Appropriation to support new “Pandemic Prevention Center”

Today, the Council introduced a $500,000 special appropriation that I authored to fund ConnectedDMV’s work toward creating a new global Pandemic Prevention Center, supported by the federal government and located here in Montgomery County. I describe the County’s role in making this exciting proposal a reality in greater detail below.


MEMORANDUM

TO: Councilmembers & County Executive Elrich
FROM: Councilmember Hans Riemer
DATE: January 6, 2021
RE: Appropriation to support new “Pandemic Prevention Center”


I propose the Council introduce a special appropriation for $500,000 to the organization ConnectedDMV to help develop and advocate for a new global Pandemic Prevention Center here in Montgomery County.

As one of the world’s biggest BioHealth clusters and home to the NIH and FDA, we are a natural choice to host this critical new agency. We have the opportunity — and we should act now to close the deal.

ConnectedDMV is a regional non-profit organization that has convened a broad group of stakeholders from the public and private sectors across the capital region. They have identified a global Pandemic Prevention Center as a key need to keep the turmoil, loss of life, and economic devastation we have suffered at the hands of COVID from ever happening again.

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Why the Council voted to override the veto of the Metro smart growth plan

Dear resident:

On Tuesday, the County Council voted to override County Executive Elrich’s veto of the “More Housing At Metro” Act, a smart growth plan adopted by the Council a week earlier.

Read the op-ed I wrote about it in the Washington Post

Our County’s 9 Metro station properties could be delivering enormous benefits to the County — including substantial tax revenues — but instead they are a drag. From a real estate perspective, some are nearly “brownfields” due to the overwhelming expense of building above a station.

The Council has a plan to break the status quo and generate some economic momentum. The legislation, vetoed by the County Executive, would provide a highly targeted property tax abatement exclusively for high rise construction on these 9 Metro station properties.

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Jobs: We can do this

Dear resident,

You may have seen the recent Washington Post stories about economic challenges facing Montgomery County. As Northern Virginia’s tech sector booms, our job growth is lagging.

We urgently need a new vision and action to grow our job base. We can do it — by understanding our strengths and investing in them.

Looking at economic powerhouses like Boston or the Bay Area, it is clear that research institutions — usually major universities — are driving innovation and economic growth.

That is why I am so excited about my recent engagements with our Federal research labs, such as the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and others. Keep reading >>

What we accomplished in 2019

Dear resident,

Following is a detailed report about my work this past year as your Councilmember. This list is progress that we made together.

Progressive leadership requires making tough decisions and getting the basics right. You can’t reach high from a wobbly foundation.

That’s why I focus every day on making the kinds of forward thinking changes that we need to position Montgomery County for future success and prosperity.

I’m eager to hear from you! Please share your thoughts by email to councilmember.riemer@montgomerycountymd.gov. Keep reading >>

Zoning for our wireless future

Chances are, you’re reading this email on your phone. (Hi!)

I’d also bet that your phone is just one of several wireless or WiFi powered devices in your household.

In our increasingly digital world, wireless connectivity is essential to every imaginable technology, from phones and tablets to buses and Metro trains to manufacturing and medical equipment.

Wireless will be bigger and more pervasive in the future than today — that is as clear as anything could possibly be.

But the rules in Montgomery County that guide wireless network infrastructure are obsolete.

Without change, these rules will hinder our access to 5G wireless, the next generation of connectivity. They’ll even hamper our continued access to 4G. Keep reading >>