Call Swing States for Biden and Request your Mail-in Ballot
Dear Neighbors and Friends,
I cannot believe it is Labor Day weekend. Governor Hogan announced on Tuesday that Maryland is partially moving into the third and final phase of its Recovery Plan. The Governor’s Executive Order will allow indoor and outdoor theaters to open at 50% capacity or up to 100 people at indoor venues and 250 people at outdoor venues. However, local governments have the authority to keep more restrictive rules in place.
This differs from what was presented in April. The riskiest activities such as gatherings in bars, entertainment venues, and large religious gatherings were not supposed to resume until there was a vaccine. However, the Governor has changed his position on his original plan. According to the Governor the plan is evolving.
Here in Prince George’s County, County Executive Angela Alsobrooks stated that we will not move into phase three. While our numbers here in the County have improved we are not in place to move forward just yet. We need to stay safe this holiday weekend.
This week, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) announced that there will be a moratorium on foreclosures nationwide but it is not as far reaching as it may seem. On Monday, I joined onto a letter from Speaker Jones to Governor Hogan asking for additional funding to help assist tenants with rental assistance. Right now many people are still out of work or underemployed.
In addition to the looming housing crisis, public outcry about police use of force and shooting of Black people here in America, there is a lot going on. If you are feeling depressed, anxious or suicidal, please do not be afraid to get professional help from a licensed therapist. September 6th – 12th is suicide prevention week. Please share this number 1-800-273-8255 which is the number to the national suicide prevention lifeline. Someone is there 24/7 to take your call.
Lastly, I am still on my mission to change the occupant of the White House. Below you will see this week’s info on making phone calls into Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Virginia to get Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris elected President and Vice President of the United States.
Happy Labor Day!
Calling Into Swing States
Currently, the Maryland Democratic Party is calling into swing states like PA, VA, and NC every Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Starting next week we’ll be adding Tuesday to our lineup of Swing State Days of Action. As a friendly reminder, we’re currently calling from 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM and have three shift blocks that volunteers can sign up for. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturdays: Every Week 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM 4:00 PM - 8:00 PM If you aren’t already helping to make calls into these important Swing States, it’s not too late to sign up. You can sign up by clicking this link.
Request Your Absentee Ballot
Whether you choose to vote by mail or in-person, make a plan before casting your ballot. You should have received in the mail your application to request an absentee ballot. Please fill it out and send it back in as soon as possible if you wish to vote by mail in November. Voting by mail is the easiest and safest way to exercise your right without putting your health at risk. The ballots will be mailed the end of September to those who requested one. Once your ballot arrives, you can drop your completed ballot at the local board of elections, a designated ballot drop-off box, in the mail using free postage or at an early voting center or polling place. Any ballot submitted by mail must be postmarked by Election Day, however, I strongly encourage you to drop off your ballot at a voting site or drop-off box instead of by mail. In-person voting locations will also be open for Early Voting from October 26 through November 2 and on Election Day, November 3. Find your closest early voting location ahead of time and vote early to help alleviate long lines and large crowds on Election Day. If you are not registered to vote, the deadline is October 13 -- you can check your registration status here. Even if you miss the registration deadline - it’s okay. You can register and vote on the same day during Early Voting or on Election Day.
Distance Learning and Free Meals for Students
Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) has a Distance Learning Hotline for students and parents to assist with technical/equipment issues, instruction guidance and more. You can reach them at 240-696-6229 (Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.).
Effective September 2, meal pickup and delivery will be free for all students through December 31. Meals will also be delivered to many communities by school bus on Mondays and Wednesdays between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. More information and a list of delivery locations by city here. Please check the PGCPS website on meal delivery days for any important updates or changes.
Although PGCPS will offer distance learning for the first semester, students must meet state immunization requirements within 20 calendar days of enrollment (Sept. 21). PGCPS is hosting free immunization clinics at multiple school sites to assist families with meeting immunization requirements. https://www.pgcps.org/immunizations/ Immunizations will be offered by appointment only in order to adhere to social distancing guidelines; masks will be required. Temperatures will be taken upon arrival. We will also offer dental services and flu shots for your convenience.
PGCPS continues to cover the cost of the Comcast Internet Essentials program, which provides affordable high-speed internet at home, for families eligible for free and reduced-price meals (FARMS). The school system will also help non-FARMS families obtain a Comcast or Verizon hotspot for home internet access. To request a hotspot, please call our Parent Center Hotline at 240-696-3315 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maryland Partial Phase Three Recovery Plan
Under Governor Hogan’s most recent Executive Order the following are allowed to reopen or expand occupancy in Maryland effective Friday at 5 pm:
Indoor art venues
Houses of Worship may increase their capacity from 50% to 75%
However, Prince George's County is not moving into phase three and these facilities will continue to remain closed in Prince George's County or at current capacity.
Prince George's County Free COVID-19 Testing Sites
The County Health Department has four free coronavirus testing sites. You do not need insurance or an appointment. The sites are open Monday through Thursday, 10 am to 6pm unless otherwise noted. All of the County sites are closed on Labor Day, Monday, September 7th. Rollingcrest-Chillum Recreation Center 6120 Sargent Road, Chillum MD 20782 Cheverly Health Center ( Open Friday, Sept. 4th from 9 AM – 3 PM) 3003 Hospital Drive, Cheverly MD 20785 Wayne K. Curry Sports & Learning Center 8001 Sheriff Road, Landover MD 20785 D. Leonard Dyer Regional Health Center 9314 Piscataway Road, Clinton MD 20735 There are also test sites operated by the State such the Six Flags Amusement Park location and private entities such as some CVS locations. Click here to find a test site near you.
Utility Moratorium and Payment Rules
The Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) has extended the moratorium on utility shut-offs and late payments until October 1, 2020. Utilities cannot begin to send turn-off notices until October 1, 2020 and customers cannot be turned off prior to November 15, 2020. However, you can contact your utility company today to set up a payment plan or request energy assistance funds. Click here for more information on how to obtain help with your utilities.
If you or someone you know is continuing to have problems, please let my office know. Please use this Unemployment Insurance Tracker Form or contact my office directly for additional assistance. To directly access the BEACON One-Stop site to file an unemployment claim, visit https://beacon.labor.maryland.gov/claimant/
Police Reform and Accountability in Maryland Workgroup
Did you miss any of the previous workgroup meetings? You can watch any of the previous meetings to find out what you missed. Click here to visit the workgroup website which has a link to view all of the previous meetings.
Food Distribution Sites and Resources
Food Pantry Locations In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, several food pantries have been setup throughout the county and in neighboring jurisdictions. Enter your zip code or address to search for the food pantry nearest you. SNAP Assistance SNAP is now approved in Maryland for online grocery purchases for delivery or pickup. Walmart, Amazon and ShopRight are among the participating retailers. Call Maryland Hunger Solutions at 866-821-5552 for assistance and questions related to SNAP applications. They can assist with completing and submitting SNAP applications over the phone, submit any changes to your active SNAP case, answer questions about your benefits, and direct you to additional food resources
County COVID-19 Resources
If you have any questions or concerns, please call the Prince George’s County Health Department Coronavirus hotline at (301) 883-6627 from 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM to receive updated information about the coronavirus disease. *Please contact 911 for medical emergencies only.
Child care centers are opening up throughout in the State. Click here if you are returning back to work and need child care.
To keep track of confirmed COVID-19 cases within the county please click here.
2020 Census Ends Soon
The Deadline to Complete the 2020 Census is September 30th. Please complete your census form TODAY. You can call 1-844-330-2020, no code needed to complete your form over the phone
Go to www.2020census.gov to fill out the census online. Let your friends know you've been counted--share this status on your social media: I am #ProudtobeCounted in PGC #pgcensus We need you to complete the 2020 Census TODAY.