Montgomery County

Image: Dan Reed

Montgomery is home to a strong school system, well-paying jobs and technology clusters, remarkable diversity, growing urban centers, an expansive park system, and our nationally-heralded Agricultural Reserve. Montgomery County has long been an innovator when it comes to forward-thinking, progressive policy solutions. Among those innovative policy solutions are its inclusionary zoning program, parks and conservation, and transit initiatives.

With the county projected to grow by 230,000 residents over the next 25 years, progressive and innovative smart growth policies are a must-have for the county to handle that growth, generate the tax revenues necessary to maintain high-quality services, and thrive as a sustainable, equitable, and economically-competitive community.

Our Work in Montgomery County, MD


Better Buses

In December 2020, we launched the Montgomery Better Buses campaign with over 20 of our allies. Read about our platform. We’re pushing Montgomery County to conduct a comprehensive redesign and reimagining of the Ride On and Metrobus systems, with an improvement and investment plan for the next 15 years. Buses are the backbone of a sustainable, equitable transportation system and a thriving local economy. We seek to make buses: 1) the mode of choice, 2) fare-free, and 3) carbon neutral. Learn more >>>

Image: MW Transit Photos, Flickr

Chevy Chase Library

Chevy Chase Library needs major repairs, and the county can either renovate the library as-is, or redevelop the library with mixed-income housing. County Executive Marc Elrich has directed the county to renovate the existing library, leaving behind an important opportunity for affordable housing a short walk from a future Purple Line light rail station in a high-demand neighborhood. Read our fact sheet and learn more >>>

Image: Action in Montgomery (AIM)

Missing Middle Housing

Allowing for more diverse housing types (duplexes, triplexes, and other small multifamily buildings) is an important strategy to make neighborhoods more economically diverse, improve walkability, and offer a range of housing opportunities for households with different needs. Previously outlawed, the county is now considering ways to make it easier to build different housing types, especially near transit. Learn more >>>

Image: Sightline Institute

Silver Spring Downtown & Adjacent Communities Plan

The SSDAC plan is the new master plan for the Silver Spring central business district and several nearby neighborhoods. The plan can help shape downtown Silver Spring’s future to be one that improves pedestrian and bicycle safety; continues to be racially, ethnically, and economically diverse; is a vibrant commercial center; and more. Learn more >>>

Image: Montgomery Planning

Thrive Montgomery 2050

Montgomery County is updating its General Plan, “Thrive Montgomery 2050.” Thrive will be the blueprint for the county’s growth over the next 30 to 50 years and help to drive the county’s policy agenda. We’re organizing a local grassroots group, Montgomery for All to advocate for a plan that paves the way for a more equitable, prosperous, and sustainable future. Learn more >>>

Image: Montgomery Planning

Past Campaigns


  • Accessory Dwelling Units: We teamed up with Habitat for Humanity Metro Maryland to make it easier for homeowners to add an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) to their home. We’re continuing our advocacy and outreach by hosting homeowner ADU workshops and pushing for expanding financing tools, especially for low-income homeowners. Learn more >>>
  • Bus Rapid Transit: In 2013, the Montgomery County Council unanimously approved an ambitious 81-mile bus rapid transit system (BRT). We are advocating for a dedicated lane in this first stage by asking the Montgomery County Council to divert $16 million of design funding for the other routes toward building dedicated lanes on US 29. Learn more >>>
  • The Midcounty Highway Extended: The Midcounty Highway Extended, or M-83, is a proposed limited access highway that would connect Montgomery County’s Clarksburg to Gaithersburg, and was initially proposed in the 1960s.  The 6-lane highway, which would run parallel to Route 355 to the east, would harm wetlands, fragile stream valleys, the agricultural reserve, and divide existing neighborhoods in Montgomery Village and Germantown. Learn more >>>

Latest Happenings


Graphic data from recent Data for Progress polls of likely Montgomery County Democratic voters.

All About Thrive #5: Thrive, more housing options, and safe streets are all popular

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Recent Data for Progress polls about Thrive 2050, constructing new homes, and redesigning roads for safety over speed showed majority support for all three. 
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TESTIMONY re: Bill 22-22E – Landlord-Tenant Relations – Limitations on Rent Increases (Support)

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The Coalition for Smarter Growth supports Bill 22-22E, which would limit rent increases to 4.4 percent for six months, and strongly urges you to develop and implement a long-term policy that protects tenants without hindering the construction of new housing. We also associate ourselves with the testimony of the Montgomery Housing Alliance, of which we are a member.
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TAKE ACTION: Keep Upper Beach Drive for walking and rolling year round! 

TAKE ACTION: Keep Upper Beach Drive for walking and rolling year round! 

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Submit your comments by August 11 to support a continued car-free Upper Beach Drive during the summer (proposed) but also make it year around too!
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Register for our Diverse Neighborhoods webinar, on July 27!

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Join us to learn about how the right policies and investments can allow neighborhoods to grow in a way that support racial and economic diversity. The DC region is one of the most diverse places in the country, but remains largely segregated. We'll talk about the latest research, the policy implications, and why it matters to yo
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All About Thrive #4: A county with more housing options

All About Thrive #4: A county with more housing options

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Today we’re covering what Thrive 2050 says about “missing middle” housing. This is the fourth installment in our “All About Thrive” email series.
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