June 12, 2020

Dear Friends,

There has been a lot happening across the County over the past few weeks. Last Saturday marked two months since the launch of Greater Riverdale Cares. Between April 6 and June 6 more than 25 partners and 150+ volunteers have come together to accomplish amazing things for our residents. 

Many on this email have donated funds or given time to deliver meals or fresh produce. As part of this effort, this week a partnership with 4P Produce, the Prince George's Food Equity Council, Kaiser Permanente, and Geppetto's Catering is delivering 2,000 pounds of locally-raised ground turkey to families in need. Last month seedlings were given out to families to grow their own local food.  

The numbers on the left represent an incredible amount of work and generosity by numerous partners and individuals. Many in our community are still struggling and we will continue this work as long as necessary and the funds are available.
 
On Saturday, I also spoke at the Seabrook Seventh-Day Adventist Peace and Justice Rally as residents honored the life of George Floyd, called for actions to be taken against police brutality and for changes to be made to address long-standing inequities and racism. There is much work ahead for all of us if we are to achieve the words in our pledge "liberty and justice for all."

Fiscal Year 2021 Budget

At the end of May, the County Council approved a $4.48 billion County Budget which includes $2.28 billion for public education ($95 million more than last year). It is estimated that the County will lose $138 million in revenue due to the economic crisis caused by COVID-19, while at the same time expenses have increased due to health and family service needs. Federal CARES Act money is assisting with some of the gap (including some short-term investments in social services) and the County has also implemented some cost-saving measures, including decreased hiring and no pay increases for the upcoming fiscal year. To bridge the remaining gap, the County will also be spending a portion of its fund balance which grew over the last few years due to an increase in local tax revenue from commercial and housing projects and job and business growth.

The next few years will not be easy budget years as our businesses and residents recover from the tremendous changes brought on by the pandemic and the resulting economic crisis. Unemployment in Prince George's County is high and many of our small businesses have experienced substantial losses. As a County, we will need to make decisions that position the County for future economic growth while at the same time delivering stronger health and human services.

This year was to be one of bold investments in health and human services at an unprecedented level. Instead, funding is focused on keeping government operations at the same level with nominal changes. Critical budget decisions will need to be made without the luxury of increased funding. Existing funding will need to be re-prioritized

Your community voices will be even more important as the Council begins working on the budget next Spring and makes decisions about what should be funded in future budget years. Budgets are, at their essence, a choice about priorities. If you want to understand the County Budget more, please go to our budget portal website at https://pgccouncil.us/454/Budget-Portal

Virtual Meetings

The County Council is also now operating all meetings virtually. Please visit https://pgccouncil.us/303/County-Council-Video to view upcoming agenda items familiarize yourself with the new e-comment portal so you are prepared to testify virtually and/or submit an email on matters of interest to you. Currently, smaller standing committees are not operating and instead all committee matters are handled by the full Council in Committee of the Whole. It is anticipated that District Council cases will resume in late summer/early fall. Details on all of these procedures can be found at https://pgccouncil.us/458/Public-Hearing-Notices-Sign-Up-to-Speak. 

Legislation

I was proud to join with several of my colleagues to sponsor CB-16-2020 to prohibit rent increases, late fees, and address evictions for those affected by this pandemic. Learn more and view the legislation here

This week the full Council joined together to support a resolution to create a Climate Change Commission to put together a plan, with resident input, to address climate change.

In October 2019, my colleagues and I passed a resolution to create the Responsible Legacy Task Force to review the names of all County buildings, parks, schools, and more. This week we updated the resolution and I anticipate the work to begin soon. I have long advocated for us to reassess the names of places of honor in Prince George's County, including sending a letter to the Board of Education in 2018 to request they review all school names, especially DuVal High School which is named for a slave holder.

The Council is taking up numerous bills every week, so please sign up to receive Council Connections which summarizes Council activity and press releases highlighting upcoming legislation each Friday.

Municipal Elections

Several of our District 3 municipalities have held elections recently. Thank you to all those who ran for office, congratulations to all those who won, and thank you to those whose tenures are ending.

I want to offer a special congratulations to the City of New Carrollton which elected its first African American mayor, Phelecia Nembhard. Mayor Nembhard will also be the first female mayor of New Carrollton. Congratulations to Amanda Dewey, the new Mayor of the Town of Berwyn Heights, and to Len Carey who was reelected as Mayor of University Park. I am grateful to Stephen Isler (Berwyn Heights) and Duane Rosenberg (New Carrollton) for their service to their communities as they prepare to hand leadership to their successors.

Summer Clubhouse

Summer Clubhouses (Virtual Summer Camps): Our Department of Parks & Recreation has put together virtual summer camps called "Summer Clubhouses" for kids this summer. Registration opens on Monday but the catalogue is available for parents to begin deciding which virtual camp is right for their child. 



Take "The Bus" Survey by June 15

The Department of Public Works & Transportation invites your feedback to help understand community concerns as they work towards improving our public transportation system. The survey is open until June 15, 2020: learn more.


It's my pleasure to join Council Chair Todd Turner and my colleagues in welcoming the 9th President of Prince George's Community College, Dr. Falecia Williams. Dr. Williams comes to PGCC from Valencia College in Florida, one of the nation's top community colleges.

I look forward joining the entire PGCC community as well as countless admirers from the County and region in celebrating the tenure and accomplishments of Dr. Charlene Dukes prior to her retirement in August. 

COVID-19 

County Executive Angela Alsobrooks announced yesterday that the County will move to Phase 2 starting on Monday. Learn more about what this means on the COVID-19 portal here:  https://www.princegeorgescountymd.gov/3397/Coronavirus

The Department of the Environment is collecting bulky trash at locations across the County each week. View dates and locations here.

Food Distributions

Several food distributions are taking place tomorrow, Saturday, June 13  in or near Council District 3:

10:00 am, Ebenezer We Care We Share,  at New Carrollton Municipal Bldg, 6016 Princess Garden Pkwy

10:00 am, College Park Church of the Nazarene,  9704 Rhode Island Avenue, College Park

11:00 am, Capital Area Food Bank, Coastal Sunbelt Produce & Brighter Bites at St. Mary's Catholic Church, 7207 Annapolis Road, Landover Hills

11:30 am, United Baptist Church,  7701 Riverdale Road, New Carrollton

11:30 p m, Ebenezer Church of God,  7550 Buchanan Street, Landover Hills

Every Monday my staff publishes a list of food distribution locations in and near District 3. Please check my Facebook page for the graphic.

Reminders:

Donations to Greater Riverdale Cares allow CKAR to purchase meals from locally-owned restaurants which are distributed to those in need throughout District 3. Greater Riverdale Cares helps these locally-owned restaurants keep staff on payroll and feeds local residents in need. To date, we've purchased and distributed  3,000 meals from local, women and minority owned businesses and distributed the meals to those in need in our community. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this effort!

I have created an online form in English and Spanish to help connect District 3 residents with resources and assistance.

The top portion of the online form lists numerous resources. The bottom portion requests contact information and a brief description of needs. My team and I will use this form to help connect District 3 residents in need with with assistance. Please share the link https://bit.ly/D3Help  with others. (Note this shortened link it is case-sensitive.) Not sure if you live in D3? Look at the map here. Of course you are always welcome to reach out directly by calling 301-952-3060 or sending an email to CouncilDistrict3@co.pg.md.us.

In coordination with Kaiser Permanente and Neighborhood Design Center, my office has put together a two-page resource document. Please download and share it widely.

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As always, feel free to reach out to a member of my District 3 team or me if we can help you in any way. I am sharing updates regularly on social media, especially my Facebook page.   #onlytogether

Together Strengthening Our Community,






P.S. Complete the 2020 Census TODAY! Call 844-330-2020, no code needed. Your community is counting on you to complete the Census 2020! #pgcensus #proudtobecounted #onlytogether

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 Contact Your 
D3 Team
301-952-3060

CouncilDistrict3
@co.pg.
md.us
 
Wanda Brooks 
Citizen Services Specialist
-- 
geneather Lloyd
Office Manager & Scheduler
glloyd@co.pg.md.us 
--
Aimee Olivo 
Chief of Staff
-- 
Alina Smith
Latino Liaison
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Alesha Wilson
Community Outreach & Special Projects Coordinator
aewilson@co.pg.md.us


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.