November 25, 2020
Thanksgiving celebrations will be far from traditional this year. Many Marylanders have made the hard decision to forgo a trip home to their extended families or to limit who will join them for turkey and stuffing. Despite this, I believe it is more important than ever to practice what the holiday asks us of us—to find ways to give thanks and appreciation.

I am deeply grateful to the men and women who battle the virus every day on the front lines of hospitals, nursing homes, and grocery stores while COVID-19 cases rise and hospitals beds fill. I am grateful to the determined and hard-working scientists who have given us hope in a vaccine, one that will hopefully allow us to return to work and school. I am grateful to the many Marylanders who wear their masks, wash their hands, and stay home as much as possible so that we can weather these difficult times and come out on the other side stronger and more resilient. I am grateful for family, friends, and community that bring so much joy and meaning to life, even in these trying times.

This Thanksgiving, I look forward to being part of the Cherry Hill annual Thanksgiving Give-Away and to having joined the McElderry Park Community Association for a similar effort last weekend! Thank you to partners like the EAS Regional Council of Carpenters, Johns Hopkins, and Cherry Hill Eagles who make these events possible! If you’re in the Cherry Hill area, I hope you will join us on Thursday as free dinners are provided from 6am to 6pm at 1202 Slater Road.

I wish you a healthy, safe, and happy Thanksgiving!
Reporting COVID-19 Restriction Violations
I am troubled by the spiking number of positive COVID-19 cases and the quadrupling of hospitalizations across the State. Over 1,000 Marylanders have tested positive each of the last 21 days, and Tuesday marked the highest death toll since mid-June. The State’s seven-day positivity rate has doubled in the past month and is now at 6.6 percent. 

I agree with Governor Hogan’s decision to tighten restrictions in response to these alarming numbers, such as ordering restaurants, to close by 10pm, limiting capacity at stores and houses of worship to 50%, banning fans from sports stadiums and racetracks, and halting visits at hospitals and nursing homes. Local executives making tough decisions to increase preventative measures should also be applauded as each jurisdiction makes adjustments based on the local evolving situation.
On Monday, the Governor announced he will assign State troopers to work with local police and health officials to enforce public health mandates and discourage gatherings in bars and restaurants over the Thanksgiving holiday. The State’s mask mandate is in full force at all public indoor facilities including grocery stores, pharmacies, gyms, retail establishments, in public places of public and private businesses, and on public transportation.
If you see violations of the State’s health mandates, you can report violations by calling 833-979-2266 or emailing
Eviction Prevention Funding
More than $19 million in eviction prevention funding will be made available to local governments to help families struggling to pay rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite a CDC stay and Maryland’s own moratorium, many in the State find themselves at risk of losing their housing. The federal grant is available for households making less than 80 percent of their area’s median income.
Lend a Layer - Donate Winter Coats
As you’re digging out your winter wardrobe, consider donating a new or gently used coat to help Baltimore kids and families. Lend a Layer’s coat drive runs from November 21 to December 5. Coats can be dropped off at a variety of locations in the 46th Legislative District. A big thank you to Elev8 Baltimore, the Greater Baybrook Alliance, and Southeast CDC for their partnership and service, especially during the holiday season.
Small Business Saturday
This weekend is Small Business Saturday, and the weather is going to be sunny and in the mid-50s. Please come out and support the small businesses in your community as they work to remain afloat during these trying times. It is a great opportunity to get your holiday shopping done while supporting the backbone of our economy. They need our support!
More News
The Maryland Transportation Administration (MTA) is urging all Marylanders to stay home this Thanksgiving to slow the spread of COVID-19, especially warning residents to avoid states with high positivity rates. For those who are travelling, MTA offers these safety tips: avoid distractions; make sure your vehicle is road ready; move over for emergency vehicles; and, arrive alive—wear your seat belts and don’t drink and drive.

New data from the Small Business Administration shows that predominately white communities in Maryland received approximately 20% more loans and money per loan under the Paycheck Protection Program compared to predominantly Black communities. Small business equity is going to be a major priority in the 2021 Legislative Session and I thank Senate President Pro Tem Melony Griffith for her efforts leading the Senate’s advisory workgroup crafting those proposals.
A car caravan organized by the Poor People’s Campaign, a national coalition to address poverty and systemic racism, drove through Annapolis this week to highlight how the pandemic has affected those living in poverty and those of color. Despite State efforts to provide relief through eviction prevention funding and grants for small businesses, more must be done to encourage the federal government to come together to release a second stimulus package.
I am deeply concerned about the Maryland State Department of Education’s (MSDE) approach to child care as schools throughout the State are adjusting their in-person instructional plans. Local jurisdictions and programs serving at-risk students need flexibility, and MSDE should be doing everything it can to support them.
The Washington Post recently reported on the flawed tests that the State procured from South Korea. While I applaud Governor Hogan’s efforts to source tests at a time when they were difficult to find, transparency is fundamental to government serving the people it represents. The General Assembly must receive clear answers to our questions, especially as we go into the next Legislative Session, so we can make informed decisions based on accurate information. The COVID-19 pandemic demands more coordination between branches of government, not less. 
My office will be closed for the remainder of the week in observation of the Thanksgiving holiday, but please do not hesitate to contact my office if there is anything we can do to help via email at, or phone via 410-841-3600.