Speaker Jones, Busses & Volunteer opportunities
October 8, 2021
I am thrilled to announce that Speaker Adrienne Jones & Anne Arundel House Delegation Chairwoman Sandy Bartlett will be headlining an outdoor fall reception for my campaign. I hope you can join us Thursday, November 4th right here in Annapolis! You can purchase a ticket and RSVP here.
School Busses Update
As we continue to navigate in-person school and work amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic it is frustrating, to say the least, that parents and students have had the added complication of figuring out how to get to school. This past Monday morning we woke up to find that 25 additional buses were not picking kids up for school - which upped the numbers to: 37 bus drivers not showing up, which impacted an additional 25 busses - equaling 92 total bus routes leaving children stranded. My colleagues and I have been in regular contact with City and County officials, the Governor's Office, the MVA, and the State Superintendent of schools to find every State resource available to resolve this transportation emergency. After working with City, County, & AACPS transit departments we were able to develop public transit alternatives for students to utilize for school transportation and facilitate the temporary use of existing public bus drivers (pending background checks) to help cover existing school bus routes.
Although these solutions might be a temporary fix, they do not address the root causes of the lack of School Bus operators. That is why we have also urged AACPS to utilize federal American Rescue Plan funding to renegotiate contracts and provide a living wage and benefits for current and new school bus drivers. I am pleased to say that on Wednesday, AACPS announced that they would be requesting $7.4 million recurring supplemental operating budget from the County to provide the funds necessary for a comprehensive package aimed at addressing the ongoing bus driver shortage, including wage increases for drivers and transportation staff.
The Anne Arundel County House and Senate delegations have scheduled a public briefing with AACPS later this month. Please know I will continue to work with our State, County, City, and AACPS partners to find short and long-term solutions to these incredibly frustrating and serious transportation challenges.
For updates from AACPS on their daily bus routes go to this link.
Hearing from You
Last Sunday was team 30a’s first Fall House Party. Thank you to the Bestgate residents who opened up their community to us and took the time to share their thoughts. Meeting constituents face to face is a great opportunity for us as legislators to hear directly from those we represent and give us insight into how to better represent you in the General Assembly. We will be hosting these House Parties at various communities throughout the district over the next few months and I would encourage all of you to attend. You can review our upcoming schedule here! If you would like to host a house party - please email us!
Join Us for Door Knocking!
Your District 30 team will be hitting doors throughout the fall and would love for you to join us! Sign up at the link below and join us in speaking with fellow neighbors about what is important to them as we prepare for Session.
Registration Link: https://www.danajones30a.com/join-the-team
Special Guests in the State House
Over the past two weeks, we have had two amazing groups of students come visit the Historic Annapolis State House. First, we had St. Mary’s Cub Scout Pack 422 join us to learn more about civic duty and what it means to be a good citizen. We talked about the importance of voting, obeying the law, and being informed and involved in our democracy.
We then welcomed a group of University of Maryland graduate students from China who are enrolled in the Cooperation on Higher Education and Professional Development (CHEPD) and studying Public Policy. I was able to speak with them about the legislative process here in Maryland and my personal experience in the General Assembly.
Defending Women’s Health Care
Like so many of you that reached out to me, I too was angered by the recent legislation from Texas (SB 8) that was enacted through the use of the Supreme Courts ‘shadow docket’. The shadow docket is the use of emergency orders and summary decisions by the Supreme Court of the United States without oral argument. The shadow docket is a break from ordinary procedure, and these cases receive very limited briefings and are typically decided a week or less after an application is filed.
Last week I spoke with fellow legislators, and survivors of life-threatening, heartbreaking medical situations. For the women who are raped, who are victims of incest and life threatening medical scenarios - these are personal health care decisions protected by federal law for nearly 50 years. SB 8 allow people across the country to sue anyone who *suspects a person of an abortion. SB 8 offers $10,000 dollars to anyone who turns them in - a doctor, an Uber driver, an EMT or a nurse - it literally puts a bounty on women, their right to health care and encourages vigilante action. Protecting this fundamental right is critical for women, families, and victims.
Stay tuned for how this bill on the federal level and subsequent state legislation next year is handled.
National Drive Electric Week
Last week I, along with Senator Van Hollen, Mayor Buckley, Senator Elfreth, and the County Executive celebrated National Drive Electric Week at KICK GAS! As a family who owns an electric car, we loved the showcase that included more than 50 electric cars, motorcycles, bikes, yachts, & smaller boats. A big thank you to Annapolis Green for a great event!
Upcoming Flu Vaccine Clinic
Fall is here and the CDC recommends that individuals get a flu vaccine by the end of October -- before flu begins spreading in the community that is why the Anne Arundel County Department of Health is hosting Free Community Flu Vaccine Clinics. This Saturday, October 9th, they will be at the Pip Moyer Recreation Center – Auxiliary Gym from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. You can pre-register for an appointment here!
With a return to in-person school and work and our healthcare system already being strained by the COVID-19 pandemic now more than ever it is important that we do our part to protect ourselves and others this flu season.
Do you have questions about the COVID-19 booster shot? The county has answers! The Anne Arundel County Department of Heath has created a new COVID-19 Booster page on their website to help answer some of your questions AND information on where you can get your shot.
Love Our Libraries
2021 is the Anne Arundel County Public Library's 100th anniversary! Our library system offers a wide variety of programming and resources. In honor of their centennial celebration, each week, I will be highlighting one program, resource, or event that our libraries have to offer.
Join AACPL for Author Event with community leader Carl Snowden on October 11th from 7:00pm - 8:30pm at the Busch Annapolis library. Mr. Snowden will be signing copies of his book "Some People Watch Clocks to Tell What Time It Is, I Watch People to Know What Time It Is." Registration is required for this event, which you can do here!
I would 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!
Purple Street Light Update
Have you noticed any purple street lights around the county? Due to a manufacturer defect, a few streetlights across our service area may have a malfunction causing the lights to gradually turn purple or blue. If you notice any street lights with a purple color, flicker, or outage, please report them at bge.streetlightoutages.com and BGE will replace these lights. Just type the address, and click on the light for repair.
Calling All Volunteers!
The Watershed Stewards Academy, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and Unity Gardens are hosting an event tomorrow to improve the bioretention area at Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Philip Merrill Center in Annapolis from 8:30 am – 12:00 pm.
Volunteers will be removing invasive species and replace them with native shrubs and to improve water quality and wildlife habitat and demonstrate the beauty of native plant landscapes. If you would like to lend a hand, you can sign up to volunteer here!
Light of the World Family Ministries has been out on the streets of Annapolis helping our neighbors in need from the very start of the COVID-19 pandemic. They are continuing their food giveaways and will be at the Mills Parole Community School every second Saturday.
If you would like to volunteer to help with these giveaways or have questions you can call 410 760- 1044.