Many thanks to the more than 150 people who joined me at the Riverdale Park "Indoor" Farmers Market on Thursday, February 19, to kick-off a series of events to Experience, Expand, Explore District 3. Together we enjoyed some local, fresh food and supported the effort to bring retail activity to a vacant storefront.
Director of the Environment (DoE), Adam Ortiz, joined us to share valuable information about DoE initiatives such as the Rain Check Program, Tree ReLEAF Program and more. The County now ranks #1 in Maryland for keeping trash out of our landfill and #2 for recycling. We have reached these milestones thanks to new and innovative practices at DoE, legislative initiatives that I worked on with former Councilman Eric Olson as well as the everyday commitment of our residents to make green choices. Kudos to all of us!
I was especially happy to see so many neighbors at the Riverdale Park Farmers Market because February 19th was one of the coldest days of the year. This winter has been challenging in many ways. Many thanks to our hard-working Department of Public Works and Transportation team members who, in addition to their normal work, salt and plow our roadways. Remember to give our workforce 12 hours after the snow event has ended to request road clearing or treatment. You can reach the Snow Information Center at (301) 350-0500.
I hope you won't let the cold stop you from participating in Restaurant Week in Prince George's County this week. Numerous restaurants throughout the County - and in District 3 - are offering lunch and/or dinner specials through Sunday, March 8th. Please join me in planning to dine out at least once this week. Follow the link above for more information.
Please join me at the Prince George's Economic Development Corporation's Thirsty (for Business) Thursday - Celebration of Women in Business as we highlight women business owners and entrepreneurs at one of District 3's newest restaurants, SoBe. RSVP here; space is filling up quickly.
In February's eNews, I mentioned the challenging fiscal situation facing the County for both the end of Fiscal Year 2015 and the upcoming Fiscal Year 2016. The long-term solution to our budget challenges is to ensure that businesses in Prince George's County stay in Prince George's County and that we continue to attract world class investment to our County. By supporting local restaurants during Restaurant Week and throughout the year, you help demonstrate that Prince George's County is a great place to invest.
I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Prince George's County Police Department Chief Mark A. McGraw, who shared with me the great work our Police Department does every day to actively manage crime in Prince George's County.
Already in 2015, we have had fewer crimes in Prince George's County than in 2014. This is especially
impressive given that between 2010 and 2014, homicides in Prince George's County dropped 40%, violent crime fell 36%, property crime dropped by 33% and overall crime was down by 33%. Our 1,700 Prince George's County Police Officers oversee 500 square miles of Prince George's County. By contrast, Washington, D.C.'s Metropolitan Police Department's 3,800 officers patrol 68 square miles and 2,800 officers patrol Baltimore City's 92 square miles.
I would like to personally applaud and thank those in Prince George's County Police District 2 who recently apprehended a suspect accused of robbing more than a dozen businesses and restaurants along the Rt. 450 corridor over a matter of a few weeks. By strategically deploying officers, the PGPD was able to determine the suspect's likely next move and apprehended him as he was staking out his next target.
We have so much to be proud of in our County agencies, yet we will be forced to engage in difficult discussions around the budget. Your participation in the budget process is very important to me. Please plan to attend the County Council's FY-2016 Town Hall on Tuesday, March 10, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Prince George's Community College's Rennie Forum (301 Largo Road in Largo). If you cannot attend in person, please plan to watch it on-line and send me your comments and suggestions at [email protected]). I've also included four County Council Public Hearings dates in April on the right. I am counting on you to actively participate in these budget discussions.
I also encourage you to participate in the Prince George's County Primary Health Care Strategic Plan community meeting on Saturday, March 7th, from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. at Prince George's Community College.
You may have noticed that I'm aiming to send eNews about every two weeks. I'm also active on Facebook and Twitter, sharing up-to-date information on those social media platforms. Make sure to "like" me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter. Please share my eNews, Facebook and Twitter with your friends and neighbors so they remain connected as well.
As always, please do not hesitate to contact my office or me directly by phone at (301) 952-3060 or by email. I look forward to working with you to move the District and County forward in 2015.
Together Strengthening Our Community,