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Andrew Friedson

Councilmember

Andrew Friedson
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Improving our County’s Economic Competitiveness

July 30, 2019 - Thanks to my Montgomery County MD Council colleagues for their unanimous support of Bill 10-19 to strengthen the Economic Impact Statement process - showing that we see our business community as partners and recognizing the increasingly competitive regional, national, and international economic environment we face.

We must consider the impact legislation may have on nonprofits and employers who are paying the wages that sustain our quality of life and creating the tax revenue that helps fund the County services and investments we rely on.

Supporting Our Seniors with Delegate Emily Shetty
Celebrating Agricultural Entrepreneurship in Our Agricultural Reserve

June 30, 2019 - I’m very fortunate to represent part of the County’s Agricultural Reserve. It is part of our responsibility to preserve our agricultural heritage, sustain our environmental stewardship, and ensure economic vitality. A great example of this is Gypsy Flower Farm in Poolesville, where I visited with fellow lifelong Montgomery County resident and University of Maryland alum Sidney Egly, who founded the farm in January 2018 after working in his mom's flower shop in Poolesville.

It was inspiring to see the work Sid and his team have done building a locally-owned, agriculture-based business in our County. It speaks to the incredible entrepreneurial spirit in our County and what a tremendous asset we have in the Agricultural Reserve.

Winston Churchill High School Class of 2019 Commencement

May 28, 2019 - It was such a profound thrill this week to deliver the commencement address at my alma mater Winston Churchill High School’s graduation.

My message to the 561 graduating seniors was to focus on goodness above greatness, on what they want to give with their lives and not just what they want to get out of it. Being great is an outcome. Being good is a choice. Make that choice every day – to be good and to see good – in yourself and others.

It’s a message that applies to all of us, and so I thought I would share with you, as well. Please find the full text of my speech here:  https://www2.montgomerycountymd.gov/mcgportalapps/Press_Detail.aspx?Item_ID=23154&Dept=1

Holocaust Remembrance at the Council

May 7, 2019 - We bear witness for the lost and for the living, and we bear responsibility to tell the story of the Holocaust for the future.

This morning, the Montgomery County MD Council presented a proclamation recognizing Holocaust Remembrance Day and the 6 million Jews murdered by Nazi Germany and its collaborators.

We were humbled to be joined by survivors and children of survivors. Each moment of their lives is an act of defiance against unfathomable hate. And similarly, allowing ourselves to succumb to the disease of indifference is an act of surrender against hate.

Ensuring Proper Fiscal Overisght

May 7, 2019 - One of the most fundamental responsibilities of the legislative branch is fiscal oversight – ensuring taxpayer dollars are being spent appropriately, effectively, and efficiently.

This has been a top priority of ours since taking office in December, and I was pleased to work with Council President Nancy Navarro and Council Vice President Sidney Katz on the Council’s Audit Committee on legislation we introduced Tuesday that will strengthen the County’s fiscal oversight process.

This bill was the result of months of discussions with audit professionals, the County’s Inspector General, and County staff as well as looking at what other jurisdictions around the region are doing and the resources they are putting toward this necessary work. The bill would make a number of changes, chief among them would be setting up a systematic, rotating review of every County department’s internal accounting and contracting processes and controls.

We have very few other responsibilities on the Council as important as making sure taxpayer dollars are being spent correctly.

See the Press Release for Bill 11-19 at the following link:
https://www2.montgomerycountymd.gov/mcgportalapps/Press_Detail.aspx?Item_ID=23079&Dept=1

Improving our County’s Economic Competitiveness

May 7, 2019 - We should be considering the economic impact of everything we do at the Council, not just on the County’s budget but on the budgets of County residents and small businesses.

I introduced a bill Tuesday that would strengthen the Council’s Fiscal and Economic Impact Study process by requiring an economist from the independent Office of Legislative Oversight evaluate potential impacts of every piece of legislation before us. By looking at the potential consequences of legislation – both intended and unintended – on the private sector we can improve our County’s economic competitiveness. We can also ensure that we are helping the small businesses that are the backbone of the County’s economy, and help us sustain the government services all taxpayers rightfully expect and deserve. I’m pleased to have all my Council colleagues signed on as co-sponsors.

See the Press Release for Bill 10-19 at the following link:
https://www2.montgomerycountymd.gov/mcgportalapps/Press_Detail.aspx?Item_ID=23078&Dept=1&fbclid=IwAR2MDLP4ji9JNzhPi2cQaW8_KQzh7cRHc5UPcEaCz2_fzK32qrz0EMYNpjw

Recognizing our Advocates for Rustic Roads

April 2, 2019 - I had the chance a few weeks ago to present members of the Rustic Roads Advisory Committee with Montgomery Preservation Inc.'s Montgomery Prize for their work protecting and promoting our County's Rustic Roads.

Rustic Roads - narrow, some still consisting of gravel or dirt - allow us to slow down. Allow us to think about the County's agricultural heritage and to take in the beauty of the environment around us. The Advisory Committee was a driving force in the custom-designed street signs you may have seen on many Rustic Roads in District 1 and around the County. Congrats!

Our First "Friday with Friedson"

March 22, 2019 - In our ongoing effort to bring the Montgomery County MD Council to the community, we had our first "Friday with Friedson" last week at Tally Ho Restaurant in Potomac. It was a casual, convenient conversation with constituents about a host of important local issues. No agenda -- except what was on their minds.

Recognizing our Farmers and the Agricultural Reserve

March 12, 2019 - In 1980, Montgomery County made one of the most consequential land-use decisions in the history of the United States: The dedication of the Agricultural Reserve.

In celebration of National Agriculture Day this week, today at the Montgomery County MD Council we recognized the farmers and agricultural producers who prove what a wise and profound decision creating the Agricultural Reserve was – many who do their work right here in District 1.

Early Child Care and Education

March 7, 2019 - Your returns improve exponentially the earlier you invest.

Investing in early childcare education is no exception. Our greatest asset in Montgomery County is our talent, and ensuring that every single child reaches their potential is not only a moral imperative, but an economic one with benefits that can be traced directly to providing more education and childcare options earlier in a child's life.

That's why I was humbled to join Montgomery County Council President Nancy Navarro, County Executive Marc Elrich, my Council colleagues and leaders from Montgomery County Public Schools, Montgomery College, and some of our great community childcare providers to unveil the County’s Early Care and Education Initiative. This will expand the number of Early Care and Education seats by about 600, including a new early childhood center opening in September and increasing access to the Working Parents Assistance Program.

Bringing the Council to the Community
Fighting for Critical Transportation Infrastructure in District 1

February 14, 2019 - I spent Valentine’s Day morning with the Council’s Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy & Environment Committee successfully fighting proposed cuts and delays to key District 1 transportation projects.

Our work is far from over -- further adjustments will be made to the County's Capital Improvements Program (CIP) as other Committees do their work to stay within our limited budget parameters. However, I'm happy to report the Committee recommended against the cuts and delays for the White Flint Metro Station Northern Entrance and long-awaited pedestrian and bike improvements to Bradley Boulevard and Seven Locks Road.

Thank you to everyone who testified in favor of keeping these projects on schedule. The new White Flint Metro entrance will help us fulfill the vision of a more walkable, transit-accessible, and vibrant White Flint and Pike District that can be a catalyst for the County's economy.

The Bradley Boulevard improvements will provide safe pedestrian and bike connections to downtown Bethesda and the Capital Crescent Trail, helping to fulfill the County’s Vision Zero goals. This project will also tackle the significant drainage issues residents have been facing. On Seven Locks Road, residents have long been waiting for sidewalks to be installed on both sides of the road with safe crosswalks around a number of religious institutions and recent redevelopment at nearby Cabin John Village.

Committee Chair Tom Hucker and Councilmembers Hans Riemer and Evan Glass shared my views and the views of many in the community who know how important it is for the safety and economic vitality of the County to invest in good infrastructure projects.

Remembering the Lynching of George Peck


February 10, 2019 – It is often the case that the most uncomfortable conversations are the most critical. We can’t move forward unless we examine the tragic and terrible events of the past that have held us back.

We can never overlook Montgomery County's own troubled history of violence and discrimination against African Americans -- including George Peck, who in January 1880 was arrested, abducted, and lynched by a mob in Poolesville. Local historian Tony Cohen and the Historic Medley District provided a walking tour on February 10 of the places where Peck’s lynching happened and gave a detailed account of this moment, one of the saddest and worst in our County's history. I was glad to be able to join and share some of my reflections in the video above.

A few weeks before the event, I joined all of my Montgomery County Council colleagues to support a resolution creating a Remembrance and Reconciliation Commission. This Commission will work to create monuments with the help of the Equal Justice Initiative at the sites of Gregory Peck's lynching and the lynchings of John Diggs and Sidney Randolph, who were abducted from the Montgomery County Jail in Rockville. We must always acknowledge these acts of racial terror and mass violence.

Bill 40-18: Our First Bill


February 5, 2019 – Today, with the unanimous support of my colleagues on the Council, we passed our first bill: a commonsense fix to unnecessary and burdensome requirements on our local small businesses that provide downsizing and estate sales services.

This bill is a great example of how we can be responsive as a county government to our local businesses by adjusting our laws to reflect the reality that these businesses face on a daily basis.

This marks a step in the right direction toward improving our business climate here in Montgomery County. It is my hope and intent that this will be the first of many efforts as we continue to support our growing and thriving local business community.

Bringing the Council to the Community


You learn a lot more from listening than you do from talking, and we learn even more when we’re in the great community we’re so fortunate to serve.

Watch the video above to see some of what we learned on January 24 at Burning Tree Elementary School in Bethesda during our first Community Conversation with Andrew Friedson. Topics included everyday quality of life issues, pedestrian safety, airplane noise, climate change, education funding, growing our County’s private-sector economy and much more.

Providing the world-class constituent service District 1 residents rightfully expect and deserve is one of my most important jobs. Getting out into the community we serve is critical to do doing that job right. Thank you to everyone who came out to our first Community Conversation for helping to make it such a success. We will be holding more Community Conversations throughout District 1 so look for details on our next event soon.

Hitting the Ground Running


I spent December 4 – my second full day in office – with resident, business, and government leaders for a downtown Bethesda walk focused on every day quality-of-life issues such as pedestrian safety and construction impacts. Ensuring world-class constituent service and improving our quality-of-life are the lifeblood of local government and my primary areas of focus to begin my tenure on the County Council.

I was pleased to bring together leadership from the Department of Transportation, Department of Permitting Services, Planning Department, Planning Board, Montgomery Parks, Bethesda Urban Partnership (BUP), Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center, Greater Bethesda Chamber of Commerce, Bethesda Implementation Committee and Western Montgomery County Citizens Advisory Board to get an on-the-ground look at specific challenges and discuss potential improvements.

Progress is being made, but I know we can do better by working together. We must continue to consider new and more flexible ways to accommodate everyone – including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, business owners, and construction contractors – while ensuring safety in a livable, walkable, and accessible environment.

Some of these challenges require long-term, systemic changes, while others can be addressed right away with the agencies and individuals who identified them together. My office will be following up on each and every item identified during the walking tour so we can get them fixed as soon as possible.

If you have a problem area you would like to add to our list, please contact us at councilmember.friedson@montgomerycountymd.gov with your thoughts and suggestions.



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