Friends & Neighbors:
This past Tuesday started the one-year countdown to the next election, and I was thrilled to join my colleagues on Team 46 for our campaign kickoff event in Baltimore’s beautiful Visitor Center at the Inner Harbor. We were joined by residents from nearly every neighborhood in the district, as well as leaders from some of our important cultural institutions. We each gave short remarks, and you can read my remarks and see our team slide show at my website. To support our team efforts, please visit our website: www.team46md.org to contribute!
Last Saturday was June 24th, the anniversary of the day that I won the Primary Election in 2014 to become one of the three democratic nominees for delegate. This is always a day of reflection for me – on why I ran, on where our City and State are now, and how I can be the best public servant I can be for the people who elected me. Part of my desire to give back is exemplified in the annual free Community Picnic I hold each year. I wrote previously about the great success of this June’s Community Picnic, but if you missed the pictures, check them out here– they capture a fun afternoon with 350+ people from around Baltimore coming together to enjoy a beautiful public space in our City. One of the great joys of this day is bringing service providers and non-profits and elected officials from all levels to interact with City residents… and this year many people came to tell me that although they don’t live too far, they had never been to Federal Hill Park before. I’m glad they had a reason to go and I hope they will go back to continue to enjoy this beautiful public space! Save the date for next year’s event – again the Sunday after Memorial Day – June 3, 2018!
I often explain that being an effective delegate is three jobs in one for me: being a community advocate and connector, being an ambassador, and working as a state legislator. It is in these three roles that I continue to work every day as one of your delegates. It has been an amazing experience for me to be able to work locally with residents and also to pass meaningful statewide legislation – thank you for your continued support and for allowing me to serve as your delegate!
- Fell’s Point Task Force: I’ve recently taken the reins from Del. Pete Hammen as the convenor of the Fell’s Point Task Force, a coalition of community association presidents from the greater Fell’s Point area. For the past few months, we’ve met with a facilitator to help the coalition develop a new mission and vision and guiding principles and goals. It will have a website before the year’s end, and will seek to be a proactive and positive force in Southeast Baltimore!
- 2017 Harbor Report Card: I presented at the release of the 2016 Harbor Report Card to discuss the importance of passing statewide legislation to clean our harbor and Bay… and to pledge to continue my fight to ban dangerous plastics from our waterways and neighborhoods!
- Preservation Maryland Award/SBLC funding: For my work in securing budget language that led to development of a critical report that highlights the need for more funding to preserve Maryland’s heritage, Preservation Maryland awarded me its Legislative Champion award. Preservation MD presented me the award at the South Baltimore Learning Center at the same time they awarded that great organization a technical assistance grant after I had encouraged SBLC to apply!
- I was delighted to speak at a few schools this year before summer started – I spoke at both Thomas Johnson and Francis Scott Key about being a delegate and running for office. I also spoke to the middle school at Hampstead Hill Academy about my experience running for office and the importance of persistence.
- I also met with a team of people from around District 46 to help review scholarship applications from over 50 students who are headed to college or grad school in the fall and need some financial assistance! It was – as always – amazing and inspiring to hear about the impressive work that many of these students have undertaken. This year we had a record number of students apply from Ben Franklin H.S. in Brooklyn – very exciting!
|Looking to learn more about what the General Assembly did during the 2017 session? Check out the 90-Day Report, an annual publication from the Dep’t of Legislative Services that provides an overview by topic area. You can find it here: http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/Pubs/LegisLegal/2017rs-90-day-report.pdf.|
Meetings! I continue to have an endless assortment of meetings with smart and dedicated advocates from around the state – meeting with folks from Rural Maryland Council and the Community Development Network to Maryland Hunger Solutions and area manufacturers and businesses – to review legislation that exists and to analyze problems that exist that might be able to be solved through advocacy, regulations, or statute.
Kirwan Commission Meeting: As many of you know (and have read in past newsletters from me), a Commission has been set up to review our current public education funding formula and to recommend changes in the form of legislation. These meetings are open to the public and I attended one in early June where we heard from international and national experts on early childhood education and career & technical education. To review the materials of this incredibly important project, click here.
Earned Sick Leave Press Conference: I participated in a press conference denouncing the Governor’s veto of HB 1, the Healthy Working Families Act, with lead sponsor Luke Clippinger. The Governor vetoed this bill – that would provide over 700,000 Marylanders earned sick leave – and we are determined to override his veto next session.
The Governor also vetoed a bill (HB 622) that would have set up an independent commission to draw congressional district lines if several other states did as well through the formation of an interstate compact. It was a deeply cynical veto I thought, given his loud support for redistricting reform.
The rise in crime: Sen. Ferguson, and Delegates Clippinger, Lewis and I have been holding meetings with all the agencies and departments involved in both the short term and long term work to prevent violence in our City, including BPD, the State’s Attorney’s office, Dep’t of Juvenile Services, the Health Dep’t and non-profits and professors that specialize in gun crimes and violence prevention. I appreciate hearing from residents about their concerns, and we want you to know that we are doing our due diligence to better understand the causes and discuss solutions – both at the City and State levels. For the past several years, Del. Clippinger has sponsored and I have co-sponsored (along with Del. Lewis and Sen. Ferguson) legislation to increase penalties for illegal gun possession. Although the bill has been unsuccessful to date, we will continue working on it, and we expect to put together several bills addressing some of the loopholes that exist in the next session, and to put together our plan to share with all of you in the very near future. In the meantime, please keep the emails coming and be sure to let all levels of our government know about how this is effecting you and your family and business – from the Governor to the Mayor to us and your City Councilmembers. We all want and need to hear from you. I also encourage you to join your community association and get involved in COP Walks (or start one if there isn’t one where you live!), and get to know your neighbors so that you can continue to be working together to build community and stay safe.
National Night Out is August 1 this year, and as always I will be trying to stop by as many neighborhood events as possible – please consider help organizing one in your area and get outside to build community!
Coming up in District 46 . . .
Summer Food Lunch Program: From June 19 through Sept 1, all Community Action Partnership Centers will offer FREE summer lunches from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.. For information, call 410-545-6958 or visit your local community action partnership center. Southern – 606 Cherry Hill Road; Southeast – 3411 Bank Street; Eastern – 1400 E. Federal Street.
Greater Baybrook Alliance: The GBA is one of the newest Community Development Corporations in the City, and it needs your input! If you live in Brooklyn or Curtis Bay, please check out this site and get involved! https://greaterbaybrookalliance.nationbuilder.com/
Curtis Bay Yard of the Week: Judgings take place on Sunday afternoons until July 23. http://www.ilovecurtisbay.com/curtis_bay_yard_of_the_month
Fourth of July Festivities: See what’s going on this year on the Fourth! http://baltimore.org/events/baltimores-fourth-july-celebration-presented-ports-america-chesapeake
D46 Farmers’ Markets – all summer long!
Pratt Street Market: Pratt/Light Streets on Thursdays from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Fell’s Point Market: (new location this year) Harbor Point parking lot off of Caroline Street – Saturdays, 7:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Baltimore Farmers’ Market & Bazaar: Holliday/Saratoga (under 83) – Sundays, 7:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
For all farmers’ markets information, visit: http://baltimore.org/article/baltimore-farmers-markets
|I am often asked about school construction and demolition, so am sharing the links about those projects with you as well:
21st Century School Reconstruction: http://baltimore21stcenturyschools.org/ This website provides information on the schools being rebuilt and timelines.
Project CORE (Demolition of vacants): Visit http://dhcd.maryland.gov/ProjectCORE/Pages/default.aspx for information on demolition and deconstruction in Baltimore. This plan is pursuant to a bill passed by the General Assembly and an MOU signed with the Maryland Stadium Authority, which is handling the funds and helping to oversee the project.
At the end of the day, I am here to serve the residents of District 46! That means, if you live in District 46 and you have a problem – I’d like to do all I can to help. You can email me at email@example.com and my legislative director, Kim Shiloh, and I will help figure out how to solve the issues you’re confronting.
Three years after one of the most exciting days I my life – June 24, 2014 – I am eternally grateful to all of you for placing your trust in me in this important role. I continue to try to do my best each and every day to build a better Baltimore, and a better Maryland. I hope that one year from this week, you’ll give me the opportunity to continue to keep working for and with you!
Happy Independence Day and keep in touch!
Follow me at www.facebook.com/brookeliermanfordelegate or @BELBaltimore on Twitter