So thankful… — November 23, 2020

November 23, 2020
Dear Friend:
As we prepare for a very different kind of Thanksgiving, I wanted to share how grateful I am to serve as your State Senator. It is because of you that I am able to advocate for election reform; 9-1-1 upgrades; consumer protection; the environment; government transparency; and much more.
I am also thankful for newly-elected leadership at the federal level. President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris will “build back better” by combatting COVID; promoting inclusion; rejoining international climate change efforts; and protecting affordable health care for all. Even in these dark, pandemic-ridden times, I hope you too can see the light at the end of this 4-year-long tunnel!
Spearheading a New Caucus
Nonprofit organizations provide invaluable services to our community, but they are too often taken for granted. I recently convened a group of legislators from other states to brainstorm how we can support these vital organizations– especially during COVID. With the help of the National Council of Nonprofits, I hope to create a National Nonprofit Legislative Caucus to swap ideas from across the country in order to strengthen the sector.
Convening the NG911 Commission
The Next Generation 9-1-1 Commission I chair met virtually last week to approve 23 recommendations for our 3rd annual report. We focused on supporting the mental health of 9-1-1 Specialists; updating our Geographic Information Systems to better pinpoint the location of callers; and other critical issues to modernize our 9-1-1 services in order to save lives. In addition, I was able to persuade Comptroller Franchot to finally conduct audits on the collection of 9-1-1 fees as required by our emergency legislation.

Cracking Down on COVID
As you probably heard, Gov. Hogan is enforcing new COVID restrictions, including:
  • Closing bars and restaurants at 10pm;
  • Suspending visiting hours at hospitals and nursing homes; and
  • Prohibiting fans from attending professional or collegiate sporting events.
Other restrictions are already in effect in Montgomery County, which remains in Phase Two. Check out my website for a comprehensive review and other pandemic resources.
Now more than ever, it is extremely important to wear a mask any time you leave the house. COVID cases continue to surge in our area, as well as across the country. Wearing a mask is the most effective method to reduce the spread. Please stay safe!
Vaccinating Against COVID-19
Both Pfizer Inc. and Moderna Inc. vaccine trials have now shown a 95% success rate; AstraZeneca (which has a location in Gaithersburg!) is nearing the end of its study, citing a more easily-stored prospective vaccine with a 90% success rate. A committee from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine is developing a framework for distribution.
In a recent episode of “Kibbitzing with Kagan,” I chatted with long-time friend and mentor, Gene Counihan— a former educator and legislator. Gene also lobbied for Governor Glendening and our Metro system. Please take a few minutes to listen!

I hope you enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday safely. Please consider checking out my FacebookTwitterInstagramWebsite, and YouTube channel. If you have any questions or comments, send me an email.

Cheryl C. Kagan
State Senator, District 17
(Rockville & Gaithersburg)
PS: There’s only one week left to apply for my spring semester Senatorial Scholarship! The deadline is Monday, November 30th at 5 pm.