January 20, 2016
I hope you had a wonderful holiday season. While County Council was in recess for the month of December, I had the opportunity to attend numerous community and civic association holiday gatherings, talk with constituents, and see some incredible community organizations in action.
Earlier this fall, I shared the news of the opening of the Junior AchievementFinance Park in Prince George's County. In December I had the opportunity to visit the site and see it in action while students from William Wirt Middle School were there. I was already a big fan of Junior Achievement and came away even more convinced of the positive impact this finance curriculum and hands-on experience will have on our Prince George's County Public Schools students. Over the course of this year and in the future, all 8,000 PGCPS 8th graders will complete this relevant and fun program. Junior Achievement counts on volunteers to help run the program. I enjoyed my day there and encourage you to consider volunteering if you have time during the day. Contact Ashley Emerson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am so pleased to congratulate another community organization on winning a highly competitive grant through the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development. The Central Kenilworth Avenue Revitalization Community Development Corporation (CKAR) was awarded a 2016 Community Legacy Grant of $90,000 for their Edmonston Road Rain Garden Project. This project is a partnership between Prince George's County's Department of Public Works & Transportation, the University of Maryland School of Architecture and community groups to design and build a rain garden that will be a welcoming community amenity that addresses storm water runoff and educates citizens about the environment and sustainability. Congratulations, CKAR!
If you visited National Harbor over the holidays, you have seen the fast progress of the MGM Resort. The resort and casino will open in 2016 and hundreds of jobs need to be filled. Register today for the Radio One Career Showcase presented by MGM National Harbor to learn about the career opportunities available. The event will take place on January 21 at Martin's Crosswinds in Greenbelt. Learn more or register here
. Please share this with your friends and neighbors; it is important to me that residents of Prince George's County secure these jobs.
Do you know about the County's Youth@Work/Summer Youth Employment Program
? Through this program, young people between the ages of 15 and 19 years old can participate in career development, life-skills training and job training sponsored by Prince George's Community College. Youth are eligible to participate in SYEP twice, or up to the age of 19. Second year students will have the opportunity to gain competencies through the newly implemented career pathways program. Registration is open, and the sessions at Parkdale High School start on January 23. Please share this with the young people in your life today.
If you live in East Riverdale or Beacon Heights, an important conversation about the future is taking place now. This fall M-NCPPC and the County Council initiated the East Riverdale/Beacon Heights Sector Plan. I am incredibly excited that this plan is moving forward in two important neighborhood nodes where reinvestment is needed. East Riverdale and Beacon Heights are along the Purple Line route and it is important to have an updated, visionary plan in place when the Purple Line breaks ground.
I am counting on the members of these communities to guide the recommendations for this plan and will let you know about the community meetings that will take place this spring. In the meantime, please check out the online Wikimap Planning Tool
. This tool allows users to recommend improvements like walkable trails, sidewalks, bike routes and more by drawing points and lines on an editable map. You can also point out problem areas, things you would like to change and even give feedback on others' comments. Visit the website
to learn more about the East Riverdale and Beacon Heights Sector Plan and to share your ideas.
Also in preparation for the Purple Line, the organization Purple Line Now is sponsoring a series of discussions throughout this year titled "Envisioning the Purple Line." The first one takes place at the University of Maryland on January 25 and I am pleased to be part of the panel discussion titled "Purple Line and a New College Park." The event is free but registration is required. Additional details and registration information can be found here. I hope to see you there.
The 2016 County Council Legislative Year has just begun. I am working on legislation to ban shipping containers in residential areas and improve our County's Green Business certification. I am continuing the discussion about our County's Boards and Commissions, and much more. I always tell people that many of our most important pieces of legislation come from questions asked and ideas shared by our constituents, so please reach out to me to share your questions and ideas.
As always, never hesitate to reach out to me at CouncilDistrict3@co.pg.md.us or 301-952-3060. You can reach my staff via the same phone number or their email address on the right.
I share news and updates daily on social media so please like me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter if you use social media, too.
Together Strengthening our Community,
P.S. The Prince George's County Council has launched a new Legislative/Zoning Information System. The new LZIS provides enhanced access to the actions of the Council on both Legislative and Zoning issues. I think you will find it much easier to use than our old LIS website. Please check it out!