So thankful… — November 23, 2020
November 23, 2020
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!
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.