Things are picking up in Annapolis! Committees are busy with bill hearings and committee voting sessions and bills are starting to come to the House floor. The pace will continue to increase over the next few weeks.
The Fight for Fifteen has been a focus of the last two weeks. I appreciated the visits from CASA and other activists to share their stories reinforcing how crucial it is to increase the minimum wage in Maryland. My committee heard the bill last Friday, with testimony from over 170 people lasting 8 hours. I will continue to advocate to move this crucial piece of economic justice legislation forward. Last week was the hearing for my bill to fund a Complete Street Grant Program and to include access to healthy food in food deserts as a criteria in complete street design. This week was the hearing for my bill to increase procurement of locally grown food by state institutions. I was honored to be joined by farmers and groups that advocate for strong local food systems.
The Clean Energy Jobs Act is an urgent piece of legislation to increase the amount of renewable energy procured in Maryland to 50% by 2030 and to develop a path to 100%. This bill will come to my committee and I am working with activists and my fellow lawmakers to make sure it is as strong as possible to promote clean energy and good jobs in the green economy. You can find all of the bills I have introduced and updates on their status on my website. Please plan to join us for District 20 Night in Annapolis, 2/18, 6 pm. House Office Building, Room 170, 6 Bladen Rd., Annapolis, MD 21401 We are providing transportation from from White Oak, Four Corners, and Takoma Park. Click on this link to request a ride. I also wanted to share that the Maryland Legislative Latino Caucus (of which I am a member) is holding the Community and Legislative Priorities Night, Feb 26, 6pm, in Room 180 in the House Office Building. Presenters and attendees should RSVP to email@example.com or 410-841-3374.
Onward, Lorig Charkoudian
P.S. On a somewhat personal note, I was proud that my 15-year-old daughter, Aline, came to testify in favor of the ban on polystyrene. She spoke on behalf of the Blair Young Democrats, of which she is the vice-president. She and a member of the Blair Green Club reminded the committee that their generation is inheriting this planet and urged them to vote to protect it.