Monday, October 24, 2016

Early Voting Starts This Week
            Thurs Oct 27 through Thurs Nov 3 – 8 AM to 8 PM
                        College Park Community Center – 5051 Pierce Ave., College Park
                        Curry Sports and Learning Center – 8001 Sheriff Road, Landover
These are the sites closest to District 47.  There are seven other sites in the county. 
For a complete list go to:         

The deadline for Absentee Ballots is November 1st at 8 PM.  If you want to request an absentee ballot, go to this web-site:

What’s on the Ballot?
Between the primary race last spring and present campaigns, we’ve all heard a lot from candidates for President; for U.S. Senate, (to fill Barbara Mikulski’s seat); and for U.S. Representative  (the seat Donna Edwards is leaving). It’s harder for most voters to feel they know how to vote in the “down-ballot” races, and the ballot questions can be particularly hard to understand, so I thought I’d try to address some of these.

o   Judges of the Circuit Court (4 positions, 5 candidates)
§  I’m voting for Dawson, Engel, Mason and Turner. People who I respect and know the different judges have recommended them to me.
o   Continue  the Terms of Two Appellate Judges (Yes or No)
§  I see no reason why not to continue their terms
o   Constitution Amendment on Special Election for Attorney General and Comptroller:
§  The Amendment changes the way we fill vacancies for Attorney General and Comptroller.
·         Under current law, the Governor gets to choose any replacement for these offices without voters ever having an opportunity to weigh in.
·         Under the Proposed Amendment:  The Governor has to choose a temporary replacement from the same party as the outgoing official. The state central committee of the same party as the outgoing official would submit a list of three names to the Governor for consideration. The appointee could serve a maximum of two years, and then there would be a special election at the next regularly scheduled election. Since special elections will only be held during regularly scheduled Congressional elections, we won't have to worry about low turnout and added cost to taxpayers.
·         I think this is a good amendment.  I believe that all vacancies should be filled by voters at the next regularly scheduled election (so as not to cost more money).  It’s the democratic way. It’s a good start: maybe we can then have legislation to fill all elected vacancies the same way.

o   County Referendums allowing the County to borrow money (Questions A, B, C, E, F) – These are all necessary referendums to enable the County to raise the money for construction on needed county projects. I recommend voting Yes.

o   Question D – This question is particularly controversial. I am not making a recommendation, but I want to give you some  information on the issue. The Prince George’s County Council is currently made up of 9 members, each elected for a term of 4 years, with a two-term limit. The Charter change proposed in Question D would add two at-large seats to the County Council. On the plus side, adding these at-large seats would incentivize regional cooperation because the at-large Council members would be looking out for the whole county. But on the minus side are two objections:  adding two Council seats would cost the County an estimated extra $1 million per year; and it also provides a way to circumvent the term limits, because Council members who are currently unable to run for office again would be able to run for the at-large seats for additional two terms. (As a comparison, Montgomery County has 4 at-large and 5 District seats, currently with no term limits, but voters are voting on a question to institute a three-term limit on council seats.)

The League of Women Voters held an educational forum on Question D in Bowie on October 8th.  The forum had a panel discussion with pro and con, questions from the audience and comments from civic leaders.  The forum can be viewed on the City of Bowie's YouTube site here:

o   County Question G – Enables the County Council to hire its own attorney if there is a conflict with the County Executive.  It makes sense, since they now have to use the attorney appointed by the County Executive.

o   Board of Education School Board  – If you are in our legislative district (47A), you may be in School Board district 3 or 4 (the Board of Education district map is at ). Elections for the four-year terms are in even-numbered years. In district 4, incumbent Patricia Eubanks is being challenged by Abel Olivo. I am not making any recommendations. (District 3 member Dinora Hernandez was elected in 2014).

You can click here to look at the sample ballot:

 ROCK the VOTE Rally

Date: Sunday, October 30th, 2016
Time: 3pm to 8pm
Location: 3701 Lawrence Street, Colmar Manor

Prince George’s Regional Hospital Gets Go Ahead   - The Maryland Health Care Commission voted unanimously to approve plans for a proposed regional medical center in Prince George’s County, the final step in a prolonged regulatory process that began more than three years ago.
            The Hospital will be at the Largo Town Center near the Largo Metro Station.
The $543 million project is a joint venture of Dimensions Healthcare Systems and the University of Maryland Medical System. More than $400 million in public funds will go to construction and hospital operations.
The regional medical center will anchor a revitalization of the county’s struggling health-care system so it can better serve residents, who have some of the highest rates of chronic disease in the state.
A ceremonial groundbreaking will likely take place next spring or early summer. The projected opening date for the new hospital is 2020.

Report Back from My Trip to Central America:  As I mentioned in a previous report, I was privileged to be part of a delegation of elected officials that went to Central America to look into questions that are important to our community here as well: Why are so many people from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala coming to the US? How do they get here? What can be done to improve the conditions in these countries so that people will not have to flee?  On Nov 14th, I along with other participants will be giving a report on what we saw and heard. The trip was an eye-opener for me, and I’d like to share my experiences:

Monday November 14th
7:30 PM
Cottage City Hall
3820 40th Ave., Cottage City

SAVE THE DATE – Jimmy’s Pre-Session Holiday Celebration
Wednesday, Nov 30th, 6-8 pm
            Three Brothers Restaurant
4521 Kenilworth Avenue, Bladensburg
                        Join House of Delegates Majority Leader Anne Kaiser
                                Chair of Prince George’s County Senate Delegation Jim Rosapepe
                                Presumed Congressman-Elect Anthony Brown
            Hear about legislation I will be introducing
            Find about some of the critical issues in the upcoming legislative session
            Meet your neighbors and enjoy the good food at Three Brothers
            $5 for Residents of the 47th District
            (Authorized by Friends of Jimmy Tarlau, Jodi Beder, Treasurer)