September 7th, 2023
I’m back from my trip to Ireland! I’m so very thankful to have represented Maryland as a Co-Chair of the Maryland Irish Legislative Caucus along with three other colleagues from Maryland; Delegate Heather Bagnall, Delegate Ken Kerr and Delegate Kevin Hornberger. The meetings were a huge success, and our hosts were absolutely brilliant.
This incredible meeting of over 200 U.S. Legislators from across 50 States in the Chamber of Dáil Éireann was the largest ever gathering in history of U.S. State and Federal Legislators to take place in Ireland! Participating in the Dail Chamber meeting also included the U.S. Ambassador to Ireland and Ireland’s Ambassador to the United States.
The focus was on the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Peace Agreement, economic relations between Ireland and the United States, as well as ongoing U.S. support for the peace process. Our meetings took us to Northern Ireland to visit Belfast, the Peace Walls, and included meetings with leaders of both communities and victims’ rights campaigns. We then met with the Speaker and the Political Representatives at Stormont, home of the Northern Ireland Assembly. I was so appreciative of the honesty from all sides regarding the ongoing challenges and how they envision this young peace agreement moving forward - especially post Brexit.
The conclusion of our visit was a gathering of the American Irish State Legislators Caucus where we heard from Bertie Ahern, former Prime Minister and signatory of the Good Friday Agreement. He spoke as a primary peace negotiator of the critical diplomacy leading up to the Agreement, bringing divided communities together post violence, and the path for peace moving forward. The Maryland delegation was so honored to present a Maryland State flag flown over our state capital to former Prime Minister Ahern. His historic work for the peace process, and what that has taught communities throughout the world in seeking that same peace, is truly humbling.
I am so very thankful to have my family along with me! We loved cheering on our beloved U.S. Naval Academy as they took on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. While we got the outcome we had hoped for in Rugby (USNA 78 – Irish 0) we came up short in ‘American football.’
Apply Now for the Student Loan Tax Credit
Don’t Miss Out on an Opportunity to Help Pay Off Your Student Loan Debt - The Student Loan Debt Relief Tax Credit Application Closes September 15!
To be eligible, you must claim Maryland residency for the 2023 tax year, file 2023 Maryland state income taxes, have initially incurred at least $20,000 in undergraduate and/or graduate student loan debt, and have at least $5,000 in outstanding student loan debt at the time of applying for the tax credit.
The tax credit is for Maryland residents, and this year Maryland State employees with student loan debt will be given awarding priority. Everyone who applies must be currently making undergraduate and/or graduate education loan payments. Those who receive the tax credit will be required to prove they used the full amount of the tax credit towards the payment of their eligible student loans. Otherwise, the recipient will have to return the credit.
To apply, go to the Maryland Higher Education Commission’s website at: https://ow.ly/4z1950PIl2T
Help the Victims of the Tragedy in Hawaii
In August, horrendous wildfires caused immense damage to Maui and Hawai’i. At least 115 people have been killed, with thousands more displaced from their homes. This disaster has now officially become the deadliest wildfire in modern U.S. history. My family and I are devastated, and I wanted to share some resources to help those affected:
The Maui Strong Fund from Hawaiʻi Community Foundation - The Maui Strong Fund from Hawaiʻi Community Foundation supports rapid response, food, shelter, and financial assistance for residents impacted by the wildfires on Maui. Donate here.
Red Cross - The American Red Cross is on the ground and providing safe shelter, food, and relief supplies to Maui. Visit www.redcross.org to donate or call 1-800-RED-CROSS.
Maui Rapid Response - The Maui Mutual Aid Fund supports Maui residents, people with disabilities, elderly residents and people who are uninsured or underinsured. Donate here.
Eastport Farmers Market, This Saturday!
This Saturday, join the City of Annapolis and Atlas Restaurant Group for the second “Nourishing Communities Farmer’s Market to Combat Food Insecurity,” farmers market!
Celebrate the 75th Anniversary of The Colonial Players!
Please join The Colonial Players of Annapolis for the opening night of their 75th Season! The Colonial Players of Annapolis is the oldest performing arts organization in Anne Arundel County and has been an important part of our community for many years. CP has been providing quality theater productions to the community since 1949.
Their 75th Season opens this Friday, September 8th, with their production of Moliere’s comedy, Tartuffe. I am looking forward to attending and saying a few words in appreciation of their contributions to our community. Come say hi and enjoy a great show!
To buy tickets, click HERE!
Teen Night at the PMRC, This Friday!
For the Love of the Library
Join AACPL for a cocktail party to build a better future for the libraries and community you love on Friday, September 22nd, 2023!
Enjoy delicious food from Chesapeake Chef Services, flowing libations and unique surprise experiences for bid as we come together to raise vital funds to help our libraries foster lifelong learning and curiosity for all.
Early bird pricing $100, available through September 8. (Must be 21+ years)
Click HERE for Tickets!
You can follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to learn about volunteer opportunities, community resources, legislative updates and much more. If you have any questions or concerns, you can always contact my office by email at Dana.Jones@house.state.md.us or by phone at 410-841-3211.
Stay safe and healthy,
Delegate Dana Jones
District 30A, Annapolis & Anne Arundel County