Schools, Swastika, Shutdown, & Song

January 24, 2019

Dear Friend:

President Trump may have forced the irresponsible federal government shutdown to continue into its fifth week, but the Maryland General Assembly is hard at work!

Raising Funds for Local Nonprofits at the UnNaugural Concert
Thanks SO much to everyone who supported the 3rd annual UnNaugural Concert !   John Flynn , Heather Mae   (who was kind enough to step in last-minute for   Catie Curtis ),  Elena & Los Fulanos,  Tom Prasada-Rao ,  and  Cheryl Wheeler   performed to raise funds for 5 local nonprofit organizations. These organizations focus on   domestic violence , poverty ,   pollution ,   suicide prevention ,   and  affordable housing . Our generous Underwriters and Sponsors included David Blair, Jane Rigby, U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen, U.S. Reps. David Trone and Jamie Raskin, Hon. Nancy Kopp, Hon. Jeffrey Slavin, Kathleen Matthews, Terry Lierman, and others. Here’s to making lemonade…
Umttr educates young people about the 5 signs that someone is thinking about suicide.
All of the performers gathered for a group picture after the finale, “This Land is Your Land.”
Rep. Jamie Raskin spoke about the government shutdown.
Spotlight: Analyzing the Governor’s Budget
Last Friday, the Governor released his proposed FY2020 budget of $46.6 billion. It included the first installment of additional funding for our public schools as recommended by the prestigious Kirwan Commission. To address the opioid and drug epidemics facing our state, the budget also included an additional $248 million for addiction treatment. With leadership from Gaithersburg Mayor Jud Ashman, the budget featured $2 million for a much-needed new police station. Maryland’s continued fiscal responsibility has allowed the State to maintain its AAA bond rating.
#MeToo Reforms Are Changing Annapolis
After I spoke up about being touched inappropriately by a lobbyist, the General Assembly enacted one of the most comprehensive sexual harassment laws in the country. Among other aspects, legislators and staffers are now required to attend a 3-hour training session. The facilitator used real life examples of appropriate and inappropriate behaviors to educate attendees on the seriousness of the issue. This will surely help to change the culture in Annapolis.
Educating Hotel & Motel Guests About Recycling
We know the recycling guidelines at home, but what about when we travel? Most of us would gladly recycle in the hotel or motel if we knew how. I am sponsoring a bill to require hotels and motels to inform their guests as to what is recycled on premises. This bill would increase compliance and no longer force many hotel and motel employees to pick trash out of the recycling.
Overcoming Division in our Community
On Monday, I attended a gathering at  Richard Montgomery High School to remember the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King. The very next day, a swastika was spray-painted in bright orange on one of its walls. It is tragic that someone defaced this school at a time when we all desperately need to come together to celebrate our diverse population. We still have a long way to go before we judge each other solely by the content of our character rather than by gender, race, age, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or nationality.
Supporting our Hungry Neighbors and Federal Employees
In honor of Dr. King and to support our furloughed federal employees, I volunteered to collect canned goods for Manna Food Center . Their work provides our community with access to safe, sufficient, nutritious food. There is an even greater need for donated food during the federal government shutdown. Please consider making a contribution of any amount to local nonprofits serving our neighbors facing an unprecedented financial crisis.
Last Thursday, I recorded my second “Facebook Live” video with highlights from another week in Annapolis. You can also follow me on  Facebook ,  Twitter , and  Instagram for photos and posts. Please 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.: Yesterday , I held a press conference to discuss my legislation to bring Next Generation 9-1-1 to Maryland. Afterwards, the first bill in the package (SB5, which would shield ” gory & gruesome ” video footage from the MD Public Information Act), was heard in my Education, Health, & Environmental Affairs Committee.