Category: Uncategorized

Briefings with Brooke – Online!

Part of my job as an elected official is to make sure you have access to information and resources. That’s why I’m so pleased to be bringing you a series of “briefings” – online conversations where YOU can ask questions (either beforehand or via chat during the conversation) from experts and policy makers!

Check back often as I will add new ones every week. They generally take place Tuesday and Thursday at 2:00pm. All past briefings are available on my YouTube channel!

August 27th at 5:00 pm: COMMEMORATE 100 YEARS OF WOMEN’S SUFFRAGE! Join me and two Maryland authors – Dr. Martha Jones and Elaine Weiss – and historians who have appeared on PBS specials and more to learn about the many struggles to ensure voting rights for all women. RSVP HERE!

PAST BRIEFINGS CAN ALL BE VIEWED ON MY YOU TUBE CHANNEL!

Monday, April 6 – Conversation about Housing, Taxing & Benefits with Michelle Madaio of HPRP and Francesca Baptiste of the CASH Campaign. See the YouTube video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWMapWNaeVI

Wednesday, April 8 – Conversation with Congressman John Sarbanes about the federal response and next steps to dealing with COVID-19. See the YouTube video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDL4gLhpMKA

Monday, April 13 – Conversation about supporting our art institutions and artists with three professional advocates and lawyers and the CEO of Baltimore Office of Promotion of the Arts. See the YouTube video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8LSFqKUP5M&t=210s.

Wednesday, April 15 – Conversation with Virologist and co-discoverer of HIV, Dr. Robert Gallo. Dr. Gallo will provide his perspective and thoughts about COVID0-19 and next steps in diagnosis and treatment. See the link for more information and to RSVP HERE to get the zoom link.

Thursday, April 16 – Conversation about Students with Special Needs with Alexandra Rosenblatt, Esq. and Annie McLaughlin, behavioral specialist. See the YouTube video HERE.

Friday, April 17 at 12:30pm– Conversation with Commerce Secretary Kelly Schulz and BDC CEO Colin Tarbert about the state and city efforts and resources to help small businesses. See the YouTube video HERE.

Monday, April 20 – Conversation about supporting our senior citizens and helping them access resources with AARP, Baltimore City Health Department Assistant Commissioner, and more! See the link for more information – See the YouTube video here!

Wednesday, April 22: A conversation with Attorney General Brian Frosh and civil rights attorney Aryani Ong! Our Attorney General will let you know what you need to know to steer clear of scams, how to report price gouging, and what we should be doing to combat hate crimes during this challenging time. See the YouTube video here!

Monday, April 27: GET OUT THE VOTE! Join CEO of When We All Vote Kyle Lierman, Executive Director of the Maryland ACLU Dana Vickers Shelley, Black Girls Vote Founder Nyki Robinson, and Rev. Kobi Little of the NAACP and more learn more about vote by mail in advance of the April 28 and June 2 elections. RSVP HERE!

Thursday, April 30: Supporting our kids and ourselves! Join Brooke, psychologist Lara Wrigley, child psychiatrist Dr. Hal Kronsberg, and founder of the Chicago Parent Program/Nurse Debbie Gross to discuss ways to support our kids and also make sure we are taking care of ourselves during this unprecedented time. Check out the video here!

Friday, May 1 at 12:00pm: Celebrate International Workers Day by learning about our front line workers and how to support them! Join Brooke, Ricarra Jones (SEIU 1199), Denise Gilmore (AFSMCE), and Mike McDaniels (ATU Local 1300)! RSVP here!

Tuesday, May 12 at 2:00pm: The Climate & COVID19 – What’s Next for our Environment? Join me for a discussion about what’s next in environmental advocacy with special guests Joanne Throwe, President of Throwe Environmental, LLC and Senior Fellow at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy’s Center for Global Sustainability; Kim Coble, Executive Director of Maryland League of Conservation Voters; and Tamara Toles O’Laughlin, Advocate for People and Planet – North America Director at 350.org. RSVP here!

Thursday, May 14 at 2:00 pm: Reopening our State – Join me for a discussion on re-opening Maryland with Ken Skrzesz, Executive Director at the Maryland State Arts Council within the Department of Commerce; Al Hutchinson, President & CEO of Visit Baltimore; Shelonda Stokes, Interim CEO of Downtown Partnership of Baltimore, and Alicia Wilson, Vice President of Economic Development for Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins Hospital System. RSVP here!

Tuesday, May 19 at 2:00 pm: Closing the Digital Divide – Join me for a discussion about the digital divide in Maryland how we can work to close it. I will be joined by Heidi Daniels, CEO of the Enoch Pratt Library System, Andrew Coy, Executive Director of the Digital Harbor Foundation, Caryn York, CEO of the Job Opportunities Task Force, and Tina Hike-Hubbard from Baltimore City Public Schools. RSVP here!

Thursday, May 21 at 7:00pm: Confronting Gun Violence During a Pandemic – Join me for a call with Daniel Webster, Professor and Director of the Center for Gun Policy and Research at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; Karen Herren, Legislative Director for Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence; Mike McLively, Senior Staff Attorney Director of the Community Violence Initiative at Giffords Law Center; Greg Jackson, National Advocacy Director for the Community Justice Action Fund; and James Timpson (JT), Director of Youth Works and Crisis Intervention for ROCA Baltimore. RSVP here!

Tuesday, May 26 at 2:00pm: The Important Role of Philanthropy & Non-Profits in a Pandemic. Join me for a webinar with She will be joined by Karen Webber, Director of Education and Youth Development Program at Open Society Foundation; Danielle Torain, Director of the Open Society Foundation; Celeste Amato, President & CEO of Maryland Philanthropy Network; and Heather Iliff, President & CEO of Maryland Nonprofit. RSVP here!

Thursday, May 28 at 2:00 pm: Confronting Our Housing Crisis – with Special Guest County Executive Steuart Pittman! Please join me for a discussion on housing Marylanders during and after COVID-19. She will be joined by Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman; Charisse Lue, attorney for the Public Justice Center; Dan Pontious, Housing Policy Coordinator at the Baltimore Metropolitan Council; and Ivy Dench-Carter, VP of Pennrose Properties & President of the Maryland Affordable Housing Coalition. RSVP here!

Tuesday, June 2 at 2:00 pm: Elevating the Voices of People with Disabilities during a Pandemic. RSVP here!

Tuesday, June 9 at 12:00pm: A Public Health Discussion – Confronting COVID-19 in Maryland. Join me and guests Dr. Leana Wen, Fagan Harris (Baltimore Corps), and Matt Gallagher (leader of the P3 health response in Baltimore), for a discussion on where we are and what’s to come…! RSVP here!

Thursday, June 11 at 2:00pm: Solar & Clean Energy for an Economic Recovery. RSVP here!

Tuesday, June 16 at 7:00pm: Revitalization through Preservation – Join me for a special discussion with Preservation Maryland! RSVP here.

Thursday, June 18 at 2:00pm: The Urgency of Healthy Housing – Join me and Wes Moore (Robin Hood Foundation) and Ruth Ann Norton (Green and Healthy Homes) for a great discussion! RSVP here.

Tuesday, June 23 at 2:00pm: The Future of Public TransitRSVP here!

Thursday, June 25 at 5:00pm: Celebrate Pride Month! RSVP here.



Tuesday, June 30 at 2:00pm: Raising their Voices – The Immigrant Experience with COVID – with Gustavo Torres (CASA), Catalina Rodriguez (MIMA), and Dr. Kathleen Page (CentroSOL). RSVP here.

Tuesday, July 7: Raising Anti-Racist White Children: An Honest Conversation for White Parents. Join Delegate Lierman for a discussion on dismantling structural racism and how to talk to your kids about it. She will be joined by special guests, Liz Simon-Higgs, an active participant in Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ); Beth Casey, the Executive Director of Bolton Hill Nursery; and Christina Pham Linhoff, part of the District 46 Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) Leadership Team. RSVP here.

Thursday, July 9: Where’s the Money? Appropriations & the FY21 Budget. Please join Delegate Lierman for a discussion on the Maryland budget process and the outlook for FY22. She will be joined by special guests Treasurer Nancy Kopp, Treasurer of Maryland; Delegate Maggie McIntosh, Chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee; and Delegate Michael Jackson, Vice Chair of the Appropriations Committee.
RSVP here.

Tuesday, July 14: Maryland’s History of Redlining & the Future of Land Use. Please join Delegate Lierman for a discussion on the legacy of redlining in Maryland, zoning issues, and new trends in creating more equitable zoning laws that can lead to housing opportunities for everyone. She will be joined by special guests, Gerrit Knaap, Executive Director of National Center for Smart Growth Research and Education; Seema Iyer, Director of the Real Estate and Economic Development (REED) program in the Merrick School of Business (MSB); Willow Lung Amam, Director of Community Development at the National Center for Smart Growth Research and Education; and Dan Reed, planner, author, and blogger. RSVP here.

Thursday, July 16: Back to School? What’s Next for Public Education in Maryland. Please join Delegate Lierman for a discussion on how COVID-19 will affect Maryland public education and our students. She will be joined by special guests Dr. John King, the President and CEO of The Education Trust; and Dr. Sonja Santelises, CEO of Baltimore City Public Schools. RSVP here.

Thursday, July 23: Supporting & Growing the Local Food Movement in Maryland. Please join Delegate Lierman for a discussion on the importance of local food and how we can help the farm industry flourish. She will be joined by special guests Senator Katie Fry Hester, Maryland Senator representing Maryland’s 9th district; Delegate Lorig Charkoudian, Delegate representing Maryland’s 20th District; Delegate Melissa Wells, Delegate representing Maryland’s 40th District; Colby Ferguson, the Government Relations Director for Maryland Farm Bureau; and Eric Jackson, the visionary and a co-founder of Black Yield Institute. RSVP here.

Thursday, July 30 – The Future of Public Higher Education in Maryland. Please join Delegate Lierman for a discussion on how the increased usage of online learning platforms will impact the future of higher education. She will be joined by special guests Jay Perman, Chancellor of the University System of Maryland (USM); Freeman Hrabowski, President of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County; and Kim Schatzel, President of Towson University. RSVP here.



What do you want to hear about? Drop me a line and let me know what would be helpful for you! brooke@brookelierman.com

More Than a Hashtag

June 1, 2020

Friends and Neighbors,

I had an email planned for today – the day before Election Day in Maryland – but after the tragic and horrific murder of George Floyd last week, and the national protesting – it is important for me to say more than just “Go vote!” Voting is necessary, but it’s not nearly sufficient.

As a white woman who has grown up with privilege, and as an elected official, it is my job not only to vote but to speak up. That means on a personal level, teaching my children about race and racism, supporting my Black friends who are themselves engaged in racial justice work, and being a strong ally. I do this work as a human being, as a representative, and also because I fundamentally believe that our country cannot reach its potential if we do not embrace our differences and make it possible for every person – including especially our Black brothers and sisters – to reach their full potential.

My heart aches knowing that my friends and family members have to explain to their Black children that the world will not always see their beauty and brains, but sometimes only their skin color. This is not an inevitability. We can change. It will take personal and collective work to do so. We have to have tough conversations and take strong actions to dismantle structures that continue to oppress people of color and hold our communities back: the school-to-prison pipeline, a medical system that results in higher mortality rates for Black mothers, environmental regulations that don’t adequately protect under-resourced communities, transit that doesn’t connect low-income neighborhoods with high-opportunity jobs, inequitable education funding, and policing laws that protect and sometimes may even favor racist policing tactics. Even as we battle COVID19, we see the effects of decades of racism take hold as the disease disproportionately kills Black Americans. We also have to change societal norms on what is and is not acceptable to ensure that we are not subjecting people of color to micro-aggressions at every turn.

This is our work, and this is our charge: to ensure that a hashtag is not the only epitaph for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Dominique Clayton, Atatiana Jefferson. That instead, we build a better and more just world, in the short time we have here, for future generations.

In Maryland, we have work to do at the state level. I am pleased that Speaker Jones has created a policing workgroup that will immediately examine some of the deep problems plaguing our own police laws. This is an urgent problem and we must have solutions ready for the next time we meet in Annapolis. We also need to recommit to overriding the Governor’s veto of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future to ensure equitable funding for schools. And the list of actions we must take goes on and on. I will be keeping a close look at the spending that our Board of Public Works does in the coming months – where our money goes now matters more than ever. I hope you will be there to stand up over the long-term to make these policy changes – I promise to do all I can as well.

As individuals, white people also have work to do – this is not just a moment for people of color to speak up. I’ll be organizing a “Brooke’s Briefing” in the coming weeks for parents to help us all do a better job at talking about race and racism with our kids. And, here is a good list of 75 ways that white people can stand up for racial justice. Take a look and let me know what you think. Let me know if you have ideas for ways I can do better, as a representative and as a human being.

One thing is certain: the reaction to George Floyd’s murder may start with nationwide protests but it should not end there – it should end with legislative solutions addressing long-term systemic barriers and creating a more equitable & just state and country. We need to use this moment to ensure that we make changes in the long-term for our state and our country. And the best way to do that is to organize locally and get involved politically – for the long haul.

The lack of leadership at the federal level has been apparent throughout the COVID crisis – and it has been even more stark this week – and even today as our President has demanded Governors take totally inappropriate steps to confront protesters. We must defeat Donald Trump in November so I hope you will join efforts that I and others are leading to elect Joe Biden. Please fill out this form if you’d like to join Maryland Women for Biden and this form to join Baltimore City for Biden.

Below you will find more information on voting and this week’s briefings (with special guests!).

Be well, stay safe, and keep in touch. We have work to do, together.

My best,

Brooke

JUNE 11, 2020 UPDATE

The past few months have been incredibly difficult for the country and our communities – particularly for communities of color where death rates from COVID-19 are much higher and systematic oppression continues to take its toll. And then, the murder of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd at the hands of the police reminded us yet again that we have failed to take adequate action to stop police violence and to support our communities of color from the systemic racism that they face on a daily and ongoing basis.

In follow up to my initial post on June 1, I wanted to share some of my initial thoughts on some of the policy ideas floating around and to share some of the work we have done to date in Maryland – many people have inquired about both.

First I’ll say that it is clear just from looking at the budget that Baltimore City police department takes up a troubling and disproportionate amount of our City’s funds. Yet, they don’t have access to needed technology upgrades required by the consent decree, and they are chronically short-staffed. This points to the larger issue that America’s current policing model is broken and we have come to rely too heavily on police for things that do not require someone with a gun to show up. We must begin to imagine a long-term move toward a safe City and safe society model where we make the long-term investments in schooling, housing, rec & parks, counseling, and violence prevention models based on health principles that will allow us to move confidently away from a large police force. 

I am very supportive of the policing workgroup that the Speaker of the House Adrienne Jones announced. This group will address reform and accountability in policing. I trust that this will be an important piece in the puzzle of policy change required to dismantle racism, violence, and inequity. Further, we have a consent decree with strong and forward-thinking policies to implement.  I think that Campaign Zero and the “8CantWait” campaign also provides useful, evidence-based tools to reform policing. I am pleased that Baltimore already meets 7 of the “8CantWait” campaign ideas, and that we should ban shooting at a moving vehicle and meet all 8 criteria. 

That being said, changing policy in an attempt to reform is definitely not enough, and if we focus only on police reform we may inadvertently take attention and resources away from the root causes of police and community violence. I believe that we need to reprioritize the way we think about and invest in public safety if we expect different outcomes.

American’s policing model is clearly broken. We attempt to have our officers police poverty and respond to crises outside of their scope. This practice is frustrating and unfair to them, and does not work. We’ve begun to experiment with models like LEAD – law-enforcement assisted diversion – where law enforcement simply does a warm hand off to health care providers who can then take care of drug abusers. These types of models have demonstrated success in ways that policing often does not. 

We create safe communities when we invest in families and children, education, housing, and healthcare. Focusing on ending poverty and dismantling systems of oppression and inequity far upstream will lead to better outcomes for people of color and for our society as a whole.

What have we done in Maryland so far? In past legislative sessions, I have championed bills to end cash bail, eliminate the school to prison pipeline, direct funding to community-based public health oriented violence prevention programs (like Safe Streets), prohibit discrimination in housing (the HOME Act), stop school police from carrying guns, and prohibit law enforcement from engaging in sexual acts with people in custody (crazy that this is even something we have to pass a law about…!). 

Much can be done at the state level to create safer and healthier communities. I am committed to championing evidence-based public health programs that get at the root of violence and inequity. For example, over the past 6 years, I have authored or championed legislation to:

  • Invest in public transit
  • Invest and equitably fund our public schools (Blueprint for Maryland’s Future)
  • Fund violence intervention and prevention programs (ex. Safe Streets)
  • Increase access to affordable housing (the HOME Act)
  • Disrupt the school to prison pipeline by ending suspension and expulsion for Pre-K through Second graders at all public schools in Maryland
  • Allow certain convictions to be expunged to enable Marylanders to access housing and jobs (Second Chance Act)
  • Reform the bail and bond system (I wrote a letter that prompted the issuance of an Attorney GeneralInvest opinion in 2016 (https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/md-politics/bail-reform-in-maryland-clears-major-hurdle/2016/11/18/374c5340-ac22-11e6-8b45-f8e493f06fcd_story.html) that led the Court of Appeals to implement a major rule change on cash bail)

Further, I’ve voted for legislation to invest in kids and classrooms to address disparities in educational outcomes, reform the criminal justice system, improve public transportation and increase access to jobs, including:

  • Justice Reinvestment Act (2016) SB 1005
  • Ban the Box (2017) HB 694
  • Criminal Record Expungements (2018) SB 101
  • Drug Testing Kits No Longer Paraphernalia (2018) SB 1137
  • Improving Policing and Community Relations (2016) HB 1016
  • Public Safety and Violence Prevention Act (2018) HB 432
  • Repealing Mandatory Minimum Sentences for Drug Crimes (2015) HB 121
  • Reducing Solitary Confinement for Juveniles (2019) HB 1001
  • Inside The Walls Opiate Use Disorder Treatment (2019) HB 116
  • Parole Reform (2017) HB 723
  • Sexual Assault Evidence Kits (2019) HB 1096
  • Expungement & Maryland Judiciary Case Search Record Removal (2019) HB 13

You can check out my annual “end of session letters” on my website for more information. www.brookelierman.com.

Thank you for your advocacy in the streets and online – come January, we’ll need you in Annapolis as well!


An opinion piece by Michelle Alexander, author of “The New Jim Crow” really resonated with me and sums up many of my thoughts on where we are as a country and where we need to go from here – https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/08/opinion/george-floyd-protests-race.html.

COVID-19 in Maryland: Resources & FAQs

Everyone should refer to the MDH website dedicated to COVID-19 (health.maryland.gov/coronavirus). Case counts are updated every morning at 10 a.m. This will keep you informed about the number of cases being tested and the results, as well as up-to-date CDC guidance. 

Marylanders are also advised to dial 2-1-1 to talk to experts about any questions or concerns related to COVID-19.

Business and Employee Resources can be found HERE.

INFORMATION AS OF MARCH 12, 2020

UPDATE FROM ANNAPOLIS: Due to coronavirus, the House of Delegates has adopted a “no receptions” rule effective this Friday, March 13th AND a “sponsor only” public hearing rule beginning next week. Citizens wishing to submit testimony may email written testimony to our office and we can upload it for them in advance of the committee hearing. My colleagues in the General Assembly and I have been in constant contact with the Maryland Department of Health, who put together this FAQ bulletin that I wanted to share with you.

The most up-to-date information about the novel coronavirus can be found at coronavirus.gov  and on the Maryland Department of Health COVID-19 website.

UPDATE FROM BALTIMORE CITY: Mass gathering guidelines, effective immediately, ask event organizers to consider both the number of people attending the event, as well as specific features of the space the event is being held.

  • Large events (more than 250 people): Event organizers should consider canceling or postponing the event.
  • Medium events (100-250 people):  Consider the following recommendations when determining event cancellation or postponement: 
    • Size: Smaller is better. Smaller events can limit the spread of illnesses through communities. 
    • Density: If the venue or setting doesn’t enable people to keep social distance (more than arm’s length of one another), the risk of spreading the virus increases. People should avoid crowded places where large numbers of people are within arm’s length of one another.
  • Small events (<100 people):  Event organizers should urge anyone who is sick to not attend, encourage those who are at higher risk for serious illness to not attend, find ways to give people more physical space and reduce close contact as much as possible.

For the entire COVID-19 Guidance for Mass Gatherings, please visit Baltimore City Health Department website at : https://health.baltimorecity.gov/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov.

UPDATE FOR SCHOOLS: ALL SCHOOLS CLOSED Monday, March 16 – Friday March 27

UPDATE FOR BUSINESSES:  Here are some resources that may be helpful to you – 

  • The U.S. Department of Labor has developed some guidelines for how companies can prepare their workplace for COVID-19. In addition, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has launched a COVID-19 website with information specifically for workers and employers.  There is also information on issues relating to wages and hours worked under the Fair Labor Standards Act available here. 
  • The Maryland Department of Labor’s Division of Labor and Industry enforces the Maryland Health Working Families Act, also known as safe and sick leave, which may be useful for employees who need to take off from work due to COVID-19. To learn more about the law, email ssl.assistance@maryland.gov or call 410-767-235. 
  • If a business experiences a temporary or permanent layoff, Labor’s Division of Unemployment Insurance’s Bulk Claim Services can open unemployment insurance claims for all affected employees. Businesses should contact a Claims Representative by emailing dluibulkclaims-dllr@maryland.gov or calling (410) 767-3252. 
  • The Maryland Insurance Administration has also put together an FAQ addressing insurance-related questions about coronavirus.
  • President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will provide low-interest loans to companies affected by the outbreak, and that he will ask Congress to increase funding for the SBA lending program to $50 billion. 

The Governor and the legislature are working hard on emergency legislation and funding to address the virus. The Governor is staying in close touch with Vice President Pence, and federal leaders are continuing to develop plans to stimulate the U.S. economy and mitigate the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. State agencies including the Department of Commerce are prepared to fully serve our clients in the business community, even if we must work remotely. Maryland is still “Open for Business.”

Five Steps to Prepare for COVID-19

Infectious disease experts say most cases of COVID-19 are mild to moderate, like the common cold. But it can be more severe in older adults and people with chronic health conditions. There are simple steps you can take to help protect yourself and your family.

#1 – Make a plan – Create a plan for school, work and home.

  • Make a list of organizations that can help if you become sick. 
  • Join a neighborhood website or social media page to stay updated on the latest news in your area. 
  • Create a care plan for at risk family members, such as older people and people with chronic health conditions. 

#2 – Prepare as you would for a winter storm

  • There is no need to buy large quantities of supplies. But, it’s good idea to pick up a few extra items each time you go to the market or pharmacy. That way, you’re prepared and can avoid crowds.
  • Pick up some extra foods like canned goods, dry pasta, and peanut butter.
  • Have soap, hand sanitizer, tissues, and fever reducers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen on hand.

#3 Get ready for possible changes in daily schedules

At school: Make plans to care for your children if schools are closed temporarily. Just like you would for snow days. Make plans for alternate after-school care in case they are closed temporarily.

At work: Ask to work from home or take leave if you or someone in your household gets sick, or if your child’s school is temporarily closed.

#4 – Stay informed

  • Stay connected on your state and local health department’s social media pages and websites for timely and accurate COVID-19 information.
  • Accurate and up-to-date information is available from the State Health Department at https://phpa.health.maryland.gov/Pages/Novel-coronavirus.aspx, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website and social media platform at www.coronavirus.gov  
  • If you decide to attend a public event, practice good health habits:
    • Try to keep at least 6 feet of distance between you and others at the event.
    • Avoid close contact, such as shaking hands, hugging, and kissing.
    • Wash hands often or use a hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available.
    • Avoid surfaces that are touched often, such as doorknobs and handrails.

#5 – Prevent the spread of colds, flu, and COVID-19
Everyone should:

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially before you eat.
  • Cover your cough and sneezes with a tissue and discard in a closed container.
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. 

For people who are sick:

  • Stay home.
  • If you have a fever, stay home for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone without the use of fever-reducing medicines, such as acetaminophen.
  • Keep sick household members away from others. 
  • Use soap and water, bleach and-water solution, or EPA-approved household products. You can make your own cleanser with a mixture of 1 cup of liquid unscented chlorine bleach in 5 gallons of water. 
  • Avoid sharing personal items.
  • Anyone at high risk for complications should talk to their health care provider for more information. 

FAQs

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a disease caused by a respiratory virus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China in December 2019. COVID-19 a new virus that hasn’t caused illness in humans before. Worldwide, COVID-19 has resulted in thousands of human infections, causing illness and in some cases death. Cases have spread to countries throughout the world, with more cases reported daily.

Has COVID-19 spread to the U.S.?

COVID-19 has spread to the United States and has caused some people to become ill, and in severe cases, deaths. While most of the confirmed cases have been from people who have traveled internationally to countries with a lot of cases of COVID-19, there has been some community spread reported in the U.S. “Community spread” means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.

What is the risk to the public right now?

It is likely that at some point, widespread transmission of COVID-19 in the United States will occur. Experts expect that the coming weeks and months, we can expect to see more cases in the U.S. and worldwide.  Community spread is how the common cold and flu are transmitted — meaning people catch it from each other while going about their daily lives. Reported community spread of COVID-19 in 2 parts of the U.S. raises the level of concern about the immediate threat for the affected communities.

Does anyone in Maryland have this new virus now?

Yes, Maryland currently has confirmed cases of COVID-19. On March 5, Gov. Hogan declared a state of emergency to further mobilize all available state resources. The declaration officially authorized and directed the MDH and the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) to ramp up coordination among all state and local agencies. The declaration also enables MDH and MEMA to fast-track coordination with our state and local health departments and emergency management teams.

Up-to-date information about testing and case counts in Maryland are available at health.maryland.gov/coronavirus. The page is updated daily.

Who is at risk right now? Currently, people are at risk who:

  • Recently traveled to geographic areas of concern
  • Have close, personal contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19
  • Care for people with COVID-19

How does COVID-19 spread?

COVID-19 is thought to be able to spread like the cold or flu through:

  • Coughing and sneezing, which creates respiratory droplets
  • Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

  • Fever
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • In more severe cases, pneumonia (infection in the lungs)

What should I do if I think I am sick with COVID-19?

If you have recently traveled to any geographic area of concern or were in contact with someone with COVID-19, and you become sick with fever, cough or have difficulty breathing, seek medical care right away. Follow these steps:

  • Call your doctor or emergency room before you go
  • Tell them about recent travel and close contacts (such as people in your household)
  • Wear a mask, if one is available

If someone has COVID-19, what will happen to them?

The vast majority of people recover from this infection. Most people will have mild or moderate

3 symptoms. Some people may be advised to recover at home and isolate themselves from others. These individuals should call their physicians or health care practitioners if their symptoms get worse.

Some COVID-19 infections can lead to serious illness, and in some cases death. If someone has a more serious illness from COVID-19, they may be admitted to the hospital. Older people and those with pre-existing medical conditions have a greater risk for serious illness. Examples of pre-existing medical conditions are: cancer, diabetes, heart disease or other conditions impacting the immune system’s ability to fight germs.

Should I cancel plans to travel abroad?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is updating travel advisories as warranted. CDC has advised against nonessential travel to some geographic areas of concern. Those with underlying health conditions are advised to avoid nonessential travel to certain areas as well.

Visit the CDC travel advisory site to check on current travel warnings if you are planning a trip

abroad: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html

Should I wear a face mask when I go out in public?

No. Face masks are not recommended for the general public, though masks can be useful in some settings — such as in a hospital or clinic waiting room — to prevent someone who has a

respiratory illness from spreading it to others.

The CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19. You should only wear a facemask if a healthcare professional recommends it. A facemask should be used by people who have COVID-19 and are showing symptoms. This is to protect others from the risk of getting infected. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and other people who are taking care of someone infected with COVID-19 in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).

What can I do to protect myself and others?

Take everyday preventive steps that are always recommended to slow the spread of respiratory illnesses like colds and flu:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol if soap and water are not available
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, your sleeve or your elbow
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using standard cleaning
  • practices
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • If you are sick, stay home, except when seeking medical care

Is there a vaccine or medicine I can get for COVID-19?

Not yet, because COVID-19 is a new disease. However, many experts are at work developing one. As with any new vaccine, it must be tested to make certain it is safe and effective. It may take more than a year for a COVID-19 vaccine to become readily available. There is also no specific medicine currently available to cure COVID-19. However, people who have COVID-19 should seek medical care to help lessen the severity of their symptoms.

How can I be more prepared for COVID-19?

  • Have an adequate supply of nonprescriptive drugs and other health supplies on hand, including pain relievers, stomach remedies, cough and cold medicines
  • Check your regular prescription drugs to make sure you have an adequate supply; refill your prescriptions if needed
  • Have a thermometer, tissues and hand sanitizer in case you become ill and must stay at home to recover
  • Talk with family members and loved ones about how they would be cared for if they got sick and what will be needed to care for them at home
  • Have a two-week supply of water and food available at home

Is there anything else I should know?

  • Do not stigmatize people of any specific ethnicities or racial background. Viruses do not target people from specific populations, ethnicities or racial backgrounds.
  • Stay informed and seek information from reliable, official sources. Be wary of myths, rumors and misinformation circulating online and elsewhere. Health information shared through social media is frequently inaccurate, unless coming from an official, reliablesource such as the CDC, MDH or local health departments.

Are there additional resources available for specific groups?

The CDC provides current information about COVID-19 at www.cdc.gov

Weekly Updates – To receive the weekly email about COVID-19, enter your email address and type “COVID-19” in the search box at this URL:https://tools.cdc.gov/campaignproxyservice/subscriptions.aspx?topic_id=USCDC_2067

Businesses

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/guidance-business-response.html

Pregnant Women, those who are breastfeeding, and children

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/pregnant-women.html

Schools

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/guidance-for-schools.html

Travelers

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/faqs.html

Annapolis Update: Bill Hearings & Team 46 Town Hall

February 10, 2020

Friends and Neighbors,

Parents of grown children often tell me that the “days are long but the years are short.” Well, in Annapolis, the days are long but the weeks fly by! I am working every day on my own legislation, in my new Committee and leadership role on environmental, housing, land use and ethics bills, meeting with constituents and advocates about a variety of issues, participating in Women’s Caucus, Latino Caucus, and leading the Transit Caucus… and responding the mail I receive (190 emails this past weekend!).

I have introduced all the legislation I plan to work on this year, and you can review the bills I am working on at my webpage on the new General Assembly website: http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/mgawebsite/Members/Details/lierman01/?activeTab=divLegislation. Over 300 bills have been assigned to my Committee – the Environment & Transportation Committee – so I will be in long Committee hearings over the next 6 weeks as we hear bills, discuss them, and vote on them. Below I share a few items of interest from the past two weeks!

Make sure you follow me on Facebook to keep up with me in real time and to see my weekly Friday roundups of the work we do each week: www.facebook.com/brookeliermanfordelegate

In Annapolis

Veto Overrides: On January 30th, working with the Senate, we override several of the Governor’s vetoes of bills that we had passed last session, including vetoes on bills that protect our oyster population, ensure Marylanders re-joining society after spending time in prison have a fair chance to get a job, removing bureaucratic hurdles that made it difficult for undocumented students to get in-state tuition at four-year universities, ensuring that political appointees are not deciding who gets a handgun, and ensuring public employees have a chance to bring their grievances.

State of the State 2020: The Governor delivered his State of the State address on February 5 at noon. While we do not always agree, it is a great event and an important opportunity to hear his perspective and think at a high level about the future of Maryland. You can read his address here: https://governor.maryland.gov/2020/02/05/2020-state-of-the-state-address/

Environment & Transportation Committee: You can find information about my Committee online here: http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/mgawebsite/Committees/Details?cmte=ent. All assigned bills, as well as our meeting schedule, is online! We had many bills over the past two weeks, including a bill about reforming our toll payment process, helping to ensure that condominium owners have full information on their purchases, and more.

HB1 – Funding for School Buildings: This week the Appropriations Committee voted out HB1, the bill to provide additional capital funding for school districts around Maryland. Passing this bill would enable Baltimore City Public Schools to continue renovating and building new school buildings

Brooke’s Bills

Housing Opportunities Made Equal: I am proud this year to be carrying on the work of my predecessor Del. Steve Lafferty and my colleague Del. Maggie McIntosh and am the lead sponsor of the HOME Act, working on it with Sen. Will Smith (HB 231/SB530). This legislation has been introduced every year for at least a decade – but it is such a simple fix to a pernicious problem. It simply ensures that for all those Marylanders who receive government assistance in housing – veterans, low-income Marylanders, people with disabilities – that landlords may not deny them a rental unit simply because they wish to pay with a voucher. I am delighted to be working with great organizations like the Homeless Persons Representation Project and Public Justice Center and more on this legislation. I hope this is the year that we end discrimination based on one’s source of income!

The Transit Safety and Investment Act is another major bill and priority for me this year because it would address the systematic dismantling and underinvesting in transit in Central Maryland that the Hogan Administration has delivered. It is a simple but profoundly important bill: it requires MDOT to ensure that MTA has adequate capital resources to fund its state of good repair needs, which is about an additional $123m per year for the next 6 years. All of these needs and the costs are detailed in the first-ever MTA Capital Needs Inventory, available online here.

Investing in housing and mobility options are key to success for Maryland – these two bills are some of my top priorities this session. Look for more updates on Facebook and Twitter! And join me at Transit Caucus Night this Wednesday to get more involved! February 12, 2020 from 6-8PM in the House of Delegates. RSVP HERE / Facebook event here.

Coming up next…

I will continue preparing for the six hearings that I have in the next two weeks and working with individuals and groups to come support these pieces of legislation. These six bills focus on reducing plastic pollution (#BantheBag), strengthening our Public Information Act; funding community development programs in Baltimore and around the state; protecting juveniles’ civil rights; granting student athletes the right to use their name, image, and likeness; and enhancing environmental enforcement.

All bill hearings are open to the public – if you are interested in attending a hearing or providing written support for any of my bills, please let me know!

In Baltimore

The Census! 

The 2020 Census count begins in April! We want to make sure that Everyone Counts. Accurate census numbers impact funding and representation for Baltimore. It is important that everyone participates in the Census. For more information on the Census, click HERE. To get involved or check out upcoming events related to the Census, click HERE.


To follow Maryland Census 2020 on Twitter and Facebook – Follow @MdCensus2020 and like @MdCensus2020 – to stay in touch with Maryland’s Census 2020 complete count efforts. Join the conversation by using hashtag #2020MDCensus on Facebook and on Twitter.

TEAM 46 Annual Town Hall

Please join us for our Annual Town Hall – this year on Saturday, February 22 from 11:30-1:00 p.m. at the National Federation of the Blind! Hope to see you then! Click HERE to RSVP

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/thG1uK6hptwjOEgJBDLeqK9MLQX6bstBg4b1wYUIqrEV5FPRaEcIfcpI1Jhrrgd4ZEYeWEwTF3830QI-aMmvcR9e5QeOmbu-Q5YErJFJdpHyDClgmDf7RanVHQRre1wqtWjqD6Qv

In the News

MD Women Lead on Climate Change Resiliency: I was very proud to join four other women lawmakers in announcing a package of five climate resilience bills. My environmental transparency bill will empower normal citizens in the process of preparing for and combating the acute effects of our changing climate change. It’s great to be working with Senator Sarah Elfreth, Delegate Courtney Watson, and Senator Katie Fry Hester and more on legislation to prevent the worst effects of climate change in Maryland, support our communities, and ensure we are building resilient and healthy neighborhoods!

Strengthen our Public Information Act! The Baltimore Sun this week covered my proposed legislation to rectify the sorry state of public information requests and hold our state institutions more accountable. The Sun’s editorial board recommends my legislation.

The Path to Zero Waste is an initiative of several bills, including the Plastics & Packaging Reduction Act (the plastic bag ban), was in the news last week: WBAL reported on our goal to move Maryland toward zero waste. Our state relies on landfills and incinerators to dispose of our trash, and we need to be moving toward reducing plastic trash that we can’t recycle or compost and building out our capacity to compost (which is less expensive for local governments & can be a moneymaker).

The 2020 Legislative Session Opens!

Today began the 441st session – and my 6th session – of the Maryland General Assembly!  Although the legislature only meets in Annapolis every year for 90 days, as your Delegate I work year-round to represent District 46.  But the next 90 days will be a sprint to pass a state budget and hundreds of pieces of legislation in Annapolis. This year, a big focus will be on education!

This year, I am excited to work on bills that will improve public transportation, fund programs to prevent violence, reduce plastic waste, increase access to affordable housing, and enhance the transparency of government agencies. Although by no means a complete list, here are some of the major bills I will be introducing this year (And of course, although this list does not include the the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, I will be strongly supporting that legislation – and many other pieces of legislation that my colleagues are bringing!).

 Transit Safety & Investment Act

A recently-released Capital Needs Inventory revealed that the Maryland Transit Administration is under-funded by $2bn over the next ten years – just to maintain current levels of operation.  This bill will provide additional annual capital funding to ensure that MTA is able to maintain its assets in a state of good repair and allow the agency to implement basic modernization to its outdated fleet of buses, trains, etc. This funding is imperative to sustain our public transit infrastructure and ensure safe transit for all riders.  

Violence Intervention and Prevention Program – Mandatory Funding

Two years ago, I championed and passed the first program to prevent gun violence using evidence-based efforts. Although the Governor funded the program during its first year, he zeroed it out in FY20. This bill will require annual funding for the Violence Intervention & Prevention Program (VIPP) to fund local efforts around the state. Many of these programs are non-profit organizations with limited resources, but that do incredibly important work. This bill will provide the resources that these programs need to double down on the highest-crime neighborhoods, and expand into new neighborhoods. 

Plastics and Packaging Reduction Act

Plastic waste litters our streets and waterways in Baltimore. It’s an eyesore and it also contributes to climate change. Despite popular belief, plastic bags can not go in your recycling bin and they are not biodegradable. This bill aims to reduce plastic trash by prohibiting stores from distributing plastic bags to consumers. It also encourages residents to use reusable shopping bags by requiring stores to charge .10 for paper bags. Finally, it establishes a “Single-Use Products Working Group” to study and make holistic recommendations on reducing plastic trash and single use containers in Maryland.  

The Housing Opportunities Made Equal Act (HOME Act)

Housing discrimination is far too common, including discrimination based on source-of-income. Source of income can refer to income from veterans or disability payments or a public assistance program. Seventy percent of housing voucher recipients in Maryland are seniors, people with disabilities, or children. Currently, finding rental housing is challenging for voucher holders. Based on recent studies across the East Coast, up to 67% of landlords refused renters with housing vouchers. This bill prohibits discrimination based on a renter’s source of income, just as it is illegal to discriminate against a renter’s race, sex, religion, etc. Although many local jurisdictions have already passed their own version of this bill, it is important to ensure minimum standards are the same across the state.  

Strengthening Maryland’s Public Information Act (PIA)

Maryland’s Public Information Act needs an update. Agencies can be overwhelmed with repetitive requests and members of the press and public are often denied information in a timely or cost-effective manner. And yet, there is no way to enforce the PIA provisions without resorting to the courts. The State’s PIA Ombudsman is issuing a report this month that will recommend changes to the law to strengthen it so that members of the public can have confidence that our government is being transparent in its decision-making. This bill is based on those recommendations and on the need for more proactive disclosure of information by our agencies.    If you have requested government records in the past, I want to hear from you! Please consider taking this short survey by clicking here.  Your input will help me craft legislation for an accountable and transparent PIA request process. 

The Jordan MacNair Safe & Fair Sports Act

Our college student athletes are working hard to be champions for us – now it’s time for us to be champions for them. This year, I will be introducing a bill to allow college student athletes to retain the rights to their own name, image, and likeness. We cannot stop there though, because many of our students are facing true health and well-being challenges as well, including of course, the tragic loss of Jordan MacNair in 2018. This bill will also set up a permanent commission to oversee college student athlete well-being that will have the power to investigate any alleged wrongdoing. 

Supporting Maryland Arts Institutions

I will be introducing two bills to support Maryland arts institutions, one focusing on capital funding and one on operating dollars. Both of these bills will provide important and ongoing sources of funds to ensure that our Maryland arts community can continue to thrive and grow!

Keeping up with the Maryland General Assembly

The Maryland General Assembly website has many great resources if you are interested in following our work over the next 90 days.  I will highlight just a few:

  • The general schedule is available here.
  • You can look up legislation and track its progress here.  Every bill introduced by the bill introduction deadline is guaranteed a hearing and before the hearing, a fiscal and policy note about the bill will be published.
  • You can view the Committee Schedule, which will be regularly updated, here.

It is an honor and a thrill to represent District 46 in the General Assembly and to speak up for Maryland residents and families! In the past five years, we have accomplished major legislative milestones – and I know this session we will continue that record. We will ensure government is working for Marylanders, creating opportunities for all, and breaking down barriers that prevent individuals from reaching their potential.  If you have any questions about bills that I am proposing or have ideas or thoughts – or just want to chat! – please keep in touch.

A Busy Baltimore Fall!

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

As the countdown to the 2020 General Assembly session begins, my months are busy with legislative hearings, meetings with advocates, and community gatherings!

Earlier this month, I was thrilled to host a packed house for my Annual Women’s Breakfast! We had over 125 women from all over the city, state and region come together with fantastic remarks by our Party Chair Maya Rockeymoore Cummings and our House Speaker Adrienne Jones. It was inspiring to see so many amazing people dedicated to moving our state and City forward all in one place. I look forward to next year’s event! 

The biggest news from this fall of course is the election by the Senate Democrats of our own Senator, Bill Ferguson, as the next President of the Senate of Maryland! I am so proud of Bill and I know he will do a phenomenal job working with Speaker Jones to pass historic education funding and to push forward a wide array of bills to improve the lives of Marylanders. (Yay Team 46!)

Although we are not in session this fall, my weeks are full of hearings and meetings to prepare for the session and keep up with the work of our state government. I am on several Joint Committees that meet throughout the interim including:

The Joint Oversight Committee on Pensions: Every year we have a series of hearings on pension legislation that is needed. This year, we will also have a review of SB 946 from 2019, the bill addressing prescription drug benefits for state retirees. Our hearings on Tuesday, October 29th and Wednesday, November 20th with Maryland Budget Secretary David Brinkley have so far left me with more questions than answers. Our state workers deserve clarity when it comes to their prescription drug benefits.  You can read more about those hearings by clicking here.

Upcoming hearing date: Wednesday, December 4th (2:00 p.m.-3:30 p.m.)

House Study Group on Economic Stability:We reviewed the work that we have accomplished over the past 3 months, including site visits to meet with advocacy and direct service providers in Cumberland, Salisbury, Baltimore, and Montgomery County. 

Upcoming hearing date: Monday, December 9th (10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.) 

The Joint Committee to End Homelessness: On October 15th, we heard from the Montgomery County and Baltimore City on their homelessness plans, as well as from the Maryland Department of Housing. On October 30th, we presented our draft recommendations for affordable housing and homelessness services, and health and human services. We will continue to refine these recommendations. I am looking forward to bringing The HOME Act this year in coordination with Del. Maggie McIntosh and Del. Charles Sydnor and Senator Will Smith. The HOME Act outlaws discrimination against individuals who use any type of housing assistance voucher, including disabilities.

Mobility Hearing: Upon receiving constituent complaints about the worsening services  provided by MTA MobilityLink, I worked with the Appropriations Committee Chair to organize a hearing on the service on November 13th. We had a very well-attended hearing and heard from several organizations and riders, as well as from MDOT Secretary Rahn and MTA Administrator Quinn. During the hearing, we learned that MTA needs to add emergency backup service, needs additional capital funding for vehicles, and needs to implement increased accountability measures. I will continue to push for better mobility services. 

Baltimore City Delegation: I chair the Education Subcommittee of our City Delegation and on November 9th, we hosted a fantastic discussion about the Blueprint for Maryland, the Kirwan Commission, and City Schools.  It was great to see so many people who up care about working to ensure our kids have the resources they deserve! To learn more about the Blueprint and get involved in pushing for this once-in-a-generation legislation, check out this website or Strong Schools Maryland.

October and November have been full of visits with advocacy groups, non-profit organizations, and constituents!

Last weekend, led by Del. Robbyn Lewis, I was part of a group of legislators that met with zero waste advocates, environmental activists, and community leaders to discuss the pathway to zero waste in our city and our region.  We are making progress with the statewide styrofoam ban and the city wide plastic bag ban just passed by the City Council, but we have much more work to do!

I was pleased to attend the Maryland Convention of the National Federation of the Blind! I have the distinct honor of representing the National Federation of the Blind headquarters here in District 46, and I was wowed by the crowd of hundreds who are dedicated to advocating for civil rights (and equitable access to the ballot) for every blind Marylander!

I’ve also been working with members of the General Assembly to move forward with our new Transit Caucus – a group of legislators dedicated to advance a variety of mobility options for everyone around the state. More to come on that initiative!

Other great visits include visiting with parents at Lakeland Elementary and Middle School for a parent breakfast, joining community leaders and city officials in Cherry Hill for a code enforcement walk, hosting a constituent breakfast at Broadway Market, and attending the Maryland League of Conservation Voters annual celebration where I was recognized as a 2019 Legislator of the Year along with Sen. Cheryl Kagan, for our statewide styrofoam ban (the first in the country)!

You may have read about the recent Baltimore Sun article about the Public Information Act implementation at our state agencies. I’m working with and have been meeting with a variety of organizations to draft legislation to strengthen the PIA in Maryland. If you’ve had an experience requesting documents that you’d like to share with me, please complete this survey!

If you’d like me to visit with you or an organization you know, just reach out and let me know!  

I have several events over the next few months – I hope you’ll join me!

December Breakfast with Brooke
December 13th | 8:30am-9:30am
Cross Street Market, 1065 S Charles St
RSVP Here

Montgomery County Fundraiser with Congressman Jamie Raskin
December 15th | 4:00pm-5:30pm
Rockville, Maryland
RSVP Here

Back to Session Happy Hour – South Baltimore
January 4th, 2020 | 2:00pm-3:30pm
Checkerspot Brewing, 1399 S. Sharp Street
RSVP Here

Back to Session Happy Hour – Southeast Baltimore
January 6, 2020 | 6:00pm-7:30pm
Max’s Taphouse, 737 S. Broadway
RSVP Here

As always, I am here to serve you and all residents of District 46! If there is something that my legislative director, Dani DiPietro, or I can do to help, please email me at brooke.lierman@house.state.md.us. If you’d like me to attend your neighborhood meeting or any other event, please send us the information so we can add it to the calendar!

Keep in touch!

My best,

Brooke

Rest in Peace, Elijah Cummings

It was a particularly dark morning in Baltimore today, as we woke to the news that Congressman Elijah Cummings had passed away. He was the voice of moral clarity for our City, our state, and our country, and he was a truly kind and caring leader.  

My heart and prayers are with his wife, Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, his children and grandchildren, and his incredible team of staff, who were truly part of his extended family. He was everything a public servant should be – his was the example we should all follow. Congressman Cummings believed in the power of government to improve people’s lives – and he did that, each and every day. 

I will always remember and be grateful for the ways and the times that Congressman Cummings touched my life, helped our communities, and fought for justice and opportunity. I will also remember the powerful example he set for all of us and for our children to do what is right and just, no matter what the cost… even if it means standing up to the President of the United States.  

As we move forward, we will work with him in our hearts as we endeavor to make the world a better place – a more just place – than we found it, for our children and future generations. Rest in Peace, Congressman. And thank you.  

“When we’re dancing with the angels, the question will be asked: in 2019, what did we do to make sure we kept our democracy intact?”

– Elijah Cummings

Fall Update: Join me at a hearing or event!

Friends & Neighbors- 

September was full of advocacy, travel, and milestones – and the rest of the fall will be full of legislative hearings and events around the district! 

Earlier this month I was excited to announce that the Speaker has appointed me to a leadership position on the Environment & Transportation Committee! After Delegate Steve Lafferty, a longtime Baltimore County Delegate, retired to work for County Executive Olszewski, there was room for a new Subcommittee Chair – and Speaker Jones asked me to fill it. I am excited for my new role in leading the Committee and championing bills related to the environment, environmental justice, transportation, housing, land use, ethics, and more! I will also continue in my other joint committee roles and continue as the Education Subcommittee Chair for the Baltimore City Delegation.

Today is October 1 – and that means new laws go into effect! In Maryland, most of the laws we pass go into effect on October 1 every year. Although the statewide styrofoam ban I championed this year does not go into effect until July 1, 2020, many other important laws do go into effect today, including the Maryland Bumpstock Ban and Same Day Voter Registration. Check out more of the bills going into effect here.

One bill that will not be going into effect is HB 1281 – the Bikeways Funding bill that I passed last year to ensure that the state continues (like every other state in the country) to provide help to local jurisdictions to fund bike and pedestrian projects. Unfortunately, Governor Hogan vetoed that bill. It’s my hope that we will override that veto early next year! 

It’s only because of your generosity and support that I am here to do this work – if you’d like to support me, you can contribute online here. Thank you!

Although we are not in session this fall, my weeks are full of hearings and meetings to prepare for session and keep up with the work of our state government! I am on several Joint Committees that meet throughout the interim including:

The Joint Oversight Committee on Pensions: Every year we have a series of hearings on pension legislation that is needed. This year, we will also have a review of SB 946 from 2019, the bill addressing prescription drug benefits for state retirees. I look forward to hearing more about what the Administration is doing to carry out this program – so far, the information has been confusing and inadequate. 

Upcoming hearing dates: 

  • Tuesday, October 29th (2:00 p.m.-3:30 p.m.),
  • Wednesday, November 20th (2:00 p.m.-3:30 p.m.)
  • Wednesday, December 4th (2:00 p.m.-3:30 p.m.)

The Joint Committee to End Homelessness: Our first hearing addressed topics including on a range of issues, including a presentation from Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake, who addressed the idea of zero-interest mortgages to help additional families achieve home ownership.

Upcoming hearing dates

  • Tuesday, October 15th (10:00 a.m.)
  • Wednesday, October 30th (1:00 p.m.)

The Joint Committee on Chesapeake & Atlantic Coastal Bays Critical Areas: At our briefing this fall, we received a general overview of the Critical Areas Program, presented by the Commission for the Chesapeake Bay, including a discussion of how we balance efforts to expand solar panels while protecting the Chesapeake’s critical areas.  

Mobility Hearing: I will also be participating in a hearing on MTA’s MobilityLink Service. After constituents complained to my office about the worsening service provided by MTA MobilityLink, I worked with the Appropriations Committee Chair to organize a hearing on the service. The hearing will take place in Annapolis on November 13 at 1:00 p.m.

Baltimore City Delegation: I chair the Education Subcommittee of our City Delegation and we will be holding an information session about the Education Blueprint for Maryland (legislation based on the Kirwan Commission) in November. I’ll post more information when we have it on my Facebook page!

Come meet Speaker Adrienne A. Jones & Democratic Party Chair Maya Rockeymoore Cummings! 

Join me at my annual Women’s Breakfast! Every year I host a Women’s Breakfast at a great woman-owned restaurant in District 46. Generally we have over 100 women from all over Baltimore (and Central Maryland!) join or support this event to bring women together to hear from and learn from other women. I hope you will join me this year – or support the event if you can’t make it! 

You can RSVP here  

September was full of visits with advocacy groups, non-profit organizations, and meetings with Baltimoreans. I joined hundreds of city students to take part in the worldwide climate strike day. I was so inspired by the passion, focus and determination shown by these young people, and was proud to let them know that they are leaders in this movement. We must act on climate change now, and these young students are ready to help lead the charge. 

Earlier this month, I was honored to be a part of an Enoch Pratt Panel Discussion about being a woman in public office. I was joined by Councilwoman Shannon Sneed, Councilwoman Danielle McCray, Delegate Stephanie Smith and Kate Black, the author of Represent: The Woman’s Guide to Running for Office & and Changing the World. You can check out the full podcast of our discussion by clicking here.

In South Baltimore, I convened a meeting with MTA representatives and Brooklyn and Curtis Bay residents to discuss modifications to bus routes so residents can access a senior center and grocery store more easily. Adequate funding for transit matters: we may need additional busses and drivers to make this route work and when the Governor cuts MTA’s budget, real people – and businesses – lose out. Last Friday, I joined other City Delegates, Senators, and Councilmembers to attend the MDOT “Road Show” – the visit when Secretary Pete Rahn and the MDOT Agency heads come discuss the latest six-year capital budget with CIty officials. You can read here about how that went… 

Other great visits include a visit to the Lieber Institute for Brain Development (amazing research!), the Junior League of Baltimore, the Greater Baltimore Committee Transportation Committee, a meeting with workers at Spring Grove Hospital, and a meeting with ROCA to learn more about its work with young men in Baltimore. See a few photos from these events below. If you’d like me to visit with you or an organization you know, just reach out to schedule it! 

s always, I am here to serve the residents of District 46! If there is something that my legislative director, Dani DiPietro, or I can do to help, please email me at brooke.lierman@house.state.md.us. If you’d like me to attend your neighborhood meeting or any other event, please send us the information so we can add it to the calendar!

Keep in touch!

My best,

Brooke

PS: Keep an eye on my Facebook page or check out my website for two Breakfast with Brooke events this fall – one at Broadway Market and one at Cross Street Market.

Back to School 2019!

I took an email break for the month of August, but I did not take a break from work – read below to see all I have been up to.

Greetings on this first day of classes for our public school students! I dropped off my son Teddy this morning for his first day of first grade – I’m excited to see all he will learn this year and so grateful for the teachers and school leaders who will work with him!  

First things first: Public Schools. Today is the first day of school for most Maryland public school students, and you may have seen some of the back and forth between the General Assembly and Governor Hogan over the past month about education policy. I want to be clear here: passing a strong education reform and funding bill in 2020 is absolutely critical to the future success of Maryland. Multiple states – including Oregon and Texas – have passed massive new reform and funding bills. It’s our turn to act now. I hope the Governor will stop playing partisan politics and will work with the General Assembly to pass a strong bill next session. 

You may or may not be familiar with the Kirwan Commission, a state-level commission of Marylanders appointed by the Governor and Legislative Leaders, that has been meeting for the past few years and released this Interim Report last year. The Legislature passed the Education Blueprint based on this report last year, a bill to start implementing the Kirwan Commission reforms – it was a bipartisan bill that I was proud to vote for. But there is much more work to be done. 

As is so ably stated by a former State Superintendent in the Sun, Maryland’s school system is failing our state and failing our children. The Kirwan Commission asked the critical question, “what do we need to do to provide our kids a world-class education?” Their report is the answer. It is now up to all of us to ensure that we take the important step of passing once-in-a-generation legislation to create a school system that will empower our children and our grandchildren to succeed.

What do you think? Let me know why taking this survey on education! 

Back to school survey link 

My summer was full of visits with community associations, non-profit organizations and events, where I’ve discussed the work we did last session as well as listening to my constituents to help guide my 2020 legislative agenda.  Additionally, I have had the opportunity to attend several conferences and events to learn about best practices from across the country related to transportation, education, healthcare and much more! 

Last month, I spent a weekend in Nashville for the annual conference of the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators and the National Conference of State Legislators. Over 5000 legislators were in attendance at NCSL this year. We spent several days strategizing, comparing notes, and discussing how to build a healthier future for our constituents. With the Environmental Legislators, I also discussed eliminating single-use plastics, moving to a cleaner energy economy, creating cleaner transportation options, and ensuring our diverse and low-income communities that have traditionally felt the brunt of pollution, are not only greened-up but also that they have equitable access to new clean technology like solar.

Here in Baltimore, I was proud to host the House of Delegates Economic Mobility Workgroup’s first listening session (along with Delegates Tony Bridges, Shelly Laskin Hettleman, Charles Sydnor & Steve Lafferty). We had many service providers and their clients meet us at the Center for Urban Families to discuss the barriers they encounter and strategies and successes they have had in overcoming barriers – in addition to challenges that still exist. I then attended additional listening sessions in Cambridge and in Cumberland. The bottom line: we have to change how we do things to empower Marylanders to thrive in today’s economy. Many Marylanders have been left behind and we must do more to ensure everyone has the opportunity to succeed.

A few other highlights from around Baltimore include the following-

  • I attended the Transportation & Climate Initiative forum at the University of Maryland to discuss challenges and opportunities for building a greener and cleaner transportation system that meets the needs of all communities 
  • I attended a community celebration at Riverside Pool to celebrate Splash City and the volunteers who worked so hard to remake this pool into a more vibrant & welcoming space! 
  • The new community organizers for the Cherry Hill CDC and the Greater Baybrook Alliance and I met to discuss how I can help support the efforts of these great groups! Later that week, I also met with faith leaders in Brooklyn to discuss the important work they are doing and what I can do to help. 
  • In responding to attacks on our immigrant brothers and sisters, I attended the Lights for Liberty event but also organized two “Know Your Rights” trainings – in Brooklyn and Lakeland – for our residents. Thanks to CASA for leading the trainings and to two schools for hosting the events! 
  • I had a great time speaking with students at the first ever Summer Institute organized by the John Hopkins Center on Gun Policy & Research. 
  • Last week, the Appropriations Committee toured several Baltimore City schools, including the Stadium School and Baltimore City College to see up close the damage that underfunding capital needs can do – including doors that don’t lock, schools with inadequate AC and heat, mold and damaged walls, and more. This is unacceptable and I am glad that the Speaker has agreed to make HB 1 in 2020 a bill to increase capital funding to schools around the state. 

September 4th @6:00 PM- Fells Point Al Fresco Night

September 4th @8:30PM- Fells Point Move Night (Films on the Pier)

September 5th @5PM- Trash Free at Monument City

September 6th-8th @9AM-10PM- Little Italy Madonnari Arts Festival

September 7th @12PM- 5th Annual Vino in Vouge at Harbor East

September 7th @1AM-6PM- Locust Point Festival 2019

September 11th @8:30PM- Fells Point Move Night (Films on the Pier)

September 14th @10AM- District 7 & 11 Clean-Up (co-hosted by Volunteering Untapped, Councilman Costello, and Councilman Pinkett)

September 16th @6:30 PM- Canton Canopy Public Meeting

September 21st @11AM- Pride of Baltimore II Welcome Home Celebration

September 28th @1PM-7PM- 3rd Annual Patterson Park Brew Fest

As always, I am here to serve the residents of District 46! If there is something that my legislative director, Dani DiPietro, or I can do to help, please email me at brooke.lierman@house.state.md.us. If you’d like me to attend your neighborhood meeting or any other event, please send us the information so we can add it to the calendar!

And please, take a moment to fill out the survey here to let me know your thoughts on education! 

Keep in touch!

My best,

Brooke

District 46 National Night Out Locations

August 6th, 2019 is National Night Out in Baltimore! This is a chance to for community members to meet with local law enforcement and partners. District 46 is part of the Baltimore Police Department’s Southeast and Southern Districts. Check out the locations and times for both districts below.

Southeast District Locations

  • Fells Point: 812 S Ann St 5:00pm-8:00pm
  • Patterson Park: 2301 E. Baltimore 6:30pm-8:30pm
  • Fells Prospect Community: 400 S Durham Street 6pm
  • St. Helena Ave: 6509 Colgate Ave 6pm-9pm
  • Upper Fellls Point Improvement: 300 South Chapel St 5pm-8pm
  • Upper Fells Point Improvement: 1804 Gough- 5pm-8pm
  • Upper Fells Point Improvement: 1901 E Pratt; and the 400 block of S Durham- 5pm-8pm
  • Hatton Senior Center: 2825 Fait Ave 12pm-2pm
  • John Booth Senior Center: 2801 East Baltimore St 12:15pm-1pm
  • Washington Hill: 1739 East Pratt Street 6pm-9pm
  • Douglas Homes: 1500 E. Lexington 6pm- 8pm
  • Bayview Community: 5900 E. Pratt St 6pm-8:30pm

Southern District

  • Lakeland Community: 2900 Wegworth Lane. 6pm-8pm
  • City of Refuge: 901 Pontiac Ave. 6pm-8pm
  • Ridgelys Delight: Conway Park. 6pm-9pm
  • Violetville: 1095 Josh Ave. 6pm-9pm
  • Cherry Hill: 600 Cherry Hill Road. 5pm-8pm