical Celebration and Day of Service activities on Monday, January 20, 2014.

Day of Service Activities

The Montgomery County Volunteer Center is organizing and coordinating indoor family-friendly service projects at locations across the County. The projects are all approved for Student Service Learning hours.
  • Bethesda North Marriott Hotel and Conference Center, 5701 Marinelli Road, North Bethesda -
    1 to 3 p.m. Activities include decorating cards for troops, assembling peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for local shelters, constructing fleece blankets for Montgomery Hospice and packing snow day boxes for Meals on Wheels. There will also be a Volunteer Fair that will showcase local non-profit's ongoing volunteer opportunities in Montgomery County.
  • Seneca Creek Community Church, 13 Firstfield Rd, Gaithersburg
    9:00AM to 11:00AM  
  • Silver Spring Civic Building, 1 Veterans Place
    10AM to 12:00PM, organized by Delta Sigma Theta Sorority
  • International Cultural Center, 19650 Club House Road, Suite 205
    3:00PM to 5:00 PM  

All four sites will be collecting non-perishable food items for Manna Food Center to distribute to those in need; as well as, sleeping bags and blankets for local shelters.

To see more MLK Day projects and to pre-register for any of these events, visit the website. For questions contact, or call 240-777-2600.

Musical Celebration

This 20th anniversary of Montgomery County's Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute and Musical Celebration carries the theme of "Honoring the Legacy: Celebrate, Serve, Remember." The annual event will take place on Monday, January 20 at 3 p.m. at the Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, and will feature a diverse array of performers. The 2014 recipients of the Children of the Dream, Humanitarian and Literary Arts Awards will be announced.

The annual celebration is free and open to the public. Tickets are required and may be reserved beginning January 2 through Strathmore's website at (go to Events and Tickets), via phone at 301-581-5100 or in person at the Strathmore box office. For individuals unable to secure advanced tickets, a stand-by line will form outside the Music Center at 2 p.m. on the day of the performance. No lines may form before the designated time. At 2:45 p.m. all tickets are null and void and patrons in the stand-by line will be allowed entry subject to available seating. Sign language interpretation will also be available.

For more information about the musical celebration, email Yvonne Stephens, or call 240-567-4203 or email Julian Norment, or cal 240-777-8413.

Help the Hungry Food Drive

Manna Food Center is partnering with select Montgomery County Giant Food stores to hold Service Day food drives in honor of MLK Day 2014. The food drives will be held on Saturday and Sunday, January 18 and 19. For additional details and volunteer registration information, contact
Gilchrist Center
Gilchrist Banner
Gilchrist Center's Winter 2014
Class Information

Service Providers, please mark your calendar!

The Gilchrist Center is getting ready for its Winter 2014 session.
Registration dates for Winter 2014 programs are as follows:

For programs offered at our Wheaton Site:  
  • English as a Second Language (Beginning & Intermediate):
    January 14 & 16,  from 4 to 7pm   
  • Basic Computers:   
    • January 9 at 1 pm for weekday day time classes; 5 pm for weekday evening classes;   
    • January 11 at 10 am for Saturday classes.
  • Saturday Beginning English: January 11, at 10:15am
For our Germantown Site:
  • English as a Second Language: January 6, 5-7pm 
For more information, please visit our website or call our office at 240-777-4940.  

Gilchrist Center Hosts Open House at New Office in Gaithersburg Library

The Gilchrist Center for Cultural Diversity hosted an Open House on Jan. 4th, as part of the Gaithersburg Library Grand Re-opening. The well-attended event gave the public an opportunity to see the new Gilchrist office, two classrooms and computer lab, and to get information about upcoming events. Gilchrist Center's partner organizations provided information on their programs to be held at the library and included: the Literacy Council of Montgomery County, Baltimore City Community College, Montgomery Coalition for Adult English Literacy (MCAEL), Spanish Catholic Center, Montgomery College, and the Montgomery County Bar Foundation. State Delegate Jim Gilchrist, son of former Montgomery County Executive Charles W. Gilchrist after whom the Center was named, said how excited he was that the Gilchrist Center is expanding its programs in the Upcounty area.

Pictured from left (back row): Don Gilchrist with daughter Maya, Maryland State Delegate Jim Gilchrist with nephew Ben, Office of Community Partnerships director Bruce Adams, Phoebe Gilchrist, Tonya Gilchrist, Library Director Parker Hamilton, Gilchrist Center volunteer Phyllis Okechukwu, Gilchrist Center staffer assigned to the Gaithersburg Library site Karen Zelaya, volunteer Azar Shishavi; (bottom row) Gilchrist Center staffers Gabi Raudales, Patty Larson, Kaori Hirakawa, and Natalie Chhuan.

Gilchrist Center's Program Manager, Kaori Hirakawa, announced that they are looking for volunteers to teach English and to help with information and referral and other office functions.

Gilchrist at Gaithersburg Library Opening Schedule:
  • Office hours in January will be on Tuesday 5:00pm to 8:00pm and Saturday 10:00am to 12:00pm. 
  • Jan. 24, Conversation Club (ongoing, drop in class), 10:30-12:00 (formerly at Germantown Library)  
  • Jan. 24, American Idioms class for advanced English speakers (ongoing, drop-in) 12:30-2:00 (formerly at Upcounty Regional Services Center)
  • Jan. 25, Citizenship Preparation class begins, 1:00-3:00pm, January 25 - March 29. Register at first class.
  • Jan. 25, Basic Computer Class Registration, 12 pm; Classes run from Feb. 1-March 22 (Library Computer Lab on first floor)
  • Feb. 1, Intermediate ESOL Testing and Registration, 10:30am; Classes will be held from 10:15am-12:00pm, February 8-April 5.
  • Feb. 24 & 25, ESL Class Orientation by Literacy Council from 6:00-9:30 pm (Required); Classes start the following week on Mon., Tues., and Thurs. nights from 6:30-9:00 pm.

For more information, call the Gilchrist Gaithersburg

Library Office at 240-777-4960 or the Center's main office in Wheaton at 240-777-4940. 

The Gilchrist Center's Volunteer Appreciation Event

The Gilchrist Center's Volunteer Appreciation Event

On Saturday, December 14, The Gilchrist Center for Cultural Diversity held a Volunteer Appreciation Event for all individuals who volunteered during calendar year 2013. We were honored to have County Executive Ike Leggett and County Council member Nancy Navarro join us for this event, which took place at the Wheaton Library and included light refreshments, socializing with volunteers and Gilchrist staff, and the presentation of certificates of appreciation. Despite the weather, which was somewhat adverse, 35 people attended the event including volunteers, staff and VIP's.

Following a brief speech about the importance of volunteers in the community, County Executive Ike Leggett presented those who served over 100 volunteer hours for the Gilchrist Center with their certificates of appreciation. Nancy Navarro, County Council member for District 4, also spoke about the importance of volunteers for running various county programs, like those offered by the Gilchrist Center, and expressed her gratitude to all those who have given their time throughout the year.

The staff at Gilchrist thank all the volunteers for their commitment to volunteering and support of our programs and services. We cannot do it without volunteers! If you are interested in volunteering at the Gilchrist Center, please contact us at to inquire, or visit our  website for opportunities.
Montgomery Sister Cities Update

One of the first initiatives of County Executive Ike Leggett upon taking office was to ask Bill Hudnut to start a Sister Cities program for Montgomery County. A former congressman and mayor of both Indianapolis and the Town of Chevy Chase and now a professor at Georgetown University, Hudnut agreed to chair the board of Montgomery Sister Cities, an independent community nonprofit. In December, after six years at the helm, Hudnut has turned the reigns of leadership over to Theresa Cameron, formerly the executive director of the Arts & Humanities Council of Montgomery County  .

Under Bill Hudnut, Montgomery County has established Sister City relationships with Morazan, El Salvador (2011); Gondar, Ethiopia (2012); and Xi'an, China (2013). Planning is underway for a County Executive led mission to Hyderabad, India in November of 2014.

Montgomery residents who would like to support this program, may join Friends of Montgomery Sister Cities. For $20, members will get a sharp looking Montgomery Sister Cities pin and quarterly newsletters with updates on our Sister Cities programs. Former Montgomery County Director of Recreation Dave Robbins has joined the Office of Community Partnerships as a Senior Fellow supporting the Sister Cities program. To learn more about how you can get involved, contact Dave at:

Sister Cities Exhibit Image Sister Cities Exhibit-  The next time you are in Rockville, please visit the Montgomery Sister Cities exhibit on the lobby level of the Executive Office Building at 101 Monroe Street. The exhibit includes photographs from the signing ceremonies in Morazan, Gondar, and Xi'an as well as gifts presented to the County by three mayors - a black clay pot from Morazan, a gold castle from Gondar, and a terracotta warrior chariot from Xi'an.

We welcome Dave and Theresa to their new leadership roles and salute Bill Hudnut for his work in launching our successful Sister Cities program.

African Community
  AAAG 2013 Volunteer Appreciations

Members to the African Affairs Advisory Group held their second Volunteer Appreciations meeting to acknowledge all the students who volunteered throughout 2013.  Molly Callaway, Director, Montgomery County Volunteer Center together with Solomon Ayele, Chair of AAAG, Fatmata Barrie, and Elias Woldu, Vice Chairs of AAAG presented the certificates.   

One middle schooler, 15 high schoolers, and 14 college students from Montgomery College and the University of Maryland, College Park received the certificates for the volunteerism. The high school students also received student learning hours for help with our annual World of Montgomery Festival to the African Heritage Month events in September. To volunteer in 2014, visit and for more information about the African Affairs Advisory Group, email Daniel Koroma.

Strategic Importance of Ethiopia in Africa Panel Discussion

Learn about Ethiopia and its relationships with its surrounding countries: Egypt, Eritrea, Djibouti, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, and Kenya. We will highlight internal political, social and economic issues, including how Ethiopians are uniting in a social justice movement. We will also discuss US-Ethiopia relationships, including Sister City agreements between Addis Adaba and Gondar and DC and Montgomery County.

Date: Thursday, January 23, 2014
Time: 6:00-8:00 p.m. 
Price: $10 Members; $15 Non-members 
  1. Naida Michel Saad, Loan Officer and Project Manager, North Africa Development Programs
  2. Obang Metho, Executive Director of the Solidarity Movement for New Ethiopia
  3. Bruce Adams, Director,Office of Community Partnerships, Montgomery County
  4. Pat Elwood, Director, Office of Protocol and International Affairs, DC
  5. Dr. Getachew Begashaw, Professor of Economics at W.R. Harper College, Chicago
6-6:30pm            Registration and reception 
6:30-6:45pm       WNDC introduction  
6:45-7:30pm       Panelists presentation 
7:30pm               Q&A from audience 
8pm                    Closing

For registration and more information visit the WNCD Events webpage
Asian American Community
Apply today for the Yuri Kochiyama Leadership Program!

The Yuri Kochiyama Leadership Program is an interactive workshop series held at the University of Maryland, College Park for high school juniors and seniors who identify as Asian/South Asian/Pacific Islander American. This program offers students an invaluable opportunity to learn more about Asian American history & activism, and develop as young leaders in their journey of self-empowerment. The YKLP is completely free and will meet every Saturday 1-4pm for eight weeks beginning on Saturday, February 15. Application deadline is January 15, 2014.  For more information and to apply visit the Yuri Kochiyama Leadership Program website.
Interfaith Community 
Reaffirmation of Solidarity in Faith Communities

On Christmas Eve a 5 foot tall Menorah was stolen from the yard of the Robin's home in Germantown.  It occurred 3 days following the Bat Mitzvah of the daughter who had helped create the Menorah, which made the theft all the more poignant.   
Pictured with the family (on the left) are members of the Clergy Response Team representing the Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Unitarian Universalist faith traditions.

The visit coordinated by the Interfaith Community Liaison, Rev. Mansfield Kaseman, reaffirmed the solidarity of faith communities in Montgomery County in opposing all acts of prejudice, hate and violence, and lending encouragement and support to those experiencing intimidation and vulnerability.

Rapid Response Networks in Local Communities

A delegation from Montgomery County participated in the formation of a Statewide Rapid Response Network at the MD Carey Law School Conflict Resolution and Peace Studies Institute in Baltimore.  Pictured from right are Imam Yahya Hendi, Co-Chair of Clergy Beyond Borders; Steve Sawmelle, Jewish Islamic Dialogue Society; Rabbi Gerry Serotta, Co-Chair of Clergy Beyond Borders; Rev. Terri Murphy and Rev. Mansfield Kaseman both with the Clergy Response Committee.  Our program is being used as a model for the state.
Middle Eastern American Community
Middle Eastern American Advisory Group Member Speaks at Women's Economic Agenda

Representative Donna Edwards (D-MD) held a forum on women's economic agenda in her district at First Baptist Church of Glenarden. Three women told their personal stories about the importance of paid sick leave and affordable health insurance and child care including Mimi Hassenein, member of the Montgomery County Executive's Middle Eastern Advisory Group. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and the Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) both spoke about the importance of women to the American economy and their economic initiatives for women, such as raising the minimum wage and equal pay for women. Click here for the full video.

Caribbean Community
CAAG and HHS Educated
Community on ACA

The County Executive's Caribbean American Advisory Group and the Silver Spring Seventh Day Adventist Church in partnership with the Montgomery County Health and Human Services held a community educational session on the  Affordable Care Act (ACA). Members of the community asked questions about enrollment and HHS's Heather Ross answer many of the questions. The purpose of the Advisory Group is to ensure that the County Executive is well informed of and able to act effectively to respond to the needs and concerns of Caribbean Americans living and/or working in Montgomery County.  The Group is inviting all members of Caribbean decent to attend their meetings at the Silver Spring Civic Building, One Veterans Plaza, Silver Spring MD 20910, first Tuesdays of every month starting from 7:00pm - 8:00pm.

Caribbean American Advisory Group
- A committee in the making

Some of the Advisory Group's tasks include but not limited to advice regarding policy initiatives, budget priorities, economic and other partnership opportunities, and implementation of programs, reaching out to Caribbean American community in Montgomery County to bring their needs and concerns to the attention of the County Executive and to inform them of County programs and resources beneficial to them,  and identify and recommend to the County Executive candidates for County positions, including boards, committees, and commissions so the County workforce and advisory committees better reflects the changing faces of Montgomery County. For more information, please visit, or email Daniel Koroma.
Karla Silvestre:
A Model Public Servant

As I told our staff last month: "There is good news and bad news. The good news is that we are going to have a great new partner at Montgomery College. The bad news is that it will be Karla Silvestre."

Karla will start as the new Community EngagementSister Cities Image 1 Director at Montgomery College on January 13. Karla came to Montgomery County in July of 2008 from Philadelphia where she had held a top job at a highly regarded immigrant serving nonprofit.
It was amazing to me to see someone come into a brand new county with a large government bureaucracy and a very demanding and vibrant community leadership and learn so fast and be warmly accepted by so many so quickly. She did it with such modesty and professionalism. No bravado. No drama. Karla got back to everyone who contacted her and helped solve their problems without regard to whether they were powerful or powerless.

What an enormous job she was given - to serve as liaison to Montgomery County's largest and fastest growing immigrant community. And then the job got bigger and bigger. And Karla kept stepping up to the task.

The County Executive and I asked her to lead the County's first Sister City initiative with Morazan, El Salvador. Despite the extra burden on an already packed portfolio, Karla stepped right up and helped us invent what a Sister City relationship meant to Montgomery County. Rather than complain, Karla observed that the Sister City program was a great engagement tool for our outreach to Montgomery County's number one country of origin of our immigrant population.


Next came the 2010 Census. Again, no complaints about the extra work. Again, she saw the Census as an opportunity to meet new people and learn new things.


When the budget challenges caused by the international economic meltdown took their toll on the Gilchrist Center for Cultural Diversity, the Recreation Department turned the Center over to the Office of Community Partnerships. And the County Executive and I once again turned to Karla. She stepped up to the challenge and has built a robust network of immigrant serving government agencies and nonprofit partners helping to meet the County Executive's challenge that Montgomery County become the nation's most welcoming community. In addition, Karla has been a key player in the national network of immigrant friendly local governments sharing Montgomery County's best practices with the nation and the world.


World of Montgomery Festival, Latino Youth Collaborative, Hispanic Gala... The new initiatives kept coming while the ongoing core work of closing health, educational, and economic disparities continued. And Karla kept delivering in the modest, collaborative, and professional style that made her so special to her government colleagues and community partners.


We are grateful to Karla for her extraordinary service to the residents of Montgomery County, and we look forward to working with her in her important new position at Montgomery College. But most of all, we appreciate Karla for showing us what it means to be a model public servant, always getting twice the work done anyone could reasonably expect, quietly serving others and never claiming credit, always welcoming and collaborative. Thank you, Karla.


Bruce Adams
Director, Office of Community Partnerships

Latino Community Liaison Position

Because of Karla Silvestre's new position with Montgomery College, the Office of Community Partnerships has an opening for the Latino Community Liaison. As the office seeks to strengthen the services provided by the Gilchrist Center for Cultural Diversity, the position will include helping the Gilchrist Center extend its reach in underserved areas of the County. Applications will be due by January 31, 2014 with the hope that we will be able to fill the position by the middle of March.To apply for the Latino Community Liaison job, candidates should use the main link to the Office of Human Resources recruitment, create an account, and then apply for the position (IRC 13099).
County News & Events
Women's Legislative Briefing

Sunday, January 26 - 2014 Women's Legislative Briefing. The Universities at Shady Grove, Bldg II, 9630 Gudelsky Dr., Rockville. Doors open at 11:30 a.m. Program 12:30 to 6 p.m. Keynote by Joanne Bamberger, author of Mothers of Intention: How Women and Social Media are Revolutionizing Politics in America. New this year, special seminars for teen girls. Plus, panel discussion and seminars on women's issues. To register visit Webpage.
County Employees Contribute $240,179
to Local Nonprofits

Montgomery County's 2013 Employee Giving Campaign contributed nearly one-quarter million dollars to our community based nonprofit partners. This represents a 12% increase above the 2012 total. Campaign chair Bruce Adams of the Office of Community Partnerships applauded the extra effort that led to this year's increased giving: "We really appreciate the departmental representatives who organized campaign events to allow local nonprofits to showcase the great work they do for our community." Special thanks go to our ever cheerful, hard working volunteer campaign manager Katie Young, our excellent partners at America's Charities who provide the professional management of the employee giving campaign, and the dedicated staff and volunteers of the associations that serve the nonprofits - America's Charities, Community Health Charities, EarthShare, Local Independent Charities, Community Foundation for Montgomery County, and United Way.
Montgomery County Giving Campaign
Photographed above are staff representatives of the Office of Management and Budget presenting a $600 check from an office bake sale to Amy Freeman of Bethesda Cares, a nonprofit working to end homelessness. The Office of Management and Budget may be in line for one of this year's awards as nearly 70% of employees (21 of 31) contributed and the staff increased giving by 35% over 2012 to $8,858. Director Jennifer Hughes commented: "Who says OMB is full of a bunch of curmudgeons and grinches!!"  By the way, Amy was the volunteer campaign manager of our 2011 employee giving campaign and is now the development director for Bethesda Cares.
Montgomery County Seeks Applicants
For Merit System Protection Board

Deadline to Submit Applications Extended to Wed., Jan. 15

The Montgomery County Council has extended the deadline for qualified voters of the County to submit applications for appointment to a three-year term on the Merit System Protection Board.  Generally, the board is expected to oversee the Merit System and to protect employee and applicant rights guaranteed under the County Merit System. For more information please visit Montgomery County Council website.

Applicants should submit letters of interest with a resume to:  Council President, Montgomery County Council, 100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville, Maryland 20850 by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014. Applications also can be submitted via email to:
Pedestrian Safety: Head UP in Parking Lots

Montgomery County has a serious problem. An analysis of 2012 pedestrian collisions found that nearly 30 percent of them - 125 collisions - occurred in private parking lots. What's worse, almost 20 percent of those collisions were serious enough to cause debilitating injuries.

One of the highest priorities is improving pedestrian safety. Although great strides have been made since the release of the Pedestrian Safety Initiative in December 2007, much more remains to be done. Pedestrian collisions on roadways actually decreased in 2012, but these gains were more than offset by an increase in collisions in parking lots.

Reducing pedestrian collisions is a complex issue with no easy solution. That is why the Montgomery County Department of Transportation has created a supplemental pedestrian safety strategic plan that focuses on improving safety in parking lots and launched an education campaign to tackle this problem.

Visit the Pedestrian Safety website where you will find the materials developed to inform the public.
Healthy Montgomery Releases Action Plans for Addressing Behavioral Health and Obesity:

Seeks Public Comment on Draft Action Plans

The Healthy Montgomery Steering Committee invites residents to review and make comments on the Behavioral Health Action Plan Report and the Obesity Action Plan Report. Healthy Montgomery, the County's Community Health Improvement Process, was launched in June 2009 and is an ongoing effort that brings together a broad range of individuals representing County government agencies, the five community hospitals, minority health programs/initiatives, advocacy groups, academic institutions and the health insurance community to develop action plans to improve the health and well-being of all Montgomery County residents, especially groups most at risk for poor health.

The Healthy Montgomery Behavioral Health Action Plan includes three recommendations to improve the overall behavioral health (including mental health and substance abuse) of County residents:
  • Expand the existing info Montgomery website to make it easier to understand and access basic information about behavioral health treatment services and payment mechanisms.
  • Improve communication among behavioral health service providers in order to create effective linkages (warm hand-offs) for individuals with behavioral health diagnoses as they move between behavioral health service providers and between levels of care.
  • Explore the creation of a coordinated system of behavioral health and health care services in Montgomery County.
The Healthy Montgomery Obesity Action Plan includes the following recommendations to prevent and reduce obesity among County residents:
  • Establish a broad-based, collaborative, County-wide partnership to address gaps in existing obesity prevention and reduction programming and policy, reduce redundancies and make the best use of finite resources, with a focus on children and populations most at risk.

  • Build upon existing data sources to establish a reliable and valid data system for monitoring the effectiveness of obesity prevention and reduction programs and policies, especially among children and high-risk populations.

A link to the complete action plan reports can be found at
Residents are asked to provide comments by email to

Comments are due by close of business on Friday, January 31, 2014.Comments received will be reviewed and shared with the action plan work group members and the Healthy Montgomery Steering committee for possible inclusion in the final reports.

For more information about Healthy Montgomery, email Susan DeFrancesco or contact 240-777-1704.

2013 Holiday Gift Basket Distribution
2013 Holiday Basket Distribution
Montgomery County Muslim Foundation held its annual holiday Gift Basket distribution on Saturday 21st, December 2013 at Bethesda Chevy Chase Regional Center, Bethesda Maryland. Event was a big success.

We were able to distribute 95 Gift Baskets and 108 Toys to the needy families of Montgomery County. We were able to put smile on faces of seniors, elderly and children of different ages.

Each referral was given a Turkey, packet of stuffing, chicken, pack of sausages, bag of onion, potato, sweet potato, and a fresh baked seasonal pie.

Thank you all for making this event a success. Special thanks to donors, volunteers, parents, chair, members of the board, and staff for making this event a success.
The Board of Education Annual Distinguished Service Awards 
BOE Service Awards

Nominations are Open!

The Board of Education is accepting nominations for the Annual Distinguished Service Awards until February 11, 2014 with an announcement of winners later in the year.

To nominate someone for this prestigious award use the online form or download form here.

For more information regarding the Distinguished Service Awards application process please visit Montgomery County Board of Education website or contact:

Montgomery County Board of Education
Telephone: 301-279-3301

Montgomery County Council FY15 Applications:
Due January 15, 2014

The Montgomery County Council is now accepting applications for programs and projects in health and human services, economic development, education, and recreation. This year, the Council is particularly interested in proposals that provide emergency and other assistance to the neediest members of the community.

There will be a grants workshop on January 6, 7:00-9:00pm, Third Floor Hearing Room

If you have questions, visit the website or email Joan Schaffer, Council Grants Manager, or contact 240-777-7935.
US Census Logo Find Stats for Your Neighborhood with the Census Bureau's New Interactive Map

The U.S. Census Bureau released Census Explorer, a new interactive map that gives users easier access to neighborhood-level statistics. The map uses updated statistics from the 2008-2012 American Community Survey (ACS).  

In addition to these characteristics, more than 40 American Community Survey social, economic and housing topics are now available through the Census Bureau's data tool, American Factfinder. This includes the first release of local statistics for disability, marital history, VA service-connected disability, health insurance coverage, and year of naturalization.
US Census Map

2014 Best Practices Recognition Awards for Employers of Older Workers

Employers who meet the guidelines, are invited to submit a narrative application that describes your policies and practices that have proven successful in engaging and retaining older workers. Explain what has worked for you in recruiting, hiring and engaging workers over the age of 55. Each narrative section should be no more than 250 words. Nominees are encouraged to attach
supporting documents. Nomination forms are available online at:

The Older Worker Employer Recognition Awards Review Committee will review and select winners based on their narrative submissions. Deadline for submissions is February 17, 2014.

Winners will be announced at the Opening Session of the Annual 50+ Employment Expo on May 12, 2014. To submit your nomination, visit Please contact Gail Nachman with any questions.
Montgomery County Board of Elections
As the Fall/Winter season starts, we have begun our preparations for the 2014 Gubernatorial Elections and once again we are asking for your services.  How can you help?
  1. Mark these "Save these Dates" on your calendar
    • June 24, 2014             Gubernatorial Primary
    • November 4, 2014      Gubernatorial General

  2. Update your Voter Registration;  if your name, address, or party affiliation has changed.    

  3. Be on the lookout for our email between January 2 - 6, 2014 regarding how to submit your 2014 Election Judge Application and the 2014 Training Schedule. It is NOT necessary to submit an application at this time. 
Latino Economic Development Center LogoLEDC's Upcoming Events & Workshops

MD Upcoming Workshops
  • Homeownership Workshop- MD (January 11, 2014 9:00 am)
  • Incorporation, Taxes, and Recordkeeping - MD (January 14, 2014 2:00 pm)
  • Incorporation, Taxes, and Recordkeeping - MD (January 21, 2014 1:30 pm)
  • Homeownership Workshop- MD (February 08, 2014 9:00 am)
  • Homeownership Workshop- MD (March 08, 2014 9:00 am)
For more information and events please visit
Civil Rights Education Tour
Registration is now open for the
Civil Rights Educational Freedom Tour

March 31 - April 5, 2014

The annual tour travels south to visit the birth place of the Civil rights Movement. Participants will retrace the Freedom Trail and learn about Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks and the Montgomery bus boycott, voters rights and other significant events of the Civil Rights Movement. See the 2014 Civil Rights Educational Freedom Tour Itinerary and flyer with registration form.

Montgomery County Announces 14th Annual
Housing Fair and Financial Fitness Day;
Sponsors and Exhibitors Invited


The Montgomery County Department of Housing and Community Affairs (DHCA) invites realtors, banks, credit unions, homeowner associations, property managers, assisted living facilities, state and local government agencies, community organizations, businesses and nonprofits to be sponsors and exhibitors at the 14th Annual Montgomery County Housing Fair and Financial Fitness Day. The fair will take place on Saturday, May 3, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Activity Center at Bohrer Park, Summit Hall Farm, 506 S. Frederick Avenue, Gaithersburg.

Wide-ranging and effective publicity is given to sponsors. Platinum sponsors - the highest level at $5,000 - receive the following benefits: website link; coverage in newspapers, radio and television; organization logo on posters and flyers (in English and Spanish); a presence in the Housing Fair Program; waiving of the exhibitors fee; and prime booth location at the fair.

The exhibitor fee amount is tailored to the type of organization: corporations, businesses and banks; realtors and credit unions; government and education groups; and 501(c)(3) nonprofits. Exhibitors who register before April 7, 2014, receive a reduced rate.

Again this year, the fair will offer free credit reports, housing counseling and legal advice. A free class for home buyers and helpful resources for renters will be available. As in the past three years, the fair will also offer on-site loan modifications from lenders.

"The housing fair provides reliable information to many constituencies, including those who rent or own houses or condos, seniors exploring their housing options, young families deciding whether to rent or buy, persons interested in refinancing their mortgage for the first time or purchasing a home following a previous foreclosure who have been rejected by their lenders for mortgage relief," said Myriam Torrico, DHCA administrator of Community Programs.

The fair is organized by the Montgomery County Department of Housing and Community Affairs in partnership with the Housing Fair Planning Committee, whose members include: the cities of Gaithersburg, Rockville and Takoma Park; Asian American Homeownership Counseling; Housing and Community Initiatives, Inc.; Housing Initiative Partnership, Inc.; Housing Opportunities Commission; Latino Economic Development Corporation; Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development; Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services; Montgomery County Department of Recreation; Montgomery County Office of Human Rights; and the office of U.S. Congressman Chris Van Hollen.

To become a sponsor or exhibitor, contact Myriam Torrico at 240-777-3627 or email

Office of Community Partnerships
21 Maryland Ave., Suite 330
Rockville, Maryland 20850

Copyright 2013. All Rights Reserved. Office of Community Partnerships. Montgomery County