Hitting the Ground Running (January 9, 2017)

Dear Friend:

After a long and turbulent year, we’ve made it to 2017 and the start of Maryland’s 437th Legislative Session. My staff and I have been working hard to make this a successful session for Gaithersburg, Rockville, Montgomery County, and our entire State.


Introducing My Team

Cropped Staff Pic 2017My staff and interns are smart, dedicated, and experienced. Justin Fiore, who worked with us in 2016, returns as my Chief of Staff after gaining insights from his work in the Senate President’s office. Katherine “Kat” Donnelly, my Legislative Aide, is busy helping to finalize our agenda.

Our team is enhanced by the presence of Legacy Fellow David Fosse as well as interns Abbey Viado (our casework miracle worker since 2015!), Phillip Waugh, and Brad Fallon. Each has both legislative and constituent-related responsibilities.


What’s on the Agenda

Last year’s session brought victories on Language Access (the first bill of its kind in the nation!), “Fertility Parity,” informing voters about ‘closed’ primaries, and funding for worthy local projects. With an unpredictable new administration coming to the White House and Republicans controlling both houses of Congress, our State and local governments will play an even more important role than ever.  This year, my priorities include:
  • Enhancing our 9-1-1 Emergency System
    Continuing the the work I began last year in memory of wonderful Rockville resident and activist Carl Henn to make our 9-1-1 system more reliable;
  • Protecting Consumers
    Prohibiting “bait and switch” at the gas pump and restricting the swiping and storing of personal data from our driver’s licenses;
  • Increasing Election Access and Transparency
    Modifying our election laws to provide for greater access and transparency; and
  • Supporting Non-Profits
    Providing short term micro-loans to bridge funding gaps that many organizations experience.
Leadership Appointments
Senate President Miller recently appointed me as Chair of the Joint Committee on Management of Public Funds, which oversees the financial health of State and local public funds.  I have also earned a slot on the Joint Committee on Federal Relations, where I hope my experience as a former Chief of Staff and policy advocate on Capitol Hill will be an asset to Maryland. Additionally, I was named Vice Chair of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) Committee on Redistricting and Elections.
Making Lemonade…
I’m proud to be the founder and Executive Producer of a sold-out “UnNaugural” Concert on January 20th that has raised tens of thousands of dollars for progressive organizations. We’re featuring 5 performers and 5 national causes that fight for civil rights, reproductive choice, environmental protection, LGBTQ equality, and gun control.

Working for You…
I hope my weekly emails during the legislative session provide helpful insights on my third year in the State Senate. Over the next 90 days, my staff and I will be eager to hear your thoughts on pending legislation and assist you with any challenges with our State government agencies.

Please follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. Social media is a great way to stay informed and connected.  You will also see updates on fun and interesting events in District 17. Also, you can check my website for information on Senatorial Scholarships, internship opportunities, and more! Any questions or comments can be directed to me via email.
Best regards,
Cheryl C. Kagan
State Senator, District 17
Rockville & Gaithersburg
PS:  On Monday, January 30th from 6:00 to 8:00pm, our District 17 Democratic Team will host a special evening for our constituents. We encourage you to come to Annapolis; tour our beautiful State House; mingle with your legislators and neighbors; and enjoy delicious food catered by Dawson’s in Rockville. We would appreciate an RSVP at Cheryl.Kagan@senate.state.md.us.