October 24, 2019

Dear friends, 

There is a lot going on with your County Council. Tuesday was the final day for bills to be introduced (second reader) in order to have the opportunity to pass this calendar year. I'm hosting or co-sponsoring several events over the next few weeks. (Please read the right hand bar for details.) My annual print newsletter should have landed in District 3 mailboxes at the end of September. If you didn't receive it, or if it was recycled before you had a chance to read it, you can read it online here or reply to this email with your home address and my staff will mail one to you.

Legislative Update

I've said many times that much of my legislation comes from residents raising issues. That certainly is the case with several bills this year including legislation to require companies like Comcast and Verizon to remove downed wires within 30 days of being notified (CB-40-2019) and legislation to require the County to proactively notify municipalities of surplus properties and public safety surcharge collections (CB-51-2019).

After working with several communities who would like to institute residential permit parking areas but don't quite meet the criteria, I sponsored CB-50-2019 to allow the County Council to designate an area via resolution. Special thanks to District 3 residents who attended our committee session to testify in support of this bill.

Another bill that was introduced on Tuesday is CB-38-2019, which will establish a policy to ensure equal opportunity and eliminate discrimination in all housing accommodations. This bill will 
ensure that residents are not discriminated against in the area of housing due to their country of origin, immigration status, or lawful source of income.

I also proposed legislation to provide a revitalization tax credit for the Gilbane project which will be built on the surface parking lot at the College Park Metro Station, CR-79-2018. This tax  credit will support the housing we need in the Discovery District to complement the incredible number of jobs already there. Overall, this project is a crucial part of the Transit Oriented Development in the Discovery District and the City of College Park, the Coalition for Smarter Growth, and others offered strong support in committee for this resolution, which passed.

Another bill which was introduced on Tuesday is one that has gotten quite a bit of attention in the media, CB-46-2019. I have long voiced concerns about the County's need to update our Animal Management ordinances. This legislation strengthens the way our County handles dangerous dogs and negligent owners, strengthens the leash requirements, and overall increases fines and enforcement. I am grateful to the Department of Environment and Animal Services Division for bringing this legislation to the County Council. The legislation moved forward with the existing pit bull breed ban in place. 

CB-52-2019 would prohibit food service and retail facilities from providing or selling plastic straws and stirrers. I appreciate Council Member Dernoga for taking the lead on this legislation and I was proud to join as a co-proposer and raise the need to amend the legislation to account for individuals with disabilities who need flexible plastic straws.

On CB-62-2019 I joined with Council Member Taveras and all my colleagues on legislation which codifies the County's administrative policy that County law enforcement agencies shall not honor Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainers in non-criminal interactions and mandates that County agencies shall not engage in immigration enforcement.

CB-58-2018 establishes regulations in the County for the installation of small cell/5G wireless facilities. I urged the Administration to amend the legislation to better consider our municipalities which have already passed their own regulations to ensure they can regulate these facilities within their jurisdictions if they desire to do so; this was incorporated into the legislation.

CR-81-2019 establishes the Prince George's County Responsible Legacy Task Force in order to review all County monuments, schools, parks, street names, County buildings and other places of honor, and create a process to determine the future of names linked to a prejudiced past. I deeply appreciate Council Member Taveras taking the lead on this bill and was proud to join her as a co-proposer. As Council Chair in 2018 I sent a letter to the Prince George's County Public Schools urging PGCPS to review school names. 

All of the bills mentioned above, along with many others, will have public hearings in November. Follow County Council agendas online here. If you would like to speak in front of the Council on a bill, please call the clerk's office at 301-952-3600 to sign up. Learn more about speaking at a public hearing here.

Several other pieces of legislation I sponsored passed earlier this year, including: CB-4-2019 to clarify and streamline regulations for farmers markets CB-21-2019 to align Prince George's County Food Service Manager certification with the national certification timeline; CB-22-2019 to remove bedroom percentage limitations from multifamily housing projects; and CB-28-2019 to increase the tax credit cap to decrease the backlog for homeowners eligible for a solar or geothermal energy conservation tax credit.

I was also pleased to join as a co-proposer on a series of legislation spearheaded by Council Member Ivey to support food trucks in Prince George's County. The series of bills and resolutions lowers fees, allows municipalities to regulate food truck vending locations within their boundaries, and creates a Healthy Options Certification Program, among other important changes. 

Did you know you can read the text of legislation, watch archived committee and Council hearings, and more on the Council's LZIS website? Check it out here

Every Friday the Council sends a wrap-up from the week, I urge you to sign up to receive Council Connection here.

Growing Green with Pride

Thank you and congratulations to all of our communities who participated on Growing Green with Pride last weekend. It was a pleasure for my daughter and me to join with residents of Riverdale Heights, Riverdale Hills and Crestwood to clean up and beautify that neighborhood. 

Investment in Communities Along the Purple Line

Tuesday morning JP Morgan Chase announced a $5 million investment in communities along the Purple Line to support housing and small businesses along the corridor. This investment is in addition to a $2 million Federal Transit Administration grant to fund the " Purple Line Corridor Mobility, Economic Development and TOD Finance and Implementation Plan." Shortly after the opening of their new mid-Atlantic Headquarters in New Carrollton, Kaiser Permanente announced that their newest "place-based initiative" would center on the Purple Line corridor between the New Carrollton and Riverdale Park stations.

Over the many, many years I and others have worked on the Purple Line, we have envisioned this once-in-a-generation public transit project as a way to uplift those who live and work along the corridor. The Purple Line Corridor Coalition was created with that goal in mind. PLCC coordinated the development of a landmark agreement, The Purple Line Compact, to develop opportunities for those who live, work, and invest along the light rail line, which was signed last November by numerous local and state leaders and community stakeholders. A comprehensive dashboard, also developed last year by NCSG researchers, monitors change along the corridor toward community and economic development goals outlined in the agreement. My staff and I are actively engaged in this work.

Earlier this year my colleagues and I established the Housing Opportunities Work Group with the goal of putting together a report to present to the County Executive and County Council.  I am proud to serve as the co-chair of the HOFA Workgroup along with Department of Housing and Community Development Acting Director Estella Alexander. This group of incredibly talented group of individuals, representing everyone from industry to advocacy groups, meets monthly to focus on four crucial policy initiatives: Right of First Refusal, Inclusionary Housing, Land Banking and Housing Trust Fund. I look forward to sharing more about our work in the next few months.

I hope to see you at one of our upcoming events. Please share the information about our Resource Workshop for Veterans and their Families with any Veterans you know. As a reminder, it will take place tomorrow, Thursday, October 24, at 6:30 p.m. at the New Carrollton Branch Library .

As always, don't hesitate to reach out to me or a member of my staff if we may assist you in any way.

Together Strengthening Our Community,

P.S. Check my Facebook and Twitter pages for further updates.
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Resource Workshop: Services for Veterans and their Families

Thursday, Oct. 24
6:30 p.m.
New Carrollton
Branch Library
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November 1
District 3 Semi-annual Nonprofit Networking Breakfast
Friday, November 1
9:00 - 11:00 a.m.

Center for Educational Partnership
6200 Sheridan Street

RSVP to Alesha Wilson at 301-952-3060 or aewilson@co.pg.md.us

November 4
11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
New Carrollton Library
Seniors Resource Fair

Resources for seniors and their families

November 5
6:30 - 8:00 p.m.
New Carrollton, Glenridge, Beacon Heights-East Pines, Riverdale Park Stations

Purple Line Project Office
6811 Kenilworth Ave.
1st Floor Training Room


November 9
1:00 - 4:00 p.m.
New Carrollton Library Bilingual Fall Festival

An afternoon of family fun, library events and free community resources

Save the date!
District 3 Senior Lunch and Resource Fair
Tuesday, Nov. 26
Click to enlarge

All welcome and invited to the free resource fair and health screenings 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Reservati ons required for catered lunch from 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm.
Reservations open on Friday, Nov. 1
Call or email
Wanda Brooks
wjbrooks@co.pg.md.us on or after Nov. 1 to reserve your seat.

Contact Your 
D3 Team


If you have received this e-news from someone other than my office, and are interested in receiving this update directly, please email CouncilDistrict3@co.pg.md.us or call (301) 952-3060.