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Welcome to MoCo Local

Your stop for local politics, government news, and pizza reviews.

All politics is local.

— Former U.S. Rep. Tip O’Neill.

MoCo is at an important step in its existence and I’m excited to be a part of it. There are so many issues that need to be addressed and one of the ways that I process information is by talking it over with other folks, particularly people that have a greater understanding of what’s going on. I am not an expert on local politics, but I’ll talk to folks who are so that I (and hopefully you) can get a better understanding of what’s going on and how that impacts us.

Montgomery County Council passes bill to allow tenants to terminate lease

The council passed Bill 6-19, Landlord-Tenant Relations – Termination of Lease – Tenant Health and Safety, today. This bill requires that every rental lease allows the tenant to terminate the lease without any penalties if the landlord does not correct health and safety violations withint 30 days of the Department of Housing and Community Affairs (DHCA) orders them to.

Some violations that would trigger this protection in a lease include: rodent or insect infestations, extensive or visible mold growth, lack of utilities, and pervasive and recurring water leaks.

Click here to find out more.

County Executive Marc Elrich and Council President Nancy Navarro release joint statement on Immigrant Support

Montgomery County values its diverse community that is made up of people from a variety of backgrounds, cultures and nations. We want to assure our residents that the County will continue to be a welcoming community for all.

Joint Statement from County Executive Marc Elrich and Council President Nancy Navarro on Immigrant Support

The full statement can be viewed here.

MoCo Council to vote on amendment allowing development in areas under moratorium

Moratorium areas within Montgomery County, MD
Moratorium areas within Montgomery County, MD (courtesy of WUSA9)

The Council is looking to vote on a resolution that would amend the 2016-2020 Subdivision Staging Policy (SSP), which placed a moratorium through 2020 on developing in certain parts of the county where public schools were at capacity. The amendment would now allow development in these areas if the development fixes or replaces a condemned or blighted property/structure or where 50% or more housing units would be considered affordable housing for families that earn 60% or less are area median income (AMI) (Council Coming Attractions).

As of 2018, the AMI in MoCo was $117,200 for a family of four (MoCo DHCA – 2018 Rent and Income Limits).

AMI by Family Size and % of AMI (MoCo DHCA – 2018 Rent and Income Limits)

Introducing Jess

Hi, I’m Jess. I’ve lived in Montgomery County, MD for 4+ years with my spouse and our dog and cat. I’m a transplant from a small, rural town in Western New York state but I’ve lived in places all over the country, including Cleveland and San Diego. My story is similar to a lot of folks in the area who transplanted from other places. My spouse was offered a job in Washington D.C. so we chose to move to MoCo because it offered a unique combination of culture, access, and affordability.

I’ve always been interested in local politics. My grandfather was a local alderman (retired when I came around) and my uncle was both an alderman and a county legislator. Watching them work with the community inspired me to learn as much as I could about local government. I’ve worked on local political campaigns from a young age and in high school I worked as an intern in the county government.

I started MoCo Local so that I could talk to folks that are experts about what is going on in our community. I’m not an expert, but I still want to know what makes things tick and how I can be informed and involved.

Professionally, I’m a Data Analyst/Business Intelligence Analyst. Locally, I helped co-found Queer MoCo where we focus on building diverse, queer community and advocate for community needs. Additionally, I organize within the local queer community.