Green Space, Community Partnerships Headline SSCAB Meeting
In its monthly meeting, the Silver Spring Citizens Advisory Board (SSCAB) further discussed the need for more green space in the area as well as the efforts to engage County residents through the Office of Community Partnerships.
Montgomery County Councilmember George Leventhal and Director of the Office of Community Partnerships Bruce Adams were the featured speakers at Monday’s meeting.
Silver Spring Citizens Advisory Board member Suzy Zusy recaps the meeting below:
“George Leventhal reported that the disposition of the police station on Sligo Avenue will be guided by new legislation that he authored, requiring transparency in process that the community wants. The County is not yet close to determining whether or not one of its departments needs the space. Thus, a request for interest from the public is still quite a bit down the road.
Another important property to the community is the grassy area near the new Transit Center which some have suggested be landscaped as a park. Leventhal reminded that it has been slated for development by WMATA for a long time and that it’s use as a park is unlikely. He supports the community’s interest in defining publicly accessible and significant green spaces.
Bruce Adams, the Director of the Office of Community Partnerships (OCP), gave us an education on the evolution of the Office and its current mission and reach. It is set up to strengthen relationships between the County government and the residents it serves, with special focus on underserved and emerging groups. During the recession, the OCP budget was tightened as was the budget for the Gilchrist Center for Cultural Diversity. The OCP now “houses” the Gilchrist Center and is actively strengthening bridges. Community Liaisons are assigned to work with the Asian, Middle Eastern, Latino, African, Caribbean, African American, and Interfaith Communities.
I was heartened to learn about the extensive and creative efforts of the OCP to engage these County residents. I couple of Sister Cities have been established – one in Ethiopia and another in El Salvador. These cities were selected by County residents with African and Latino heritage who are, by turn, building bridges between them and Silver Spring.”