September 29, 2016
The County Council's fall legislative term is in full swing and I have an ambitious set of legislation I am working to pass this calendar year. In thinking about the legislation I've worked on during my first two years on the County Council, a few themes stand out: supporting sustainable practices, supporting entrepreneurship, streamlining regulations, and supporting economic redevelopment and revitalization.
healthy requirements for vending machines
on County, municipal, and M-NCPPC property. I am working closely with the American Heart Association, Sugar Free Kids MD and The Horizon Foundation on this legislation, which will codify the requirements laid out in the County's recent invitation for bids for County vending machines. Baltimore City, Howard County, and Montgomery County have enacted similar legislation. And you may know that PGCPS already has similar (or stronger) requirements per federal nutrition guidelines for schools.
I drafted two bills on Farmers Markets,
, after working closely with the
PGC Food Equity Council
and farmers market managers. These bills separate farmers markets from flea markets in our code, move regulations out of zoning and into our business regulations, and amend the definition of farmers markets to better reflect the high-quality markets operating today.
designates 5% of the revenue the County receives from hotel and motel taxes to our
Conference and Visitors Bureau
to promote travel to and economic investment in Prince George's County. This is similar to how surrounding jurisdictions allocate hotel and motel taxes. I'm confident that our return on investment of this funding will be strong.
would affirm and put into law a practice that is already occurring with our County agencies: that senior homeowners who miss one tax payment are reached out to by the
Department of Family Services
. This will help ensure our seniors who are struggling receive the help they need to not lose their homes due to tax sale.
I've talked with many entrepreneurs or would-be entrepreneurs who are looking for commercial kitchen space, which is extremely limited in Prince George's County. This legislation,
, would allow non-profits, private clubs, and churches to rent out their kitchen space to for-profit businesses. I am hopeful this will bring a revenue stream to some struggling organizations while helping local entrepreneurs launch their dreams.
I learned recently that due to a change in the definition of agriculture in the County, our beekeepers who keep bees on residential land are currently operating illegally.
will bring them back into compliance.
is a piece of environmental legislation that would direct the County Executive to prepare a plan for implementing a
Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy Program
, as already allowed through state law. a C-PACE program would allow businesses to secure low interest loans for energy improvements to be paid back through the owner's property tax bill.
Attendees will have the opportunity to talk with representatives from more than 50 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, financial aid, 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 TOMORROW, September 30.
I continue to be deeply saddened and angry about the abuse and termination of federal funding in our PGCPS Head Start program and other abuses that have come to light. Last week, the County Council convened as the Committee of the Whole for a
from Dr. Maxwell and PGCPS leadership on the Status of the Head Start program and Student Safety. We will have another briefing on Monday at 11am in our oversight role. Dr. Maxwell has taken
toward accountability to ensure the safety of all our children.
Dr. Maxwell and Board of Education District 2 Member Lupi Grady joined me for breakfast last week with many of our District 3 municipal elected officials. Thank you to the Town of Berwyn Heights for hosting us in their Senior Center. We had a good discussion about the ways our municipalities can collaborate with and support our local schools.
I had a wonderful time at College Park Day last Saturday. It was great to see and talk with so many residents. I hope to see many more people this Saturday, October 1, at
Riverdale Park Day
New Carrollton Day
. My staff and I will spend some time walking around both events. Please say hello if you see us in our blue shirts!
Saturday, October 1, marks the start of Domestic Violence Awareness month. The Prince George's County Sheriff's office is encouraging everyone to use a purple light bulb in their porch light to demonstrate that our community is united against domestic violence. Please
their calendar of events taking place across the County. You can get a free purple bulb at the Purple Light Nights Lighting Ceremony on October 3.
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.