Ending Domestic Violence and Upcoming Holidays
Dear Neighbors and Friends -
September and October have passed, and we are just weeks away from the holiday season and special session. As you know, many changes are taking place in the County and the Maryland General Assembly.
First, I want to highlight the work that State's Attorney Braveboy and her office have done to combat Domestic Violence in the County. During the ongoing pandemic, domestic violence cases have been on the rise. The State's Attorney has been consistently bringing awareness to the issue. As a staunch advocate for women, children, and families in the County, I was proud to be one of the sponsors for one of the events hosted by State's Attorney Braveboy.
In addition, I wanted to update you on a critical piece of legislation that I have been working on for almost two years. During the 2022 Legislative Session, I will be filing a bill called the "Pregnancy Person's Dignity Act." The bill will prohibit the prosecution of people seeking abortions and people who are assisting people seeking abortions. In addition, the bill will stop the trial of women who terminate the pregnancy themselves.
A few weeks ago, Speaker Adrienne Jones and Senate President Bill Ferguson petitioned the Governor for a Special Session. The Governor then issued a proclamation for the session. The U.S. Constitution dictates that the Maryland General Assembly redraws our Congressional districts after the decennial census. The Maryland General Assembly will gavel into a Special Session on December 6 at 10:00 a.m., and we'll work all week to consider the redistricting legislation as well as the Governor's 23 vetoes from the 2021 regular session.
Lastly, as we approach the Thanksgiving holiday season, I want to extend my thanks to you - District 22. It has been my honor and pleasure to serve you all as a Delegate in Annapolis. Although the last two years have posed many challenges, our unity has been strengthened through the continued trials. My faith has continuously been restored by seeing the all-hands-on-deck effort you all have put in to lift each other up. As we begin to say goodbye this year and hello to a new one, I hope you all continue to stay involved in the Democratic process and engage with other legislators and myself.
Ending Domestic Violence in
Prince George's County
"Under my administration, the Office of the State’s Attorney’s goal is not only to bring awareness to domestic violence, but to ensure that no other woman, man or child should have to lose his or her life. Unfortunately, during the pandemic we have seen an uptick in the requests for restraining orders—37% between 2019 and 2020. We have also seen an increase in 2021. But we are continuously working to protect those who are being abused. Last year, my team and I led the charge in Annapolis to pass legislation making strangulation a first-degree felony offense. Statistics indicate that strangulation is one of the most lethal forms of domestic violence. A victim of strangulation is seven times more likely to end up a victim of a homicide. My office also established Prince George’s County’s Interagency Strangulation Protocol, in collaboration with Law Enforcement, the Office of the County Executive and the University of Maryland Capitol Region Health. The protocol provides a more streamlined way for victims to report domestic violence. We will continue to work with our partners to ensure that victims know that there are resources available to be able to make a plan to escape abuse, get a restraining order and take other steps necessary to get out of an abusive situation and protect themselves. Aisha N. Braveboy Prince George's County State's Attorney
Pregnant Person's Dignity Act
As I stated previously, a good portion of my 2022 legislative agenda will be focused on women, children, family planning, and survivors of sexual assault. The Pregnant Person's Dignity Act will be cross-filed in the Maryland senate by Judicial Proceedings Chairman Senator Will Smith. In addition, I have sought out the help of various advocacy groups across the state, such as the Women's Law Center and the People's Commission to Decriminalize Maryland. I have already presented this bill before several women at the annual Maryland Legislative Agenda for Women (MLAW) Conference and ensured that this legislation is the Black Caucus priority. I hope that Marylanders will not have to experience the same type of senseless criminalization and discrimination that so many Texans have suffered at the hands of S.B. 8.
Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland Presents: The 2022 Annual Nathaniel Exum Youth Day
The Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland will host its annual youth day this year on February 22, 2022. The event is slated to take place at Coppin University. This event is for Middle and High School Students only. If your child or someone you know would like to participate in this year's youth day please click here for more information.
Build Back Better: Infrastructure Bill
President Biden has signed historic legislation to invest in, rebuild and reimage our nation’s infrastructure for the 21st-century. With the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, America will repair our aging roadways, bridges, and transit systems, while creating good-paying union jobs, tackling the climate crisis, and growing our economy sustainably and equitably for decades to come. I want to thank President Biden and Congress for working together to Build America Back Better, and with this legislation, the government will deliver the quality infrastructure that Americans and Marylanders deserve.
Emergency Rental Assistance
Direct rental assistance payments for renters and landlords are available now! If you need COVID rental relief, click here to apply to a program in your area. For additional rental and legal assistance, refer to the Maryland Courts website by clicking here.
COVID -19 Vaccines and Boosters
As many of you know children ages 5 to 11 are now qualified to receive the COVID-10 vaccine. I know that many parents of school-aged children are happy and relieved at this new development. If you would like to sign your child up to receive the vaccine, please review the county's website for more information. I would encourage you all to get vaccinated as we enter flu season. My office and I are fully vaccinated, in addition, we have just received our boosters as well. If you have any further questions, contact my office and someone will be more than happy to assist you.
Thanksgiving is one of those holidays where you draw close to family and friends. That is why I thought it would be an excellent time to share the recipe of one of my favorite Thanksgiving foods, Sweet Potato Pie. Here is a classic recipe from my favorite entertainer: Ms. Patti LaBelle. I hope you use this recipe to bring joy, love, and laughter to your home this holiday season. District 22, I give you the world-famous Patti LaBelle Sweet Potato Pie.
FOR THE PIE CRUST
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter-flavored vegetable shortening, chilled.
1/3 cup ice water
FOR THE FILLING
3 large orange-fleshed sweet potatoes (Louisiana yams), scrubbed
8 tablespoons butter, melted (1 stick)
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
1/4 cup half-and-half
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Whipped cream, for serving (optional)
FOR THE CRUST: Sift the flour and salt into a medium bowl. Add the shortening. Using a fork or a pastry blender, cut the shortening into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs with a few pea-sized bits. Stirring with the fork, gradually add enough of the water until the mixture clumps together (you may need more or less water). Gather up the dough and press it into a thick disk. If desired, wrap the dough in wax paper and refrigerate for up to 1 hour.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough into a 13-inch circle about 1/8-inch thick. Fold the dough in half. Transfer to a 9-inch pie pan, and gently unfold the dough to fit into the pan. Using scissors or a sharp knife, trim the dough to a 1-inch overhang. Fold the dough under itself so the edge of the fold is flush with the edge of the pan. Flute the dough around the edge of the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate while making the filling. FOR THE FILLING: Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the sweet potatoes and reduce the heat to medium. Cook until the sweet potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife, about 30 minutes. Drain and run under cold water until cool enough to handle. Peel the sweet potatoes and place them in a medium bowl. Mash with an electric mixer on medium speed until very smooth. Measure 3 cups mashed sweet potatoes, keeping any extra for another use, and set aside. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Uncover the pie shell and brush the interior with some of the melted butter. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of brown sugar over the bottom of the pie shell. Bake until the pie dough is set and just beginning to brown, about 15 minutes. If the pie shell puffs, do not prick it. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, using an electric mixer on low speed, mix the mashed sweet potatoes, the remaining melted butter and 1/2 cup brown sugar, the granulated sugar, eggs, half-and-half, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Spread into the partially baked pie shell, smoothing the top. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F. Bake until a knife inserted in the center of the filling comes out clean, about 1 ½ hours. Cool completely on a wire cake rack. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve with whipped cream.
Reprinted from "LaBelle Cuisine." Copyright © 1999 by Patti LaBelle with Laura B. Randolph. Published by Broadway Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.