September 1, 2016


Dear Friends,

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 ombudsman@pgcps.org, 301-808-8315, or submit a concern online. 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 and  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  here 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.
 
The PGCPS  
Family Institute 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 register in advance. Workshops will be conducted in English and Spanish.

Save the Date for the 4th Annual College & Career Readiness Summit on Saturday, September 24, from 9am-2pm at Northwestern High School. PGCPS students can register for free transportation to the Summit.

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 here 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 CouncilDistrict3@co.pg.md.us 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,
     
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Green Alerts: as of July 1, 2016
Foam is banned & Recycling is mandatory! 

Thanks to legislation I was proud to co-propose, Styrofoam is now banned in Prince George's County! Businesses in the County may not use or sell foam products. Learn more here .


I worked on this recycling legislation with former Council Member Eric Olson. The multi-year phase-in is now complete. Businesses and commercial property owners are now required to provide their employees, tenants and customers the opportunity to recycle.  Learn more here .

Mark Your Calendar
Parkdale High School
College & Career Fair
September 29, 2016
5:30-7:30pm
All Welcome!

Would you like to represent your employer or alma mater at the Fair? Call 301-952-3060 and ask for Thomas Mayah.

New Website

Prince George's County, the Council Council and District 3 all have new websites. Please take a few minutes to visit and check them out. I hope you find them to be more user-friendly.

One of the best new features of the Council website is that you can sign up to receive committee and Council session meeting dates, news releases, and more as soon as they are updated. Just sign in and select your preferences at Notify Me.

Contact Us!
301-952-3060

CouncilDistrict3
@co.pg.
md.us
 
Wanda Brooks 
Citizen Services Specialist:
-- 
C. Angel Dureke
Scheduler &
Administrative Assistant:
--
Thomas Mayah
Citizen Services Assistant:
--
Aimee Olivo 
Chief of Staff:
-- 
Alina Smith
Latino Liaison:


If you have received this e-news from someone other than my office, and are interested in receiving this update directly, please email Thomas Mayah at the District 3 Council Office at tsmayah@co.pg.md.us or call (301) 952-3060.