Two years have come and gone so fast. Two years ago today, the polls had just opened and I was standing at William Paca Elementary School greeting voters. Today, I’ll be starting my day at Maree Farring Elementary/Middle School in Brooklyn, talking with the principal and others about expanding its capacity to make room for more students who want to attend this thriving school.
For me, June 24th marks a great time each year for reflection on why I ran and what I am doing to serve as your State Delegate – and also a good excuse to share photos from my Community Picnic. Breaking down invisible barriers between neighborhoods is a job I take seriously – my Community Picnic invites residents from all over the district (and state!) to come together for an opportunity to learn about non-profits, meet elected officials, and enjoy some great food and good fun.
This year’s picnic was hugely successful, despite the stormy day! We held it in a fun covered space at Patterson Park Public Charter School, and welcomed nearly 250 adults and dozens of children for BBQ, ice cream, face painting, games, and camaraderie. We had numerous community organizations, like Creative Alliance and Downtown Sailing, bring volunteers and information to share. And, we were joined by a variety of public servants – local and federal – including incoming BCPS CEO Dr. Sonja Santelises, Sen. Cardin, and Reps. Sarbanes and Ruppersberger – in addition to Sen. Catherine Pugh, many Delegates and Councilmembers, and Council President Jack Young.
Check out the pictures here.
Save the date for next year’s picnic on the Sunday after Memorial Day – June 4, 2017.
Continuing to Advocate …
When I ran for office, I didn’t run just to hold the job – I ran to do the job. Although session is over, the work certainly is not. My nights have been filled since session ended in April with visits to community association meetings and events, where I’ve discussed the work we did and the continuing work we have to do. I’ve shared my End of Session Report as well – which you can find on my website here.
I passed several bills during session, and all of them (or their Senate cross-files) were signed into law except one – the MTA Board of Oversight & Planning, HB 1010. Unfortunately, the Governor decided to veto HB 1010 on the last day that he had the option. Many of you wrote in to tell me that you supported an override of the Governor’s veto – I have not heard yet whether the House and Senate leadership will support an override, but I’m hopeful and continuing discussions with them. This is a vitally important bill that will help improve transit for the region.
The Baltimore Sun ran a very strong editorial in support of an override of the Governor’s veto on this bill. The Sun noted:
Perhaps the most inexplicable of the vetoes was Mr. Hogan’s vituperative rejection of Del. Brooke Lierman’s legislation to create an advisory council for the Maryland Transit Administration. . . . . Planning and oversight boards like this one are common in transit agencies, and it would help the MTA in its efforts at long-term planning and building support for its priorities. In announcing his effort to revamp Baltimore bus lines, Mr. Hogan called the MTA deeply dysfunctional. He should welcome the help to fix it.
Public transit is not just a matter of convenience – it is a matter of social justice. I will continue to work for better public transit to ensure that people have access to good jobs, and we are reducing traffic and congestion in our city. To that end, see below for a list of workshops that MTA is holding around the City regarding the updated Baltimore Link system.
In the Community…
In addition to attending community meetings all around District 46, I have also been busy going to community and advocacy events! For instance –
- Speaking at the release of the 2015 Harbor Report Card, sponsored by Blue Water Baltimore and Healthy Harbors
- Receiving an award for passage of Alicia’s Law from the Baltimore Child Abuse Center
- Speaking on June 14th – Flag Day – at the Flag House on Pratt Street (see photo above)
- Visiting schools around the district, including Highlandtown 237, Federal Hill Prep, Maree Farring Elementary/Middle, and having lunch with students at Curtis Bay Elementary/Middle School
- Awarding ~$40,000 in scholarships to District 46 students who are attending college or graduate school next year
- Celebrating the anniversary of Sail Baltimore, the organization responsible for bringing the Tall Ships to Baltimore since 1976
- Joining residents for the annual Prayer Walk in Cherry Hill
Coming up in District 46 . . .
MTA Baltimore Link Workshops: Please attend one of the upcoming MTA workshops on BaltimoreLink – the new bus service coming to our region. There are several hearings in District 46 in July and September. Check out the information and schedules atwww.baltimorelink.com.
Banner Neighborhoods Crab Feast: Tomorrow (Saturday June 25th) from 1-4 p.m. at 2900 E. Fayette Street (in the yard). Tickets are $45 advance or $50 at the door!
INSPIRE Meeting in Cherry Hill to shape the blocks around the two new schools being built: June 28, 2016 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. at Arundel Elem/Middle, 2400 Round Road.
Summer Food Lunch Program: From June 27 through August 26, all Community Action Partnership Centers will offer FREE summer lunches from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.. For information, call 410-545-6958 or visit your local community action partnership center. Southern – 606 Cherry Hill Road; Southeast – 3411 Bank Street; Eastern – 1400 E. Federal Street
I am often asked about school construction and demolition, so am sharing the links about those projects with you as well:
21st Century School Reconstruction: http://baltimore21stcenturyschools.org/ This website provides information on the schools being rebuilt and timelines.
Project CORE: Visit http://dhcd.maryland.gov/ProjectCORE/Pages/default.aspx for information on demolition and deconstruction in Baltimore. This plan is pursuant to a bill passed by the General Assembly and an MOU signed with the Maryland Stadium Authority, which is handling the funds and helping to oversee the project.
At the end of the day, I am here to serve the residents of District 46! That means, if you live in District 46 and you have a problem – I’d like to do all I can to help. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and my legislative director, Michele Lambert, and I will help figure out how to solve the issues you’re confronting. (And, if you’d like a Brooke Lierman #BmoreLocal reusable bag to use when grocery shopping, just send me an email with your address and we’ll mail you one!)
Two year after one of the most exciting days I my life – June 24, 2014 – I am eternally grateful to all of you for placing your trust in me in this important role. I continue to try to do my best each and every day to build a better Baltimore, and a better Maryland.
Have a great summer, and keep in touch!
PS: In case you missed it, I was named one of the Top 10 Freshman Delegates by Josh Kurtz in Center Maryland! Josh wrote:
Born on Valentine’s Day, she combines sweetness with steely determination. No one works harder or is better prepared for a hearing, an election, an issue campaign. No one learns lessons more quickly when she falls short. She has already worked an extraordinary array of issues, and is a very effective advocate for her city and her constituents.