September 1, 2016
Summer is coming to an end. Students are back in school and our regular District Council, County Council, and committee hearings begin after Labor Day. I am grateful for the opportunity to spend some time with my family camping in National Parks this summer and hope you were able to take a break as well. My District 3 staff and I have also been busy responding to constituent needs, conducting community outreach, preparing legislation, and planning for the fall.
Like you, I am deeply saddened and angry about the abuse and termination of federal funding in our PGCPS Head Start program. Please be assured that I have personally shared my deep concern with our County Executive and school system CEO. I am closely following all that is happening and will continue to demand answers and accountability. Although the incidents outlined in the report are deeply disturbing, I am most shaken by what appears to be systematic lack of reporting and follow through.
I strongly urge each one of us--school employees, parents, guardians, and community members--to speak up if anything seems amiss in our schools or on our buses. Start with the school principal, but if you do not get an appropriate response in a timely matter, please follow up with the
Office of the Ombudsman
. Dr. Edward Newsome, Jr. and the staff in that office are independent and neutral. They handle all inquiries confidentially. You can reach the Ombudsman at email@example.com, 301-808-8315, or submit a concern
. If you still don't receive an appropriate response in a timely manner, please reach out to your Board of Education representative or me. Please continue to follow-up to ensure you are heard and receive a response.
You may want to take a moment to read the statements from PGCPS CEO
Dr. Kevin Maxwell
Council Chair Derrick Leon Davis
On a more positive note, many of our communities hosted terrific National Night Out events on August 2 and my team fanned out across District 3 to support them.
The Port Towns Community Health Partnership hosted an incredibly successful Mega Health Fair at Rogers Heights Elementary before the start of school. Alina Smith from my office was there with bilingual literature and resources.
Have you visited our new District 3 recreation amenities yet? On July 25, I helped cut the ribbons to open Paint Branch Playground at 5200 Campus Drive in College Park and the Riverdale Dog Park at 5400 Haig Drive in Riverdale Park.
Another amenity I am incredibly excited about is the County's first Food Truck
Hub! Please join me on Friday, September 2, from 5pm-9pm at the
College Park Hub
launch. Eat at the Downtown College Park Hub, 7413 Baltimore Avenue from 5pm-12am every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. You may also grab lunch at the University Research Park Hub from 11am-2pm every Monday and Wednesday. Follow the schedule of trucks
I eagerly await two additional Hubs in District 3 -- Town Center Market and on the north side of the New Carrollton Metro Station.
It was a pleasure to speak with the
Latin American Youth Center
(LAYC) AmeriCorps members, who spent the past year working with more than 200 students at Buck Lodge Elementary and William Wirt Middle School, at their graduation ceremony last week. The event marked the end of their year of service and transition out of AmeriCorps.
Prince George's County Public Schools have two great events coming up.
Inaugural Conference will be held on Saturday, September 10 from 8am-1:30pm at Charles H. Flowers HS. The event is free, and free childcare is offered, but you must
in advance. Workshops will be conducted in English and Spanish.
On September 29, I am partnering with Parkdale High School for our
2nd Annual College & Career Fair
. All are welcome! Attendees will have the opportunity to talk with representatives from colleges & universities in Maryland and across the country, as well as representatives from employers and career training programs. We will also have several 20-minute workshops on topic such as NCAA eligibility, resume and interview skills, preparing for college, opportunities for recent immigrants, and more.
Do you work with a nonprofit organization serving residents in District 3? Apply for a Special Appropriation Grant from my office. All the details are available
and the deadline is September 30.
Earlier this summer, I was pleased to join with Council Members Lehman and Turner to propose legislation expanding urban farming to more zones and provide tax credits to landowners using their property for urban agriculture. The legislation passed in July and the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission is conducting a survey to help compile detailed information on urban farmland demand in the County. Based on the findings, opportunities to address expressed needs will be explored. Are you interested in urban farming? Please complete the survery on Urban Farmland Demand by Tuesday, September 6.
As always, never hesitate to reach out to me at
or 301-952-3060. You can reach my staff via the same phone number or their email address on the right.
Together Strengthening our Community,
P.S. I share news and updates daily on social media. If you are active on social media, too, please engage with me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter.