King Jr

Dr. King’s Legacy in the Age of Trump


As we commemorate the vast legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., I am reminded in this moment of one of his most powerful messages, in his Christmas Sermon on Peace in 1967, he said “We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied into a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”  The message was simple and direct.  We, regardless of our station in life, are all in this together.

President Donald Trump does not believe this.  He is stronger when we are divided.  He is stronger when we are suspicious of the immigrants moving into our communities.  He is stronger when we think someone who doesn’t look like us is taking our job or threatens our family.  I won’t dignify his comments about African and Latin American countries by repeating them in this message.  He embarrasses our nation and the Office of the Presidency on a weekly and daily basis.

The emotional allure of his divisive politics got Donald Trump elected President.  But it will take remembering the “single garment of destiny” that binds us all together to defeat him and the destructive ideology that he champions.  Prince George’s County is one County and we rise together.  It isn’t good enough that the schools in my neighborhood are great if yours are not.  It isn’t enough progress if my family has access to quality, affordable health care and yours does not.  If your neighbors don’t feel safe at night, the fact that mine do just isn’t enough.  We are one County and we rise together.

Thank you for continuing to believe and fight for the dream of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and all of those on whose shoulders we stand in the cause of equality, opportunity, and freedom.

-Mel Franklin, Councilman

Candidate for Council At-Large

Downtown Largo

The New Downtown of Prince George’s County – Redevelopment of the BLVD at Capital Centre

The New Downtown of Prince George’s County:

“The Boulevard at the Capital Centre is at the dawn of a new era with the redevelopment of the existing center and adjacent construction of Prince George’s County Regional Medical Center. The Boulevard at the Capital Centre redevelopment will enhance the experience from all types of uses – residential, office, medical, retail, restaurants and entertainment. RPAI is focused on attracting the best local, regional and national retailers, restaurants and entertainment partners to this vibrant community. The centerpiece of the plan is a park that will offer year-round programming and a unique gathering place for the community.”



Project presentation:



Prince George’s County Snow Information Update from Councilman Mel Franklin – January 4

 Snow & Ice Control Update – Jan. 4, 2018

Storm Forecast

Snow is continuing to fall throughout the County.  AccuWeather stated the heaviest snowfall will end between 8 AM and 10 AM; and the flurries will be out of the area between noon and 2 PM. Accumulations of one to three inches of snow is expected before the system moves out of the area later this afternoon.  Winds are expected to increase throughout the day with gusts between 30-40 mph.  The high today, January 4, 2018 is forecasted to be 27 degrees. The overnight low will be well below freezing at 5 – 9 degrees.

Bus Service

The Bus will operate on a normal schedule.  Currently, bus routes 12, 25 and 36 have been suspended due to road conditions and route 18 has limited service.  Please go to NextBus!/pgc for the most up to date information.

Paratransit Services

Senior congregate services have been cancelled and Nutrition services (meal deliveries) will operate beginning at 12 noon.


GENERAL SNOW & ICE INFORMATION (Keep for Current and Future Snow Emergencies)

When a snow emergency is declared, the Prince George’s County Department of Public Works and Transportation (DPW&T) is responsible for providing “passable” conditions on a network of over 1,800 miles of county-maintained roadways to ensure the safety of residents, citizens, and travelers.

Prince George’s County 2017 Snow Summit Presentations:
Important Snow Information Reference Brochure:
Snow Removal Tracking:

Route Clearing Priorities

Routes are prioritized for service into categories: primary, secondary and residential. Primary and secondary roads are serviced first to ensure that public safety and other emergency vehicles can travel. After completion of these roads, residential roads receive service. Crews work as long as necessary to clear roadways, which consists of salting, sanding and/or plowing, as warranted by weather conditions.

To assist crews, citizens and residents are requested to:
·         Move and keep vehicles off snow emergency routes

·         Park in driveways or other off-road locations wherever possible

·         Park only on the even numbered sides of roads/streets

It also is important for single-family homeowners or renters and business proprietors to remember that they are responsible for removal of snow/ice from sidewalks abutting their homes or businesses.

Reporting Road Concerns

During a snow and ice event, residents and citizens are encouraged to wait 24 hours after the precipitation has stopped to call CountyClick 311 or go to to report emergencies or concerns about roadway conditions.

The Department of Public Works and Transportation is committed to snow removal from all streets maintained by Prince George’s County. Please assist us with our snow removal efforts by submitting your information on the Snow Removal Form.


1.When will my street be plowed?

Snow emergency routes and primary roads are treated first, followed by secondary streets and finally residential streets including dead-ends and cul-de-sacs.

2.Where do I call to report my street has not been plowed or treated?

Call the Snow Information Center at 301-350-0500, 12 hours after the precipitation has stopped, if your road has not been treated. Or, submit your request via our Snow Form.

3.My driveway is blocked with plowed snow, what do I do?

You are responsible for clearing the snow from your driveway. It is best to shovel your driveway after the road has been plowed to avoid having driveways blocked by snow plowing operations. DPW&T does not have the resources available to unblock driveways.

4.I have a medical condition and need my street plowed right away.

The Department of Public Works and Transportation cannot prioritize roadways by medical needs of the residents. For medical emergencies, residents should call 911 immediately. Department of Public Works and Transportation works directly with the Fire and Police Departments on emergencies. For assistance with transportation to medical appointments, residents should call the Office of Emergency Preparedness at 301-583-1899. The Office of Emergency Preparedness will assist in providing transportation with 4 wheel drive vehicles.

5.Where should I park my car?

If you have a driveway, use it. A parked car in the driveway means less area to shovel later. If on-street parking must be used, cars must be parked on the even-numbered side of the street during snow operations. Failure to do so could result in a fine and/or towing.

6.I live in a new development and I haven’t seen a snow plow yet. Who do I call?

Call the Snow Information Center at 301-350-0500. Inform the call taker that you live in a new development and they can determine if your roadway has been accepted into the County maintenance system. If it hasn’t, you will need to contact your developer or citizen’s association as it is their responsibility until the road has been accepted by the County.


-Mel Franklin, Councilman


Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the Franklin Family

May you receive all of God’s blessings during this holiday season.  Thank you for the great progress we have made together over the last few years and the tremendous work that is to come.  During the past 60 days alone, we broke ground in Camp Springs on the newest federal agency headquarters to come to our County in over a decade, a major redevelopment in Suitland a generation in the making, and a new Regional Medical Center in Largo that will bring world-class health care to our communities, while, at the same time, we announced that we led the state in job creation over the last 12 months.  The Jobs First Movement for economic opportunity and investment in the people of Prince George’s County is gaining momentum!  We are one County and we rise together.  Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

From our family to yours,

-Mel, Monekia, J.R., and Alexis — The Franklin Family

See the photos from my Dec. 12 holiday birthday party featuring Bravo TV RHOA star Cynthia Bailey:

P.S. – Please especially keep our military service members, first responders, and their families in your thoughts and prayers this holiday season.

By Authority, Friends of Mel Franklin, Brendon Laster, Treasurer
Friends of Mel Franklin
PO Box 3031
Upper Marlboro MD 20773 United States
Dec. 12 Holiday and Birthday Party with Cynthia Bailey & Mel Franklin

Join Me for my Holiday Birthday Party and Celebrate Prince George’s County – Dec. 12

I hope you can join me and celebrate my birthday and the holiday season tonight!  During my time on the County Council, we have made great strides towards improving our quality of life for everyday families on main street, but we still have more work to do to increase economic opportunity and public investment in our most critical priorities. Tonight, I look forward to celebrating our progress and discussing how we continue to build the Jobs First Movement in 2018.

My special guest, Real Housewives of Atlanta star Cynthia Bailey, and I hope to see you tonight, December 12th at my Holiday Celebration at 7pm (VIP Reception at 6pm) at National Harbor in support of my campaign for County Council At-Large (155 Potomac Passage, Oxon Hill, MD 20745). 

We hope to see you there!
Mel Franklin, Councilman
Community Banks in Prince George's County

Investing in Main Street and Your Family: Prince George’s County Adopts Policy to Invest in Local, Small, and Minority-Owned Banks


Last week, the County Council finished putting in place a new “Jobs First” policy (initially adopted last year) that requires at least 50% of County funds, your tax dollars, to be deposited in local community banks – Local, Small, or Minority-Owned Banks with branch locations in Prince George’s County.  Lending by community banks serves the interests of “Main Street” – small businesses and nonprofits, middle class jobs, and local wealth creation – not Wall Street.  We are investing more public dollars in our local, small, and minority-owned banks because these main street banks invest in our local community and tax base, creating jobs and generating revenue for critical services like schools, safety, transportation, and services for seniors and youth.

While we are investing in Main Street here in Prince George’s County, Donald Trump and the Republican Congress on Capitol Hill are trying to give another bailout to Wall Street.  The Republican Tax “Reform” Plans will take away critical tax deductions for middle class families, like the personal and dependent exemptions, offsets for state and local income and property taxes, deductions for medical devices, and the lifetime learning education tax credit, while limiting the mortgage interest deduction.  All of this will pay for permanent tax breaks for Donald Trump and Wall Street, which, the Trump Administration claims, will trickle down to the rest of us.

Here on Main Street, we know better than that because we have seen this playbook before.  The choice is clear – do we empower Main Street and the middle class or do we give more tax bailouts to Wall Street through 1980s-style “trickle down economics?”  Join me and choose Main Street and resist Donald Trump by supporting the Jobs First Movement and my campaign for Council At-Large here:

Have a Wonderful Thanksgiving!

Don’t forget that this Saturday is “Small Business Saturday”:  Please support Prince George’s County’s small, minority, and woman-owned businesses!

And please support Giving Tuesday on Nov. 28!:




Prince George’s County is home to the largest number of veterans in the State of Maryland, numbering approximately 60,000.  Our veterans and their families come from all walks of life, all races and creeds.  They don’t seek accolades or celebration.  They are heroes.  And, a part of their heroism is their humility.  They retain a special bond with each other and sometimes difficult memories of the obstacles they have faced and lost brothers and sisters on the battlefield.  They are the great defenders of our freedoms and our way of life.  Let us ensure that, when our veterans come home from their tenures of service, we look out for them the way they and their families have looked out for us.  Thank you for your service.  Prince George’s County gives you the honor and respect that you deserve, not just this one day in November, but every day, every year.  Let’s also extend a special prayer for all of our men and women in uniform currently in the field, in harms way, and for their families.

-Mel Franklin



State of Maryland Veterans Resource Guide:

UMUC Veterans-Trusted Resource Guide:

U.S. Veterans National Resource Directory (NRD):

Prince George’s County Commission for Veterans:

State Dept of Housing New Carrollton Groundbreaking



Multiyear Incentive Effort Lands United States Citizenship and Immigration Headquarters with 3,700 Employees and New Retail Amenities; Construction to be Completed in 2020

In 2012, in the wake of the Great Recession, I had the privilege of joining with my Council colleagues and the County Executive to establish a major tax incentive plan with our private sector partners for one of our most critical metro station areas, the Branch Avenue Metro Station in Camp Springs.  While this transit-oriented development site had been hit hard by the housing crisis, its (i) close proximity to the District, (ii) available land near a convenient metro station, and (iii) untapped development potential provided a tremendous opportunity to be a major future economic destination, especially for a prominent federal agency.

Five years later, after multiple follow-up efforts, I am pleased to announce that these years of hard work have paid off and Prince George’s County has won the bid to become the home of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Headquarters, an agency of the Department of Homeland Security, bringing 3,700 federal employees and new retail and residential amenities to the Branch Avenue Metro Station.  Since this will be a major federal lease of a private development, it will be a long-term boost to our tax base and its construction will create opportunities for small, minority and woman-owned businesses in the county and local hiring.

Prince George’s County is home to a quarter of the region’s federal workforce — more than 75,000 workers — yet only has 4 percent of federal leased space, with half of that space being warehouses and storage facilities.  After being overlooked for many, many years by federal agencies in our region, this time, Prince George’s County sent the message that those days are over!

This achievement is exactly what the Jobs First Movement and my campaign for Council-At Large is all about – creating economic destinations in Prince George’s County in signature industries that matter, like the Federal Sector.  Together, we are writing the next great chapter in Prince George’s County’s story.  Be a part of it!  Join the Jobs First Movement

Media Article on the USCIS Project Coming to Prince George’s County





Reminder: County Council Education Town Hall Meeting, October 23, 7PM-9PM

The County Council is hosting an Education Town Hall meeting this evening from 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. at the County Administration Building, 14741 Gov. Oden Bowie Drive, Upper Marlboro, MD 20772.  This event will feature Dr. Kevin Maxwell and include a discussion about the Council’s performance audit of the school system.  Please come out and make your voices heard!  If you are not able to attend in person, you can also watch this town hall live via on-line streaming here (or archived video later):


Public Meeting on Governor Hogan’s MAGLEV High Speed Rail Proposal, October 24, 5PM-8PM

The next open house on Governor Larry Hogan’s controversial MAGLEV high speed rail proposal will take place on Tuesday, October 24, from 5PM – 8PM at Laurel High School, 8000 Cherry Ln, Laurel, MD 20707.  The County Council received a briefing from the private partner the State has approved for the MAGLEV project last Tuesday and raised some serious concerns.  You can view that briefing here (my comments begin at 4:41:09).

Read the WTOP article on the Council’s MAGLEV briefing:


Planning Board Public Meetings on the Zoning Rewrite in Prince George’s County, Oct. 24, 25, and 26

The M-NCPPC Prince George’s Planning Board is hosting public meetings on the rewrite of the decades old laws that govern development in Prince George’s County.  Some of the Planning Board’s proposed changes include: preapplication community meetings, more mixes of uses allowed in nearly every zone, stronger design standards, and many others. For more info, go to  Here are the meeting dates and locations:

Tuesday, October 24, 2017, Harmony Hall Regional Center, 10701 Livingston Road, Fort Washington, MD 20744, 7:00–9:00 p.m.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017, Laurel-Beltsville Senior Activity Center, 7120 Contee Road, Laurel, MD, 20707, 7:00–9:00 p.m.

Thursday, October 26, 2017, Sports and Learning Complex, Town Hall, 8001 Sheriff Road, Landover, MD 20785, 7:00–9:00 p.m.


Common Ownership Communities Listening Session by Del. Proctor – Oct. 24

Common Ownership Community (HOA, Condo, and Co-Op Associations) Listening Session on Tuesday, October 24, 2017 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the District 5 Police Station in Clinton (6707 Groveton Drive, Clinton, MD 20735).  This meeting will be an opportunity for residents to come address their concerns with Delegate Susie Proctor (District 27A) and to find out about new Common Ownership Community State Laws.  If you plan on attending, please RSVP to Del. Proctor’s Legislative Director, Jocelyn Collins at 410-841-3083 or by email at


Dept. of the Environment Green Summit to Reduce Litter – Wed. Oct. 25th

From the DOE: “Join your Prince George’s County Department of the Environment and other County officials and presenters for a FREE, one-day green summit to engage, promote and empower action for tackling waste and litter issues in our County.” Details: Southern Regional Technology and Recreation Complex, 7007 Bock Road, Fort Washington, MD 20744, 8:30AM-5:30PM.  To register, go here:


Coming Next Week: “Discussion on the State of the Arts in Prince George’s County,” Monday, October 30, 6:00pm at the Publick Playhouse, 5445 Landover Rd, Cheverly, MD 20784.


View the Calendar for County Government Boards and Commissions Here:

View the County Council Meeting Calendar Here:

Important Middle Class Tax Credit Information:

Join the Jobs First Movement here:

pgcbuylocal jobsfirst 3

Prince George’s County Middle Class Tax Credit Programs


Homestead Property Tax Credit

To help homeowners deal with large assessment increases on their principal residence, state law has established the Homestead Property Tax Credit. The Homestead Credit limits the increase in taxable assessments each year to a fixed percentage. Every county and municipality in Maryland is required to limit taxable assessment increases to 10% or less each year. Prince George’s County has a 2% cap which further limits increases. Check the status of your Homestead eligibility by looking up your property on the Real Property database:

Homestead tax credit application: 

You can also contact the local office of the State Assessments Office at 301-952-2500 or visit:

Assessments Office, Courthouse, 14735 Main Street Upper Marlboro, MD 20772-3050


Homeowners’ Property Tax Credit Program

For homeowners with a combined gross household income of $60,000 or less, this program allows credits against the homeowners’ property tax bill, but the taxes must exceed a fixed percentage of a person’s gross income. It sets a limit on the amount of property taxes a homeowner must pay, based on income. Income is defined as the gross income before any deductions are taken. Nontaxable retirement benefits such as Social Security and Railroad Retirement must be reported as income. You must apply every year no later than September on a standard application supplied by the Department of Assessments and Taxation. Example: If your combined household income is $16,000, your tax limit is $420. You would be entitled to receive a credit for any taxes above the $420. You would be entitled to receive a credit for any taxes above the $420. If your actual property tax bill is $990, you would receive a tax credit in the amount of $570, the difference between the actual tax bill and the tax limit.

Apply here:’-Property-Tax-Credit-Program.aspx


Use the Assessment Appeals Process

Everyone’s property is re-assessed every three years, but sometimes your assessment does not really reflect your actual market value based on home sales in your area.  The assessment appeal process allows property owners the opportunity to dispute the value determined by the State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT). Property values rise and fall to reflect the market. Customers should file an appeal when the estimated value of their property does not accurately reflect what they believe to be its current market value.

To Appeal Your Assessment, Go Here:

MD Property Owners’ Bill of Rights:


Maryland Renters’ Tax Credit Program

The State of Maryland Renters’ Tax Credit Program provides Property Tax credits for renters who are age 60 and older or 100% disabled, and also meet certain income requirements. Under HB-340, passed by the Prince George’s County Delegation and the Maryland General Assembly in the 2016 Legislative Session, renters can receive maximum tax relief up to $1,000. This legislation also expands the statewide Renters Tax Credit program and increases the pool of eligible applicants. To get a credit for 2015, you must file by September 1st. Contact the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation at 1-800-944-7403 or visit:’-Tax-Credits.aspx


24-Month Residential Leases for Seniors

Prince George’s County seniors living in specified age-restricted housing can now enter into a 24-month lease agreement without incurring fees or rent increases for the term of the lease. Landlords are required to provide written notice about the 24-month period when entering into a new lease or a renewal lease. For more information, contact Code Enforcement Officer Ann Keys at the County’s Department of Permitting, Inspections and Enforcement (DPIE), 301-883-6058 or


Prince George’s County Renters’ Property Tax Relief Supplement

The Prince George’s County Council, aware that residents who qualify for the State’s Renters’ Tax Credit Program are already stretched financially, also passed CB-95-2015. Prince George’s County will automatically provide a Renters’ Property Tax Relief Supplement to each resident who qualifies for the State Renters’ Tax Credit. The County Supplement is 50% of the State payment, and will be dispersed in late spring of each year. No additional application is required. If you have additional questions, please contact the Office of Finance, Treasury Division, at 301-952-4030. Example: If you qualify for a State of Maryland Renters’ Tax Credit of $400, you will automatically receive a tax credit of $200 from Prince George’s County for a total of $600.


Transfer Tax Exemptions for Classroom Teachers and Police and Deputy Sheriffs

The County and State provide total or partial exemptions from the transfer tax assessed at the sale/purchase of homes in the county for teachers, public officers, and deputy sheriffs.

Transfer tax exemption for teachers here:

Transfer tax exemption for police officers or deputy sheriffs here:


Additional Individual Tax Credits:

Disabled Veterans Tax Exemption – CB-8-2005 Disabled Veterans (retroactive) (PDF) – Tax credit for veterans qualified for disability exemption. Tax credit is equal to full amount of County taxes and applies to taxes previously paid for any year the veteran was qualified for the exemption. Application and proof of claim must be filed with the Director of Finance. Application here:

Surviving Spouse of a Fallen Officer Tax Credit
CB-63-2003 Surviving Spouse of a Fallen Law Enforcement/Rescue Worker (PDF) – Annual application and initial proof of claim must be filed with the Director of Finance by April 1 prior to the tax year for which the credit is being requested. The fallen officer must have owned the dwelling at the time of his/her death and the surviving spouse must currently occupy the dwelling. Application here:

MD Student Loan Debt Relief Tax Credit – Have you incurred at least $20,000 in undergraduate student loan debt and have at least $5,000 in outstanding undergraduate student loan debt remaining? You may be eligible for a tax credit of up to $5,000 on your 2017 personal income tax. ​In order to apply, you mu​st complete and submit an application to the Maryland Higher Education Commission by September​ 15th each year; be a resident of Maryland for the tax year; incurred at least $20,000 in total undergraduate student loan debt; and have at least $5,000 in outstanding student loan debt during the tax year for which you are applying. Apply here:

Agricultural Land Tax Credit
CB-66-2008 Agricultural Land (PDF) – Property must participate in Maryland or County agricultural land preservation program. Tax credit is equal to the full amount of County taxes. Annual application and proof of claim must be filed with the Director of Finance. Application here:

Alternative Energy Tax Credit
CB-11-2008 Alternative Energy/Energy Conservation (PDF) – Tax credit for residential structures that utilize solar energy or geothermal energy devices. Application and proof of claim must be filed with the Director of Finance. Application here: Item – Federal Income Tax Credits for Energy Efficiency:


Join the Jobs First Movement here:



By Authority, Friends of Mel Franklin, Brendon Laster, Treasurer
Friends of Mel Franklin
PO Box 3031
Upper Marlboro MD 20773 United States