June 30, 2017
Over the past few weeks I have participated in some incredibly special events in District 3 and across Prince George's County.
|L to R: Medal of Honor Recipient Sgt. Leroy Petry (Ret.), myself and Dennis Danner
On Friday, June 23, I attended the ribbon cutting for the L
eroy Petry Village of Honor
in Riverdale Park. It has been an honor to work with the Troops First Foundation over the past several years to play a small part in bringing their dream of the Village of Honor to reality. On Friday I met one of the first families who will move into one of the homes. Later this summer, all seven accessible single-family homes will be occupied by Warriors who
are transitioning out of the military after injuries sustained in combat.
One home is named after DeMatha High School alum,
Brendan Looney '99
. You can learn more about this incredible project via
this news clip
from the ribbon cutting.
On Saturday, June 24, I was honored to give welcome remarks at "A Celebration of our Aviation History" honoring Tuskegee Airman Herbert H. Jones, Jr., at the College Park Aviation Museum. It was a privilege to meet Mr. Jones, Jr., an original Tuskegee Airman, Class of 44J. He is a Lt. Col. (Ret.), National Capital Wing of Civil Air Patrol and one of few African Americans who owned and operated a charter airline, International Air Association. Mr. Jones and his wife, Mildred Nelson, founded Cloud Club II flight training school at Hyde Field in Clinton, and he co-operated and managed Potomac Air Field, the first black-owned and operated air field in the United States, after John W. Greene, Jr.'s retirement.
The keynote speech that afternoon was given by Demetria "Dina" Elosiebo, the first female African American Black Hawk pilot in the DC Guard, and the day included a screening of a documentary highlighting the 75-year aviation career of Mr. Jones, Jr.
From the College Park Airport's designation as the oldest continuously operating airport in the world, to being home to NASA Goddard and Prince George's County residents such as Mr. Jones, Jr., to the growing Aerospace Engineering & Aviation Technology program at DuVal High School, which now includes more than 200 students, the aviation history in Prince George's County is certainly something to be proud of! Consider visiting the museum soon to view the "African-American Aviators of Prince George's County" exhibit.
On Thursday, June 22, the Council's Public Safety & Fiscal Management Committee toured the Prince George's County Jail and the soon-to-be-opened Work Release facility. Special thanks to Department of Corrections Director Mary Lou McDonough for facilitating an informative afternoon. More than a decade ago, Prince George's County was the first County in Maryland to open a Work Release facility. Unfortunately it was closed due to budget cuts in the 1990s. Now we are the last County in Maryland to open one. The Work Release Facility will house individuals who will continue to work, attend school, etc. while serving their sentence
I recently hosted the fifth meeting of my Workforce Development Conversation initiative. In this work, I bring together leaders from the private and public sectors to discuss workforce needs and opportunities across District 3 to ensure that local residents are ready for and knowledgeable about opportunities.
At our most recent meeting, we focused on ways to support Parkdale High School students to improve the four-year cohort graduation rate and ensure Parkdale graduates are college and career ready. In 2016, Parkdale had the 5th lowest graduation rate in the County at 74.5%.
If you would like to engage with our private sector employers and non-profit partners as we work closely with PGCPS to support Parkdale High School please let me know.
I am also very pleased that my chief of staff, Aimee Olivo, is participating in the PGCPS "At Promise" task force. "At promise" is a spin on the common language of "at risk" to turn the table and focus on the promise of success for these students. It is clear to me in working closely with PGCPS that there is intense focus and effort, even prior to 9th grade, to identify and support students based on several risk factors.
On June 26, I had the opportunity to thank our District 3 civic association leaders at my annual District 3 Civic Leader Appreciation Dinner. We enjoyed a delicious meal and beautiful evening at one of District 3's newest venues, MilkBoy+ArtHouse in College Park. Our civic leaders work hard on behalf of our community and I always enjoy the opportunity to bring them together to offer my appreciation and give them the chance to share common challenges and brainstorm new ideas. Consider eating or shopping in downtown College Park this summer -- parking is free after 5:00 pm weekdays and all day on Saturday and Sunday in the City Hall Lot and Downtown Parking Garage through August!
If you would like to engage with your community's home owners' association or civic association -- or if you'd like to start a civic association in your neighborhood -- please contact Wanda Brooks at 301-952-3060 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In 2015, I was pleased to support legislation to revitalize and empower the Prince George's County Common Ownership Communities Commission to address neighborhood and community development issues relevant to
condominiums and HOAs. Commission meetings take place at 3:00 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday of each month at 9201 Basil Court, Largo.
The Commission is composed of nine Prince George's County citizens and County agency
representatives. The citizen members include:
Timothy Smith, Chair; Nicole Williams, Vice Chair; Casey Lewis, Secretary; Aaron Marcavitch;
Rafe Reginald Ellison;
Cheryl Walker; John Henry King;
Joanne Jackson; and Terry Anderson.
Commissioner Joanne Jackson is a resident of District 3 and is interested in hearing your concerns about conditions in your condo or HOA. She can be reached on 301-577-1794 after 6:00 p.m. Monday-Friday or anytime via email at
I share news and updates daily on social media. If you are active on social media, too, please engage with me on
and follow me on
As always, don't hesitate to reach out to me or a member of my staff if we can assist you in any way.
Have a wonderful Independence Day!
Together Strengthening our Community,
P.S. If you live in District 3, I hope you received my annual print newsletter in the mail in April. If you didn't receive one or would like to read it again, you can read it online.