County Council Unanimously Approves Legislation to Establish Gender Inclusive Restrooms in Public and County Facilities

“This bill is supported by many advocacy groups including those representing the disability community and the LGBTQ+ community,” said Councilmember Katz, who also serves as chair of the Public Safety Committee. “It is well reasoned, will not be burdensome to implement and will help everyone feel more comfortable.”

Bill 4-22, Human Rights and Civil Liberties – Public Accommodations – Gender Inclusive Restrooms, aims to increase accessibility for anyone to use a single-user restroom, regardless of gender, gender identity, or expression. Existing law allowed an owner of a business or County-owned building to restrict single-occupancy restrooms to a specific gender.

“We want everyone in Montgomery County to feel welcome here,” said Council Vice President Glass, Montgomery County’s first LGBTQ+ Councilmember. “Members of our trans, nonbinary and disability communities often feel anxious and ignored by the choices of restrooms in commercial spaces. This legislation will help provide ease and comfort to them and everyone.”

This bill would benefit people with disabilities, who have caregivers of a different gender, or parents with children of a different gender, who may require assistance using a public restroom. It would also help to decrease barriers, encourage full community inclusion and strengthen dignity and personal safety.

During public hearing testimony on this bill, Montgomery County activist Ezra Towne said, “As a person with disabilities that sometimes needs assistance in the bathroom, gendered single occupancy stalls are stressful for both my spouse and I because we are perceived as differently gendered than one another.”

Other jurisdictions in Maryland and across the nation have successfully implemented similar legislation, including the City of Salisbury, Baltimore City and Howard County in Maryland; the City of Seattle in Washington; California; Austin City in Texas; and the City of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania.

The Council staff report on the bill can be viewed here.

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17th Annual Kensington Day of the Book Festival

Now in its 17th year, the Kensington Day of the Book Festival is a family-friendly street festival featuring 150+ renowned authors, poets, and literary organizations. Enjoy live music on five stages, special guest speakers, military veteran writers and comedians, poetry readings, cookbook demos, children's program, and much more.

Admission is free, and attendees will also be able to explore a marketplace of books and food offerings from local vendors.

Not your average book festival! This festival offers something for everyone!

17th Annual Kensington Day of the Book Festival

Sunday, April 21, 2024, 11am-4pm (held rain or shine!)

Howard Avenue, Kensington, MD 20895

www.dayofthebook.com

Instagram: @kensingtonbookfestival

Contact: Elisenda Sola-Sole, Festival Director

[email protected]

301-949-9416 (text preferred)

FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival

Get ready to experience the vibrant colors, tantalizing flavors, and infectious rhythms of the Caribbean at the FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival! Hosted by RHU LLC, this exciting festival is set to take place on May 18, 2024, at the picturesque 16700 Barnesville Rd in Boyds, MD.

Step into a world where the Caribbean spirit comes alive! From 12:00 PM onwards, immerse yourself in a sensory journey that celebrates the unique culture, cuisine, and music of the Caribbean. Whether you're an African American, a Reggae or Soca music enthusiast, a wine lover, or part of the vibrant Caribbean diaspora, this festival promises to delight and captivate you in every way.

Let the enticing aromas of mouthwatering Caribbean dishes tantalize your taste buds. Feast on traditional delicacies prepared by expert chefs, showcasing the rich and diverse culinary heritage of the Caribbean. Indulge in flavorful jerk chicken, succulent seafood, and delectable plantain dishes that will transport you straight to the islands.

Accompanying the culinary extravaganza is a carefully curated selection of premium wines, ensuring the perfect pairing for your palate. Sip on fine wines from renowned vineyards, each sip a reflection of the Caribbean's vibrant spirit. Discover new flavors, expand your wine knowledge, and savor unforgettable moments with every glass.

As the sun sets, get ready to groove to the infectious rhythms of Caribbean music. Feel the pulsating beats of reggae, soca, dancehall, and calypso, moving your body to the lively melodies. Live performances by talented musicians and performers will keep the energy high, ensuring a night of unforgettable entertainment.

Don't miss this opportunity to embrace the Caribbean spirit and celebrate the arrival of spring in style! Tickets are available on AllEvents, so secure your spot today. Join us at the FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival, where cultures collide and unforgettable memories are made.

LIVE PERFORMANCES By: CULTURE Feat. Kenyatta Hill, EXCO LEVI, IMAGE BAND, RAS LIDJ REGG'GO with Special Guest SUGAR BEAR FROM E.U. & MORE! & MORE!

MUSIC By: DJ ABLAZE, DJ SMALLY & NAJ SUPREME

2 NIGHT Camping packages available: RV/CAMPER $200 | TENTS $150 Starting on Friday May 17 @ 5pm | 30 RV SPACES | 30+ TENT SPACES

KIDS 12 & UNDER FREE!!!

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