Back to School & Back on Kojo! — September 2, 2020

September 2, 2020
Dear Friend:
You may notice that this e-mail looks a bit different. One of my constituents suggested that we use a larger font for easier reading. I always appreciate feedback as we seek ways to improve our community outreach!
Heading Back (Virtually) to School
Montgomery County Public Schools returned to virtual classrooms this week. I want to thank our MCPS teachers and staff for their dedication to making online learning as successful as possible. Despite Governor Hogan’s confusing last-minute pronouncements to push in-person learning right away, I support Montgomery County’s decision to prioritize safety over politics.
Testing for COVID-19 in Gaithersburg
At long last, the Coronavirus testing site at Lakeforest Mall opened today! For now, the location will be open only on Wednesdays from 9am-1pm. As more test kits become available, the County will expand the hours. You do not need a doctor’s note or appointment; testing is free of charge.
Making A Voting Plan
Maryland mailed ballot applications to all registered voters last week. Many (including me!) received an application even after applying for a mail-in ballot online. If you have already requested your ballot, you probably don’t need to fill out this form. You can check the status of your application to confirm that it has been processed.
If you applied online, you may receive a new voter registration card. Please note that the poll location listed may be inaccurate for November’s election. A list of polling centers can be found on the Montgomery County website.
You should get your actual ballot in late September. I urge you to complete it and sign the envelope as soon as possible and return via USPS (postage is pre-paid) or at a ballot drop-off box anywhere in the County. Providing as much time as possible for your ballot to reach the Local Board of Elections will ensure that your vote is counted.
What to Expect When You’re Voting: A Series (Part 1)
In addition to the races for President/Vice President, Congress, Board of Education, and Judges, six ballot questions will appear on your ballot. I will share my recommendations over the next several weeks to help you prepare to vote.
State Constitutional Amendment #1: Maryland is the only state that gives its Governor unfettered power over the State Budget. This Constitutional Amendment will result in the same ‘checks & balances’ that exist in every state and the U.S. Congress. Sharing budgetary responsibility will reduce back-room deals and avoid wasteful spending as we craft our Constitutionally-required balanced budget. This may be the most important measure on the ballot this year. I strongly urge you to vote YES.
Spreading the Word About 9-1-1, Elections, & More
I recently appeared with Senator Reilly (R) on an episode of MPT’s weekly “State Circle.” A friend and ally, he is also a member of the NG911 Commission I chair. Among other issues, we shared our excitement over the new statewide “Text to 9-1-1” initiative. You can now text for police, fire, or paramedics if you are unable to speak. Check out this brief video to learn how to use this new life-saving option.
Tomorrow at noon, I’m returning to The Kojo Nnamdi Show on WAMU. The program will focus on my work to update our 9-1-1 public safety systems.
If you’re interested in election news, I have spoken with Maryland MattersWAMU, and The Baltimore Sun. I also shared my thoughts with Maryland Matters on my efforts to increase advocacy for government transparency.

If you enjoy my weekly updates, please consider following me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for photos and posts. If you have any questions or comments, send me an email!
Cheryl C. Kagan
State Senator, District 17
(Gaithersburg & Rockville)
PS: The start to this school year certainly looks and feels very different. If you’re feeling a bit discouraged, check out this inspiring video from the new Kid Superintendent— following in the footsteps of Kid President!