Greetings from Annapolis

The 435th session of the Maryland General Assembly began on January 14th, 2015 and I was sworn in to serve a second term in the House of Delegates as your representative for the 43rd Legislative District. Once again thank you for your support.

On Wednesday January 21st 2014 the Honorable Larry J. Hogan Jr. was inaugurated as Maryland’s 62nd Governor. I share Governor Hogan’s acknowledgment that Baltimore City must  continue to be central to the economic success of the State. For example, businesses like Under Armour and Amazon are opening in Baltimore, thousands of new jobs have been generated, and Baltimore has been repeatedly touted as a great place for its growing population of educated young people. Projects like the Red Line and State Center will create more jobs in the region and provide our state employees with a healthier work environment. Even with all of the challenges that Baltimore, like many other urban metropolitan areas faces, the City continues to make progress in economic development, improving public schools and public safety. We must continue to do more together.

Looking Back to Look Forward

While building towards the future is key, I would like to take a moment to congratulate my colleagues in the House and Senate on another four years in the Maryland General Assembly, as well as the 58 new delegates and 11 new senators. I look forward to working with the Hogan administration in a shared vision for our state. In that spirit, I would  like to take a look back on the past year and what we accomplished together.

In 2014 we in the 43rd District and the State of Maryland:

  • ended the death penalty in the State of Maryland.
  • opened Waverly Elementary/Middle School, the first brand new public school in Baltimore in 50 years;
  • became the second state in the nation to raise the minimum wage for working people;
  • cheered the Orioles as they won the American League East championship and triumphed in the first round of American League playoff games;
  • made progress on ending homelessness for unaccompanied youths;
  • witnessed what happens when deferred maintenance, unheeded warnings from residents, and Mother Nature converged with the collapse of the 26th Street CSX retaining wall;
  • reminded by the tragic events of Ferguson, Mo and in New York City that all lives matter and demanded law enforcement and community accountability;
  • became integral to the fight against Ebola;
  • mourned the passing of too many, too soon, including 3-year old McKenzie Elliott, as well as others to gun violence  and Thomas Palermo, tragically taken from his family in a bicycle-vehicle accident, raising questions about safety in our neighborhoods and on our streets.

2014 Community Initiatives and Developments

There were many opportunities to meet with community groups and to collaborate on projects with local and state partners in the 43rd Legislative District and Baltimore City. There are over fifty community organizations in the 43rd district, and I try to personally appear at each community organization meeting or event at least once a year. Click here to see some of the meetings and events I attended and initiatives I supported on behalf of the 43rd District in 2014.

I’d like to know more about what matters to you

As we begin this new session, I’d like to know what issues would you like for me to tackle. If you could set the legislative priorities for the General Assembly, what would they be? What Baltimore or Maryland issues do you think have not received enough attention from your legislators or governor? I want to hear your thoughts. Please respond to this email to let me know your priorities and concerns. Think of this as an opportunity to help shape the legislative agenda. I will read all of your responses, share them with colleagues, and take action where action is feasible. In my next newsletter, I will provide you updates and details about my legislative priorities for the 2015 Session and offer you an opportunity to give your thoughts.

Please let me know about any events or meetings your community is hosting. In return, I will help spread the word about your event. Contact my office with detailed information about meetings and events in your neighborhood, and we will place it on my website’s community calendar and Facebook fan page.

As always, thank you for your support, and Happy New Year!