ACLU of Maryland Montgomery County Chapter 0

Save the Silver Spring plaza fountain. Ensure Ellsworth Drive is not next step to gentrifying Downtown Silver Spring.

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Did you know that Downtown Silver Spring has asked Montgomery County to allow them to make major changes to Ellsworth Drive between Fenton Street and Georgia Avenue?

While we generally applaud the expansion of public use space and reduction of traffic congestion in those areas, we must look at these plans in their entirety.

As they stand, the plans also include:

  1. Ripping out the beautiful mosaic fountain that has been used by neighborhood kids as a summer wading pool for over 15 years.
  2. Covering the street, sidewalk-to-sidewalk with synthetic turf, which would take away the street from the young neighborhood skaters and skateboarders who practice their skills there now.
  3. Reducing bike access. Downtown Silver Spring claims they will maintain an open path for bikes, but their renderings in Project Plan Amendment 91998005C, Site Plan Amendment 81999002M show the bike path obstructed by benches and tables.

Downtown Silver Spring is clearly trying to attract a more up-scale, genteel clientele to Ellsworth Drive. But this is exactly how gentrification happens - pushing people of color (Black, Latinx, etc.) and lower-income community members out of the area, reducing the rich diversity that makes Silver Spring what it is today.

Whatever happened to the racial equity and social justice required by bill 27-19 that was passed by the County Council last December with an implementation date of August 1, 2020? Reducing options for foot, skating, and bike traffic, as well as a free alternative in the fountain to the high cost of many local - and often privatized - pools, runs counter to these proclaimed ideals of diversity and inclusion.

Help us send a message to County Executive Elrich and the County Council. Call on them to block or modify Project Plan Amendment 91998005C and Executive Order 084-20 to ensure that this is done.

  1. First, sign this petition.
  2. Second, send a message directly to the County Executive and the County Council.
  3. Third, be vocal on social media ( &

Some developments are supportive of the growth of our community, but they cannot be at the expense of the diversity of our community. Let's keep Silver Spring and the County equitable, inclusive, and for the people.


The ACLU of Maryland, Montgomery County Chapter, like the state affiliate, is committed to racial equity and social justice in all the work we do, in order to support and be accountable to communities of color, whose civil rights and civil liberties are systematically threatened.

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