The Committee for Ethnic Affairs Hosted Forum on "Days of Commemoration"
Chair, Committee for Ethnic Affairs
Montgomery County's Committee for Ethnic Affairs (CEA), the County's Office of Community Partnerships and the Office of Councilmember George Leventhal hosted a community conversation on the County's "Days of Commemoration." The forum held at the Rockville Memorial Library, located at 21 Maryland Avenue, Rockville from 7:00 to 9:00 PM.
The original legislation for the Days of Commemoration was passed on March 28, 2006 (Bill No. 1-06: Days of Commemoration) and signed into law on July 7, 2006. This special law designates certain days of commemoration relating to the religious, ethnic, and cultural heritage of County residents.
This legislation was a major step in the County paying tribute to, and acknowledging, the constant changing race and ethnic composition of residents. The forum was an even greater step for county residents to help local government to expand its knowledge and appreciation of how diverse Montgomery County is.
Councilmember Leventhal and the Committee for Ethnic Affairs intent of re-visiting this legislation after five years, is to seek the public's input on how well this legislation is understood by the County and its residents.
From Left (Back Row): Rev. Kennedy Kwasi Odzafi (CEA member), J'amie D'Aguiar (CEA member), Naomi Bloch (CEA member), Jeffrey Lynch (CEA member), Erica Obebe (CEA member), Harry Iceland (CEA member), and Gayathri Aluvihare (CEA member); From Left (Front Row): Enas Elhanafi (CEA Chair), Councilmember George Leventhal, and Mumin Barre (Former CEA member)
The purpose of the forum was to hear the thoughts of residents in regard to whether anything should be changed in the way holidays are currently recognized, and whether new holidays should be added to the county calendar. The forum also offered a good opportunity to ask questions about the days of commemoration.
The conversation was engaging about how to assess how effective this legislation has been and whether it can be improved, if any adjustments should be made to this law, if better public education was needed or if there might be interest in adding additional days to the County's current list of days of commemoration.
This program is part of a series under a pilot program developed by the Committee for Ethnic Affairs to encourage communication among the diverse ethnic communities of Montgomery County. CEA is composed of residents and its role is to bridge the cultural diversity of all ethnic groups in the county.
The CEA advises the County Executive and the County Council on public policy that relates to ethnic affairs and promotes maximum involvement of all ethnic groups in the county government and other county services and programs. The CEA also assists the county and its Office of Community Partnerships in organizing the World of Montgomery Festival, the county's annual ethnic heritage festival.
For more information on the initial Days of Commemoration legislation, go to:
The CEA and Councilmember Leventhal's office continue to seek the thoughts of residents in regard to whether anything should be changed in the way holidays are currently recognized. They seek also opinions on whether new holidays should be added to the county calendar. Please share your thoughts by contacting the Committee for Ethnic Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org.