Phil Andrews was elected to represent the residents of District 3 on the Montgomery County Council at the November, 1998 election and re-elected in 2002, 2006 and 2010. District 3 includes Gaithersburg, Rockville, Washington Grove, Leisure World, and parts of Aspen Hill, Derwood, North Potomac and Potomac.
Andrews has served as chair of the Public Safety Committee since 2000 and is a member of the Education Committee. In 2009 Andrews served as Council President, where he led efforts that balanced a difficult budget without raising taxes, avoided layoffs and protected essential services.
Andrews is the former chair of the Emergency Preparedness Council of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG), and is the former chair of COG's Incident Management and Response Committee that in October 2011 unanimously approved numerous recommendations that are in the process of implementation to improve the region's response to emergencies, including events like the January 26, 2011 snowstorm that resulted in massive regional gridlock. Andrews also serves on, and is the former chair of, the Montgomery County's Domestic Violence Coordinating Council, and serves as the County Council's representative on the County's Criminal Justice Coordinating Council.
Councilmember Andrews has successfully championed laws and other initiatives to:
- Establish the region's first voluntary system for public financing of County campaigns;
- Make all Montgomery County restaurants smoke-free;
- Ensure that county contractors are paid a living wage;
- Reduce the county property tax rate to provide relief from skyrocketing assessments;
- Reform the County's disability retirement system by instituting substantive and process reforms to minimize the possibility of abuse;
- Prohibit the use of a canceled wage increase in the calculation of pension benefits for County Government employees, saving County taxpayers approximately $280 million over the next 40 years;
- Require that a seller disclose on real estate advertisements to prospective homebuyers what the estimated property tax bill would be for the first full tax year after they purchase the home;
- Reject charging County residents an ambulance fee of $300-$800;
- Stop a proposed youth curfew;
- Establish a hiring preference for highly-qualified persons with disabilities who apply for County Government jobs and expand County Government job opportunities for qualified applicants with severe disabilities;
- Require that legislation adopted by the County Council be limited to a single subject to avoid the
potential problem of non-meritorious measures being approved because they are attached to unrelated meritorious legislation;
- Increase fire safety by requiring sprinkler systems in all new homes;
- Save the office of the Inspector General;
- Enact the first local law in the nation prohibiting genetic discrimination in employment;
- Improve the County's response to domestic violence, and strengthen victim services;
- Protect school children, wheelchair users, and other pedestrians by requiring that property owners make sidewalks accessible and safe to use after a snowstorm;
- Require pedestrian and bicyclist impact statements for capital projects;
- Require annual fire code inspections of county schools;
- Prohibit the County from charging a fee to homeowners who choose to pay property taxes semi-annually, and
- Eliminate the Pay and Go policy which worsened traffic by allowing developers to build in areas under moratoria because of traffic congestion.
Andrews has worked at the state, county, and local levels to make government more responsive to people. As executive director of Common Cause of Maryland (1988-1994), he led successful battles that limited political action committee contributions, prohibited lobbyists from fundraising for officials whom they lobby, and strengthened the state's open meetings law. As managing director of Montgomery County's AmeriCorps program, Community Assisting Police, (1994-1998), Andrews implemented victim assistance and crime prevention programs. At the local level, Andrews served on the Gaithersburg Board of Appeals, on numerous city advisory committees, and was president of his civic association.
Andrews has been honored for his leadership. He served as President of the County Council from December 2, 2008 to December 1, 2009 and as Vice President of the County Council the prior year. In December 2009 the Montgomery County chapter of the Maryland Municipal League awarded Andrews a Certificate of Recognition for his "dedication and leadership as President of the Montgomery County Council and your support and advocacy to secure the well being for all the municipalities." Andrews was elected to the Montgomery County Volunteer Fire-Rescue Association Hall of Fame in 2008 and he was recognized as the Association's Legislator of the Year for 2009 and 2010.
In 2008, he was awarded the Hiram Musgrove Memorial Award from the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rescue Squad for "dedicated service and outstanding contributions to the operation of this organization." Among other awards Andrews has received are the American Lung Association of Maryland’s 2004 Distinguished Public Service Award, the 2003 Tobacco Control Policy Award and the 2005 Tobacco Control Advocate Award from Students Oppose Smoking. In 2010, Andrews was awarded the John Greeley Award by Liberty's Promise "for his dedication to Liberty's Promise, young immigrants, and the values of our shared American Democracy."
In 2011 and 2012 Montgomery County InterACC/DD presented Andrews with the Community Builder Award for his "advocacy and dedication to improving the lives of Montgomery County residents with development disabilities." Also in 2011, the Arc of Montgomery County recognized Andrews for his support of individuals with intellectual and development disabilities. In 2001 Andrews received the Green Bugle Award from the Sierra Club. In October 2000 he received Montgomery Pride's Out In Front Award "for his courageous vote in favor of domestic partner benefits for Montgomery County employees."
Andrews, 54, holds a master’s degree in governmental administration from the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Bucknell University. Andrews attended Montgomery County public schools. He and his wife, Staci, live in Gaithersburg with their son and Golden Retriever.