Councilmember Duchy Trachtenberg was guest speaker at last night’s meeting of the African Affairs Advisory Group; a monthly meeting that takes place in the Office of Community Partnerships located at 255 Rockville Pike, Suite 102, in Rockville.
The group was very accommodating of Councilmember Trachtenberg’s tight schedule by agreeing to start their meeting earlier than usual with her remarks which were followed by a Q&A session.
Councilmember Trachtenberg gave the group a very sobering report about the budget and how unprecedented the challenges were facing the County Council as they now try to balance the county’s budget. She explained that since the County Executive delivered his recommended budget on March 15th, that our budget situation has become even more grave because the income tax distribution anticipated from the State Comptroller is now $24.5 lower than previously estimated.
Questions focused on how the group could better advocate on behalf of their unique needs, to which the Councilmember gave some helpful suggestions on how best to reach out to various stake holders in order to formulate clear proposal on what the group was seeking in the areas of health care and business development.
There is a serious ongoing concern about how best to help immigrants from African nations with advanced degrees to be able to continue working in these areas once they are in this country and county. It was noted that many trained doctors, nurses and other professionals are working at low level jobs here in order to support their families because their professional training isn’t translatable here in America. Some suggestions were discussed on how best to work on this issue area and this conversation will be ongoing.