New Year, New Roles

As I begin my second term on the County Council, I’m also taking on two new important roles.

I’m honored to be named the new chairman of the Transportation & Environment Committee, on which I’ve served the past four years. I’ve also been selected as one of two Montgomery County representatives on the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments – where I can work on regional priorities like Metro service and economic development with elected officials from DC, Northern Virginia and Prince George’s County. READ MORE

The powerful Transportation & Environment committee sets county policy across a broad portfolio that impacts everyone in the county:

  • Our road network, including street design, regulation and repairs; and bike and pedestrian infrastructure and safety.
  • Transit, including managing our Ride On bus network and Bus Rapid Transit, and engaging with WMATA,  the Maryland Transit Administration and the Federal Transit Administration.
  • Environmental policy, including all the ways we address our climate crisis, protect our air and water, increase renewable energy usage, pesticides, stormwater management — and more.
  • Water and sewer services and other utilities.

I’m looking forward to tackling these major quality-of-life issues with two colleagues joining the committee, Hans Riemer and Evan Glass. We’re on the same page when it comes to ensuring our residents have safe roads, sidewalks and bike lanes, as our Vision Zero plan calls for; reliable, affordable transit, like Metro, the Purple Line and BRT; efficient, affordable water and sewer service; clean air to breathe; and clean water to drink. Plus, we’re all committed to fighting climate change by meeting our goal of being carbon-free by 2035.

At our first meeting on Jan. 22, my colleagues and I voted to reject the county executive’s proposed $166,000 cut in Ride On bus service, which would have reduced service on some of our county’s most used routes: https://bit.ly/2FIghqH.

Coming up, we’re planning a Feb. 7 briefing on the use of road salt and our winter storm response, issues of concern to many of us, judging from what I’ve heard from you after our last storm.  

I’m also working to help pass two bills this year to encourage more solar energy in commercial and residential buildings in our county.

More information on the T&E committee is here: https://bit.ly/2C5Ph1i

The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments comprises representatives from municipal, county and state governments in Maryland, Virginia and D.C. Together, they work with the COG staff to find solutions to issues that call for coherent regional approaches — issues such as transportation, the environment, housing, economic development, public health and homeland security. For example, COG has been instrumental in securing dedicated funding for Metro from its three jurisdictions and in efforts to clean up the Chesapeake Bay.

Montgomery County is an integral part of the capital region and has a big stake in what happens regionally, which is why I look forward to serving as one of our county’s two members on the board, along with our new council president, Nancy Navarro. I’m honored to be chosen for this important role. More info is here: https://www.mwcog.org/