The Silver Spring Regional Center occasional "e-blast"                
(Reemberto Rodriguez, Director)
Released Monday, March 29, 2021 at 12:00pm

Please visit our more robust directory of
"All Things Silver Spring"
for much more information, links, and contacts.




Coronavirus COVID-19 info

for the latest, please see the Press Releases.

Coronavirus Vaccine Information


Who is currently receiving vaccines?

  • County staff are vaccinating frontline health care workers and first responders (those who come into contact with ill and injured residents)
  • The State is providing vaccines to hospitals, who are administering vaccine to their staffs
  • federal contract through CVS and Walgreens is providing vaccine directly to nursing home staff and residents.
Vaccination clinics operated by the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (Health Department) are now offering COVID-19 vaccine to residents 65 to 74 years old, as well as essential workers, a priority group which includes transit workers, teachers, child care workers and individuals with developmental disabilities as vaccine supply allows. Community providers, including hospitals and retailers continue to vaccinate residents 65 and older, as well as educators and child care workers. The community-based providers are independent of the County-operated vaccination clinics.

Those 65 and older, frontline workers, and those with high risk medical conditions can preregister:  

Beginning March 23, 2021:
For much more:
visit the County’s
main website and/or the COVID-19 website 
follow Montgomery County on 
Facebook @MontgomeryCountyInfo 


Here’s an important message from one of our faith leaders at the Silver Spring Civic Building.
Feel free to share. 

As you may know, there are still many people reluctant to get vaccinated and the County is working hard to get the message out about the importance of being inoculated.

This message is intended to reach our faith communities and beyond. 

Watch video:

Montgomery County Council Budget Hearings

Tuesday, April 6 at 1:30 pm
Tuesday, April 6 at 7:00 pm
Wednesday, April 7 at 7:00 pm
Thursday, April 8 at 7:00 pm

The Montgomery County Council will conduct public hearings on recommended amendments to the FY21-26 Capital Improvements Program and FY22 Capital Budget for 3 days in April. The public hearings will be held on April 6 at 1:30 p.m. & 7 p.m., and April 7 & 8 at 7 p.m.

"The Council is the final authority on spending for Montgomery County Government and County and bi-County agencies such as Montgomery County Public Schools, Montgomery College, the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, and the Montgomery County Planning Board. The County Executive submits his or her proposed capital and operating budgets to the Council and makes recommendations for independent agency budgets. The Council may add to, delete from, increase or decrease any appropriation item in the operating or capital budget. The Council reviews all spending and revenue proposals comprehensively and solicits input from the public. The goal of this process is to produce a budget that balances the needs of our residents in a fiscally responsible manner."





for some virtual events coming up

(Scroll down or link takes you to more info in this newsletter)

Montgomery County Council Budget Hearings
Silver Spring Transportation Management District Representative Opening
Silver Spring Town Center Inc Virtual Schedule
NOAA Open House Weekly Virtual Open House Events
Silver Spring Downtown and Adjacent Communities Plan Updates
Gene Lynch Urban Park Construction Beginning Soon
Artspace Silver Spring Arts Campus Now Renting
Campaign Launched to Save Long Branch Restaurants: ‘Pledge to Preserve’
FY 2021 Funding Opportunity Announcement via OMH
Proposed County Budget for FY 2022
County Council Calendar
Eviction Prevention Supports for Tenants
Por Nuestra Salud y Bienestar weekly testing scheduled for next week, 3/29 to 4/4. 
Webinar: “Montgomery County on the Move: An Overview of Transportation Equity Programs in Montgomery County”
Renter Town Hall
Middle Eastern American Authors Series at Montgomery County Public Libraries
Montgomery County Community Health Needs Assessment
US Chess Center Classes
Homes Not Borders Volunteering Opportunity
Online Process to Request Food Assistance Resources Available 24/7

Silver Spring Transportation Management District

Representative Opening

SSCAB is looking to appoint a 3rd representative to the SS TMD to represent North Silver Spring/West Silver Spring . This representative will join current representatives Harriet Quinn for Kemp Mill/4-Corners/East Silver Spring Sector Plan and Chris Perry for the Silver Spring Central Business District.

For more information on the SS TMD:
For more information on the SSCAB:

If you're interested in representing this area please email me your humble newsletter editor:

Silver Spring Town Center Inc Virtual Schedule

NOAA Open House Weekly Virtual Open House Events

Each week in March 2021, join the NOAA Live! Virtual Open House webinar series, and “visit” a few places where NOAA works across the country. Explore the hangar where NOAA keeps hurricane hunter planes, come inside the nation’s oldest public aquarium, sniff seafood at a NOAA seafood inspection lab, visit “mission control” where NOAA commands satellites in space, dive deep into an underwater sanctuary, and more - all from home!  

These free events are geared toward 2nd-8th graders, and they’re perfect for classrooms and families. All webinars are moderated and feature an American Sign Language interpreter.

Register now! Space is limited. Visit for more details.


Silver Spring Downtown and Adjacent Communities
Plan Updates

Join us for Virtual Visioning Sessions this March!

We are thrilled to announce the launch of our Visioning Phase! This is the phase where the Montgomery Planning team works with you to craft the vision for the future of Silver Spring. We will start in mid-March with the goal of arriving at a draft plan by the fall of 2021. There will be many ways to participate!
To get started, we will host five community virtual Visioning Sessions. These sessions will be held on Tuesdays from 7 to 8:30 p.m. throughout March and April. All of these sessions will be interactive - we will 'sketch' a plan and gather virtual sticky notes full of ideas for different areas of the plan. Because of the interactive format, we will be capping attendance at 40 people for each session.
We are organizing this initial stage of sessions by "Visioning Districts" to help us focus the discussion on each of these areas; all of the work from these sessions will be pulled together into one cohesive vision for the plan area. Please refer to the map below to understand how these “districts,” which are only a tool for the Visioning Sessions, are organized.
To register, click the links below (all events will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m.):
March 30 - Metro Center/Ripley District
April 6 - Fenton Village
April 13 - Adjacent Communities
April 20 - North Silver Spring
If you register, you will receive a reminder 48 hours before the event, and a request to let us know if you cannot make it, so we can ensure we are not holding spots for those who are unable to attend. All sessions will be recorded and posted on the website.
We recommend participants join these sessions via computer or tablet, as it will be more challenging to follow the session on a smartphone. Participants will be allowed to join via phone, and facilitators will work to include them in the event, even if they cannot see the screen.


Gene Lynch Urban Park Construction Beginning Soon


Construction of the 11,600 square foot Gene Lynch Urban Park is about to begin!  The urban park is located at the intersection of Colesville Road and Wayne Avenue directly across from the future Purple Line station and the Silver Spring Transit Center. Created in 2008 as part of a land exchange to build the Silver Spring Transit Center, the park is dedicated to the memory of Gene Lynch, a former Montgomery County Planning Board Commissioner and civic leader who was instrumental in shaping downtown Silver Spring.

The park will include accessible walkways, a lawn area, a variety of seating opportunities including porch-type swings under a pergola structure, a large programmable digital display and extensive landscape plantings.  Construction is expected to begin next month and be completed in early 2022.

Artspace Silver Spring Arts Campus Now Renting


Don't miss your chance to live in this brand new, affordable, creative community, now renting in Silver Spring, Maryland!

2-Bedrooms are  available now!

Enjoy some of the best in-unit amenities available throughout the Artspace portfolio like a washer/dryer and dishwasher in every unit, and more!

Artspace Silver Spring Arts Campus is located at 801 Sligo Avenue, Silver Spring, MD., just North of the heart of Washington, DC. This project consists of 68 units of efficiency, one, two and three bedrooms ranging in size from 571 - 1,340 square feet with rent ranging from $954 - $1,762 *Income restrictions apply. 

Designed with artists in mind, unit features include:
10ft ceilings
Washer/Dryer in every unit
Air conditioning/Heating
Walk-in closets
Balconies (mix of Juliet & walkout options)

!BONUS! Features include: 

* Exhibition and gallery space
* Music rehearsal space
* Pet-friendly
* Large community room with booth seating and service area for gatherings, parties, or other events
* Covered parking available
* Large interior courtyard for residents
* Safe and walkable/bike-friendly neighborhoods with green-space and parks nearby
* Less than one mile from the
Silver Spring METRO Station
* Greyhound Bus Station one block away
* Immediately adjacent to eclectic Fenton Village, in downtown Silver Spring, with some of the region's most diverse dining and entertainment options, Whole Foods, the American Film Institute and much more.
* GoFundMe recently listed Silver Spring as America's "most generous city" 

Artists and Veterans of the United States Military are encouraged to apply!

More info here

Apply with this application

Campaign Launched to Save Long Branch Restaurants:

‘Pledge to Preserve’

This February, residents of the Long Branch neighborhood began signing on to a campaign to save their neighborhood restaurants. The campaign, called Pledge to Preserve, was launched Feb. 5 by the Long Branch Business League and MHP.

Zeroing in on the many restaurants in the Long Branch neighborhood that have suffered enormous financial losses over the past year of pandemic-related damages, the initiative asks community members to voluntarily commit to purchasing meals at least three times a month from any Long Branch restaurant.

At the end of the campaign’s first week, already twenty-eight local residents had signed on to the campaign.  “If we can get every person on our list to convince one friend to pledge, we can double that number soon,” said Catherine Rytkonen, the Business League’s marketing manager.

The Pledge to Preserve webpage lists the 15 participating Long Branch restaurants — along with their cuisine type, menu, and social media connections.  

The initiative represents a local Long Branch response to a wider national crisis. According to the Independent Restaurant Coalition (IRC), one in four jobs lost during the pandemic have been in the food and beverage industry. That’s the equivalent of 5.9 million jobs lost.

According to the same study, if no direct aid is provided some 85 percent of independent restaurants will likely close by the end of this year.

The pandemic-related crisis hit a small business sector that could ill afford such a challenge.

“Even in normal, non-pandemic years it is difficult to run a restaurant and keep it in the black,” the Pledge to Preserve webpage points out.  “Many restaurants generate as much as half their annual income from  weddings, parties, and  holiday-related events (Mother’s Day, Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day, Christmas). This year all that has been cancelled.” 

What is more, even though Long Branch’s restaurants have so far managed to keep their doors open, there is no guarantee they will all survive the coming months without vigorous and, indeed, greatly increased support from private persons and the public sector.

FY 2021 Funding Opportunity Announcement via OMH


The Office of Minority Health (OMH) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services administers grant programs to support projects that implement innovative models to improve minority health and reduce health disparities.

OMH has released the following notice of funding opportunity for which applications are now being accepted.

Announcement Number: MP-CPI-21-006
Opportunity Title: Advancing Health Literacy to Enhance Equitable Community Responses to COVID-19
Award Amount: up to $4,000,000 for urban communities; up to $3,000,000 for rural communities
Estimated Total: $250,000,000
Application Due Date: April 20, 2021, 6:00 PM ET

This notice solicits applications for projects to demonstrate the effectiveness of local government implementation of evidence-based health literacy strategies that are culturally appropriate to enhance COVID-19 testing, contact tracing and/or other mitigation measures (e.g., public health prevention practices and vaccination) in racial and ethnic minority populations and other socially vulnerable populations, including racial and ethnic minority rural communities. Applicant eligibility is limited to localities (e.g., cities, counties, parishes, or other similar subdivisions). OMH encourages applicants to partner with a Minority Serving Institution for quality improvement activities and program evaluation.

Click here to access the notice of funding opportunity.

The technical assistance webinar for potential applicants was held on March 17. Watch the Replay Exit Disclaimer.

Visit our Promotional Resource Page for resources to help you share this funding opportunity.

Thanks to our SSCAB member John Seelke for bringing this grant to our attention!

Proposed County Budget for FY 2022

County Executive Marc Elrich released his recommended operating budget for FY 2022. The budget highlights the county’s focus on response, recovery, and relief in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. (See PowerPoint presentation) It also emphasizes the county's forward momentum in the following areas:

  • advancing racial equity and social justice
  • building bus rapid transit
  • expanding early care and education
  • improving economic and community development
  • preserving and increasing affordable housing
  • reimagining public safety
  • tackling climate change

The County Council has scheduled public hearings on the proposed operating budget for April 6, 7 and 8. Those interested in testifying can sign up online starting March 19 or by calling 240-777-7803. The council encourages residents to use #MoCoBudget2022 to communicate their views on the budget via social media.  

County Council Calendar

Click the image below for more information

Click the image above for more information


Eviction Prevention Supports for Tenants


Montgomery County will be providing rental assistance to tenants who are behind on rent from the Federal stimulus funding, with a total of over $50 million available. Applications will begin in the first week of April.

As we’re making this assistance available, Eviction Court hearings are expected to begin with marathon sessions of up to 3,000 cases per week at the Courthouse in Silver Spring.

In an effort to prevent evictions, Montgomery County is providing supports to renters. These supports include guidance in preparing for Court to take advantage of eviction moratorium options; assistance at Court; and, help in working with their landlord - including applying for rent relief. For more information, see:


Mar 29, 2021 02:00 PM


Montgomery County Department of Housing and Community Affairs will host an informational webinar with community leaders to discuss:
*Supports for Tenants (new rental assistance & preparing for eviction court dates)
* Ways to communicate these supports to more tenants
* Questions and Answers

Register Here!

Por Nuestra Salud y Bienestar weekly testing scheduled for next week, 3/29 to 4/4.  

To view a summarized list of Next Week's Testing Schedule, click here.

Webinar: “Montgomery County on the Move: An Overview of Transportation Equity Programs in Montgomery County”

Tuesday March 30th, 11:00AM-12:00PM

Join us to learn about some transportation equity programs supported by the Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT). The presentation includes information about programs that can support those residents that experience transportation challenges related to physical disabilities, financial barriers, or with few transportation choices in the county. MCDOT will provide an overview of options to help individuals bridge the "first/last mile," to help them get to and from a destination. We will hear about Capital Bikeshare for All, Connect-A-Ride, affordable e-scooter options and some Ride On specialty programs. Also covered is Bike Match MoCo, which helps connect donors of bicycles with individuals who need them. 

At the end of this webinar, participants will be equipped with information and specific marketing materials about each of these programs so you can share these resources with friends and folks in your network. This event is co-hosted by the Food Council and the Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT).

This free webinar will take place via Zoom call. Please RSVP in advance to receive the link.  


Renter Town Hall

Wednesday, March 31 at 7:00-8:30 p.m

The Renters Alliance will hold its next Renter Town Hall Wednesday, March 31, 7-830 p.m.  As you all know, we are in the midst of an eviction crisis as well as a pandemic and keeping our most vulnerable residents informed of available rental assistance and vaccine information is critical. Your assistance in getting the word out through your newsletters and other communications is very important and welcome. 

Here's the Zoom link:

Middle Eastern American Authors Series at
Montgomery County Public Libraries


In partnership with the Office of Community Partnerships’ Middle Eastern American Advisory Group (MEAGG), Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL) will offer a series of programs focusing on various Middle Eastern American authors and illustrators.

The free virtual author series will take place monthly on the third Tuesday from 7 to 8 p.m. February through July. The events will be moderated by Debbie Trent, MEAGG chair, or Karen Leggett, co-chair of the Maryland Friends of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (Egypt). Registration is required for the free programs.

Rashin Kheiriyeh; April 20

Rashin Kheiriyeh, internationally recognized author/illustrator, who has published more than 80 books in the U.S, Europe, and Asia, including her native Iran. 

Nadia Hashimi; May 18

Nadia Hashimi, Montgomery County pediatrician turned novelist, whose parents came to the U.S. from Afghanistan before the Soviet invasion and author of Sparks Like Stars.

Susan Muaddi Daraj; June 15

Susan Muaddi Daraj, author of A Curious Land: Stories from Home, a short story collection which won the 2014 AWP Grace Paley Prize for Short Fiction and a 2016 Arab American Book Award.

Pauline Kaldas; July 20

Pauline Kaldas, Professor of English and Creative Writing at Hollins University in Roanoke, VA and author of Looking Both Ways, a collection of essays and The Penguin Book of Migration Literature.

Montgomery County Community Health Needs Assessment

Tuesday, April 27, 2021 at 6:00 pm

Montgomery County is currently conducting its Community Health Needs Assessment and would love to hear from you about your experiences with the health care in your community.

You are invited to participate in an online/telephonic Zoom Community Conversation of Silver Spring residents to discuss your thoughts about health and wellness in Montgomery County. The Community Conversation will occur on Tuesday, April 27, 2021 at 6:00 pm.   You will receive a $20 grocery store gift card for your participation.

The online/telephonic Zoom Community Conversation will take no more than 90 minutes. To register to participate please see the attached flyer, or simply click on this web address or copy and paste the entire URL into the address field of your web browser.

The information you share will help Montgomery County address health concerns and identify potential solutions to improve the health and wellness of our community.

We know you’re very busy and we appreciate the time you take to give us your thoughts and suggestions.

US Chess Center Classes

Looking for an enrichment program for your student that boosts problem-solving, thinking, and social skills?  Consider registering for chess classes taught by the non-profit US Chess Center and their nationally certified chess coaches.  Based in Silver Spring, MD, we've taught chess to nearly 40,000 students throughout the DMV since 1992.  Chess students learn to plan ahead, to distinguish good ideas from bad ones, and to see things from more than one point of view.  The Center’s students have won more than 50 state and national chess championships (individual and team) and several hundred of our long-time students have gone on to attend highly selective universities, many on scholarship.  To learn more about our current programs or what we're planning for this summer, visit our website: or call us at 202-857-4922.  

Homes Not Borders Volunteering Opportunity


Homes Not Borders is a new nonprofit whose mission is to provide the refugee, Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) and asylum-seeking population of the D.C. area with what they need to thrive and feel at home in the United States. We do this by preparing their home upon arrival and helping them with employment assistance soon after they are resettled.

Homes Not Borders relies on volunteers. Please consider joining its volunteer team setting up homes, picking up furniture (all following COVID protocol) or mentoring a refugee or SIV in a similar career (finance and international development, especially).  There is an opportunity, no matter what your strengths!

Visit to learn more and email if you are interested.


Online Process to
Request Food Assistance
Resources Available 24/7

Residents looking for information on food assistance resources can now request help by completing a simple online form. Available in seven languages (Amharic, Chinese, English, French, Korean, Spanish, and Vietnamese), the form is reviewed by a trained resource specialist, and residents receive a return phone call within one business day. The specialist will determine a resident’s individual food needs and help them locate food assistance in their community. No Personally identifiable information is needed to get help.

Information is available about free food distribution sites, free meal and grocery delivery, SNAP (Food Stamps), local food assistance providers, and other resources in Montgomery County. Residents can also call 311 and ask for the Food Access Call Center to get help with their food needs.

The Food Access Call Center opened in June 2020 and has been working throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to address the increasing need for food assistance across the County. As of mid-December, the Food Access Call Center has responded to more than 2,000 calls/referrals.


If you live in Takoma Park, you can also visit the City's link:
Si vives en Takoma Park, también puedes visitar el enlace de la Ciudad


Please visit our more robust directory of
"All Things Silver Spring"
for much more information, links, and contacts.


Silver Spring Civic Building
One Veterans Plaza
Silver Spring, MD  20910
comments, ideas, and/or suggestions?  e-mail HERE
See you around Silver Spring!