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Montgomery County Council Committee Meetings on Nov. 30, 2023

MARYLAND, November 29 - For Immediate Release: Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Committees will receive briefings on the Ending the HIV Epidemic Grant, the County's mobile health clinic and Guaranteed Income Pilot Program and discuss the Anti-Racist Audit Implementation Plan and implementation of restorative justice in Montgomery County Public Schools; proposed closed session to discuss bid proposals for professional services 

The Audit Committee will meet on Thursday, Nov. 30 at 9:15 a.m. for a proposed closed session to discuss, before a contract is awarded, a matter directly related to a negotiating strategy or the contents of a bid or proposal.

The members of the Audit Committee include Government Operations and Fiscal Policy (GO) Chair Kate Stewart, Council Vice President Andrew Friedson, Councilmember Sidney Katz and Council President Evan Glass.

The Health and Human Services (HHS) Committee will meet at 9:30 a.m. for briefings about the Ending the HIV Epidemic Grant, Mobile Health Clinics and the Guaranteed Income Pilot.

The members of the HHS Committee include Chair Gabe Albornoz and Councilmembers Dawn Luedtke and Laurie-Anne Sayles.

The Education and Culture (EC) Committee will meet at 1:30 p.m. for briefings about the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Anti-Racist Audit Implementation Plan and the Implementation of Restorative Justice Practices in MCPS.

The members of the EC Committee include Chair Will Jawando and Councilmembers Gabe Albornoz and Kristin Mink.

More detail on each agenda item is provided below. 

Proposed Closed Session

Review: The Audit Committee will meet for a proposed closed session to discuss, before a contract is awarded, a matter directly related to a negotiating strategy or the contents of a bid or proposal under Maryland Code, General Provisions Article §3-305(b)(14). The topic is the consideration of bid proposals for professional services before a contract is made and interviews with firms for the external audit contract.

Ending the HIV Epidemic Grant

Briefing: The HHS Committee will receive a briefing about the Ending the HIV Epidemic Grant. In 2021, Montgomery County received funding for the Ending the HIV Epidemic Initiative from a Health Resources and Services Administration grant. The grant was awarded to the District of Columbia (DC) for three priority area jurisdictions, which include DC, Prince George’s County and Montgomery County. The DC Department of Health entered into an intergovernmental agreement with Montgomery County's Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) as a sub-recipient to support activities to meet the national Ending HIV Epidemic goal of reducing new HIV diagnoses by 90 percent by 2030.

The initial funding supported the expansion of the DHHS workforce to identify, link to care and provide support services to persons living with HIV who are not in care and not aware of their HIV status. In addition, grant funds supported a communication strategy including ad placements for the first ever mixed media sexual health and HIV care and prevention campaign to support a healthier community.

In Dec. 2020, DHHS released its Plan to End HIV in Montgomery County. The plan includes a comprehensive community involvement process that incorporated insights from both established and emerging voices within HIV prevention and care, as well as contributions from community partners and representatives of priority communities. 

Mobile Health Clinic

Briefing: The HHS Committee will receive a briefing about the status of the Mobile Health Clinic led by representatives of DHHS. The Mobile Health Clinic is an initiative that was proposed in 2021 as a way for DHHS to reduce health disparities and improve health outcomes in the County. In fiscal years 2022 and 2023, this initiative was funded through the American Rescue Plan Act; however, the funds were not spent because of supply chain and hiring delays.

A mobile health clinic is a community-based service delivery model that will help fill the gaps in the healthcare safety net in the County and will play a crucial role in addressing healthcare disparities, improving access to essential services and promoting community health and well-being. 

Guaranteed Income Pilot Program

Briefing: The HHS Committee will receive a briefing about the Guaranteed Income Pilot Program, which has been named Montgomery County Boost, or Building Our Opportunities and Strength Today. The program launched in the summer of 2022, after the Council approved a nearly $2 million appropriation which was led by Councilmembers Jawando and Albornoz. The pilot provides $800 per month to 300 Montgomery County participants for no more than 24 months. Individuals receiving these funds do not have any restrictions regarding how the funds may be utilized. The program is a public-private partnership financially supported by the Meyer Foundation and the Greater Washington Community Foundation.

The Montgomery County Guaranteed Income Pilot is one of several national pilots designed to change the narrative around poverty by providing a regular, unrestricted, guaranteed income supplement to participants. The pilot gives participants more freedom, dignity and self-determination to make choices for their financial well-being. Reported outcomes of analogous programs indicate that providing unrestricted payments can alleviate financial concerns, fostering opportunities for self-determination, choice and goal setting.

Montgomery County Public Schools Antiracist Audit Implementation Plan

Review: The EC Committee will discuss the MCPS Antiracist Audit Implementation Plan. In May 2023, MCPS presented its Antiracist System Action Plan to the Board of Education. The action plan identifies steps MCPS will take to address the findings and recommendations of the Antiracist System Audit, including system-level actions, domain-specific actions and school level actions.

From Dec. 2020 through July 2022, MCPS contracted with the Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium, Inc. (MAEC) to conduct the systemwide antiracist audit of MCPS’s practices, policies and systems. MAEC was charged with evaluating MCPS’s efforts toward achieving racial equity across the district. The audit was conducted in several stages with the intent of identifying ways to increase access, opportunities and equitable outcomes for every student’s academic and social-emotional wellbeing. 

Implementation of Restorative Justice Practices in Montgomery County Public Schools

Review: The EC Committee will discuss the implementation of restorative justice in MCPS. This meeting will focus on direct school-level implementation and how staff, students and families are experiencing restorative justice practices in MCPS. The discussion will include the impact of restorative justice practices on disciplinary incidents, an overview of incident types and the processes used to address each incident type, the impact of restorative justice interventions for students who change schools and well-being and climate goals for each school.

MCPS identifies restorative justice as a mindset and philosophy toward school climate and
relationship building which involves proactively and intentionally developing relationships and building community and restoring, repairing or healing the school community when harm has occurred. The focus is on education, learning from mistakes, identifying and working on the root of the behavior, making deep-level change, repairing relationships and restoring students and staff to the environment.

The Committee meeting schedule may change from time to time. View the current Council and Committee agendas, Council staff reports and additional information on items scheduled for Council review on the Council website.

Council and committee meetings are streamed live on the Council’s web page via YouTube and on Facebook Live and can be watched on County Cable Montgomery on Xfinity/RCN 6 HD 996/1056, Fios 30, and on the CCM live stream.

Release ID: 23-391
Media Contact: Sonya Healy 240-777-7926, Benjamin Sky Brandt 240-777-7884