Thursday, July 08, 2010


July 8, 2010
Mount Rainier
One Municipal Place
Mount Rainier, MD 20712

Contact: Jeannelle Wallace


Phone: 301-985-6585

Mount Rainier, Maryland -- Councilmember Alta Morton, Council Representative for Ward One died this morning, (Thursday, July 8, 2010) at Holy Cross Hospital after years of struggling with sickle cell anemia. She was 50 at the time of her death. Ms. Morton had been serving as a Ward One representative since being elected in May 2005 and re-elected in May 2009. Her death is a devastating loss, not just to the City of Mount Rainier, but to our community and Prince George's County.

During her 50 years, Ms. Morton achieved many milestones, one of which was her election to the Mount Rainier City Council. Ms. Morton was the Policy Director to Prince George’s County Councilwoman Andrea Harrison and Liaison to District 5 municipalities, where she worked on land use, planning and development.

Ms. Morton had over 20 years combined experience in community and economic development. Her strength and experience was in the housing industry, and included mortgage lending, and counseling consumers, project management, as well as drafting architectural plans and providing other visual materials. She worked with Community Development Block Grants; HOME; housing trust fund and bond programs; and various task forces and committees; as well as non-profit boards including Gateway Community Development Corporation (CDC) and the Anacostia Trails Heritage Area (ATHA).

Ms. Morton had one daughter, Alexandra, who lived with her and is attending American University. Prior to her death Ms. Morton resided in Mount Rainier with her partner, Mario Sanchez, and their four boxer dogs. In addition to Alexandra and Mario, she leaves to mourn her passing, her parents and a host of friends and relatives.

The family is making arrangements and those will be announced once finalized.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010


There are so many ways to communicate and to stay in touch today that we are often overloaded.

There is snail-mail, email, telephones, social networks, and on and on. Sometimes I believe that we are moving toward a society that does not wish to interact with people. I heard the other day, that "young people" do not know how to interact with adults except through social networks, where they do NOT have to meet, talk with or otherwise interact with anyone! "They cannot relate. They don't do well with people. If you wish to interact with them, then you had better learn the various social networks."

Is this the world we really want for our children? As a child, I was taught that one-on-one communication was the number one way to market yourself.

Do we wonder why children are being suspended/expelled from elementary school? We are not teaching them basic survival skills in a family, community, city, state, country or the world. We must be able to turn this around.

People to People Communications is still a very important skill, and we should foster it in our children, homes, schools, workplaces, and in our communities.

Let's take our children out from behind the computers, game boys, nintendos, etc., and teach them the art of communications. When EVERYTHING is so impersonal, how do we expect them to develop the proper emotions about different situations. Computers/game machines, etc. crash and you replace them. People crash and are NOT replaceable.

If we do not rectify the direction that our youth are headed, we will NOT be able to build enough jails; hire enough police; or provide any sense of safety and security in the not so distant future.

Let's start a serious dialogue about the need to preserve our "humaness." Your comments are invited.