Amazon, Shutdown, “UnNaugural,” and More… (January 24, 2018)

January 24, 2018
Dear Friend:
Now that the pomp and circumstance of the Maryland General Assembly’s opening is out of the way, we are getting down to business. Between my first bill hearing; the potential Amazon headquarters in Montgomery County; and my “UnNaugural” Concert, it’s been another busy week!
Montgomery County Makes the Top 20 List for Amazon!
Amazon, one of America’s most dynamic tech companies, recently announced that Montgomery County is one of the remaining competitors bidding to become the home of their second headquarters. In addition to a skilled workforce and vital infrastructure, Montgomery County offers a high quality of life and a unique location for world-class business. Because Amazon would bring as many as 50,000 potential high-paying jobs and international prestige and visibility, I strongly support Montgomery County’s bid. The General Assembly will consider a generous package of incentives in the coming weeks. Although I want more information about some of the details, I co-sponsored the bill so Maryland can stand united.

 UnNaugural 2.0: A Big Success!
On January 20, about 250 guests enjoyed a fabulous concert to support five progressive advocacy organizations. Headliner Tom Paxton, a folk music legend who was recognized with a Lifetime AchievementGrammy in 2009, brought his unique combination of humor and commitment to social justice to the stage. As the founder, Executive Producer, and Emcee of theUnNaugural Concert, I am proud that we raised thousands for CASAChesapeake Climate Action NetworkHealth Care For AllMaryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault, and Maryland Hunger Solutions.
Interested in Serving Our State?
The list of the Governor’s appointments over the past 8 months was delivered to our office. NO residents of Rockville or Gaithersburg were among those selected to serve! Do you have interest or expertise and a modest amount of time to contribute to the betterment of our State? Here’s the list of Boards and Commissions. I would LOVE to see my talented constituents on the next list!
“…you will get satisfaction out of doing something to give back to the community that you never get in any other way.”
— Ruth Bader Ginsburg
The Effect of the Federal Shutdown on Maryland’s Economy
As you know, the Trump Administration and Congressional Republicans’ failure to support the DACA “Dreamers” led to a government shutdown last weekend. Because the federal government is a critical driver of our region’s economy, it’s estimated that each day of a shutdown costs the region about $150 million. While many of us are justifiably nervous about the next deadline (only 15 days away!), we all hope that prudent collaboration will triumph!
Spotlight: “Freedom to Serve”

Despite the national political environment teeming with partisan divide and gridlock, 41 of 47 Maryland Senators co-sponsored my “Freedom to Serve Act.” This would allow legal permanent residents (LPRs) who are also honorably discharged veterans of the United States Armed Forces to apply to be police officers in Maryland. These women and men have served their country; they should also be allowed to serve their communities! Maryland would also benefit by having a more diverse applicant pool, which would turn into bilingual, community police officers.
Making State Websites Accessible for Everyone
In the modern world, when we need information, we turn to websites. For those with limited English proficiency, I enacted a law in 2016 to require that State websites are translated for free. Unfortunately, due to a technical wrinkle in the wording, the Hogan Administration decided the bill did not apply to every website. This year, I am sponsoring a bill to make sure that every State page accessed by the general public is translated.
With all the action in Washington– and Annapolis– I hope these updates keep you informed. You can also follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for photos and posts. Check my website for information about internships, Senatorial Scholarships, and more. And, you can always send questions or comments to me via email.
Cheryl C. Kagan
State Senator, District 17
(Rockville & Gaithersburg)
P.S. Unfortunately, we needed to cancel District 17 Night (scheduled for next Monday, January 29). If you plan to visit Annapolis next week or any time during the session, I would love to see you!