It’s hard to believe that summer has come to an end and children are completing their first week back to school! I hope you had a wonderful summer and had some time off to relax with friends and family.
Even though the General Assembly is not in session, there is plenty to be done in the interim, so I want to give you a few quick updates about what I’ve been working on and what’s happening in the community.
We received a record number of applications for scholarships, and were able to provide more than 150 constituents with funds to help pay for college expenses. While the amounts may have been smaller than in prior years because of the large number of applicants, we're happy to be able to help in any way. The 2020-2021 scholarship application will be available in January.
You may have seen in the media this week that I led an effort, with nearly 50 of my colleagues, to press the Board of Public Works to compensate 5 men who were wrongfully incarcerated and together spent nearly 120 years in prison. Current law provides the Board of Public Works with the authority to redress this wrong, and I hope they will do the right thing.
As a member of the Appropriations Committee, I participated in a recent tour of Baltimore County and City schools to better understand their capital needs. We visited Lansdowne High School which cannot serve students with disabilities because it doesn't have a functioning elevator, and the beautifully renovated Pikesville High School, an example of how an older structure can be brought up to 21st century standards with a highly functioning and adaptable learning environment. We also visited two schools in Baltimore City – a middle school and the famed City High School, both of which have incredible infrastructure needs. As you can see here, this middle school library is sorely lacking books. Please consider making a contribution of books to help young readers. If you have books appropriate for middle schoolers to donate you can drop them off this Sunday (Sept. 8th) between 10:00-3:00 at 315 Tuscany Road in Baltimore. I look forward to working with Speaker Adrienne Jones who recently announced her intention to introduce HB 1 that would provide funds for our substantial school construction needs. And, I'm pleased that our Baltimore County Executive announced his commitment of planning funds for new Dulaney and Towson High Schools, an issue important to so many of us. I will fight to ensure the state contributes its fair share.
While our school construction needs are great, it’s incredibly important that we ensure our educational system is meeting the needs of our children, is providing quality training and support for teachers, and preparing students to succeed in either higher education or the workforce. You may have read about the ongoing work of the Kirwan Commission and its workgroup that is creating new funding formulas for our schools. Education will be an important focus of this year’s General Assembly, so you can bone up on your Kirwan Commission knowledge by reading its recommendations here.
As a member of the Economic Security Workgroup, I’ve participated in listening sessions this summer in the Baltimore area, on the Eastern Shore and Western Maryland, where we have met with service providers and people who experience poverty to learn directly about their experiences.
In the district, I was very pleased to meet Baltimore County’s first woman police commissioner, Melissa Hyatt, who grew up in the county, and spoke to the Pikesville Police and Community Relations Council, a monthly public meeting between community members and police officers to review local security issues. At these informational meetings, we're regularly reminded not to leave our keys in the car and to lock car doors. You'd be amazed how many cars are stolen that have the keys sitting in plain view!
I also joined with my colleagues to welcome our new Baltimore County Public School Commissioner, Darryl Williams.
In the District
Reisterstown Road Temporary Work
Beginning in early September, for about 60 days, BGE will perform preventative maintenance on the underground electric transmission cable located beneath Reisterstown Road (between McDonogh Road/Cradock Lane and Crossroads Drive). Please drive carefully.
Upcoming Events You Won't Want to Miss
This Tuesday, September 11, 2019, please join me in a community service project organized by Irvine Nature Center. You can sign up here and choose to: remove invasive species, pick up trash and debris around the Maryland Veterans Cemetery, or participate in a food drive for the ARC of Baltimore.
I love the work of Emerge Maryland, an organization that trains Democratic women to run for office, and I'm excited to host, along with Del. Maggie McIntosh, a fundraiser honoring Speaker Adrienne Jones, Maryland's first woman and African American Speaker of the House. I hope you can join us!
We changed the date on my FREE community gathering in Lake Roland -- please save October 13th and join us for ice cream and cookies at Lake Roland!
I’m working on my legislative agenda for the upcoming session and my office continues to address our constituents’ needs. Please let me know if we can help you in any way or if you have ideas for legislation.
Enjoy the warm days – before we know it, the leaves will change and fall will be upon us. I hope to see you around the district!