AIM has joined an audacious campaign to curb gun violence led by our regional affiliate the Metro Industrial Areas Foundation (Metro IAF). This campaign, launched by the faith leaders and citizens who Metro IAF network, is based on two simple premises:
1. We can’t end the plague of gun violence in America until the manufacturers of guns make safety and responsible sales among their highest priorities.
2. The companies that step up to lead in these areas will thrive. They’ll tap a growing demand for safety, and expand their market share among major public-sector gun buyers.
Citizens, law enforcement leaders, public officials and investors are working together to ask gun manufacturers to lead their industry by:
• Creating first-rate networks of dealers that meet high standards of security, record keeping and cooperation with law enforcement.
• Bringing child-proof, theft-proof guns to market – along with a variety of other gun safety technologies.
Montgomery County has joined the effort. The County Executive, County Council, Sheriff, and Chief of Police have all signed onto a Request for Information sent to the largest gun manufacturers asking for more information on gun sales.
AIM Seniors Fight for Pensions for WMATA Workers–Montgomery Sentinel
“No matter what field you’re in, an employee with a good salary [and] benefits is a better employee and able to deliver better services,” Madaleno said. “Do you want a happy, focused bus driver driving 35 people around, or do you want an unhappy, distracted bus driver?”
About 75 people, many of them seniors, attended the news conference, which was hosted by local community organization Action in Montgomery at Church of the Ascension in Gaithersburg. AIM spokesperson Cynthia Marshall said the seniors traveled from retirement communities in the county to support their local bus drivers.
WAMU–It Takes A Village: Silver Spring Community Effort Helps Rid Apartments Of Mold
More than a year after joining forces and eliciting help from community groups and the Montgomery County Council, the mostly immigrant tenants of Northwest Park Apartments are celebrating a small victory. This summer, Kay Apartment Communities began the process of replacing all of the windows in the 75-building complex on Ames Road, a move that will hopefully eliminate the mold and mildew that has plagued the complex.
Katie Ashmore, an organizer with Action in Montgomery (AIM), who helped the tenants organize, said the $2 million project is a key step in preventing the high levels of humidity in the apartments that caused the mold to grow to return after the treatment.
“New Windows Symbolize New Hope for Silver Spring Apartment Tenants” Bethesda Magazine
“Many of us were afraid to speak up, ask for better service, or push back against unjust policies,” Velasquez said to a group of neighbors and reporters. “We feared coming home, seeing the eviction notice stuck to our door.
Now, tenants say they’re seeing results thanks to their persistence, their decision to form a tenants association and the help of allies at Action in Montgomery and St. Camillus Catholic Church in Silver Spring. Kay replaced all the washers and dryers in the complex, established a new policy for treating mold and agreed to install new windows in Northwest Park. The project to install more than 4,100 new windows will take four years and cost about $2 million, according to AIM organizer Katie Ashmore, but residents expressed a sense of victory this week after work began on the first seven buildings.
Read Adeline and Chislon’s Testimony about the Dream Academy
Adeline Akoforngwe, Testimony to the Montgomery County Council, April 5, 2017
Good evening and thank you for the opportunity to testify, my name is Adeline Akoforngwe, and I am a parent of a fifth grade student at South Lake Elementary School where my son is a part of the Dream Academy.
First, I would like to sincerely thank the County Council for funding the Dream Academy it is an incredible program. And second, I’d like to thank the Recreation Department, they have done a wonderful job in starting and operating the program at our school.
The program has really been of great help to my son Chislon and I know to other kids. The extra hour of academic support gives my son and the other students the opportunity to fully learn concepts from the normal school day.
In particular, the program has helped my son a great deal with some behavioral issues. When we first moved from Cameroon he was having some challenges adapting to the new environment. I was getting a call once a week or once every two weeks from the principal’s office because he had gotten in trouble. It got so bad, that when I would see South Lake come up on my cell phone my heart would start to skip. But since the Dream Academy started in February I haven’t gotten a single call. In fact, I received a phone call from his teacher, she called to let me know how much Chislon had improved and how well he was behaving in class.
I really do appreciate his teacher and the administration’s support for my son, but the Dream Academy is something special.
The academic support Chislon receives is also very impactful. The teachers at the Dream Academy has created extra time and space to support him with math. He is getting to do some of it by himself now and you don’t have to help him do it step by step. Sometimes he comes home from school and he’s already done his math homework, if I don’t search, I won’t even know that he had math homework.
He really really loves Dream Academy so much, there’s no day he doesn’t tell me he’s looking forward to it. Tomorrow, April 6th, the current school quarter will end and we’ll find out about his grades. I am just so sure there will be improvement.
Chislon Njang, Testimony to the Montgomery County Council, April 5, 2017
Good evening, my name is Chislon Njang, and I fifth grade student at South Lake Elementary School.
When I first moved here last winter I didn’t understand the rules in my school so I was getting in trouble a lot – it was so different from the rules in Cameroon.
Before the Dream Academy started, I was getting trouble every single day, but now I don’t get in trouble anymore.
The staff and teachers at the Dream Academy help me focus and calm down when I want to act out. They remind me to be nice and let me know it’s ok to take a break outside of the classroom, and take deep breaths.
My favorite subjects are math and science. I like math because I’m good at it. It makes sense to me. And I feel confident when I’m doing something I know I’m good at. The teachers at the Dream Academy have helped me do better in the regular school classes.
Thank you for funding this program, I’ll be in middle school next year, but I hope you put more money in the budget for the program next year. I know it will help other kids. Also, I’d like to come back and visit.