Jordan Cooper

The Daily Advocate- Responding to Problems, Finding Solutions, Making Government Responsive and Accountable

There is no problem too large or too small, no question too simple or too complex; Jordan hears your issue and finds you answers. Here, Jordan advocates for YOU, navigating local, state, federal, and private sector bureaucracies to get you the solutions you deserve.

Jordan P. Cooper is a Democratic candidate for Delegate of District 16 in the Maryland General Assembly. Jordan was born and raised in North Bethesda, attended K-12 in MCPS, and began his lifelong commitment to public service in the same community which he now seeks to represent in the state legislature. Jordan has extensive legislative experience in Annapolis, where he first worked a decade ago. Jordan is a health care professional with experience working on health policy in academic, legislative, clinical, non-profit advocacy, and private sector settings. This work includes the submission of public comments which were subsequently included in final federal regulations pertaining to Health Care Reform.

Jordan has a BA in Political Science from Vassar College and a MSPH in Health Policy from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Learn more about the campaign at www.CooperForMaryland.com.

Dear Constituent,

Thank you for reaching out to me with your concerns.

I agree with you that inefficiencies and fiscal irresponsibility are best avoided by a proper analysis of potential externalities prior to initiation of construction.

I also agree that having more pedestrian friendly neighborhoods is a good thing and that vehicular traffic often is horrendous in our area.

I will add to you analysis that Montgomery County's population has just grown above 1 million residents and is continuing to grow at an accelerating rate. Currently 2,500 new pupils enter MCPS every year. The White Flint Redevelopment effort is expected to bring thousands of units and tens of thousands of new residents to Rt. 355 and the Metro Red Line.

I believe that our current transportation infrastructure is insufficient to address the needs of our current population, and are woefully unprepared to support the needs of our population in the imminent future. Something needs to be done.

In an ideal world where resources are infinite, the proper solution would be to add a third underground tunnel and rail line on the Red Line to Metro rail at a cost of no less than $300 million per mile (i.e. billions of dollars for the entire line). Given the fiscal constraints that we have, there are a few options that remain available to us:

Add new cars to current Metro trains to make more of the trains 8 cars long (the maximum length that can be accommodated by the platforms). We can also start all trains at Shady Grove instead of every other one at Grosvenor. We also need to invest more in maintenance of the tracks, tunnels, bridges, switches, and cars. All of this is being planned to be done.

Still, the most knowledgable transportation officials with whom I have spoken believe that this will be insufficient. Without the construction of new public transportation infrastructure, our traffic congestion in the Washington metropolitan area will only worsen.

We need to create a Montgomery County where, at least around current transit nodes, individuals can live, work, and play without needing to use their car.

Simply put, the growth projections for Montgomery County make the historical trend of ubiquitous car ownership an unsustainable and unrealistic path forward.

We need to expand bike lanes, we need to reinvest in Metro rail system, and we need to invest in new options.

Though I don't believe the Bus Rapid Transit plan is the most ideal plan by anyone's estimation, it fits the bill at about $17 million per mile. It will stop with more frequency than the 2 mile interval between current Red Line Metro stops, and will ease congestion on Metro's Red Line by providing local commuters within Montgomery County an alternative option to the Red Line, thereby accommodating more long distance commuters into DC on the the Metro rail line.

The Purple Line will facilitate travel especially between Silver Spring and Bethesda, will permit the continued use of the Capital Crescent Trail for transportation and recreational purposes, and will follow the route of the old Trolley Line that predated the Crescent Trail between Silver Spring and Bethesda.

So though I hear your opposition to these individual transportation plans, considering the lack of alternative options and the need for some investment in our transportation infrastructure, I do currently support both the Bus Rapid Transit system and the proposed Purple Line. I am always open to new ideas and to considering new arguments, but given the circumstances that I'm aware of, I believe that in the long term these two systems will bring economic development and ease of movement to our region.

Please feel free to contact me with any additional concerns.

Jordan


On Jul 20, 2013, at 11:39 AM, Constituent wrote:

Jordan

When you stopped by the house last week I did not mention an issue of foremost importance to me and the neighbors:
the BRT and the Purple Line. We are totally opposed to both. It would destroy our neighborhood because Wisconsin is the only way out
for us,  and the notion of  the BRT taking 2 feet of the already shallow front yards of the West side of Wisconsin is the death knell for residential
liveability.  The Purple Line is environmentally and fiscally unaffordable.  Remember that we already have to pay for Ike 's $42 million misbegotten boondoggle of the "transportation Hub". The opportunity  of a 7 Billion project for cost overruns etc. must make every contractor and developer salivate and gives us tax payers nightmares.
The construction of a sidewalk on the East side of Wisconsin however is a good idea to make our neighborhood more pedestrian friendly and
might cut down on automobile use as well. Long promised it still has not been built as yet.
Thank you for letting us know your position on these issues.

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Capital Crescent Trail Safety Wall

The wall is being built by Montgomery County Department of Parks and Planning masons as a safety wall to provide safety for trail users right by businesses in the area. The Coalition for the Capital Crescent Trail and the Westbard Citizens Association were consulted prior to the wall being built and their input was incorporated into the final decision to make the wall.

Should you wish to have any further information on this or other topics, please feel free to contact me.

Jordan

On Jun 11, 2013, at 10:36 PM, a constituent wrote:

The wall is being built on the South side of the bridge over River Road on the Capital Crescent trail. The bridge has a 5% grade on that side and the approach is about 1% up.

These coordinates should bring up the location in Google/Bing Maps:
38.963782, -77.103736

Going down the hill, bikers reach 25 mph against an uphill speed of 1-5 mph by joggers/bikers. It would be nice to see the bike trail have the same safety features that roads get.

Constituent

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Dear Sir,

I am writing to you because I have an update on your question concerning what will happen to your daughter's health insurance coverage with regards to health care reform.

Ultimately she will have to change where she gets her insurance coverage from. This move will very possibly result in reduced premiums and maintained benefits for her.

There are 3 types of MHIP coverage: Standard, Federally Subsidized, and State Subsidized. The latter two, which include 33% of MHIP beneficiaries, will be transitioned into the Maryland Health Benefits (i.e. Insurance) Exchange over the coming year. MHIP will reach out to these beneficiaries and assist beneficiaries with plan selection through the Exchange.

MHIP itself will NOT be discontinued in 2014. MHIP will be discontinued entirely between 2015 and 2020 in accordance with the 2013 Maryland Health Progress Act. MHIP Standard beneficiaries (i.e. those who are not subsidized) may therefore continue to receive coverage through MHIP until MHIP is dismantled later in this decade.

Your daughter sounds like she is eligible for Primary Adult Care (PAC) Medicaid coverage. Depending on her income, she'll be able to enroll in a Medicaid Managed Care Organization (MCO) and potentially have 100% of her health insurance coverage and health care costs paid for by the State/Federal governments through Medicaid.

If she is not eligible for Medicaid, she is definitely eligible for federal subsidies to purchase health insurance coverage through the Exchange. Her eligibility determinations can be made through the Exchange website, which will be functional as of October 1, 2013 at the latest, or through a Navigator (formerly known as an Insurance Broker). The Navigator will direct her either to Medicaid enrollment or to the selection of a health insurance plan through the Exchange with federal subsidies.

I hope I have brought some clarity to this complicated issue for you. Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.

Regards,
Jordan P. Cooper
Democratic Candidate
Delegate, District 16
Maryland General Assembly
June 2014 Primary Elections
CooperForMaryland.com

301-655-0040
Twitter.com/Cooper4MD
Linkedin.com/in/Cooper4MD
Facebook.com/CooperforMaryland
Facebook.com/Cooper4MD

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Dear Constituent,

I am writing to follow-up with your request that I look into how one might adjudicate a parking ticket from Bethesda. I have been told that individuals who believe that they have received a parking ticket in error may either make that complaint known by writing to the Department of Transportation Parking Services Division, or can request a court date. I have been told that this adjudication information is listed on the back of every parking ticket.

I understand that you told me that this information was not on your particular ticket and that you were issued late charges for non-payment of your ticket while you were awaiting to hear if the ticket could be adjudicated. That is not right, and in the future, should something like that situation happen to you or someone you know, please pass that information along to me and I will see what I can do to prevent a late charge being applied while a ticket is awaiting an adjudication decision.

I have also looked into your concern that, especially in light of impending plans to construct the Bus Rapid Transit lanes up Wisconsin Avenue, that 1) Drummond Ave. maintain the ability to turn left (North) onto Wisconsin Avenue, and that 2) cars not illegally double park in front of Friendship Heights Medical Office Buildings. I called Police District 2 and have been told that they are aware of the issue and will provide warnings to idling cars. I have also arranged meetings with Metro and County Council Members to learn about the proposed BRT project and how it will accommodate pedestrians, left turns from Drummond, and the extent to which Metro's infrastructure is overburdened.

Jordan Cooper

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Constituent,

You mentioned your concern for the Crescent Trail between Bethesda and Silver Spring in light of the impending construction of the Purple Line.

I would like to let you know that the Purple Line, as it now stands in planning, will have 4 rails to allow concurrent bi-directional travel (ie, not single tracking), and will run alongside the Crescent Trail. The width of the trail, which was originally created by re-purposing an old rail line, will be expanded to accommodate these three transit ways. The tracks and path will be separated either by grade differences or fences or other safety features.

 

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Our community has expressed to me their interest in learning about the Whiting Turner Contracting Company's safety record on the job in light of yesterday's (05-23-13) partial collapse of the Montgomery Mall parking garage.

This is a fair request and as such, I can point readers to resources so that they can become more informed on Whiting Turner's record. I will underscore, however, that I in NO way condemn, applaud, or otherwise pass judgement on Whiting Turner. I have no conclusions about fault and can offer no more insight into yesterday's unfortunate accident than you may otherwise find in the local media.

In an attempt to fairly see if Whiting Turner has anything to offer about their history of accidents at work sites, I contacted the firm about the collapse and was told that they have "No Comment." I have, however, been able to find information on Whiting Turner's safety record:

There was a death at Georgetown University two years ago on 03-16-11 when a Whiting Turner forklift operator was crushed. TBD, an affiliate of ABC 7, writes: http://www.tbd.com/blogs/tbd-latest/2011/03/woman-seriously-hurt-in-construction-accident-on-georgetown-university-campus-9518.html

At the turn of the new year in 2006, the Maryland Occupational Safety and Health Unit of the Division of Labor and Industry (MOSH) conducted an investigation of an incident (12-15-05) when a Whiting Turner employee was seriously injured while working on a construction site at BWI airport. MOSH investigated: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&ved=0CCwQFjAA&url=https%3A%2F%2Fdllr.md.gov%2Flabor%2Fcases%2Fwhitingturner.pdf&ei=JIufUf_dNdTJ4APruoHwDQ&usg=AFQjCNF7PNbJKFbD60-PZa2GPNuIZ7c9qA&sig2=xmlBfU6CEanorHniftCC6g&bvm=bv.47008514,d.dmg

It also is worth noting that Whiting Turner was awarded a prize for safety in the construction of a football stadium for Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The Zurich Safety Excellence Award was extended to Whiting Turner "for dedication to safety excellence and achieving zero lost time accidents." Whiting Turner attests to this award on their website: http://www.whiting-turner.com/portfolio/industry/sports/11640/11640.html

I advise readers to consider that these incidents may or may not have been preventable. There may have been malfeasance and neglect on the part of Whiting Turner, or it may be the case that Whiting Turner has conducted its business professionally with the most rigorous attention to the safety of their employees, subcontractors,the community, and the integrity of the structures upon which they work.

It is worth exploring how preventable yesterday's collapse at Montgomery Mall was, whether any early signs of loss of structural integrity were observed, whether precautionary measures were taken to prevent the collapse and protect the construction workers, and how the frequency and variety of these aforementioned incidents compare to industry standards.

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Tilden Woods Tennis Court Renovations

Dear Tennis Enthusiasts,

I just got off the phone with the Department of Parks and Recreation and have some updates on the renovation schedule for the Tilden Woods tennis courts.

The Tilden Woods tennis courts are recognized as being among the top 20 high-priority parks renovation projects for Montgomery County. The courts will be completely renovated by no later than August 2015. It is possible that the courts will be completely renovated by August 2014.

Each year 4-5 tennis courts are renovated across Montgomery County (in addition to the renovations of other recreational, e.g. basketball, courts).These renovations ideally are fairly distributed across the County so as to facilitate access to tennis courts across the County. 8 of the top 20 courts that are most in need of renovation are located in our general community. This summer, the County will be renovating tennis courts on Seven Locks Rd. The County is aware of our need for improved conditions at Tilden Woods.

Though this is not the answer that many might have hoped for, this is the current situation. In the meantime, might I suggest that, for those who are able, the outdoor Cabin John regional courts have been renovated in the past few years and offer 9 courts, 4 backboards, and 4 additional racquetball courts that can be utilized for tennis practice as well. Walter Johnson H.S. also has recently renovated courts.

I have been given reassurance that the Tilden Woods tennis courts will be renovated within the coming 2 years.

Jordan Cooper

 

Citizen wrote:


Hello Luxmanor, Tilden Woods, and Old Farm Tennis Enthusiasts,
 
Would you be willing to send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , and/or call 311 to ask about the status of resurfacing and repairing the Tilden Woods Park Tennis Courts?
 
I called and wrote the Montgomery County Parks hotline three to four times to find out the status of getting the Tilden Woods tennis courts resurfaced and fixed.  These courts are in a lovely setting, but their condition is an embarrassment to the neighborhood. The service center promised me on both the phone hotline and by e-mail that I would hear from them in 24-hours. I sent an e-mail dated March 13, 2013, and have yet to get a response.  Last week I called the Montgomery County 311 number and sent another e-mail and have still heard nothing.
 
Those of us who use those courts know they must be resurfaced.  I believe if enough of us contact Montgomery County Service Center  and/or 311 number about these courts it will send a powerful message that many people value and use this facility.  So, those of you who are willing, please contact the Montgomery County Service Center and ask about getting those courts resurfaced.  Again, the e-mail address is: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , and the phone number is 311.

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