Blog

Important Announcement

This morning, former Delegate Charles Sydnor was sworn into the Maryland Senate and became Senator Charles Sydnor. Congratulations to Senator Sydnor! His appointment to the Senate leaves a vacancy in the House of Delegates in 44b, and I plan to apply for that vacancy. I care deeply about the district and the people who live here. As an activist, I’ve …

Legislative District 44 Vacancy Appointment

Last night, I was honored to take part in the process to appoint a new state senator to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of Senator Shirley Nathan-Pulliam. This was one of the most difficult decisions I’ve ever had to make. All of the candidates were excellent, each in their own way. I spent hours looking at resumes and …

Public not considered in new County Council procedures

A couple of months ago, I wrote about the developer impact fees bill, and the process by which it was amended and passed. In that post, I wrote: The county council’s standard procedure is to hold a public hearing (work session) on each bill to allow the public to testify. Work sessions are held at 2pm on a Tuesday in …

Protect Green Space in Baltimore County

Baltimore County has an Adequate Public Facilities law, which requires that developers provide 1,000 square feet of open space per dwelling unit, or alternatively to pay a fee to the county to help fund parks, trails, and other natural areas. However, loopholes in the current law allow developers to deduct from the fee: Parking islands, small strips of grass between …

How Much Impact Will the Impact Fees Bill Have?

The development impact fees bill that passed the Baltimore County Council on May 23 was a compromise bill that included provisions from both the County Executive’s version and Councilman David Marks’s version, with some addition provisions and exemptions added. Some of those provisions were added at the request of other council members. However, some of the exemptions and changes seem …

Progress in Baltimore County

Yesterday, I attended the Baltimore County Council Budget Legislative Session. The Council convened to vote on County Executive Johnny Olszewski’s budget and all related bills. The good news is that the package passed largely intact. There were some changes, which I’ll explain below, but I’m excited to say that Baltimore County will be moving forward with some significant progress. First, …

Baltimore County Ethics and Government Reform

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski has introduced a very important ethics and government reform package. Time is short and we need your help to support this reform package! The hearing will be next Tuesday, March 12, and the county council will vote the following Monday, March 18. See below for ways that you can help. The package consists of three …

Catonsville Flood 2018

Photo credit: Official Baltimore County Police & Fire Sunday’s rainstorm flooded Catonsville and devastated Ellicott City, damaging homes, businesses, roads, and lives. The Baltimore Sun reposted this article from 2016, exploring overdevelopment’s impact on the flood in Ellicott City. Although it’s difficult to pinpoint how much development contributed to the devastation last Sunday and in 2016, there’s a clear link between …

Study confirms stormwater remediation projects improve water quality — now let’s do something about…

The Baltimore Sun reported this morning on a study that confirms the effects of toxic runoff and remediation on water quality. Protecting Maryland’s water and our precious Chesapeake Bay are essential, yet the Baltimore County Council — including my opponent, Tom Quirk — voted unanimously in 2015 to repeal the stormwater remediation fee, rip off their constituents, and degrade our water. This fee paid …

Ending housing discrimination and lifting our communities

I burn for justice, and I’m not going to stop speaking truth to power just because I’m now a politician — running to represent Baltimore County’s District 1 on County Council. Both of my opponents for this Council seat apparently think it’s acceptable to perpetuate a system that herds poor families, disabled people, and senior citizens into neighborhoods with concentrated poverty, crumbling …