2022 Session Newsletter - 3/7/22
Dear Neighbors and Friends -
It has been a busy couple of weeks in Annapolis, with more bill hearings on the way. Two pieces of legislation, including my bills on informed consent during drug and alcohol screenings and the Pregnant Persons Freedom Act of 2022, will be heard before committee this Friday. Next week, my bill to expand the availability of curbside voting will also be heard before committee. As we continue to move towards the end of session, I am excited to be working with partners in the Senate to finalize our legislation!
At the state level, the COVID-19 positivity rate has dropped below 2 percent for the first time since summer 2021. In addition, Prince George’s County has reported one of the lowest COVID-19 transmission rates of any county in Maryland and lifted its masking mandate on February 28th. Masks will still be required on all forms of public transportation.
I also wanted to take a moment to recognize March as Women’s History Month. This year we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Women Legislators of Maryland, also known as the Women's Caucus, and women from our community that have contributed to its legacy: Delegate Pauline Menes, the first woman from our county to serve in the House, Delegate Jerry E. Perry, the first Black woman from our county to serve in the House, and Senator Gloria Lawlah, the first woman and first Black woman from our county to serve in the Senate. I am constantly reminded of their invaluable contributions to our county and state each day in my work, and am proud to be highlighting them this week.
Celebrating Women's History Month
This month, we celebrate the legacy of women who have paved the way for future generations. I wanted to highlight celebration events that are taking place across the county. The City of Hyattsville will be hosting events throughout the month that you can view here. In addition, the Prince George's County Memorial Library System will be hosting a series of virtual exhibits and events that you can view and register for here.
Employ Prince George's Rapid Re-Employment Grant Initiative
This February, Employ Prince George's, Inc. awarded a total of $1,062,894 to businesses across the County as a part of the COVID-19 Workforce Development Recovery Program Rapid Re-Employment Grant Initiative. In District 22, three local businesses received awards: Smajic, Lili's Dominican Salon, and Old Greenbelt Health. I was proud to also award these businesses with citations to commend them for keeping Prince Georgians employed throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
2022-2023 Delegate's Scholarship
Applications are now open for the 2022-2023 Delegate Nicole Williams Scholarship! The deadline to submit an application is April 8th, 2022, at 11:59 PM. Any student with at least a 2.5 GPA who lives in District 22 and is attending or applying to a college or trade school in Maryland is welcome to apply. For instructions and the application forms, offered in both English and Spanish, please click here.
Prince George's Community Collaboration Center
The Prince George's Community Collaboration Center offers mediation services to settle disputes relating to the community, families, businesses, school, and housing. These services are free, confidential, offer neutral perspectives, and are entirely voluntary. For more information, you can visit their website here or contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Racial Justice Essay Contest
The Equal Justice Initiative has partnered with the Prince George's County Lynching Memorial Project to host the Racial Justice Essay Contest. This scholarship contest will be open to 9th - 12th graders attending public high school in Prince George's County. Prizes for winning entry will total at least $5,000, and submissions will be due April 15th, 2022. To learn more and to apply, please click here.
COVID-19 Testing Sites
The state of Maryland has opened several hospital-based COVID-19 testing sites. Those closest to Prince George's County residents include: UM Laurel Alternate Care Site 7300 Van Dusen Rd. Laurel, MD 20707 Open daily (Mon-Sun, 9 AM - 1 PM) Luminis Health Doctors Community Medical Center (testing at Washington Education Zone/Washington University of DC) 6511 Princess Garden Pkwy Lanham, MD 20706 Open daily (Mon-Sun, 9 AM - 1 PM) UM Capital Region Medical Center (testing at City of Praise Family Ministries) 8501 Jericho City Dr. Landover, MD 20785 Mon: 12 PM - 6 PM Tues - Fri: 10 AM - 4 PM Sat: 9 AM - 1 PM Bunker Hill Fire Station 3716 Rhode Island Ave. Brentwood, MD 20722 Mon-Fri: 9:30 AM - 5:30 PM Sat: 10 AM - 4 PM First United Methodist Church of Hyattsville 6201 Belcrest Rd Hyattsville, MD 20782 Monday & Thursday: 9 AM - 3 PM Saturday: 9 AM - 1 PM Roseu Medical Center 7350 Van Dusen Rd. Laurel, MD 20707 (Appointment required, click here to schedule) Temple Hills Community Center 5300 Temple Hill Rd. Temple Hills, MD 20748 Mon-Fri: 9:30 AM - 5:30 PM In addition, every home in America is now eligible to order 4 free at-home COVID-19 tests through the United States Postal Service. To place an order, visit covidtests.gov. Prince George's County is offering free COVID-19 test kits and KN95 masks at various community centers, branch libraries, testing facilities, and vaccine clinics. For more information on the dates and times these resources are being distributed, please click here. Many pharmacies that have partnered with the state and federal government to deliver COVID-19 vaccines will also be supplying free N95 and KN95 masks. Check your local pharmacy, including CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, and Walmart for more information.
COVID -19 Vaccines and Boosters
If you, a friend, or a family member would like to receive the vaccine or booster, please review the county's website for more information. I encourage you all to get vaccinated - my office and I are fully vaccinated and have received our boosters. If you have any further questions, contact my office and someone will be more than happy to assist you.
The Maryland Homeowner Assistance Fund offers grants that will go towards helping homeowners with mortgage payments, home repairs, housing counseling, and legal aid services. This fund will help those who were unemployed or underemployed after January 21st, 2020. For more information on eligibility requirements and the application, please click here.