1. 2019 Recap
I am so grateful for your outstanding support in 2019. You push me to work hard every day to be the best Delegate I can be. Thanks to you, I’ve had the opportunity to represent the people of District 46 and work to create a more healthy, just and equitable community for all. I promise that I’ll continue to do so with compassion and integrity in 2020.
Last year, I was able to pass four important bills, fund 13 community projects in District 46, establish two community based working groups, serve on two statewide Opioid commissions, fulfill dozens of constituent requests and attend community meetings all around the district. I had an eventful 2019, and I can tell that this year is going to be even busier.
In this newsletter, I’ll outline some of my legislative priorities going into the 2020 Session. I’ll also share some of the highlights of my year working in Baltimore City.
2. Session 2020
On Wednesday, January 8th, the Maryland General Assembly reconvenes for the 90-day legislative session. This year is really special because we’re welcoming new leadership in Annapolis for the first time in almost two decades: Delegate Adrienne Jones as Speaker of the House and our very own Senator Bill Ferguson as Senate President. I look forward to working alongside them both!
Over the next 90 days, please watch for my email updates and stay in touch. Let me know what legislative issues are important to you and come and visit me in my Annapolis office—I’m in Room 304 of the House of Delegates!
The legislature’s top priority this Session will be to fully fund the Kirwan Commission’s recommendations. These recommendations call for a $3.8 billion increase in state funding for a number of educational initiatives, including school construction projects, hiring and retaining high-quality and diverse teachers and providing free Pre-K for low-income children.
I know that passing this funding plan won’t be easy, but I’m fully committed to supporting Maryland’s children as our hope for the future.
I’m planning to introduce a handful of bills that will provide new avenues of funding for public transportation projects. One of these bills would take a percentage of the revenue from automatic camera tickets in Baltimore City (speed cameras, overhead truck cameras, red-light cameras, etc.) to fund the Complete Streets Program. Another would impose a small fee on rideshares, like Uber and Lyft, and use these funds to improve public transit.
I’ll also be supporting recommendations that come out of the city’s Dedicated Bus Lane Workgroup, which I established through one of my bills last Session. When the final recommendations are made public, I’ll be sure to share them with you.
Healthcare Cost Reduction
I’m working hard to reduce the out-of-pocket healthcare costs in Maryland. I’m reintroducing the Facility Fee Right-to-Know Act, which would require hospitals to disclose the approximate cost that a patient would be expected to pay when seeing a doctor at a hospital facility before the patient schedules an appointment.
I’m also introducing a new bill that would protect patients with unpaid medical debt from being sued by hospitals and strengthen existing medical financial assistance policies.
3. Livable Streets Advisory Group
This fall, I established the Livable Streets Advisory Group, aimed at improving the quality of life for everyone in east and southeast Baltimore—specifically, the Fayette-Orleans-Madison-Monument corridor—by reducing the impact of high speed, high volume traffic.
Livability refers to the quality of life as experienced by the people who live, work and recreate in a community. A livable street is pleasant, walkable, feels physically safe to move around and cross no matter whether you are old or young, abled or disabled, pushing a stroller or carrying groceries, going to work or coming home from school.
With the help of my all-star Livable Streets team, Harley Stokes and Crisaly De Los Santos, the advisory group took significant steps to mobilize residents living in the affected neighborhoods through a process grounded in equity, inclusiveness and respect. Our efforts included organizing door-to-door outreach, stakeholder meetings, and community “livability” walks.
4. Zero Waste Communities Legislative Task Force
I established a second workgroup in the community this fall, this time in south Baltimore with my colleagues Delegate Brooke Lierman, Delegate Lorig Charkoudian, Delegate Nick Mosby and Delegate Stephanie Smith.
The Zero Waste Communities Legislative Task Force held two meetings where we gathered input from over 45 community members, advocates and other stakeholders on potential legislative solutions for reducing solid waste and improving air quality. This input will be used to develop a legislative package for the 2020 Session: the Pathway to Zero Waste. This package will include bills to clean up the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), support composting infrastructure, increase the transparency of our recycling efforts, and fund other zero-waste initiatives throughout the state.
5. 2020 Census
On December 16, Team 46 hosted a meeting of community leaders to get every neighborhood involved with Baltimore City’s 2020 Census efforts.
All of our work to create better schools, safer streets, good healthcare, and modern transit rely heavily on the amount of funding we receive from the federal government. We must ensure that every Baltimore resident is counted in the 2020 Census so that these important ongoing efforts are protected. Click here for more information about the 2020 Census and learn ways to get involved.
Baltimore City Delegation Night – Charm City Creates
Thursday, January 30, 2020
5:30 PM – 7:30 PM
Miller Conference Room West I & II
11 Bladen St., Annapolis, MD 21401
Please join the Baltimore City Delegation for the second annual Baltimore City Delegation Night – Charm City Creates. This event highlights the brilliant and beautiful creators in our city—artists, musicians, poets, painters and makers—from every corner, every community. Contact my office for more information.
My office will be accepting scholarship applications for the 2020-2021 academic year from January 15, 2020 through April 15, 2020! Any high school senior, current college student or graduate student who lives in District 46 is eligible—more information to follow!