Boo! It’s scary how fast the year goes by. Halloween is behind us and the holidays are approaching in full swing, and before you know it, the legislative session will be starting again! But before that, I’ve got some updates to share about what I’ve been up to recently.
Officer Caprio Unity Playground
Officer Amy Caprio lost her life in the line of duty in May 2018 while intervening to stop a crime spree and keep her community safe. Earlier this month, I attended a beautiful and emotional dedication ceremony for the Officer Caprio Unity Playground at Gunpowder Elementary School.
This Unity Playground embodies Officer Caprio’s core values of spreading kindness and compassion, and will allow us to instill those values in a new generation of upstanding citizens. The grief of her loss is still heavy, but we can also celebrate the joy of her life, the selflessness of her service and the beauty of her legacy. Officer Caprio will live on in the smiles and laughter of the children who play on her Unity Playground for years to come.
I was especially humbled to receive a beautiful plaque as thanks for my small part in bringing this project to life. My legislative colleagues and I fought to secure $150,000 in state funding for the playground, and it is a blessing to see the results of that work. I will always keep and treasure the plaque as a reminder to #BeAmy in my own service.
Belmont South Water Emergency
Late on a Monday night, residents reported a water leak flooding the corner of Mitnick and Kintore in the Belmont South neighborhood. No call for service was until late Wednesday night, after the property management company and the Baltimore City Department of Public Works debated who was responsible for repairs. Meanwhile, dozens of units were without water. Needless to say, this is not acceptable.
My office was on the scene to help mediate a meeting between the management company and community members on Wednesday afternoon. I stayed up late that night, working alongside my fellow legislators and the incredible folks in this community to collect and distribute donations of bottled water. It was wonderful to see the neighborhood coming together, making sure everyone was supplied. Crisis really does reveal the beauty in humanity, and I was so proud and blessed to see this community’s heart beating so strong together.
I was back on Thursday morning to meet the repair crew at the site. Luckily, things proceeded smoothly, and water service was restored on Thursday afternoon just after 2:30 p.m., just about 62 hours after being cut off. Huge thanks to Mike and the crew at T&D Plumbing for quick, friendly and professional work, and for their commitment that they wouldn’t leave until the water was restored. We are blessed to have folks with this mindset serving our communities. I only wish the call had gone out first thing Tuesday morning, not late Wednesday evening.
Thank you to everyone who was affected for your grace and understanding as we worked to address this emergency. Water is essential to life and livelihood, and nobody should be deprived of access to water where they live. The conversation is by no means over — I am still concerned about the procedural holdup which let two days go by without repairs being made, and there are questions remaining about Mitnick’s road condition and safety. Still, I am resting easier knowing these folks can cook, clean and bathe in peace.
Developmental Disabilities Administration Workgroup
Earlier this summer, I was asked to take part in a workgroup seeking to address concerns with the way Maryland’s Developmental Disabilities Administration manages self-directed services. In the last month or two, I joined a sub-committee reviewing federal guidelines from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and identifying where Maryland’s services don’t match up with those guidelines. The most important takeaway for me though is the experiences of the folks who rely on self-directed services and who are most impacted. Their voices should remain central in this conversation.
My thanks to Delegate Karen Lewis Young for convening this work group and the CMS Review Subcommittee. It is an honor to take part in this good work stepping up for some of Maryland’s most vulnerable and under-served citizens.
Spotlight — Congratulations to my colleagues
My warmest congratulations to Delegates Erek Barron and Kathleen Dumais, who have both started exciting new chapters in their careers. Delegate Barron was appointed by President Joe Biden to be U.S. Attorney for Maryland, and Delegate Dumais was nominated by Governor Larry Hogan to be a Montgomery County Circuit Court judge.
I had the honor and privilege of serving alongside both Delegates Barron and Dumais for three legislative sessions, and saw for myself their sharp insight, dedicated service and compassion. The people of Maryland will continue to be blessed by their leadership, and while we will miss them in the legislature next year, our most sincere well wishes go with them.
Happy Halloween from District 8!
It was wonderful to see folks coming out for some good old fashioned trick or treating. For many, it’s been a scary year, and I found myself noticing the joy and excitement which seemed to come alive in our neighborhood streets. I am so grateful to see this vibrancy and energy in my community, and so excited to enjoy a safe and special holiday season! Special thanks to the Linover Community Association and the Harford Park Community Association for hosting me at their fantastic events. To everyone, Happy Halloween and happy holidays!