This week, the Governor announced his “Re-fund the Police” initiative. I believe this is purely a political attempt to criticize the work that the legislature has already done to have more transparent and inclusive law enforcement. As leader of the Maryland House of Delegates, I have been committed to improving Maryland’s policing system so every person in every community has confidence in law enforcement and feels safe.
The Maryland General Assembly is requiring body cameras for better transparency, providing better police training, and increasing accountability to make communities safer while the Governor’s own agencies are cutting critical funding for victim services. The House stands ready to have an open and honest conversation about improving policing and reducing crime in the State and look forward to a concrete partnership with the Administration on this issue.
TOURING THE STATE
Recently, I toured East Baltimore to see how many of the investments made when I was Capital Budget Subcommittee Chair are revitalizing District 45. The East Baltimore Development Initiative is bringing residential and commercial development to the area. The Pumphouse Project is renovating historic buildings for minority and women-owned businesses. Former Baltimore Raven Trevor Pryce is using his studio space to fuse technology and art with the creation of his new Netflix show. It was a pleasure to tour District 45 as Speaker with Delegate Stephanie Smith and Majority Whip Talmadge Branch to see these projects come to life.
PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY
This past Thursday had the opportunity to tour Prince Geroge’s County and the tremendous things they are doing in the county. Hampton Park redevelopment is a great example of one of the innovative projects that the District 25 Team (Chairman Dereck Davis, Delegate Darryl Barnes, and Delegate Nick Charles) along with County Executive Angela Alsobrooks are bringing to Prince George’s County. It’s exciting to see critical development happening along the Blue Line corridor, a walkable community connecting neighborhoods and grocery stores coming to this Health Enterprise Zone. Bishop McNamara’s La Reine Science & Innovation Center will prioritize education by creating learning spaces necessary for students to have access to richer science-based academic experiences as well as providing workforce training for members of the Prince George’s community. Prince George’s is also in Phase 2 of their school construction projects. Securing $750M in state funding will be allocated for 6 schools in Prince George’s County. The District 25 Team continues to prioritize education and the Prince George’s community and I am glad I had the chance to tour the prosperous county.
USM SOUTHERN MARYLAND BUILDING GRAND OPENING
Friday I was able to attend the unveiling of the Southern Maryland Autonomous Research and Technology (SMART) building. USM is advancing the world of technology by providing a center for students to create the advancements of the future in Southern Maryland. The SMART building is created to promote groundbreaking research, continuous innovation, and the highest level of learning for Southern Maryland students in the technology industry. Southern Maryland is always progressing and I am glad to have the opportunity to attend the SMART building grand opening.
LEGISLATIVE BLACK CAUCUS RECEPTION
Thursday night I had the opportunity to open the Legislative Black Caucus reception and set the stage for Maryland’s gubernatorial candidates to have an important conversation around diversity and inclusion. I developed a Black Agenda in the 2021 session as a statewide effort to close health and wealth gaps in minority communities. This event was another great effort of Chairman Darryl Barnes and the Black Caucus to move this agenda forward and challenge state leaders to play an active role in this work.
CHERYL LANDIS APPOINTED TO GENERAL ASSEMBLY
Last week, I swore in Cheryl Landis to represent District 23B in Prince George’s County in the House of Delegates. Delegate Landis was the head of the Democratic Party in Prince Geroge’s County as well as a former educator in Prince George’s County public schools. She replaces former Delegate Ron Watson, who was appointed to the state Senate. Delegate Landis is also a Democratic National Committeewoman for Maryland and serves on the State party’s executive, credentials, and rules committees. I look forward to how we can tackle the needs of the residents of District 23B together.
EREK BARRON BECOMING THE 49TH U.S. ATTORNEY FOR THE STATE OF MARYLAND
Congratulations to Delegate Erek Barron on this well-deserved confirmation. Erek becomes Maryland’s first Black U.S. Attorney in its history. The integrity and experience that Erek will bring as our state’s top federal law enforcement official will benefit all Maryland residents. I am proud to call him a colleague in the House and now Maryland’s US Attorney.
UPCOMING COMMUNITY TOWN HALL MEETINGS
Please come out with the Baltimore County community as I host two town hall meetings to discuss legislative priorities and constituent concerns in Baltimore County. The first town hall will be Monday, October 25 from 12PM to 2PM at the Reisterstown Senior Center. The second town hall meeting will be on Wednesday, October 27 from 6PM to 8PM at the Randallstown Community Center. You may go to either town hall, as long as you make your voices and concerns heard. I hope to see you there!
LIBERTY ROAD AND SECURITY SQUARE MALL CLEAN-UP
Please join me at my Security Square Mall Clean-Up on Saturday, October 30 from 8AM to 10AM. We will all meet up at 6901 Security Boulevard.
Face masks are required as we continue to try and reduce the risk of COVID-19. Students may also receive community service hours as a part of the clean-up.
BALTIMORE COUNTY PLANNING BOARD CITIZEN INPUT MEETING
The Baltimore County Planning Board welcomes citizens to participate in the annual review of the Capital Improvement Program for fiscal years 2023 through 2028. The Citizen Input Meeting will be held on Thursday, October 21 at 5PM., virtually through Webex.
Citizens are invited to share their concerns about the County’s plan to fund the construction of public facilities such as roads, storm drains, sidewalks, public buildings, parks, and stream restoration projects.
Breaking ground on Towson’s new College of Health Professions building reinforces the legislature’s commitment to maintaining a strong healthcare industry, building high-quality education institutions, and training highly skilled healthcare professionals. Thank you to Towson president Kim Schatzel for inviting me to this monumental event for Towson.
COVID BOOSTER SHOTS ARE NOW AVAILABLE
We have come a long way in our fight with COVID-19 with the help of social distancing, wearing a mask, and most importantly getting vaccinated. The fight is still not over, however. If you have received your 2nd dose of the Pfizer vaccine at least 6 months ago, you may be eligible to get a COVID-19 booster shot. It is time to strengthen our defenses to stop the spread of this deadly virus. Do your part to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
The Baltimore County mass vaccination site is at Maryland State Fairgrounds, Timonium. Preregister for the COVID vaccine, click HERE.