Weekend Reader (week ending August 13, 2016)

"Focus on the Future" is a half-hour cable television program produced by the Prince George's County Council and hosted by the Legislative Year 2016 Chairman Derrick Leon Davis.  

Prince George's Community Television airs "Focus on the Future" on public access channels Comcast 76 and Verizon 42.  The program also airs on government access channels Comcast 70 and Verizon 41 on Thursday at 8:30 PM; Fridays at 1:30 and 6:30 PM.  

Programming schedules can be found by visiting  CTV.

CTV Program Schedule:

Channel 70:
Wednesday at 6:30 pm
Thursday at 11:30 am
Thursday at 8:30 pm
Friday at 1:30 pm
Friday at 6:30 pm

Channel 76:
Monday at 9:30 pm
Thursday at 11:00 am
Saturday at 10:30 am

Watch Council Chairman Davis' appearance on NewsChannel 8's NewsTalk with Bruce DePuyt on Council Chairman's page: http://ow.ly/vhQ6302QHXe 

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 Dr. Douglas Edwards and
M-NCPPC Prince George's County Planning Board Vice Chairman Dorothy F. Bailey join Chair Davis to unveil interpretive signs honoring the work of Maryland State Senator Ulysses Currie and former Prince George's County Council Chairman Samuel Dean at Walker Mill Regional Park (June 18, 2016).

Prince George's County Council Chairman Derrick Leon Davis (D - Upper Marlboro) welcomes Governor Larry Hogan to Prince George's County during his tour of Prince George's Community College (June 15, 2016).

National Night Out 2016
On August 2, 2016, Council Chair Davis and the entire District 6 team ventured out into the community for National Night Out, a community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods a safer, better place to live.  This annual event strengthens relationships between neighbors, community advocates, police departments and grassroots organizers in their efforts to fight crime and protect communities.  Make sure to visit the official District 6 National Night Out 2016 photo album on our District 6 Facebook page.
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In June 2016, the  County  Council announced its redesigned website, providing site visitors  with: 
  • Improved Navigation
  • Access to Meeting and Event Information
  • Online Forms with Database Tracking
  • Increased Interaction
  • News Delivery Subscription ..............and more! 
Spread the word and be to the first to bookmark the NEW web address!

For direct access to the District 6 webpage, visit the web link referenced in the sidebar of this newsletter or visit the following link:  http://pgccouncil.us/335/District-6 .

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Nellvenia W. Johnson
Chief of Staff

Sasha E. Desrouleaux
Citizens Services Specialist

Rita D. Lassiter
Citizens Services Specialist

Lenne' D. White
Office Manager/
Administrative Aide

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Chairman's Message
Greetings 6th District Resident, Business, and Supporter,

The Prince George's County Council just concluded the first half of Legislative Year in late May with the adoption of a $3.7 billion balanced County Budget.   The budget, which enhances fiscal responsibility and oversight over County spending, became effective with the new Fiscal Year on July 1, 2016.  I am extremely pleased that the Council made great strides in funding education, health care, transportation and our quality of life services. 

Highlights include:
  • Continuing our efforts to provide a world class 21st Century education system for our youth, devoting $1.92 billion to the Prince George's County Public School System  This exceeds the maintenance of effort state mandate by $2 million dollars;
  • Allocating funding and resources to support high quality service delivery through CountyClick 3-1-1 Customer Service Center;
  • Increased funding to support clean communities with a countywide litter initiative to reduce debris on County roadways, keeping Prince George's County beautiful, safe.
  • Additional funding for critical infrastructure to improve County roadways, curbs and sidewalks in our communities.
Additionally, in facilitating the budget process, the Council recognized the need to comprehensively address the issue of domestic violence in our communities.  County Executive Baker included $1 million dollars in his proposed budget to address this pervasive issue.  After careful review, the Council invested another $1.5 million, including resources from the Legislative Branch budget, to support families and protect domestic violence victims.

While the budget approval process is never easy, the goal of the Council is to present a balanced spending plan that allows our County's core services and programs to grow and thrive.  We will continue to keep the voices and needs of our constituents at the forefront of everything we do.

The Weekend Reader is your snapshot of the latest news, initiatives, and events relative to District 6, along with county-wide updates.  I welcome your thoughts, suggestions, community event submissions, and story ideas. If you have any questions or concerns, please provide your feedback via e-mail to councildistrict6@co.pg.md.us.

Committed to Service, Committed to You!

Chairman, Prince George's County Council
District 6

Legislative / Zoning Update
County Council Launches New and Improved Legislative / Zoning Information System (LZIS)

Did you know that the Prince George's  County Council has launched a new multi-dimensional legislative management software system?   

The new Legislative/Zoning Information System or  LZIS  replaces the former Legislative 
Information System (LIS) and was revamped  to  provide greater efficiency,
transparency, and accessibility for those seeking official legislative and zoning information online.
Public online audiences now have a user-friendly way to follow the latest legislative and zoning actions of the County Council through a comprehensive records and video repository.  The new LZIS system includes searchable access to bills, resolutions and zoning cases as well as summaries, text, and the legislative history of each Council Member.  Additionally, the new technology features effective display on mobile devices; the ability to narrow and refine search results; alerts, RSS feed and multiple sharing options; user-friendly access to calendars, agendas, minutes and votes; a digitized version of the County Code and County Charter; and live and "on-demand" video of Council sessions and meetings.
Residents are Encouraged to Participate in Prince George's County's  Zoning Rewrite Process
On July 12, the Prince George's County Council, in partnership with the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission,  hosted a public town hall to accompany a series of information sessions on modernizing the County's zoning code. 

U pdating the County's zoning policies is among the most important undertakings of the Council in its role as the County's land use authority, and will enhance the ability of this critical economic development tool to stimulate growth in the County.  The Prince George's Planning Department is conducting a comprehensive rewrite of the Zoning Ordinance and Subdivision Regulations.  These laws define how land in certain geographic areas can be used.  The current Zoning Ordinance is more than 1,200 pages, inconsistent and difficult to use.

Creating a 21st Century Zoning Ordinance for Prince George's County requires four important elements to transform the current zoning code into a more modern and user-friendly ordinance:
  • STREAMLINE: Streamline and simplify the regulations and development approval process; 
  • MODERNIZEModernize and consolidate our zones and development standards; 
  • INCENTIVIZEIncentivize economic and transit-oriented, mixed-use development; 
  • PROTECTProtect and enhance stable residential 
Residents are encouraged to participate in the Zoning Rewrite process and help create a 21st Century Zoning Ordinance for Prince George's County.  To review how zoning rewrite process works, residents are encourage to attend the Planning Department's online Zoning Academy by visiting the following link: http://zoningpgc.pgplanning.com/zoning-academy/.   You may also leave  your feedback and input, you may do so through the Planning Department's Open Comment page at  https://pgplanning.opencomment.us/ .

MGM National Harbor
While the highly anticipated MGM National Harbor Resort is not scheduled to open until December 2016, the project continues to provide workforce development and investment opportunities to County residents and businesses.

In May 2016, MGM N ational Harbor announced the launching of The Prince George's Community College Dealer School , a new workforce training program that will provide potential candidates with the skills needed to apply for the nearly 1,000 exciting and rewarding jobs in the resort's casino table games department.  Hosted by the Prince George's Community College Office of Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts Institute, Dealer School will offer candidates the opportunity to learn traditional games including Blackjack, Roulette, Craps and Baccarat.   Seasoned industry professionals from MGM National Harbor will lead classwork, and teach students the skills required to work at a world-class casino.  Students who successfully complete Dealer School will be equipped with the necessary tools to launch a career at the resort.

In July 2016, MGM National Harbor announced the establishment of a new investment opportunity for residents and MBEs (Minority Business Enterprises) through Aspire Holdings, LLC.  The Aspire Program will seek to obtain up to $30 million of investments from c ounty   residents and up to $10 million of investments from MBEs, creating a unique opportunity for economic participation in the casino resort.   Investors will receive distributions from MGM National Harbor that are equal to 0.5 percent of its annual net gaming revenue.  The Aspire Program is a first-in-kind offering by a gaming company in the State, and is geared toward providing qualified, local investors economic participation in the historic MGM National Harbor project.  In addition to the Aspire Program, MGM National Harbor engages County Residents and MBEs through its workforce and supplier diversity efforts.  The company is responsible for creating approximately 2,000 construction workforce jobs during development and expects to create an additional 3,600 operations workforce jobs once open. 

Chair Davis Welcomes Governor Hogan to Prince George's County (June 15, 2016)
"We wish to express our deepest appreciation for his support of education, from Pre-K through community college and vocational training and his critical partnership on the new, planned Prince George's County Regional Medical Center", said Chairman Davis as he welcomed Governor Larry Hogan to Prince George's County.  The governor toured the Prince George's Community College Academy of Health Sciences facility, a rigorous, innovative four-year program combines high school and college courses through dual enrollment credits.   Chair Davis was joined by other local and state officials including Maryland State Delegate Dereck E. Davis (Legislative District 25).

Chair Davis welcomes County officials and residents to the Annual Juneteenth Celebration at Walker Mill Regional Park.
Chair Davis Celebrates Annual Juneteenth Celebration at Walker Mill Regional Park (June 18, 2016)
The  Prince George's County Department of Parks and Recreation  held its Annual Juneteenth Celebration on Saturday, June 18, 2016 at Walker Mill Regional Park.

As a part of the  Prince George's County Department of Parks and Recreation's ongoing mission to provide exciting and unique cultural programming to County residents, the Juneteenth festival  is a celebration of African American history and culture, combined with live entertainment, genealogy workshops, art and history exhibits and a wide range of activities for all ages.  Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States.  Marking the date that the last enslaved people learned of their freedom, the month of June and the nineteenth day were combined to form the word Juneteenth.  From its Galveston, Texas origin in 1865, the observance of June 19th as African American Emancipation Day has spread across the United States and beyond.  Juneteenth is an official holiday recognized in over 43 states and the District of Columbia.

Chair Davis chatting with Eric Roberson on the influence and importance of arts education.
FAME'S 2016 Songwriting Workshop featuring Eric Roberson (July 7, 2016)
Council Chair Davis joined the Foundation for the Advancement of Music & Education and the Prince George's Cultural Arts Foundation in welcoming FAME's 2016 Songwriting Workshop back to Prince George's Community College on Thursday, July 7, 2016.
Conducted by by award winning singer, songwriter, and producer Eric Roberson, the workshop welcomed aspiring songwriters from Prince George's County middle and high schools.  

Prince George's County Council Chairman Derrick Leon Davis participating in the "Domestic Violence at Our Doorstep" Community Forum at First Baptist Church of Glenarden's Ministry Center.
"Domestic Violence at out Doorstep" Community Forum (July 9, 2016)
On July 9, 2016, Chair Davis joined service providers, law enforcement officers, domestic violence survivors, judges, and neighbors for the "Domestic Violence at Our Doorstep" Community Forum, a solutions based dialogue designed to solve the domestic violence crisis in our community. 

Hosted by Maryland State Delegate Angela Angel (Legislative District 25), the free event featured a panel discussion, and Q&A session focusing on next steps and ways elected officials and the community can effectively end the crisis of domestic violence.  Panelists included Yashima AziLove (Radio One, Inc.), Sheriff Melvin C. High (Prince George's County (MD), Judge Lisa Hall Johnson (District Court of Maryland), Isabelle WIlliamson (Office of the Sheriff, Domestic Violence), Sophie Ford (Executive Director, FCCPGC) and Theresa Dudley (PGCEA).

Prince George's County Council District 6
14741 Governor Oden Bowie Drive
Upper Marlboro, MD 20772