Delegate Nicole Williams Newsletter - 02/21/2023
Dear Neighbors and Friends -
I hope you all had a wonderful President's Day weekend! This federal holiday was originally established to annually celebrate President George Washington's birthday on February 22nd. However, the holiday was later moved to the third Monday of February to celebrate the birthday of Abraham Lincoln and all U.S. Presidents. This move was part of the 1971 Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which aimed to create more three-day weekends for the American workforce. As you reflect on this past long weekend, think about the Presidents of the present and past who have worked immensely in their unique ways to reshape our nation's history. -Nicole
Black History Month Highlight: Riversdale House Museum
Our next Black History Month Highlight is about the history of the Plummer family, who played an essential part in the history of Riversdale House Museum in Riverdale Park, MD. The Riversdale Mansion got completed in 1807 for Henri Stier, a Flemish aristocrat who fled from political turmoil within Europe. It was later gifted to his daughter, Rosalie, and completed by her husband, George Calvert. The Calvert family had many enslaved individuals to tend to their land, most notably one being a man named Adam Francis Plummer, who was eventually freed and went on to make a name for his family within the region. Adam was born into slavery and moved to Riversdale from his previous plantation at ten years old. He eventually got freed by emancipation in 1864 and in 1870 moved his family into the house he built, Mount Rose, located in present-day Edmonston, Maryland. He and his wife Emily founded the St. Paul Baptist Church, which is still thriving today in Capitol Heights, MD. Plummer's experiences from slavery to freedom are detailed more within his diary, aptly called Adam's Diary. His writing inspired his daughter Nellie to write a book about the family's history called Out of the Depths or Triumph of the Cross.
The history of the Calverts' home is now a museum that gives regular tours, which explain the complex history of the land. In addition to the historic house, the museum has an open hearth dependency kitchen, Visitor Center, and kitchen gardens. All these areas let guests learn, volunteer, and explore the history of Riversdale House through various tours, programs, and public event opportunities throughout the year. The Plummers are a great example of excellence and perseverance. They show that despite the obstacles that people experience, staying determined to work towards a brighter future will eventually pay off in the long run.
Black History Month Events in District 22
The celebration of excellence does not stop within this newsletter! Check out these February events within District 22 and more within Prince George's County to stay educated on black empowerment and to uplift your community:
February 22, 2023, 9:30 AM - 12:00 PM
February 23, 2023, 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
February 26, 2023, at the Old Greenbelt Theatre
Many hearings are coming up in the following week of the legislative session for bills that I am sponsoring. Here is a list of upcoming bill hearings and a summary of each bill.
This bill will be heard on Tuesday, February 21st at 1:00 PM in the Judiciary and the Economic Matters Committee.
Expedites the search for missing persons by requiring cell phone carriers to provide limited cellphone data to law enforcement during emergency situations.
This bill will be heard on Thursday, February 23rd at 1:00 PM in the Environment and Transportation Committee.
Prohibits the State and some of its subdivisions from using any appropriation for constructing a magnetic levitation (MAGLEV) transportation system in the State.
Provides that the prohibition does not apply to certain expenditures for salaries.
This bill will be heard on Thursday, February 23rd at 1:00 PM in the Judiciary Committee.
Authorizing courts to grant petitions for expungement of records for certain convictions at any time, so long as the convicted person shows good cause.
Delegate Nicole A. Williams 2023-24 Scholarship
The 2023-2024 scholarship application is now available! Applications will be accepted from now until April 7, 2023. You are eligible for the scholarship if:
If you currently attend or will be attending any college or vocational school in Maryland next year
If you live in District 22 (to check, visit www.mdelect.net)
If you have at least a 2.5 GPA
Click here for more information on how to apply, as well as the link to the official application. Make sure that all parts of your application are complete before you submit it for consideration. Award winners will be announced in mid-May. Best of luck to everyone applying!
Article of the Week
As the trees are getting stressed out by the fluctuating temperatures and are producing flowers too early, the town of University Park has started a new Tree Reimbursement Program. This project aims to protect and preserve existing trees, encourage citizens to plant new trees, and minimize unnecessary deforestation. To learn more about how this reimbursement program works, read about it in their February newsletter.
According to the CDC, COVID-19 Community levels are measured as Low, Medium, and High. At this time the federal government is planning to end the national COVID-19 state of emergency declaration on May 11th. This will potentially impact health benefits for Marylanders. Older adults (50 years and older), and individuals who are immunocompromised or have underlying medical or cardiac conditions should take necessary precautions to stay safe. Please click here to find the closest COVID-19 testing facility near you in Prince George's County.
Redefining Public Safety
If you are in need of conflict resolution and want an informal process to reach a win-win situation, consider reaching out to the Prince George's Community Collaborative Resolution Center! They are a division of Community Mediation Maryland (CMM) that provides free mediation services to all residents of Prince George's County. Their mediators are trained volunteers from the community who can resolve a conflict or situation at any stage. For more information:
As you may know, dialing 9-1-1 is the number to call when you need help and are in immediate danger. When dialing 2-1-1, you can receive information on immediate mental health support, hate-crime support, senior assistance, food and shelter support, and much more. Also, note that this information is provided in multiple languages. To learn more, please click here to explore Maryland's 2-1-1 site.
Prince George's County Department of Housing Community Development 2023-2024 Affordable Housing Portfolio:
The portfolio lists over forty upcoming and completed senior living communities and multi-family dwellings, now available to County residents. If you want to access more information about the new portfolio, you can watch the promotional video here.
If you are currently facing housing or rental concerns due to financial hardship, the organizations listed below can provide some support:
Maryland Homeowner Assistance Fund offers support mortgage relief, weatherization, housing counseling, and legal services.
Housing Counseling Services Inc. offers a variety of MD housing and rental assistance resources including but not limited to housing counseling, foreclosure prevention, utility assistance, and veteran support services