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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

LAST DAY TO GET YOUR CHILD IMMUNIZED FOR SCHOOL!

Attention!

The deadline for students in Prince George's County to receive the required school vaccinations is Friday, October 31st. Students who do not receive the necessary vaccinations will not be allowed to attend school. Nurses are administering vaccines to students at 15 middle schools in Prince George’s County this week as the county makes a final push for students to get their required vaccinations before Friday’s deadline.

Permission slips are available on the school districts Web site atwww.pgcps.org or at the individual schools. The vaccines will be administered during the day.

The Prince George's County School System is concentrating its efforts on the middle schools because the majority of the students who have not received the vaccines are in the seventh grade.

The schools providing the vaccines are:
  • Benjamin Tasker MS
  • Charles Carroll MS
  • Drew Freeman MS
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower MS
  • Ernest Everett Just MS
  • G. James Gholson MS
  • Greenbelt MS
  • Hyattsville MS
  • Isaac Gourdine MS
  • James Madison MS
  • Kenmoor MS
  • Oxon Hill MS
  • Thomas Johnson MS
  • Thurgood Marshall MS
  • William Wirt MS

Please, remember to have your child vaccinated before the Oct. 31st deadline.
Sincerely,

Interested in learning about trees in Mount Rainier?

Hi Mount Rainier-area folks and tree fans,

I wanted to let you know about a fall tree tour I'm helping organize for this Saturday (November 1, 2014) afternoon in Mount Rainier. It will be led by our former mayor and current roadside tree care expert Bryan Knedler, who is a great guide and very knowledgeable about trees and about our city's history. 

The prime trees for fall color will be red maples, serviceberries, black gums, zelkovas, and oaks of various sorts. The pace of the walk will be relaxed, with plenty of time for questions and observations. We'll start at 3pm at Spring Park, 33rd and Shepherd St intersection, SW corner. 

It looks like it'll be a beautiful sunny fall day but chilly, so bring a coat, and if I can get myself organized I'll try to have a warm drink of some kind available (unless someone else wants to volunteer to do this!)
Hope to see some of you there, and please spread the word. All are welcome, not just Mount Rainier residents.

Gabe

(Gabriel Popkin)


Monday, October 27, 2014

Governor O’Malley Announces Policy for Active Monitoring of All Returning Travelers from Countries Affected by Ebola Outbreak

Governor O’Malley Announces Policy for Active Monitoring of
All Returning Travelers from Countries Affected by Ebola Outbreak

BALTIMORE, MD (October 27, 2014) -- Governor O’Malley announced that starting Monday, October 27, Maryland will directly monitor the health of all returning travelers from the countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea, which are battling a serious Ebola outbreak.  This effort will build on extensive outreach and monitoring already underway by the state and local health departments of the state.
“We are taking aggressive action to keep Marylanders safe,” said Governor O’Malley.  “We are monitoring comprehensively, and if someone does fall ill with Ebola, we have a plan in place to identify the condition, isolate the patient, provide care safely, and contain the spread of infection.”
Under the plan, screeners at the airports of entry will provide the names and contact information for all travelers from the affected countries with destinations in Maryland.  The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene will make contact through a new outbound call center and provide specific guidance, information, and 24-hour numbers for assistance.
The state will coordinate daily contact with the travelers during the 21 days following the last possible exposure when illness might develop.  The state will work with local health departments to conduct direct outreach as needed.  Should a traveler need medical attention, health officials will provide advance direction to the emergency management system for transport and the local hospital for evaluation.  Maryland’s public health laboratory is available 24 hours a day for Ebola testing.
“Every day, public health workers in Maryland reach out to patients with such diseases as tuberculosis and meningitis,” said Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein, Secretary of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.  “Our plan for Ebola builds upon the strong and proven foundation.”
The policy includes specific provisions for health care workers who are returning from caring for Ebola patients.
Individuals at high or some risk of infection will sign agreements outlining certain restrictions, and other travelers will receive daily monitoring and will be alert for signs and symptoms of possible infection.  At any time -- in case of noncompliance, or if necessary for the public health -- the state may issue a specific public health order.
The level of monitoring and restrictions, including planned and unannounced home visits, will be based on the potential risk.  Specifically:
  • Home restriction for individuals at “high risk.”  Individuals with a known exposure toEbola virus, such as through a splash of body fluid on exposed skin or a needle-stick injury will remain at home for the 21-day period and will be closely monitored.
  • Activity restriction for individuals at “some risk.”  Health care workers who were wearing personal protective equipment during care for patients with Ebola virus are at “some  risk.”  They will refrain from attending mass gatherings and using public transportation, will refrain from traveling long distances without approval from health department officials, and will also be closely monitored by state and local health officials.
Governor O'Malley and Maryland's public health officials worked closely with their counterparts in Virginia and the District of Columbia so all three jurisdictions are executing active monitoring policies that are compatible.

Statements of Support
“We are pleased to see the measured approach that Maryland is implementing to assess healthcare workers returning from West Africa.  We applaud the efforts of these healthcare workers who are putting their personal safety at risk and want to ensure that they are appropriately monitored to protect themselves and the citizens of Maryland.”-- Dr. Paul Rothman, Dean of the Medical Faculty, CEO, Johns Hopkins Medicine
The University of Maryland Medical System supports this balanced science-based approach.  We also appreciate the cooperative engagement among the three health systems and DHMH in our state-wide preparedness effort.”-- Jeffrey Rivest, President and CEO of the University of Maryland Medical Center
“MedStar Health fully supports the policy expressed by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene regarding healthcare workers returning from volunteer work in West Africa.  It is a well thought-out approach that balances the important work being done by caregivers from our region working relentlessly in the affected areas of West Africa to care for those with Ebolawith the imperative of protecting the health of our community.”-- Dr. David Mayer, Vice President, Quality and Safety, MedStar Health
“The Maryland Hospital Association supports the state’s newly announced policy for health care workers returning from the affected countries of West Africa (Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leon) who provided care to critically ill Ebola patients.  Developed with the input of hospitals and clinical epidemiology experts in the state, the policy is based on the scientific and clinical evidence available to date about the Ebola virus.  The state's policy strikes a critical balance between the need to closely monitor potential high- and medium- risk health care workers, and the need to have the right number of health care providers available to quell the virus at its source in West Africa and to take care of potential Ebola patients here in Maryland”-- Carmela Coyle, Executive Director of the Maryland Hospital Association
_______________________
Israel C. "Izzy" Patoka, AICP
Office of the Governor
Executive Director
Intergovernmental Affairs/Community Initiatives
 
Baltimore:
301 West Preston Street, Suite 1500
Baltimore, MD 21201
Phone: 410-767-6241
 
Annapolis:
100 State Circle
Annapolis, MD 21401
Phone: 410-974-2272
 
Fax: 410-333-5957 
 

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The Mayor Report – October -- Corrected Report

It has been a busy fast month!  Seems like we were just getting our children back into school and celebrating Labor Day.  Columbus Day has even come and gone.  With all of the time that has passed, your Mayor, Council, and staff have continued to work on behalf of you (our residents), our businesses, and the City of Mount Rainier.  The following is an overview of a few of the things that have happened since last month:

October 1, 2014, former Councilmember, Ivy Thompson officially resigned from the Council and took up residence in College Park.  I know that her constituents as well as the Mayor and Council wish her much success in our sister City, College Park.

With the resignation of former Councilmember Thompson, a vacancy in Ward Two has been created.  Councilmember JBrent Bolin has the onerous job of collecting, reviewing, and submitting to Mayor and Council up to three names to be considered for filling that vacancy.  If you are interested in being considered for this very important job in our community, PLEASE submit your resume to Attention:  Councilmember Brent Bolin, One Municipal Place, Mount Rainier, MD, 20712.

Qualifications for the position are simple:  You must be eighteen (18) or over, registered to vote in the County, and must have lived in the City for one year or more.  The city held positions are nonpartisan (neither Democrat or Republican nor Green Party or Independent).

Hungry Harvest, a food sharing program is now servicing our area!  If you are looking for fresh produce from local farmers at a reasonable price, this is the place.  Hungry Harvest is a local mission-driven business committed to reducing food waste and ending hunger in America.  It was started by University of Maryland students.

They deliver fresh fruits and vegetables from local farms, to your door every week for a fraction of the cost that you could purchase these items at our grocery stores.  Their local farm fresh produce is as much as 50% less than farmers markets and other CSA’s.

For every bag or produce sold, they donate a bag to a local family in need, food bank or homeless shelter.

You can contact:  Kevin Kresloff, Brand Ambassador of Hungry Harvest, LLC, Kevin.kresloff@hungryharvest.net or call him at 301-675-5964 with questions or to sign up for a free trial.  Visit their website at www.hungryharvest.net.

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Pepco is back in the neighborhood trimming and cutting trees.  This work restarted after the Mayor and Council met with PEPCO representatives to make sure that they followed our Tree Ordinance.  Because of some special legislation at the State level, utility companies have the right to take corrective and preventive measures to ensure the safety of their wires, and reliability of their services.  Therefore, they do not have to comply with our Tree Ordinance.  They must get permission to or trim trees on private property.  PLEASE retain your pink copy that should be left with you by the PEPCO representative.

PEPCO also provided nine tree vouchers to the City for replacement trees that were accidentally cut down a few months ago. Please contact City Hall or me should you have questions about PEPCO activities in our community.

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First time home buyers’ workshop was held on November 1 by the Redevelopment Authority (RDA).  If you missed that free workshop, and is still interested in purchasing a home in Prince George’s County, act now by contacting the RDA!  Howard Means, the director of the RDA stated that the RDA has $5,000,000.00 for first-time home buyers.  First-Time Homebuyers Can Access Up to $60,000 in Down Payment and Closing Costs.  For more information, call (301) 883-5456 for assistance in English and (301) 328-3292 for assistance in Spanish.

This informative workshop was held at the Langley Park Community Center, 1500 Merrimac Drive, Hyattsville, MD  20783 at 11:00 am.  The workshop was presented in English and in Spanish to ensure all participants would gain a full understanding of the “My HOME” program. 
---
Meeting with Mayor Petrella Robinson to discuss their relationship with Gateway CDC.  Following our meeting, the two of us attended the Gateway CDC Board meeting.  The following was gleaned from the meeting relative to the City of Mount Rainier:

The Gateway CDC is seeking to restructure itself and become more beneficial to the three municipalities that it was created to serve.  As the Gateway CDC takes a sharper look at itself, the three municipalities should examine themselves and determine what it is they want the Gateway CDC to do with and for them.

The Gateway CDC is struggling to keep its doors open.  They are willing to work with the municipalities, but need some help and guidance from each.  The current executive director has been working diligently to make the Gateway CDC responsive to the municipalities, but need some help from each to determine what Gateway CDC can do to help them.

I have agreed to make sure that Mount Rainier is an active partner with the Gateway CDC, and that the City would appoint members to serve on its Board that worked closely with the Mayor and Council to develop and implement projects in the City.  I also agreed to set up and host a meeting with Mayor Jim Cooksey and Mayor Robinson at a later date to discuss our mutual needs and support of the Gateway CDC.

Over the past, members of Mount Rainier volunteered to serve on the Gateway CDC Board to meet the criteria of “five members from each municipality.”  However, those serving from Mount Rainier did not consult with, work with or report to the Mayor and Council.  As a result, they were unable to truly work with the City to raise funds for projects that were critical to the City of Mount Rainier.

With the restructuring, it is hoped that the City would be able to appoint or reappoint five residents to serve on the Gateway CDC Board, and that the City would become an active and supportive member of Gateway CDC.  If you are currently serving as one of the five members of the Gateway CDC Board as the Mount Rainier Representative, PLEASE call City Hall (301-985-658)  and provide your contact information as well as a couple of good dates that you would be willing and able to meet with the Mayor.

If you are interested in serving on the Gateway CDC Board, and can spare up to five hours a month to work with the Mayor and Council, and Gateway CDC to help kick start our projects (3200 Rhode Island Avenue, the Civic Center, and other projects in the City), PLEASE call City Hall and provide your contact information as well as a couple of good dates that you would be willing and able to meet with the Mayor.
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Mount Rainier has endorsed a number of green and healthy initiatives over the past several years, and those initiatives were well intended.  Now, we need to act on them as part of helping to move our next generation forward.  Those initiatives include:

Let’s Move! Is a comprehensive initiative, launched by the First Lady, dedicated to solving the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation, so that children born today will grow up healthier and able to pursue their dreams. Combining comprehensive strategies with common sense, Let's Move! is about putting children on the path to a healthy future during their earliest months and years. Giving parents helpful information and fostering environments that support healthy choices. Providing healthier foods in our schools. Ensuring that every family has access to healthy, affordable food. And, helping kids become more physically active.

Everyone has a role to play in reducing childhood obesity, including parents, elected officials from all levels of government, schools, health care professionals, faith-based and community-based organizations, and private sector companies. Your involvement is key to ensuring a healthy future for our children.  Want more information, visit http://www.letsmove.gov/learn-facts/epidemic-childhood-obesity.
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Complete Streets--The Mayor and Council passed this initiative as part of what we believe is a new day for using our streets, alleys and bike trails.  When our streets were built, they were built for cars.  Now, we are encouraging residents to consider walking within the neighborhood, ride their bikes to short destinations, and use zip cars or other ways to move around the metropolitan area.  That means our streets must become more user friendly for all types of mobility. 

Complete Streets are streets for everyone. They are designed and operated to enable safe access for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities. Complete Streets make it easy to cross the street, walk to shops, and bicycle to work. They allow buses to run on time and make it safe for people to walk to and from train stations.

Creating Complete Streets means transportation agencies must change their approach to community roads. By adopting a Complete Streets policy, communities direct their transportation planners and engineers to routinely design and operate the entire right of way to enable safe access for all users, regardless of age, ability, or mode of transportation. This means that every transportation project will make the street network better and safer for drivers, transit users, pedestrians, and bicyclists – making your town a better place to live.

For more information on Complete Streets and the Maryland State Highway Administration's plan for this, please visit https://marylandassociationofcounties.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/presentation-2013-09-26-mdot-planmd-strategies.pdf

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Kids to the Park Day -- National Kids to Parks Day is always the third Saturday in May.  Mayors, town councils, kids, teachers, and families across the our Country, and 18 national collaborators, including the NFL Players Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics come together for a day of outdoor play on the third Saturday in May each year! However, obesity is a year round disease that is fueled by televisions, fast food restaurants, and manufactures who filled their food with sugar.

If you have not done so already, please consider signing up now to take your child (ren), a neighbor’s child or your nieces and nephews to the park regularly.  If we are to reduce obesity in our community, then we must get our children active.   This is a terrific way to showcase our local parks and to get to know our neighborhood and our neighbors.  There are lots of fun things to do in our parks, and I encourage you to become active and part of our community.

Kids to Parks Day is officially in support of the First Lady's Let's Move! initiative. Last year, more than 260 mayors from 45 states participated in this national event.  We can and should make this a year round goal for our community and our children. 

President Barack Obama has launched a program, My Brother’s Keeper, to help reduce crime in our community, to provide opportunity for young Black males to become better equipped to survive in our society, and to ensure that all children receive a good quality education.  As your Mayor, I signed on to this program in light of the number of teen deaths over the past few years, and the number of young Black teens incarcerated from Mount Rainier.  I had this on the agenda for discussion at our last work session, but we did not get to it during the work session.  I will be bringing this initiative and all of the others back to the table for discussion and action over the next few meetings.

If any or all of these initiatives appeal to you, and you want to get involved, PLEASE contact me at mayormiles@gmail.com.  For more information and facts on this initiative, please visit http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/09/30/fact-sheet-white-house-launches-my-brother-s-keeper-community-challenge.

By the time that our next newsletter is printed and distributed, our own Councilmember, Jimmy Tarlau will be officially elected as the next State Delegate representing the 47th Legislative District.  Therefore, I am taking the liberty here to wish him a wonderful bon voyage, and much success in Annapolis as he represents us here in the great City of Mount Rainier, Maryland.

Jimmy, thank you for your service to the City, and for placing you and your family under such public scrutiny to serve our community.  We wish nothing but the best for you as you take this giant step in your career.

Note:  Councilmember Jesse Christopherson will be seeking volunteers to replace Councilmember Jimmy Tarlau in Ward One.  If you are interested, please do not hesitate to let Councilmember Christopherson know of your interest.  The process for Ward One has not been determine since Councilmember Tarlau is still sitting on the Council, and his official notice to vacate the seat has not yet been submitted.

The holiday season is here.  Many of those in our community are facing the season with dread and trepidation.  You and I can make this season a good one for all of our residents.  If you are shopping for the holidays, consider getting that bargain of buy one get one free or half price.  Then donate it to the Mount Rainier Food Bank.

This year, I am encouraging the Mount Rainier Food Bank to take the lead on collecting perishables and non-perishables to be distributed to our families in need at Mount Rainier Elementary and Thomas Stone Elementary for Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.  I am also asking Captain James Stoots to once again head the turkey collection for the two schools during the Christmas Holidays.  In addition, I am asking a former resident, Kyhyam Cooper to deliver turkeys to the City from his Turkey Run.

If you are a family in need or you know a family in need, PLEASE submit your name or theirs to Ms. Janis Lomax at City Hall.  I am also asking the principals at each school to once again submit names of families in need to Ms. Janis Lomas.  The names should be submitted no later than November 21 for Thanksgiving, and December 12 for Christmas.

Speed humps/bumps at stop signs --Mayor and Council discussed the issue of safety in the City, and unanimously agreed to look into placing speed calming devices at all of our stop signs over the next few years.  We strongly believe that this measure will help to slow traffic through our neighborhoods, but will also force most motorists to stop at our stop signs. 

In addition, the Mayor and Council agreed to revisit the type and model of speed hump and/or bumps that are used in the City on City streets.  This discussion is still ongoing.  If you have suggestions, please contact me or your Councilmember.

Trash collection snafu.  In an effort to get residents to comply with the trash code, Mayor and Council authorized Public Works to issue citations for non-compliance and to leave the trash.  During the week of October 20, Public Works implemented the directive given by the Mayor and Council.  As you can imagine, this resulted in some real hardships and difficulties for many residents who have been out of compliance for years (including yours truly).

Based on the response, and a review of the matter, Mayor and Council has decided to revisit the issue, and to phase in the more strictly enforced Trash Code.  Therefore, with this newsletter, residents are reminded that trash receptacles may not be larger than 33 gallons, and must have a lid placed on them prior to being placed in the tree boxes for pick up.  Trash receptacles that exceed the 33 gallon limit and/or do not have a lid on them will receive a notice of violation for the first offense, and will not be picked up for the second offense, and will be fined in accordance with the ordinance for each infraction thereafter.

In addition, every effort will be made to make sure that new residents to the area are provided with information about the City’s codes within 90 days of their becoming a resident.  Welcome packages are available at City Hall.  (NOTE:  The Welcome Package is being updated to be more user friendly and comprehensive.)  Residents should also be aware that information about the City’s Codes and Ordinances may be found on the City’s website, www.mountrainiermd.org, the two City cable/FIOS channels (21 and 71), and in the City’s newsletter from time-to-time.  When everything else fails, please do not hesitate to call City Hall and/or Public Works.  They are there to make sure that this information is disseminated to all residents.

WIFI for the City.  Another initiative that I have been working on, and is still in its infant stage is WIFI for our City.  I believe in this day and age, WIFI should be available to everyone in the City, especially our children whose families are unable to provide access to the internet.  In some communities, school age children are provided with laptops to take home to do their school work.  I am pushing hard to make that a reality in Mount Rainier, and WIFI will be necessary because many of our children do not have access to the internet and/or cannot get to the library to use the computers there.

Social Media is becoming more and more a part of our everyday life.  At our last work session, I provided the Council with a proposed social media policy based on several presentations at the Maryland Municipal League’s (MML) Convention and Conferences over the past three years.  Currently, there are a few Mount Rainier sites on Facebook, there is the Mount Rainier ListServ, and that may only be the tip of the iceberg of social networks that carry the name Mount Rainier, MD or the City of Mount Rainier.

MML strongly recommends that municipalities have policies regarding social media as well as the use of the City’s logo.  At the current time, the City has neither.  Our attorney and MML have reviewed the proposed policies.  Both have weighed in on it, however, our attorney is proposing a more strict policy than that used by many other municipalities. 

Over the next few meetings, the City will develop, approve, and issue policies around its use of social media.  If you have ideas, comments and/or suggestions, please send them to our Assistant City Manager, Ms. Veronica Owens.

Veteran’s Day Celebration – We will be celebrating our veterans again this year.  Last year was the first time that the City took a moment to recognize its veterans, and those who attended were very pleased to receive this recognition in their own home town.

The celebration will be held in Potts Hall, November 8, 2014, 2:00pm until 4:00pm, 3405 Rhode Island Avenue, Mount Rainier, MD 20712.  A late lunch will be served.  Please come out and support our VETERANS, and bring your neighbor.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

SPOOKY SPOOKY

...The 2nd Annual Halloween Party will be held at 4517 30th Street, Mount Rainier, MD 20712.  Children of all ages are invited to attend and participate in the festivites.

FESTIVITIES:

Scary movies
Haunted graves
Spider webs
Hanging ghosts
Ride on the City's seways
Meet our Police officers

FOOD ITEMS
Popcorn
Cotton Candy
Hot dogs
Juice, water and hot apple cider
Bags of candy, of course

YOU MUST COME AND SEE THIS HALLOWEEN SPECTACULAR!

WHEN:  FIRDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2014

WHERE:  4517 30th Street, Mount Rainier, MD 20712

TIME:  DUSK, about 6:00pm UNTIL 8:30pm

MAKE SURE YOU BRING YOUR PARENTS!  YOU WILL BE GLAD YOU DID!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPRaY5QWKIk

Gateway CDC Membership Meeting

Dear Gateway CDC Members and Friends:

Please join us for our Membership Meeting!
Location: Pan Masters' Panyard, 4559 Rhode Island Avenue.

This is a very exciting time for Gateway, and we encourage you to bring along friends and/or neighbors you feel may be interested in learning more about Gateway CDC and its work. Memberships are very reasonably priced*.

We will look forward to seeing you!

Cheers,
Carole Bernard
Executive Director
Gateway Community Development Corporation (CDC)
http://www.gatewaycdc.org/


*You may become a member at the meeting, or via this site, which also gives information about membership benefits:
http://www.eventbrite.com/e/gateway-cdc-membership-registration-registration-5375343798

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Mount Rainier's Annual Craft Show

  
You are invited to come out and participate in one of Mount Rainier’s hallmark’s!

WHAT:                          MOUNT RAINIER’S 20Tth              ANNUAL CRAFT FAIR

WHEN:                         Saturday, December 6,                2014

STARTS AT:               10:00am

WHERE:                      Joe’s Movement                         Emporium

WHO’S INVITED:       EVERYONE

Saturday, October 18, 2014

VOTE NO ON QUESTION J -- No matter when you vote during this election season

The IHHAAC Board urges voters to reject increasing
the terms limits for the County Executive and Council by
voting AGAINST Question J.

See attachment and below.

Speaking on September 16 before the Democratic Central Committee, County Executive Rushern Baker advanced a new and novel argument in favor of eliminating term limits: they are disrespectful and treat voters as "immature". There are at least two things wrong with that argument.

First, we the voters put those term limits in place because of the poor quality and too-often corrupt political leadership which the County has experienced historically and as a check against machine politics where incumbents are impossible to dislodge, no matter how offensive (or criminal) their behavior or incompetent their performance.

Second, it is the political slates which are disrespectful of voters and treat us as immature. Look at voters lined up at any polling station and you will see many of them carrying glossy full color mailers showing the smiling faces of each of the candidates who bought their way on to that slate. Those voters are not being asked to think and make an informed decision, all they are expected to do is to follow the instructions on the mailer: vote for the candidates on the slate–and they do. Thus are voters treated like sheep, queued up to be sheared.
Finally, the slates themselves are anti-Democratic. If there was a viable 2-party system in Prince George's County, people might have a real choice. Since there is not a 2-party system, there is almost no competition. Further, because there is no meaningful competition, the outcome of the November election has already been decided by the Primary in June in which only 89,000 of the 510,000 registered voters went to the polls out of a County population of 890,000. Try arguing why/how 10 percent of the population should choose the political leadership for themselves plus the other 90 percent who didn't vote.

Since term limits were passed in 1992, no County Executive or County Council member has lost re-election. Many have run unopposed. Those with challengers have mostly won in landslides. Further, the longer politicians remain in office, the more they become beholden to and captive of special interests, developers, financial backers, and slate makers.

Baker seems to want to make this a referendum on his Administration. The good which he has done the past four years is a marked improvement over what came before, but there is still much that needs to be done during his second term. (We'll have much more to say about this in the upcoming IHHAAC Annual Report to Members and during our Annual Meeting on November 9.)

But Question J also applies to the nine members of the County Council, where the good, the bad and the indifferent too often abide. Term limits force periodic change in order to avoid a permanent political class and to allow new blood to come forward. Who is to say that the newly elected office holder won’t be better than the outgoing term-limited one.


We urge you to vote AGAINST Question J.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Early Voting Starts October 23, 2014

Registered Maryland voters may vote at their designated polling place on Nov 4, 2014. Voters may choose instead to cast a ballot before Election Day during the "in-person absentee" voting period. Finally, voters may choose to apply for an absentee ballot and vote by mail.

Laurel - Beltsville Senior Activity Center 
7120 Contee Road
Laurel, MD 20707
Directions To This Location

Bowie Community Center 
3209 Stonybrook Drive
Bowie, MD 20715
Directions To This Location

Wayne K. Curry Sports & Learning Center 
Landover Room A
8001 Sheriff Road
Landover, MD 20785
Directions To This Location

Baden Community Center 
13601 Baden-Westwood Road
Brandywine, MD 20613
Directions To This Location

College Park Community Center
5051 Pierce Avenue
College Park, MD 20740
Directions To This Location

Upper Marlboro Community Center
5400 Marlboro Race Track Rd
Upper Marlboro, MD 20772


REMEMBER early voting starts on October 23rd in Maryland, and President Obama is coming to Upper Marlboro for an event on Sunday to help rally Democrats to cast their ballots for Anthony Brown and Ken Ulman.

The event is open to the public and details are below, but you can only attend if you RSVP now. You can do that here:
Hope to see you there,
Martin O'Malley

RE-ELECT AMBER WALLER -- SCHOOL BOARD REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 3

Experienced Leadership You Can Trust
About Amber
County resident for nearly 20 years
Served as PTA President and a Board Officer at several schools
Son is a PGCPS teacher and daughter an attorney
Civic Association President for 1,200 households
District 3 School Board Member since 2007
Elected to Democratic Central Committee
Past VP, District of Columbia NAACP
Worked in corporate, government and higher education sectors
Received PGCPS Outstanding Volunteer Award
Past Board Member, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington
Governor appointee, State Advisory Council on Youth Camp Safety
Member, Adrinna Robinson Eastern Star Chapter 68
Member, Maryland Association of Boards of Education (Co-Chair 2014 State Conference)
Founded Washington Gas Watch to stop a liquefied natural gas plant in a residential community
Endorsed by Prince George's County Educators Association
Because We Need Each Other...
Actively promote parent, business and community engagement
Advance the achievement of all students through governance, accountability, sound policy and fiscal responsibility
As an agent of change, I have a responsibility to do all that I can do to improve the quality of life for all
Amber's Priorities
Parent, business and community engagement
Competitive Staff Salaries and Compensation
More specialty and choice programs accessible to all
Safe and orderly learning environments
Amber's Record
Hosted community dialogs on the budget, common core curriculum, resources for special needs students, boundary changes, etc.
Established PGCPS first bilingual family academy
Advocated funding for new Edward Felegy Elementary School
Advocated for the designation of Northwestern H.S. as the northern area Visual and Performing Arts School
Partnered with the local Town to secure rooftop solar energy for University Park Elementary School
Amber has always been there for us...
Let’s make sure we’re there for her on Election Day!

VOTE NO ON QUESTION J -- November 4, 2014

League of Women Voters of
Prince George’s County
Presents
~Informational Forum for Election 2014~
On
Ballot Question J

The proposal to amend the Prince George’s Charter “… to extend the number of terms from 2 to 3 consecutive terms that a person can serve on the County Council and as County Executive.”
WHEN:                                Saturday, October 18, 2014
TIME:                                  9:30 a.m.
PLACE:                              District Heights Municipal Center
                  2000 Marbury Drive, Dist.Heights, MD 20747.

NEED Directions:              Call 301-336-1402

HEAR the PROs and CONs about Question J on the November Ballot
ASK QUESTIONS about this Charter Amendment and why the County Council and the County Executive wishes to ignore the people who have voted at least twice to keep term limits in place!

ASK QUESTIONS about why, if such a measure is passed, the current sitting County Council and County Executive should retain their seats?
ASK QUESTIONS about the upcoming NOVEMBER 4th election and those persons currently running for those seats!

Confirmed Panelists: (9:30 to 10:30 a.m.)
Delegate Aisha Braveboy, Former Delegate Gerron Levi,
Prince George’s Charter Amendment Commission Member:  J. Kenneth Battle Jr, Len Lucchi, Esq, and Republican Central Committee Member Joseph Swartz
Invited Panelists:   Members of the Prince George’s County Council (Unconfirmed)

Presentation of Community (Written) Statements: The last ½ hour (10:30 – 11:00 a.m.) will focus on community participation. Civic Associations, Community Organizations, Labor Unions, HOA’s, are invited to present written statements (2 minutes); Individuals can present written statements (1 minute) All statements must be written. This is a televised program.


For more information, contact:  Gloria Johnson and Tammie Norman, Co-Chairs of Forums and Voter Education, Prince George’s County League of Women Voters . GJLaw75@aol.com 301-390-2222

Friday, October 10, 2014

Raising the MINIMUM WAGE for WORKERS!

MINIMUM WAGE MESSAGING

In his State of the Union address on January 28, 2014, President Obama called on Congress to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. But as part of what he termed a “year of action,” the President also made clear that even as he pressed Congress to act, it was possible to make progress in the meantime – through steps that states, cities, counties and businesses could take to raise wages, as well as through executive action.

Cities and counties have answered the call, and the President has taken action on his own to raise the minimum wage for workers on new Federal contracts. Together, their efforts will result in higher wages for millions of Americans across the country.

They also illustrate how the broad-based support for a higher minimum wage –bolstered by economic evidence on the benefits of higher wages to workers, businesses and the economy – has helped build momentum for wage increases across the country.

In real terms, the minimum wage is now less than it was in 1981, at the beginning of the Reagan Administration. The Federal minimum wage is now only about 36 percent of the average wage, down from its peak of over 50 percent.

Raising the minimum wage would benefit about 28 million workers.

According to CEA estimates, about 28 million workers would benefit from an increase of the minimum wage – with more than 19 million earning less than $10.10 and benefiting directly, and an additional 9 million low-wage workers benefitting from the “ripple effect” of an increase.

Raising the minimum wage would help the economy today.

Because low-wage workers are most likely to spend the additional money they earn, increasing their wages would help to increase aggregate demand and strengthen the economy today.

A $10.10 minimum wage would lift 2 million out of poverty.


Currently, a family of four with one full-time worker earning the $7.25 minimum wage is 17 percent below the poverty line, including tax credits. A $10.10 minimum wage would raise that family of four to above the poverty line – and in total, would lift an estimated 2 million families out of poverty.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) is developing the FY 2016 operating budget


Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) is seeking community input in the development of the FY 2016 operating budget. Community input is integral to create a budget that supports key priorities and initiatives of the school system.

On Tuesday, October 14, PGCPS will host a forum to obtain community input for the creation of the FY 2016 operating budget. The forum will be held in the Board Room of the Sasscer Administration Building (14201 School Lane, Upper Marlboro, MD 20772) from 7 to 8 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to provide input.

To register to speak, please call 301-952-6001 by 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 14.  To ensure that all members of the community have an opportunity to speak, those registered will be given 2 minutes to provide insight.

PGCPS is now accepting comments online for use in the development of the FY 2016 budget. Comments will be accepted online until October 31.





Las Escuelas Públicas del Condado de Prince George (PGCPS) busca aportes de la comunidad en el desarrollo del presupuesto operativo del año fiscal 2016. Aporte de la comunidad es esencial para crear un presupuesto que apoye las prioridades e iniciativas del sistema escolar.

El martes, 14 de octubre, PGCPS será la sede de un foro para obtener aportes de la comunidad para la creación del presupuesto operativo del año fiscal 2016. El foro tendrá lugar en la Sala de Juntas del Edificio Administrativo Sasscer (14201 School Lane, Upper Marlboro, MD 20772) de 7 - 8 p.m.  Se anima para que los asistentes hagan aportaciones.

Para inscribirse para hablar, por favor llame al 301-952-6001 no más tarde de las 4:30 p.m. del martes, 14 de octubre.  Para asegurar que todos los miembros de la comunidad tengan la oportunidad de hablar, los inscritos tendrán 2 minutos para ofrecer su idea.

PGCPS está aceptando comentarios en línea para su uso en el desarrollo del presupuesto del año fiscal 2016.  Se aceptarán comentarios hasta el 31 de octubre.




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