The Maryland-National Capital Park & Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) announced it will increase its minimum wage to $15 per hour beginning January 1, 2022. M-NCPPC decided to implement the increase now, rather than follow the State of Maryland’s recommended incremental approach to increase rates of pay over the next four years to meet the goal of $15 per hour.
“M-NCPPC employees provide unprecedented service to our communities year-round and many of their families have been severely impacted by the pandemic,” said Elizabeth M. Hewlett, Chairman of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission and the Prince George’s County Planning Board. “Increasing the minimum wage now allows our employees to better provide for their families and show our support for all of their hard work.”
M-NCPPC is a chartered agency through the State of Maryland. The agency has geographic authority in Montgomery County and Prince George’s County. The new pay rates will impact 2,841 seasonal employees in Prince George’s Parks and Recreation Department and 287 in Montgomery Parks.
“The Commission is a great place to work, with excellent benefits and a sense of mission that attracts motivated employees,” said M-NCPPC Vice Chair Casey Anderson. “The increase in our minimum wage will help us recruit and retain top-quality people who will help us continue to deliver excellent service to our community.”
“The Commission is committed to quality of life for its employees by increasing the minimum wage,” says Director of the M-NCPPC, Department of Parks and Recreation Bill Tyler. “The dedicated employees in Parks and Recreation for Prince George’s County provide unparalleled programming and amenities and they deserve this,” Tyler concluded.
Local minimum wages already increased to $15 per hour on July 1, 2021, in Montgomery County. Prince George’s County is following the State of Maryland’s phased-in approach towards the goal of $15 per hour by 2025 for large employers (15 employees or more) and 2026 for small employers (l4 or fewer employees). The minimum wage in Maryland is $11.75 per hour.
“Increasing the minimum wage for our employees is the right thing to do,” said M-NCPPC, Montgomery Parks Director Mike Riley. “I am proud to be part of an organization that prioritizes improving the quality of life for all of its employees.”
On March 28, 2019, the Maryland General Assembly approved the $15 per hour minimum wage. Under the new legislation, businesses with at least 15 employees began paying workers a series of increases which started on January 1, 2020, and continue until 2025 to arrive at $15 per hour.
Per the Montgomery County Planning Board:
Winning mural concept showcases diverse culture of Wheaton through dance
The outside of M-NCPPC’s downtown Wheaton Headquarters is getting a new mural!
The mural design was selected through an online community vote as part of The Wheaton HQ Mural Project. A total of 11,703 votes were cast online in March 2021 for three different mural designs.
Nicole Bourgea’s concept of dancers reflecting Wheaton’s multicultural community received over 60% of community members’ votes. Now, Bourgea will work with Montgomery Planning to finalize plans to paint her mural design in spring 2021.
The Wheaton HQ Mural Project is made possible by a generous donation from Stonebridge Development, the private partner who helped to build the Wheaton Headquarters.
Nicole Bourgea, a local artist from Kensington, submitted her qualifications in fall 2020 in response to M-NCPPC’s call for mural artist qualifications. Out of 28 submissions, a jury of representatives from the local community, the Montgomery Planning and Parks Departments, and the Regional Services Center selected her as well as two other finalists to prepare mural designs for the community to vote on.
Bourgea submitted the following description of her work as “Artist #1” to help inform the public voting process:
This mural is a bold, colorful celebration of the fact that while we dance to our own beats, we all smile in the same language. We come from diverse multicultural legacies with unique perspectives and various abilities, but we each have an important gift to offer with our life.
The concept for this mural was inspired by the artist’s son who has Down syndrome and LOVES to dance. To see him dance—overcome with joy and the need to move his body to express that joy—is to know unequivocally that the most human thing we can do is to live fully alive! We dance for different reasons, in many different styles, but each dance is a tribute to the heart that beats in the chest of the dancer.
This mural will be situated in the heart of Wheaton, MD, a community bustling with businesses run by people originating from many rich cultural legacies. This wall therefore represents a unique opportunity to both encourage these diverse heritages to thrive, as well as to welcome pedestrians of all backgrounds to experience the magic of this vibrant neighborhood. All lives are enhanced and enlivened by interactions with cultures and traditions once foreign to us. These experiences point to our shared identity as people. This design is a celebration of Wheaton’s strength as an authentic, vivid collage of humanity as well as its deep roots and bright, evolving future.
The mural will be located on the outside of the new, 14-story M-NCPPC Wheaton Headquarters strategically placed in the heart of Wheaton’s Arts and Entertainment District. This LEED Platinum building, which opened in August 2020, is owned by M-NCPPC and houses the headquarters of Montgomery Planning and Montgomery Parks as well as several county agencies.
The mural will be placed on the building’s north-facing concrete block wall, adjacent to an existing surface parking lot owned by the Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT), between Triangle Lane and Grandview Avenue.
The mural will be applied to the north wall of the headquarters shown above (click each to enlarge).