Turning Heartbreak into Action
I am at a loss for words. Again we find ourselves shattered by a mass shooting in America. Children & teachers were murdered in their classroom in Uvalde, Texas. As I have heard from so many of you - I too am sad, angry, exhausted and fed up. There have been 214 deaths due to mass shootings in 2022. Mass shootings destroy families, communities and our country - but they are preventable through evidence based policy interventions.
Living in fear of sending your child to school is not acceptable. Let’s be clear, Children have a right to attend school. People have a right to go to the grocery store. We can not be numb to this violent reality. Parents are mourning their children. We as a nation must do more to stop the epidemic of mass shootings. Below I have added links to resources on how caregivers can talk with children about gun violence.
An Age-by-Age Guide to Talking to Children About Mass Shootings
Sesame Street’s Community & Gun Violence Resource Page
In order for true policy change to happen we need everyone to become involved. Click here to find more ways to become engaged here in Anne Arundel County as well as throughout Maryland.
Many of you have reached out and asked what we as a state have done about common sense gun safety legislation. I am proud to have voted for common sense legislation in my two years in the Maryland General Assembly. This includes overriding Governor Hogan’s Veto of HB 4, which requires background checks on all private gun purchases. This is crucial public safety legislation to ensure that all rifle and shotgun transfers are done above board and closes a loophole in the background check process for long gun (rifle and shotgun) transfers by requiring a licensed firearms dealer to facilitate a private long gun sale. Additionally, I’ve supported legislation to:
Regulate Ghost Guns - HB 425 addresses untraceable “ghost guns” on our streets by closing the loophole that has allowed for this new unregulated firearm market to exist. I am both proud and frankly relieved that the Maryland House chose to take this step in addressing gun violence in our state to better the health and safety of our residents. I additionally supported Republican Minority Leader Jason Buckel’s amendment on HB 425 that would have classified the theft of a firearm as a felony and established stricter penalties for this crime. We have experienced too much crime and gun violence here in Annapolis and across the state. I believe it's past time that we take action against these acts of violence.
Enhance Security for Firearms Dealers - I joined my colleagues in voting for HB 1021 which requires firearm dealers to put common sense security features like video cameras, burglary systems and safes in their shops to prevent stolen firearms. These enhanced security measures will prevent stolen firearms from going on the black market and used to commit crimes.
Increase Judicial Transparency and Police Accountability - SB 763 requires judicial transparency measures to be implemented by the Maryland State Commission on Criminal Sentencing Policy. Specifically, the Commission must collect and publish information for sentences involving a crime of violence, which will ensure more accountability from our courts. Too many repeat offenders are released back on our streets.
Track Firearm Crimes - I supported SB 861 which establishes and funds the Maryland State Police Gun Center. This gun center is responsible for the statewide tracking, screening, and vetting of all firearm crimes committed in the State. This will give our state police the data they need to investigate all firearm crimes so that we can get more criminals off the street.
Improve Behavioral Health & Public Safety - We have unfortunately seen a sharp rise in crime and substance abuse across the country as a means of coping with the COVID-19 pandemic and the difficulties it has brought. In response, I supported HB 1018 which would give additional support to the Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services to help bolster efforts in identifying and treating at-risk Marylanders. The bill will help to certify additional peer support specialists, provide additional funding for regional training workshops and behavioral health screenings, and improve behavioral health crisis responses to help save lives.
In case you missed the news, I am so proud to announce that I have earned three new endorsements.
The Maryland LCV has endorsed me for my work in the legislature as a Climate Champion. Every person has the right to clean water, healthy air & a resilient climate. I will always fight for these fundamental rights as your representative here in D30a.
I’ve additionally received enforcement from the Maryland State Education Association, Teacher's Association of Anne Arundel County & Secretaries, and Assistants Association of Anne Arundel County, for standing up for the needs of our teachers & education support professionals.
Finally, I am proud to have earned the endorsement of Maryland State and District of Columbia AFL-CIO. As the daughter & granddaughter of AFL-CIO members, I personally know the importance of standing with workers & their families. I will always fight to improve the lives & working conditions of Marylanders.
I will be making announcements about additional endorsements on my Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, so check them out to stay informed!
Funds for the District
This past week I got the chance to go out and tour the sight of one of my Legislative Bond Initiatives. Over the past several months, the community of Hillsmere Shores has been working with the Arundel Rivers Federation to restore their shoreline and create new marsh habitat to ensure this beautiful community beach is more resilient to the effects of climate change. This Session, I was able to help secure over $100,000 in state funds to help Hillsmere Shores complete this shoreline restoration. I am so honored to represent this community in the Maryland General Assembly and to be a part of this important project.
Signs are in!
The long-awaited Delegate Dana Jones yard signs are finally here! You can get yours by filling out our request form HERE, and someone from our team will deliver one directly to you.
Celebrate Annapolis Pride with Me!
I want to invite you all to celebrate Pride with my family & me this year and walk with us in the Pride Parade. The 2022 theme is ‘Many Faces, One Pride.’ The LGBTQ+ community is comprised of many people of all races, genders, sexualities, religions, and abilities. This year, the Annapolis Pride Festival is celebrating each and every person in our community and their powerful stories. You can sign-up to receive more information at - bit.ly/DJ_Summer_2022
Birthday Breakfast - Save The Date
I would like to invite you to my Birthday Breakfast Fundraiser on Thursday, June 23rd at 8:30 AM at Federal House inn Downtown Annapolis. You can reserve your ticket here! Can’t wait to see you there!
COVID-19 cases are on the rise, and it’s important to test to protect our most vulnerable family members and friends. This week, the White House announced that families can once again order FREE COVID-19 at-home test kits to be sent directly to their homes. Families can order up to 8 test kits via www.covidtests.gov Additionally, the FDA announced this week that children between age 5-11 years are eligible for Coronavirus booster shots. You can schedule an appointment.
Tornado season is here. As we start seeing more and more severe weather impact our community, it’s essential to be prepared. Check out this guide for information on how a tornado might impact your utility service and what you can do to prepare. Stay informed on severe weather in our area by following the Anne Arundel County Office of Emergency Management on Facebook and Twitter.
Kickoff to Summer Travel Season
With Memorial Day weekend serving as the unofficial start of the summer travel season, the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) urges motorists to commit to safe driving practices and travel off-peak to minimize risk delays when crossing the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. With MDTA expecting more than 330,000 vehicles to cross the Bay Bridge between Friday, May 27, and Monday, May 30, delays are expected at the bridge and along the US 50 corridor during the holiday weekend. Travel off-peak when going from shore to shore. The best times to travel the Bay Bridge this weekend are:
Thursday, May 26, 2022 - before 10 am and after 9 pm
Friday, May 27, 2022 - before 8 am and after 9 pm
Saturday, May 28, 2022 - before 8 am and after 4 pm
Sunday, May 29, 2022 - before 11 am and after 9 pm
Memorial Day, Monday, May 30, 2022 - before 9 am and after 11 pm
For 24/7 Bay Bridge traffic information call 1-877-BAYSPAN (1-877-229-7726) or visit Baybridge.com. For real-time updates on major incidents on Maryland toll roads follow MDTA on Twitter at twitter.com/TheMDTA.
National Gun Violence Awareness Day
Every year, the gun violence prevention movement comes together on the first Friday in June (June 3, 2022) to mark National Gun Violence Awareness Day by wearing the color orange. Why orange? It was the color that Hadiya Pendleton’s friends wore in her honor when she was shot and killed in Chicago at the age of 15 — just one week after performing at President Obama’s 2nd inaugural parade in 2013. They chose the color orange because it’s the color that hunters wear in the woods to protect themselves and others. It’s a color that demands change to end gun violence. For more details on action you can take or local Wear Orange events, visit www.wearorange.org.
Love Our Libraries
Starting on Sunday, May 29, 2022, all libraries will be closed on Sundays for summer vacation. Sunday hours will resume on September 11, 2022.
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!
Congratulation USNA Class of 2022!
All week the City of Annapolis has been celebrating our graduating Midshipmen, the pinnacle of which will be a commencement speech from President Joe Biden. I want to offer congratulations to all the hard-working men and women starting a new chapter in their lives and careers this week and thank them for their service to our country.
This Memorial Day weekend, the City of Annapolis will be holding a Memorial Parade Monday morning to remember and honor those who have served. You can learn more here.
Stay safe and healthy,