Protests & Primary Problems: June 9, 2020

June 9, 2020
Dear Friend:
Recent events of police brutality and election mishaps have challenged our democracy. Demonstrations have been held each day across the State to demand equality. I am hopeful that our demands for justice and equality will be heard.

Say His Name!
The tragic deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor weigh heavy on all of us. The response across the country and here in Maryland has been inspiring. I participated in a protest in Rockville, organized by Richard Montgomery High School students. The event was thoughtful, passionate, and peaceful. I was relieved to see that nearly everyone was wearing face coverings and not denying the Coronavirus pandemic while insisting that #BlackLivesMatter.
Sen. Will Smith shared his proposals for police reform. Among his suggestions are disclosing officers’ personnel records; banning choke-holds; modifying officer training; and demilitarizing police forces. In addition to Sen. Smith, the Chair of the Judicial Proceedings Committee, many of us are developing legislative proposals.

Criticizing State Administrator of Elections
After another deeply flawed Maryland election, Lt. Governor Rutherford called for the resignation of our State Administrator of Elections, Linda Lamone. Concern is bipartisan, with our State Comptroller saying, “it’s time for an end to the endless excuses. It’s time for a new culture of accountability and competence.” Elected officials, including those in our Congressional delegation, criticized delays and mistakes in the 2020 Primary. My Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee will hold another hearing next Tuesday at 1pm to examine the errors made in our recent elections.

Waiting, Wishing, Hoping…
The Governor announced that much of the state would entered Phase Two of reopening. However, County Executive Marc Elrich believed it was too soon to shift in Montgomery County. We are all hopeful that health metrics continue to improve and we can reopen soon.
Closing Access to Health Insurance Plans
Do you or a loved one need health insurance during this time? The Maryland Health Connection’s COVID-19 Special Enrollment Period ends on June 15th for those who need health care. In this crisis, it is essential that you and your family get the coverage you need. Be sure to sign up now!
Starting COVID Vaccine Trials in Humans
Gaithersburg-based Novavax began its first human vaccine trials with 131 Australians volunteering for the injection; results will be available in July. “Novavax used genetic engineering to grow harmless copies of the Coronavirus spike protein in giant vats of insect cells in a laboratory,” AP reportsAstraZeneca is also making great strides toward a vaccine. I am very proud to represent the hard-working scientists at both Novavax and Gaithersburg’s Medimmune laboratories, as well as the entire high-tech corridor! I hope that we will find the key to suppressing the Coronavirus soon!

You can find more resources and stay up-to-date on the latest COVID-19 and community news onmy website. If you’re struggling with Unemployment Insurance, we have created a form to gather all needed information to expedite your case with the Department of Labor. You can also follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for photos and posts.

Cheryl C. Kagan
State Senator, District 17
(Gaithersburg & Rockville)
P.S.: In addition to all the policy work I’m doing, the reality is that this is an election year! Might you join me for a Virtual Birthday Fundraising Concert featuring national touring singer/songwriters? I would be grateful for your donation of any amount!