I hope everyone is enjoying the Fall weather and Getting Out the Vote! In this Fall’s election Maryland will choose our next Governor as well as the State Comptroller, Attorney General and Representatives in Congress. Baltimore City residents will vote to approve city loans from the state for various projects such as construction and repair for Baltimore City Public Schools.
The last day to vote early is Thursday, October 30th. I urge everyone who has not already done so to take advantage of early voting and let your voice be heard. For more information on finding your nearest early voting location, please visit https://voterservices.elections.maryland.gov/PollingPlaceSearch. If you are unable to vote early, you still have the opportunity to cast your ballot on General Election Day Tuesday, November 4th.
Following are important community updates that may be of interest to you.
Opportunities and Community Developments
Delegate Scholarship Award
I am accepting limited Delegate Scholarship Award applications for the 2014-2015 school year. College students who are residents of the 43rd Legislative District are encouraged to apply, and priority will be extended to applicants who were not already awarded this year by my office. For consideration, applicants must submit the following:
- Completed Delegate Scholarship Award application
- Current copy of your transcript
- Two letters of recommendation
- Essay explaining why you are deserving of a Delegate Scholarship Award
To download a copy of my Delegate Scholarship Award application for 2014-2015, please click here.
Halloween at the District Office
I am inviting everyone in the 43rd Legislative District to bring your little ones to the district office to receive a treat for Halloween and meet me and my staff. We will distribute candy from 4:30pm to 6:00pm at 3200 Barclay Street. I hope to see you, and Happy Halloween!
BGE Launches 2014 Emergency Response and Safety Grant Program
BGE is launching its third annual Emergency Response and Safety Grant Program. The grant program focuses on supporting organizations that are committed to emergency preparedness, disaster relief, emergency response and recovery, and safety. Now through Oct. 31, 2014, eligible 501c3 organizations that provide critical emergency services support throughout BGE’s service area are encouraged to apply for a single grant of up to $10,000. For more information go to www.bge.com.
HABC’s Housing Choice Voucher Program Accepting Preliminary Applications
The Housing Authority of Baltimore City (HABC) Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCVP), formerly known as the Section 8 Program, is now accepting preliminary applications for the Housing Choice Voucher Section 8 Program and will then contact applicants from the wait list when vouchers become available.
There are more households who qualify for affordable housing than there are available vouchers for private market rental units. Therefore, using a waiting list is an orderly way for HABC to contact applicants.
For a chance to be placed on the HCVP wait list, please go online to www.JoinTheList.org between October 22 and October 30, 2014. Everyone who completes a preliminary application during this time will have the same opportunity to be placed on the wait list.
For more details call 410-396-5666 or visit www.JoinTheList.org.
Public Open House for Baltimore and Potomac (B&P) Tunnel Project
Opened in 1873, the Baltimore and Potomac (B&P) Tunnel is a two-track railroad tunnel located between the West Baltimore MARC and Pennsylvania Stations. The B&P Tunnel is owned by Amtrak and should not be confused with the Howard Street Tunnel owned by CSX.
In an effort to improve rail service to the 141-year-old B&P Tunnel, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) and Amtrak are collaborating in an engineering and environmental study as part of the High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail (HSIPR) Program.
Recently, the FRA awarded MDOT a grant to continue the study but before a construction project is considered an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) must be developed.
To learn more about the project and provide input on the study, a public open house will be held Wednesday, October 29, 2014 at Mt. Royal Elementary Middle School from 5:00pm to 8:00pm. The FRA, MDOT and Amtrak welcome your participation and encourage you to attend.
For more information, please visit www.bptunnel.com.
MTA’s Bus Network Improvement Program (BNIP) Public Comment on First Phase of Proposal Changes
MTA’s Bus Network Improvement Program (BNIP) was developed to improve the service quality and transit access of MTA’s bus service. Recently, I presented some constituent concerns about transit and proposed improvements at a hearing devoted to these issues. The MTA has completed its first phase of proposal changes and recommends modifying the 11, 20, 30, and 36 lines, as well as adding two additional bus lines. The proposed changes would be effective February 8, 2015.
You can also make your voice heard. Public comments will be accepted through November 20, 2014. The MTA will also accept comments in writing by email at MTAHearingRecord@mta.maryland.gov or by traditional mail at MTA Office of Customer and Community Relations, 6 Saint Paul Street, Baltimore, MD 21202. A copy of the proposal can be viewed at MTA’s Offices at 6 Saint Paul Street in Baltimore or requested by calling 410-767-3999.
To learn more about what’s being proposed, please visit http://mta.maryland.gov/february-2015-service-change.
Demolition of “Wild Bills,” 4225 York Road
By working together, my office and neighborhood partners convinced the City to demolish the dilapidated building on 4225 York Road formerly known as “Wild Bills.” Over the years, this building deteriorated significantly and was a safety hazard to pedestrians and motorists.
I am committed to keeping our neighborhoods beautiful and safe in the 43rd district and so should you. Please report any property in your community that has been neglected and is possibly a safety hazard. For more information, please visit http://www.baltimorehousing.org/code_enforcement.
Past Community Meetings and Events
There are over fifty community organizations in the 43rd district, and I try to personally appear at each community organization meeting or event at least once a year if my schedule permits. Please let me know about any events or meetings your community is hosting. In return I will help spread the word about your event. Contact my office with detailed information about meetings and events in your neighborhood, and we will place it on my website’s community calendar and Facebook fan page.
Following is a list of events and meetings I had the pleasure of attending since my last report.
Rosh Hashanah Under the Stars
I really enjoyed meeting so many great people at Rosh Hashanah Under the Stars at Oregon Ridge Park to celebrate the Jewish New Year. I believe it is important to embrace all religious faiths because universally, we share many of the same desires and Earthly missions. I can’t wait to attend next year’s celebration.
Abell Community Street Fair
In late September I attended Abell’s Annual Community Street Fair. Hosted by Abell Street residents and volunteers from the neighborhood, the fair featured great food and entertainment for the entire family.
Baltimore Education Coalition
The Baltimore Education Coalition (BEC) is a partnership of schools and organizations that advocates for education reform policies in Baltimore City public schools. I met with the BEC recently to plan for the upcoming 2015 Legislative session, and I continue to be intensely involved in education funding for Baltimore City public schools.
For more information about how to get involved, please visit www.becforkids.org
Parks and People Foundation Picnic in the Park
I had the pleasure of attending Parks and People Foundation’s 4th Annual Picnic in the Park. This year’s event paid tribute to the founding of Herring Run Park, and Governor Martin O’Malley was a special honoree. As a board member of the Parks and People Foundation, I am dedicated to supporting the quality of our parks and neighborhoods. Please visit www.parksandpeople.org for information on neighborhood greening grants and recreational community programs.
Tour of Station North Arts and Entertainment District
The 43rd Legislative Team supported a bond bill to revitalize the businesses and neighborhoods in the Station North Arts and Entertainment District, and recently, I took a tour of Station North to view the progress of the renovations. I was truly impressed. I encourage everyone to visit Station North and to support the local artists and businesses in our district. For more information about Station North, visit www.stationnorth.org.
Perring Loch Community Association Meeting
I had the pleasure of attending Perring Loch Community Association’s October meeting at which I had the opportunity to meet the association’s new officers and learn what’s new in Perring Loch. It was great connecting with residents.
Wyman Park Dell Ribbon Cutting and Thank You Celebration
On October 26th, the community was invited to a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the new improvements to the Wyman Park Dell’s new playground plateau. I encourage everyone to support our community parks which provides safe havens for children and families to participate in outdoor physical activities.
Keeping in Touch
I will continue to do my best to provide detailed updates and alerts via email and at local community associations or other meetings, and you can follow my daily activities and breaking news by liking my Facebook fan page facebook.com/delmarywashington43 or via twitter.com/DelMaryW. As always, I encourage you to contact me with the issues that matter to you at email@example.com or call the district office at (410) 235-2707. I look forward to hearing from you.
Delegate Mary Washington