Wednesday, March 25th, is Maryland Day. It was 381 years ago that two ships– the Ark and the Dove– left England to form a new colony on behalf of Lord Baltimore and his investors. The treacherous journey for the two ships ended when the colonists landed near what is currently St. Mary’s City. Be sure to fly your flag and/or wear our state’s red/black/gold colors! Another way my staff and I will be celebrating is to “Hear the Crunch” to publicize the reality of children’s hunger.
The General Assembly Is “Crossing Over“
Access to Our State Government
Did you know that almost 83% of the 122 State agency websites we surveyed are available only in English? My Language Access Bill (SB758) would require that these sites be translated into any language spoken by at least 3% of our residents according to the most recent U.S. Census. Currently, only Spanish meets the threshold, although our increasingly diverse population may cause that to change in the future. My Senate committee heard the bill with testimony from a variety of organizations representing minority communities, nonprofit advocacy organizations, and translation businesses. The bill won approval in committee and will be considered by the entire Senate this week.
While these bills are making progress, our work is not yet done. I hope I can count on your support for these bills as they make their way through the legislative process. You can find your legislators and contact them here.
Recognizing State and Local Leaders
As you may know, the University of Maryland’s Chancellor William “Brit” Kirwan is retiring at the end of this academic year. The Senate honored his exemplary service to the State of Maryland and its students last week. I have tremendous respect for Brit’s countless accomplishments and wish him the very best as he retires (but stays active!) in Maryland.
Also retiring is Gaithersburg Councilmember Cathy Drzyzgula. Throughout her two terms serving the City, Cathy has been passionate about transparency in government. Her work ethic and dedication to our community will be missed.
Our community will also miss Alan Lovell, a leader in the non-profit sector, who recently retired after serving 35 years as CEO of CHI Centers. CHI (originally known as the Centers for Handicapped Individuals) has provided support to the developmentally disabled in Montgomery, Howard, and Prince George’s counties since 1967. Thank you Alan for making a difference with your advocacy and service.
Our state is a better place because of these inspiring public servants. As we count down the days to adjournment, I will keep them in mind as I work to continue moving Maryland forward.
Cheryl C. Kagan
State Senator, District 17
Rockville & Gaithersburg