June 22, 2020

Dear Friends,

You may have noticed my use of the hashtag #onlytogether. I truly believe that by working together we can achieve great things for our community.  

One individual and organization that exemplifies this theme is Jose Andres and World Central Kitchen. From the beginning of the pandemic, World Central Kitchen has been providing hundreds then thousands of meals into Prince George's County each week. In District 3 alone, World Central Kitchen provides 8,000 prepared meals EVERY week. 

These meals are distributed to those in need through an incredible network of civic leaders, elected officials, nonprofit organizations, churches, apartment building managers, and more. It has been a herculean effort that is possible #onlytogether.

We learned recently that the World Central Kitchen meals will be winding down that for many this will be the last week receiving these delicious, prepared meals.

The need however, has not decreased. In fact, for many it is only increasing. Our partners and I are working hard to continue to provide food to District 3 residents. Our Greater Riverdale Cares partnership with local restaurants is now more important than ever. Donations have allowed us to purchase more than 3,000 meals from locally owned restaurants to donate to those in need. This effort has helped keep locally-owned restaurants afloat while feeding our neighbors. Additional donations will allow this program to continue.

Every Monday my team publishes a list of food distribution location in and near Council District 3 for that week. Click here for this week's flyer. Please share this list with those in need but please keep in mind that several locations change weekly.  Click here for a list of food resources for the entire summer, including PGCPS meal sites which will start again next week.

Public Safety and Human Services

Many of you have heard me say again and again that for too many years Prince George's County has not invested enough funding to support health and human services. Since the 1990s, Prince George's County has funded health, housing and human service needs primarily with federal and state grant dollars. Budgets are, at their essence, a choice about priorities. I believe we must supplement funding of these priorities with our own County dollars. With less funding due to the economic crisis we will need to reprioritize our funding if we are truly going to provide for our residents and ensure "liberty and justice for all. 

The crucial intersection between health & human services and public safety is why, as Council Chair, I merged those issues into one standing committee now named Health, Human Services, and Public Safety. New voices have begun echoing these very points over the last few weeks and I greatly appreciate your voices.
 
On Tuesday the Council convened a briefing on Community Policing and Public Safety. During that meeting, County Executive Alsobrooks announced she will be sending the Council a request to reprioritize capital dollars from a police training facility to address mental health and addiction needs. This is a long-standing need that I have advocated for over the years. 

You may have seen the graphic outlining the Prince George's County Police policies around the 8 Can't Wait items including a ban on chokeholds and a duty to intervene. Please review so you are familiar with some of the police policies in the County. We must also examine the Citizen Complaint Oversight Panel process, police settlements, increase transparency, and more. 

Last week we saw Hector Velez promoted to Acting Chief for Prince George's County and our previous chief, Hank Stawinski, resign. Without adding more officers to the streets, Chief Stawinski worked with his team to bring down crime in Prince George's County to a level that would have been unimaginable 10 years ago. The investigation unit is one of the strongest in the state and many of the practices, like Duty to Intervene, that are not found in other police departments exist here. I thank him for his service, but the journey is really just beginning to change the culture of policing. It will take police officers and the public together to push for that change.
 
It is the highest honor of my life to serve our community as an elected official. I know that I will never truly understand the pain of my Black and Brown neighbors. I also know I can continue do more to dismantle the structures of racism and inequality. I am listening and learning. 

Your community voices will be even more important as the Council begins working on the budget next Spring. If you want to understand the County Budget process more, please go to our budget portal website at https://pgccouncil.us/454/Budget-Portal so that you are better poised to effect change

County Council Virtual Meetings

The County Council is also now operating all meetings virtually. Please visit https://pgccouncil.us/303/County-Council-Video to view tomorrow's agenda items and take some time to 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. Please note, in order to speak during a Council meeting, you must sign up by 3:00 p.m. the day before the meeting.

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. 

Sign up to receive Council Connection, a weekly wrap-up of Council business.

COVID-19 

Prince George's County is in Phase 2. As more places open, it is crucial to continue wearing a mask when outside of your home, continue social distancing, and continue washing your hands. Please remember this is a highly-spreadable disease where roughly 80% of those infected do not show symptoms. We have many vulnerable residents in our community.

Learn more about Phase 2, cases in Prince George's County, testing sites, and more on the COVID-19 portal:  https://www.princegeorgescountymd.gov/3397/Coronavirus

Reminders:

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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Cada Miercoles
Every Wednesday



SNAP Espanol

 
  -----
 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
--
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.