September 8, 2022
We are about 60 days from Election Day! The momentum in our campaign, and in Democratic campaigns across Maryland, has gained strength. And all of it is thanks to amazing volunteers like you! I am so grateful for all those who have shown their support for me - from knocking on doors, putting signs up, and attending campaign events.
Our campaign of bringing relief to Maryland families, lowering taxes, protecting rights for all, keeping education at the forefront, and being good stewards of the environment continues to grow in support. But campaigns are not won with a few solid weekends of work, they are won with consistency and impassioned volunteers letting fellow voters know why it is so important that they make their voice heard! As we head into the fall, with Election Day just around the corner, please consider how you can get involved to ensure success in November!
This Saturday join me, Team 30A, County Executive Steuart Pittman, & County Councilwoman Lisa Rodvien, to door-knock throughout District 30A on Saturday, September 10th at 10am!
Meet us at our coordinated campaign office at 17 Pinewood St, Annapolis at 10 AM for coffee, donuts, and a brief rally/training session before heading out! Can't wait to see you there!
There are several ways you can continue to stay involved and help our campaign:
New Bivalent Covid-19 Booster
Everyone 12 and Older is Eligible: Federal and state health officials are recommending that everyone 12 and older get this updated shot from Pfizer, and from Moderna for individuals age 18 years and older. Individuals are eligible two months from their last vaccine dose of any kind, whether it is a primary or booster dose. *Of note, federal health officials expect to approve updated booster shots for other pediatric groups in the coming weeks. To find locations near you to receive the bivalent booster click here.
Stronger Protection Against Omicron Variants: The bivalent booster shot adds Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 spike protein components to the current vaccine in order to target newer, more transmissible variants. The FDA reports a better immune response in people who received the new bivalent booster. As of today, BA.5 currently accounts for 79.2% sequenced cases in the state and 90% of sequenced cases in the country. Both BA.4 and BA.5 are predicted to continue to circulate in the United States this fall and winter.
GoVax Call Center Outreach: Maryland’s GoVax Call Center— which is available 7 days a week—will begin a new call and text-based outreach campaign to eligible Marylanders this week. The call center continues to offer individuals homebound vaccination options and rideshare options for individuals with transportation access issues. Call 1-855-MDGOVAX (1-855-634-6829) to schedule a booster appointment today, or visit http://covidvax.maryland.gov/
To find a Covid-19 Testing center closest to you, please visit: https://covidlink.maryland.gov/content/testing/
Friends Old and New at Recent Fundraiser
I am so very thankful for old friends who are like family and new ones who came out to my fundraiser in Baltimore County last week. It was an honor to be joined by County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr, as well as colleagues from the MGA past and present.
While we are no longer still in the Young Democrats of Maryland, the friendships that we formed all those years ago mean the world to me!
Their support of my race is critical and I’m so appreciative. Looking forward to hosting them in Annapolis on Saturdays to hit those doors throughout the fall!
If you would like to host a fundraiser or meet & greet please reach out & our team can help set that up! https://bit.ly/36s7uZ4
Candidate Forum at Heritage Harbor
What a wonderful turnout at the candidate forum held by the Heritage Harbor Community Association! I thoroughly enjoyed having fantastic conversations with so many of my constituents! It’s always a great opportunity to speak directly with my constituents and hear from them what solutions we can bring to the table.
It was great to participate alongside my District 30A colleagues Senator Sarah Elfreth and Delegate Shaneka Henson, as well as Re-Elect Lisa D. B. Rodvien for District 6 Councilwoman 2022, and Everett Sesker for Sheriff.
Upcoming Event! Annapolis Kunta Kinte Festival
The Kunta Kinte Heritage Festival will return to City Dock for the 32nd year on Saturday, September 24, 2022 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The festival is for all ages to celebrate the perseverance, education and cultural heritage of Africans, African Americans and Caribbean people of African descent. Admission is free.
The festival features art, music, dance, and food of the African Diaspora, including more than 110 artisan, food, and education vendors. Cultural activities, art, and music and dance performances will be scheduled throughout the day. A children’s tent with fun activities will be presented by the Chesapeake Children’s Museum and Sankofa Children’s Museum of African Cultures.
Monkeypox Updates and Resources
The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) today released the Maryland Statewide Human Monkeypox (MPX) Vaccination Pre-Registration System enabling Marylanders to sign up to be notified when an MPX vaccine opportunity becomes available.
“This pre-registration system is another step to ensure that Marylanders can access the tools to stay protected from human monkeypox,” said MDH Secretary Dennis R. Schrader. “Keeping impacted residents healthy and safe remain our top priorities.”
The new vaccine pre-registration system will be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. People who register through the system and are determined to be eligible for the vaccine will receive an email invitation to make an appointment through their local health department.
To date, Maryland has received 14,539 vials of JYNNEOS vaccine from the federal government. MDH has worked closely with local health departments to implement intradermal injections, meaning three to five doses from each vial. Those vaccines are available to any eligible individual in any jurisdiction. The pre-registration system continues MDH and local health department efforts to provide easier access for eligible Marylanders to opt-in and mitigate the spread of monkeypox. The vaccination pre-registration system is intended for Maryland residents who meet one of the following criteria:
Self-identified close contact of a person with MPX
Impacted community member with potential MPX exposures in the prior 2 weeks
Vaccinations to prevent MPX disease are free. Pre-registration is for the first MPX vaccine dose only. Subsequent doses will be coordinated for each individual by the first dose provider. MDH urges interested Maryland residents to still pre-register even if they do not meet the current vaccination eligibility criteria. If eligibility expands, people who have already pre-registered will be notified of available appointments. Anyone who has monkeypox symptoms should contact their health care provider. People without a provider or insurance should contact their local health department. For additional monkeypox resources, including fact sheets and FAQs, visit health.maryland.gov/monkeypox.
MDTA Customer Assistance Plan Expiring in 3 Months!
With three months remaining in its Customer Assistance Plan offering a civil penalty waiver grace period for Video Tolls, the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) is continuing to urge customers to take advantage of the plan by paying unpaid Video Tolls – either in one payment or incrementally over time – and make sure they are paid in full by 11:59 p.m. November 30, 2022.
As the 90-day countdown continues toward the November 30 close of the Customer Assistance Plan, the MDTA will post daily reminders on its Twitter social media page, @TheMDTA, and also will include reminders and updates on the MDTA and DriveEzMD websites.
It’s important to remember that the Customer Assistance Plan is not toll forgiveness, nor is it an elimination of tolls owed. Tolling remains in effect statewide, and drivers are responsible for paying the outstanding toll amount.
Calling All Entrepreneurs! Baltimore Means Business Program
For the third year in a row, Morgan State University will be hosting the Baltimore Means Business program for Entrepreneurs. The Baltimore Means Business program is a free, online program for entrepreneurs who earn under $100,000 annually. The program is designed to give business owners the tools they need to build capacity, add jobs and have a more positive impact on their communities.
The program gives participants practical business education and a supportive network of advisors & peers. Through the program, participants will receive the tools and support to develop a customized growth plan that details how to take their businesses to the next level.
Applications are due no later than Monday, September 26, 2022 5 pm EST. Session starts October 13, 2022. There is an opportunity for a business to win up to $5K in funding!
For more information, Email: BMB@morgan.edu Phone number: (443)885-3396.
In the Community: Tour of Seeds 4 Success
Last week myself, Senator Sarah Elfreth, and Delegate Shaneka Henson had the opportunity to sit down with Seeds 4 Success and congratulate them on 14 years of service to the community- as well as hear about the work they are currently doing in Annapolis. We look forward to working together and supporting their efforts to ensure all children have the opportunity to succeed in school and life.
Organizations like Seeds4Success are vital to the success of youth in our community, and we must do everything we can to support them in their mission. To learn more and find out how you can support, please visit their website at https://seeds4success.org/
Student Loan Cancellation Seminar
On Sept. 22 at 6pm ET, join the Women's Legislative Caucus of Maryland for an hour-long "how to" webinar to discuss important changes to the federal student loan system. President Del. Lesley Lopez and representatives from the Student Borrower Protection Center and the Office of the MD Attorney General will cover President Biden's recent announcement about debt cancellation, deadlines related to the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, and advice for borrowers preparing for loan repayment to resume after December 31, 2022. Attendees will be able to have their questions answered live. Please know that the deadline to apply for the Student Loan Debt Relief Tax Credit for Maryland state taxes is on Sept. 15, 2022.
Here is the link to RSVP: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_ti0IHn-jR-SAsSDrGcRSkA#/registration
Love Our Libraries
Join us September 30 at the Michael E. Busch Annapolis Library for a cocktail party to build a better future for the library we love!
Enjoy live local music, delicious food from Chesapeake Chef Service and flowing libations as we come together to raise vital funds to help our libraries impact kindergarten readiness. 60% of Anne Arundel County children are not ready for kindergarten. A literate community is a strong community. Invest in your library today to make our community stronger now and in the future. Early bird pricing $85 per person, available through September 9. (Must be 21+ years) Unable to join us? Make a donation to create life-long readers.
I encourage everyone to follow the Anne Arundel County Public Library’s Facebook page to get updates on programs and new resources. You can check out their calendar to find the perfect event for you and your family to enjoy!
You can follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to learn about volunteer opportunities, community resources, COVID-19 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,