with Mayor Gavin Buckley
Earlier this month, we broke ground on a new Truxtun Park Pool. Please check out the video here
. This will be a wonderful amenity for our families and children and residents. I have asked the City Council to be alert so that we can ensure we are supporting the efforts of the Department of Public Works and the Department of Recreation and Parks to make the Memorial Day 2020 opening.
A few days after the groundbreaking, I had the honor to speak to a conference in Cambridge Maryland of the leading utility providers in Maryland, Virginia, Delaware and Washington, DC. At the talk, we discussed some of the connected communities initiatives, like smart and LED lighting, electric vehicle chargers, physical connectivity across utility right-of-ways like the Poplar Trail and the extension, smart kiosks, digital connectivity through 5G networks and sensors that can be installed on utility poles to detect flooding and power outages. Representatives were very excited to hear about how our City is moving forward on these initiatives and our relationships with our utility partners. This will benefit residents.
A couple of notes on Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs September 15 to October 15: First, my office recently hosted the Hispanic Business breakfast. With this initiative, Hispanic Liaison Adriana Lee has been helping the business community network and share ideas. There were 50 businessmen and women who met to discuss issues included taxes and trade. It was well attended and informative. It was all the things a networking breakfast should be. Thank you to all who attended and thanks to Comptroller Franchot for help from your staff.
The Office of Emergency Management served more than 200 households and 1,100 individuals in a partnership with the Anne Arundel County Food Bank and the Annapolis Police Department’s Community Services Unit through their Food Friday initiative since April.
Speaking of Public Safety, Police Chief Ed Jackson, Alderwoman Pindell Charles, Alderman Gay and I, along with police officers and community members, came out for Bywater’s “Unity in the Community” Day on Sept. 21. First, we had gorgeous weather. Second, we had folks out talking about addiction support and Narcan training. Finally, it was a great event with activities for the kids, live music, and faith groups represented. Thank you to everyone who helped to organize and put that together.
Fire chief Doug Remaley wanted me to mention that the city had nine new Firefighter/Paramedics graduate from the Anne Arundel County Fire Academy on Friday. Congratulations and welcome!
Also on the 21st
of September, the City hosted a Recovery Walk through downtown. It started at Whitmore Park where booths and vendors were set up to offer resources to people seeking recovery services. The event was in partnership with Recovery Anne Arundel and Street Corner Ministries.
I was honored last month to have been a speaker at the Lynching Plaque dedication at Whitmore Park. We must never forget that there were victims of lynchings right here in Annapolis. At least five are recorded. This form of racially motivated violence was never about justice. It was a terror campaign. As part of moving our nation’s story forward, we must deal with our difficult and ugly history. A path to racial reconciliation is only possible by recognizing the trauma that African-descended people had to and still to his day tolerate.
I have to note a couple of rallies that have taken place in the past few weeks. One in Washington DC with Mayors and Mom’s Demand Action volunteers regarding gun violence. The other: climate protests that took place here in Annapolis, in Washington and all over the world.
If we aren’t listening to the young people on these two issues, guns and climate, we need to start. They are leading us on both.
I was able to attend a “Mayors Against Illegal Guns” event in DC. Kids have given many of us elected officials the courage to begin standing up to the NRA. To be honest, it was heartbreaking to look around that event and see so many mayors from so many places that have experienced mass shootings and everyday gun violence. We need a new direction on this issue and I am hopeful that mayors and moms -- and kids -- will lead us there.
For the climate marches, we here in this body have a role to play. The City Dock Action Committee is working on its report for City Dock, but we will have decisions to make regarding sustainability and resiliency, or our ability as a city to bounce back from flooding or other natural disasters. We need to think about this for all areas of our City. I hope you will join me.