For weeks, Montgomery County leaders have stressed the need for a “racial equity” policy in everything from government services to education. At a Wednesday news conference announcing the rollout of a countywide initiative, County Council President Nancy Navarro struggled when asked to define specific areas with the greatest need.
“It depends on the issue, but I think we all know there are issues in the down county, so you can just name it … Long Branch to Wheaton, all the way to Aspen Hill … all of those areas. The East County, the Briggs Chaney area, all the way up to Germantown, Gaithersburg and Montgomery Village,” Navarro said. “We have challenges throughout the county and we have opportunities throughout the county, so we have the numbers. We know where we need to focus.”
Navarro said county officials have been working to address racial, gender and other socioeconomic disparities for a long time, but there hasn’t been a data-driven action plan to tackle the issues.
“Everybody has been working to address these disparities. What we haven’t had is a framework, so that we are able to track whether we are making a difference or not, and every decision we make is looked at from that perspective,” she said.
Navarro was joined by County Executive Marc Elrich, Board of Education President Shebra Evans, Planning Board Chairman Casey Anderson and the other members of the council in Silver Spring to launch the initiative.