July 11, 2012
On Monday, I met Larry Couch, chair of the Justice and Advocacy Council (JAC) of
. The JAC is a Catholic organization that advocates for our low-income. We talked about a variety of issues, including the Working Families Income Supplement, a tax benefit that helps our low-income families by supplementing their wages. The JAC fought to create the original State Earned Income Tax Credit, which the county matches with its own local tax credit. We talked about working together to get the county to a 1-1 match of dollars provided by the state (today we add about 75% of the amount). Montgomery County
Next, Councilmember Navarro and I convened a discussion about
Wheatonpublic safety issues with Chief Manger, and Mid-County Regional Services Center Director, Ana Lopez van Balen, and their teams. We reviewed progress from the Wheaton Public Safety Audit of 2004 and parameters for a new public safety initiative there. Our goal is to integrate these elements of the Wheaton Public Safety Task Forceinto the larger effort of Wheaton Revitalization. More soon.
In the afternoon, I attended a GO Committee on IT issues. As the Council lead for Digital Government, I have been working to accelerate the county’s digital strategy. I was very happy to review the substantial agenda that has been put forward by our agencies on open data, digital citizenship, data visualization, social media, mobile platforms, and other areas– and not only for county government but also MCPS,
HOC, MNCPPC, and Montgomery College. These groups will be working together on a range of initiatives in these areas and residents will begin to see the results soon.
In the evening, I met with the Silver Spring Citizens Advisory Board. We talked about Pepco and who has accountability for ensuring that we have decent electric power here in the County. The point I stressed to the group is that I believe its time for the Governor to give us a fresh start at the
PSC. The PSCis the only entity in the state that has direct authority over Pepco. They are an independent state agency and their members are appointed by the Governor. The Governor needs to appoint new members because these members are not getting the job done.