State Roundup, October 22, 2019

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BANK COMMITS $5M TO FIGHT PURPLE LINE GENTRIFICATION: A major national bank has committed $5 million to nonprofits to support affordable housing and small businesses threatened by development expected to follow the Purple Line being built in Washington’s Maryland suburb, Robert McCartney of the Post reports. The award by JPMorgan Chase is the largest grant so far for efforts to combat gentrification that could displace residents along the 16-mile route of the light-rail linelinking Bethesda in Montgomery County and New Carrollton in Prince George’s County.

HOGAN ROAD PLAN FAILS TO GARNER MO CO SUPPORT: Gov. Larry Hogan’s ambitious plan to widen the Capital Beltway and Interstate 270 was intended primarily to benefit the long-suffering residents of Montgomery County, who endure some of the nation’s longest commutes. But that proposal, unveiled enthusiastically by the governor more two years ago, has yet to win over some crucial leaders – the top officials in Montgomery County, reports Bruce DePuyt for Maryland Matters.

AFTER OUTCRY, BLACK CAUCUS PULLS PLAN: Maryland’s Legislative Black Caucus is withdrawing a proposal that would have forced some of its members to choose between their black and Latino ethnic backgrounds. Black Caucus Chairman Del. Darryl Barnes, a Prince George’s County Democrat, said Monday he is nixing a proposed change to the organization’s bylaws that would have barred from membership delegates and senators who are members of the Latino and Asian-American & Pacific-Islander caucuses, Luke Broadwater of the Sun reports.

  • The reaction to the proposal – that “Members of the CAUCUS shall not be members of any other ethnic caucus of the Maryland General Assembly” – had been swift, reports Ovetta Wiggins in the Post. Del. Joseline A. Peña-Melnyk, who was born n the Dominican Republic, noted that there were about 20 other members of the black caucus who are members of other ethnic caucuses who “would be expected to denounce a part of our heritage and identify to prove our blackness.”

HO CO REPS FILE BILLS ADDRESSING SCHOOL REDISTRICTING: A Howard County state senator and two delegates have filed four bills ahead of the 2020 General Assembly session to address school redistricting in the county and require homebuyers be made aware of redistricting, reports Jess Nocera for the Howard County Times. The bills were introduced Monday by members of the Howard County delegation from District 12.

PUBLIC, PRIVATE SERVICES FOR U.S. REP. CUMMINGS: The Sun’s McKenna Oxenden compiles information on what you need to know to pay your respects to the late U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings. He will be lying in state at both Morgan State University and the U.S. Capitol before his funeral on Friday.

COLLEAGUES CONTINUE TO PAY TRIBUTE TO CUMMINGS: House colleagues pay tribute to Cummings on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. “Even as he commanded a gavel as chairman, he never stopped fighting for Baltimore and the little guy,” said Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D).

D’ALESANDRO FUNERAL ON WEDNESDAY: The funeral of Thomas D’Alesandro III, a former Baltimore mayor and eldest brother of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, will take place Wednesday at St. Ignatius Church, according to his son, Thomas D’Alesandro IV, writes Colin Campbell for the Sun. Viewings are scheduled Tuesday from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the Roman Catholic church at 740 N. Calvert St.

OPINION: CUMMINGS & ‘YOUNG TOMMY:’ In a column for his Political Maryland blog, Barry Rascovar writes that two generations of Baltimore City leaders left us in recent days — Elijah Cummings and Thomas “Young Tommy” D’Alesandro III. Each represented optimism and hope for the city during dispiriting, traumatic times. Young Tommy became a respected, Kennedyesque mayor who continued to give the city firm and progressive leadership even after the devastating riots following the assassination of Martin Luther King. Elijah, for all practical purposes, became the city’s surrogate mayor: He provided moral and ethical leadership Baltimore lacked during two decades of deeply flawed elected mayors.

PELOSI’s DAUGHTER BLAST TRUMP OVER INSENSITIVITY: Nancy Pelosi’s daughter tweeted at Donald Trump Sunday night criticizing the president for not sending condolences for the death of the House Speaker’s brother — instead choosing to condemn her for taking a trip to Jordan, McKenna Oxenden of the Sun reports. Pelosi led a delegation of nine congressional leaders on a surprise visit to Jordan to discuss “the deepening crisis” in Syria amid a shaky U.S.-brokered ceasefire.

WA CO SCHOOLS UPDATE STATE ACCOUNTABILITY PLAN: Improvements in math and literacy are the top two focuses for Washington County Public Schools’ updated state accountability plan, according to district officials. At a meeting Oct. 15, Associate Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Peggy Pugh updated the Washington County Board of Education on the school system’s submission of its draft Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA, consolidated strategic plan, Alexis Fitzpatrick of the Hagerstown Herald Mail reports.

STATE: MAN CHARGED IN CAPITAL GAZETTE KILLINGS IS SANE: A forensic psychiatrist for the Maryland Health Department believes the man charged with killing five Capital Gazette staffers is legally sane, an Anne Arundel County Circuit Court judge said Monday before denying prosecutors’ request to have the man examined again, Alex Mann of the Annapolis Capital reports.

TOWN ADMIN CELEBRATES 40 YEARS OF PUBLIC SERVICE: Manchester Town Administrator Steve Miller celebrates 40 years of public service. Unlike many town administrators, Jon Kelvey writes for the Carroll County Times, Miller can run a snowplow and fix water leaks with the public works staff. After all, he worked his way through the public works department to become town administrator, bringing those years of expertise with him.