Montgomery County Council to Commemorate Hispanic Heritage Month
Wheaton, MD – Montgomery County Councilmember Nancy Navarro at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 27, in Rockville will host a panel discussion with Hispanic and Latino leaders whose work in community development and business expansion has helped to shape the County. Panelists for the special Hispanic Heritage Month event will share their life experiences and achievements and discuss issues of importance for Hispanic and Latino residents.
Those sharing their experiences with County Councilmembers, invited guests and the public as part of the “Honoring Our Heritage. Building Our Future” event will include our Executive Director, Marla Bilonick. She will be featured on a panel as well as in a Hispanic Heritage Month video along with other esteemed Hispanic representatives from around the County.
When speaking of her invitation to participate, Marla Bilonick stated: “I am honored to be a part of this event and grateful to Nancy Navarro for including the Latino Economic Development Center-LEDC. LEDC, a 25-year old nonprofit with 33 bilingual staff, has been located in and providing services to Montgomery County residents for over a decade.”
“Our leadership, staff, and clients all contribute to the rich Hispanic heritage of the County through service and direct investment in the County by owning homes and small businesses here. We are happy for the opportunity to celebrate the Hispanic contribution to the County’s economic growth.”
The Hispanic Heritage Month event will take place in the Third Floor Hearing Room of the Council Office Building at 100 Maryland Ave. in Rockville. The special ceremonies will be televised live by County Cable Montgomery (CCM-Cable Channel 6 on Comcast and RCN, Channel 30 on Verizon). The broadcast will also be streamed.
The Hispanic Heritage Month commemoration will recognize the histories, cultures and contributions of residents whose ancestors came from the Caribbean, Central America, Mexico, South America and Spain. The event will include pre-recorded interviews with community stakeholders and a panel discussion focused on entrepreneurship, community development and socio-economic equality.
According to the Montgomery County Planning Department, 197,396 County residents self-identify as Hispanic, which represents 19 percent of the population. In this group, 62,791 residents are from El Salvador, 17,597 are from Mexico, 12,871 are from Peru, 12,456 are from Guatemala and 10,370 are from Honduras. The median household income for these residents is $68,389 and 57 percent of the population is younger than age 34. More information can be found here.
“The Hispanic/Latino community in our County mirrors the nation,” said Councilmember Navarro, who is the first Latina elected to the Council and serves as chair of the Council’s Government Operations and Fiscal Policy Committee. She also serves on the Education Committee and is a member of President Obama’s Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics.
“It is a young, hard-working and forward thinking community,” said Councilmember Navarro. “Contrary to the negative rhetoric espoused by some, this community continues to make valuable contributions to the fabric of our County and our nation. This month we celebrate our shared heritage and we salute those who make a difference each and every day.”