Andrew in the News

News Archive 2022 - 2018

Elrich outlines his plan for MoCo's housing crisis
March 20, 2023 - MoCo360
Council Vice President Andrew Friedson (D, District 1) says he is a “proud” supporter of no-net-loss policies and points to the Thrive 2050 master plan adopted last year, which made note of the issue. Still, he believes that Elrich’s definition of no net loss hinders progress. “Nearly all the ‘naturally-occurring affordable housing’ at risk of redevelopment…[is] not restricted in any way,” Friedson wrote in an email. “So simply preserving older, unrestricted units without adding additional housing supply will never solve the problem alone. Unfortunately, when the County Executive calls for ‘no net loss’ of affordable housing, he often is also effectively advocating for ‘no net gain’ of affordable housing or new housing of any kind. Preservation should be a part of the solution, but we simply can’t come close to meeting our housing needs unless we build significantly more housing at all levels of affordability.”


March 9, 2023 - US States News 

"I was serving as the Councilmember for this area during the planning stages and construction of this project," said Councilmember Friedson. "It is exciting to see something you were so involved in for so long finally complete. Thank you MCDOT for your work on this project. The vision for the area has grown into something we could not have imagined a decade back, and none of it would have been attainable if not for the foresight MCDOT's planners and engineers had. The partnership the department created to pull it together was really something that should be a model with infrastructure builds."

Improving Friendship Heights
March 2, 2023 - Video on Yahoo

Friendship Heights is looking to improve in a post-pandemic world, and the DMV Zone is chatting with Montgomery County Council VP Andrew Friedson on how they're making that happen.

Council Vice President Friedson Introduces Legislation to Create an Urban District to Revitalize Friendship Heights
February 28, 2023 - The MoCo Show

Today, Council Vice President Andrew Friedson introduced Expedited Bill 13-23, Montgomery County Urban Districts – Friendship Heights Urban District, which would create an urban district located in the Friendship Heights area of the County.“With its central location across D.C. and Montgomery County right at a Red Line Metro station, Friendship Heights has virtually unlimited potential to be a prime location to live and work, play and stay,” Council Vice President Friedson noted. “By bringing together businesses and residents on both sides of Western Avenue through the Friendship Heights Alliance, we can create an attractive and cohesive sense of place that serves the day-to-day needs and desires of both residents and businesses.” 

Montgomery County Traffic Bill Focuses On Safety Near Schools
February 28, 2023 - The DCist

“Nobody in Montgomery County should risk their life just to cross the street,” bill co-sponsor Andrew Friedson added.

Rift over planning reform process frustrates Montgomery County leaders
February 13, 2023 - Washington Post
Friedson, who chairs the council’s planning, housing and parks committee, said the new approach is an improvement from Kramer’s original bills. “Ultimately, I think it is a positive outcome that the ultimate goals of the bill — which was the executive seizing control over park and planning and more or less dismantling the agency as we know it — that is not moving forward,” he said, adding that there is “common ground” between county officials who want to make it easier for businesses and developers to come to Montgomery.

MoCo asks for hundreds of millions from state for transit projects 
February 8, 2023 - MOCO 360

Council Vice President Andrew Friedson (D-District 1) asked county staff to amend a section of the letter concerning MARC commuter rail service. Instead of asking for a study looking into providing more off-peak and midday MARC service in Montgomery County, he said officials should simply ask the state to provide more commuter rail service. Transit advocates have long called for more service to better serve commuters in the region. “I think it is important to specifically talk about. Let’s not get caught up in studies here,” Friedson said. “We’ve been studying this for a while.”

Council Celebrates Black History Month
- Montgomery Community Media

Council Vice President Andrew Friedson noted the celebration was taking place in the county council building, where a jail once stood and where two Black men were held before a mob took and lynched them in the late 1800s. “Not lost on us that we carry on that legacy,” Friedson said, and also the legacy of people like Josiah Henson, county councilmembers and community leaders who continue resistance in the face of “unthinkable adversity and challenge.”

$800,000 Awarded to County Nonprofit and Faith-based Or ganizations
February 5, 2023 - ActiveRain

“In Montgomery County, we have a community of diverse residents who wish to practice our faiths and cultures freely. Schools and places of worship should be sanctuaries of peace and acceptance, not fear and violence,” said County Council Vice President Friedson. “While we regret that this program is so needed at this time, I am proud to have worked with the Executive Branch and community partners to establish this grant program so we can provide added security for our residents.”

Council Wants Affordable Housing Near Libraries, Rec Centers
 - Montgomery Community Media

“We need to view new residents not as a burden, but as a blessing,” Friedson said.  The county needs more housing. Metropolitan Washington Council of Government wants the county to build 47,500 more houses during the next decade. There currently are 37,000 people on the waiting list for housing vouchers, which Friedson said equals a six-and-a-half year wait.


Montgomery County considers using public building projects to solve affordable housing crisis
February 2, 2023 - Fox 5 DC

"We’ve got an opportunity every time we build a recreation center, every time we build a library to build a community in and of itself and we can’t afford to pass up those opportunities because it’s too hard or it’s too challenging," Friedson said. "The key to addressing our housing crisis is to use every single tool that we have at our disposal and we need the county government to be a leader when it comes to this challenge of housing affordability in Montgomery County." 

Friedson affordable housing bill gets OK from council
February 1, 2023 - MOCO 360 

“It’s not the only tool, but it is one of the important tools in our toolkit,” Friedson said before Tuesday’s vote.

MoCo is diverse, but disparities persist, U.S. Census figures show 
January 25, 2023 - Bethesda Beat
“This is not the same county I grew up in, and it’s certainly not the same county my parents grew up in,” Council Vice President Andrew Friedson (D-Dist. 1) said following the presentation... Education level also varies by race, according to the data. Seventy-six percent of white residents have a bachelor’s or advanced degree, above the county average of 61%. Black or African-American residents and Hispanic residents are at 47% and 28%, respectively. Despite this, Friedson said the topic of overall education level of residents—higher than many other jurisdictions in the country—is often lost when discussing the data. It’s a valuable asset as county leaders try to address various issues, he added.

Friedson bill aims to spur affordable housing on county-owned land 
January 23, 2023 - Bethesda Beat

Friedson, now in his second term, said his interest in introducing the bill stems back to early in his first term, when council members were told that co-location of affordable housing wasn’t possible with the White Flint Fire Station, a capital project near North Bethesda. Friedson couldn’t understand why that occurred, given the redevelopment of the area and need for housing.  “Is the reason why we don’t do co-locations [of housing] at certain sites because it could potentially delay a project, or because it could potentially cost more money or add additional complications—is that reason enough not to co-locate housing?” Friedson said. “Because that’s really the threshold question here.”  The legislation is aimed at prompting discussions about whether county land and capital projects can handle the cost and additional impacts of affordable housing, Friedson said.

Montgomery’s health officer role will be split into two positions
January 18, 2023 - Bethesda Beat

The council unanimously approved two amendments on Tuesday—one stated that the chief of public health services is also a deputy health officer. The other, introduced by Council Vice President Andrew Friedson (D-Dist. 1), stated that the health officer, under the current structure, would still need to be a licensed physician: a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.).  Friedson said during Tuesday’s meeting that although county officials were initially looking at removing the requirement, splitting the health officer job into two positions changed the scope of the issue. That meant that it should remain in place in county and state law, he said.

New Capital Crescent Trail tunnel could be delayed as costs grow
January 18, 2023 - The Washington Post

“A commitment made needs to be a commitment kept,” said Montgomery Council member Andrew Friedson (D-District 1), who represents Bethesda. “We need to bring back this piece of transportation infrastructure that is an essential east-west connection through one of the most vibrant and busiest parts of the county.”

Elrich proposes delay of Capital Crescent trail tunnel in latest capital budget
January 18, 2023 - Bethesda Beat

County Council Member Andrew Friedson (D-Dist. 1), whose district includes Bethesda, has  repeatedly called on project and county officials to keep construction of the trail on schedule and have it open by at least the time the light rail is scheduled to first carry passengers in late 2026. Friedson said in an interview Wednesday that he’s not surprised by Elrich’s decision, given that the county executive has historically not included funding for the trail in prior budgets. He added that Elrich also asked the state to explore single-tracking the Purple Line in Bethesda; state officials  rejected the proposal. The private sector has already funded its improvements to the trail and tunnel, Friedson said. He’s hopeful that he can persuade his colleagues to restore the funding for the project, as has been done in prior budgets with the previous County Council.  On the argument that the money should be used for schools, Friedson said: “This is not new infrastructure. This is returning infrastructure that the community has relied on for many years.  I understand that [schools are] a good talking point, but this is a commitment made, and it should be a commitment kept. And we need to fund schools … but it’s not as if it’s clear that the county executive chose a school instead of this particular project.”

Council Proposes Updated Property Tax Credit Eligibility For Elderly and Retired Military
January 18, 2023 – Invest Money UK

“As we continue our efforts to help residents to move here and to locate here, we want to help them stay here as well,” Council Vice President Andrew Friedson said.

Bill would expand property tax eligibility for MoCo elderly, vets
January 17, 2023 - Bethesda BEAT

“As we continue our efforts to help residents to move here and locate here, we want them to stay here as well,” Council Vice President Andrew Friedson (D-Dist. 1) said Tuesday.


Plans advance for two new parks next to Farm Women's Market in Bethesda
January 13, 2023 - Bethesda BEAT

Council Member Andrew Friedson said in a statement that the Farm Women’s Market project is “a shining example of what can be accomplished when government at every level, the private sector, and residents work together towards a common goal.” Transforming the parking lots “into public amenities and much-needed housing was a central part of the Bethesda Downtown Plan and will ensure significant public open space to serve community needs while preserving and reinvigorating one of Bethesda’s historic treasures,” he said.