End Racism

Councilman Mel Franklin Condemns White Nationalist Hate Rally in Charlottesville

August 13, 2017

For Immediate Release

Prince George’s County Councilman Mel Franklin Condemns White Nationalist Hate Rally in Charlottesville, Virginia

Councilman Urges Rejection of Racial Extremism and Offers Condolences for Loss of Life

Contact: Mel@melfranklin.net

Upper Marlboro, MD – Yesterday, James Alex Fields Jr., a participant in a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia called “Unite the Right,” was charged with second degree murder for maliciously driving his vehicle into a crowd of counter protesters, killing Heather Heyer, 32, who lived and worked in Charlottesville.  The Unite the Right rally was inspired by the extreme, so-called “alt-right” movement, which has achieved a growing amount of influence in the base of the Republican Party, especially since the election of President Donald Trump last November.  Today, County Councilman Mel Franklin (D-District 9) issued the following statement:

“White nationalism is just racism and hatred by another name.  The killing of Heather Heyer by James Alex Fields yesterday was a vile act of terrorism and evil.  On behalf of my constituents, my thoughts and prayers are with Heather’s family and the families of Virginia State Police Officers Lt. H. Jay Cullen and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates, who died providing emergency response to the Charlottesville violence.  I call on people of goodwill around the world to condemn this rising tide of extremism that has found a home in conservative political circles, even including the Trump White House.  It has no place in America.”

###

Lotsa Pizza

Two Prince George’s County Restaurants featured recently in the media — ‘Texas 202 BBQ’ and ‘Lotsa Pizza’ — Buy Local Week!!!

Texas 202 BBQ in Brandywine ranked #6 in the top ten BBQ joints in the region by the Wash. Post:

“New to the rankings but not new to the business of smoked meats, Texas 202 Barbeque of Maryland can trace its roots to the early 1990s, when Rev and Felicia Ward first opened their restaurant in Beeville, Tex.”

Full story: https://www.washingtonpost.com/goingoutguide/the-10-best-barbecue-joints-in-the-dc-area/2017/06/28/122681fe-5536-11e7-a204-ad706461fa4f_story.html?utm_term=.fb4b0bec2e5e
Lotsa Pizza in College Park, College Park’s Newest Pizza Place:

“After waiting in a line that stretched out the new restaurant’s door, sophomore computer engineering major Zaakira Ahmed and sophomore criminology and criminal justice major Fallon Howard ate their $3 build-your-own pizzas.”

Full story: http://www.dbknews.com/2017/07/12/lotsa-pizza-grand-opening-college-park/

 

I’ll be highlighting or visiting local restaurants and farmer’s markets all week. Please share pics from your local food visits with hashtags #pgcbuylocal #jobsfirst

Fresh assorted vegetables in boxes on farmer's market

Prince George’s County Residents: Let’s ‘Buy and Eat Local’ During Maryland Buy Local Week, July 22-30 — Support Our County Restaurants and Local Farms

July 21, 2017

For Immediate Release

Prince George’s County Councilman Mel Franklin Urges County Residents to ‘Buy and Eat Local’ During the Maryland Buy Local Challenge Week of July 22-30

Councilman Promotes Locally Grown Food and County Restaurants During the Maryland Buy Local Challenge Week

Contact: Mel@melfranklin.net

Upper Marlboro, MD – July 22nd – July 30th is designated by the Maryland Department of Agriculture as Maryland’s Buy Local Challenge Week when state residents are encouraged to eat at least one locally grown food item each day.  Councilman Mel Franklin is taking it a step further, urging county residents to (1) visit one or more of Prince George’s County’s many farmers markets to stock up on locally grown food and (2) for dining or eating out, only eat at restaurants located in Prince George’s County from July 22 – July 30.  Tomorrow (July 22), Councilman Franklin will visit Miller Farms in Clinton at 11AM to stock up on locally grown food and encourages other residents to do the same at their closest farmers market.  Today, Councilman Mel Franklin (D-District 9) issued the following statement:

“When we buy and eat locally, we send a strong economic message that we want successful and thriving businesses here in Prince George’s County and support our local farmers who work extremely hard to provide healthy eating choices for our communities.  For those eating or dining out from July 22-July 30, I encourage you to take pride in our wonderful county and support the restaurants that call Prince George’s County home by eating or dining only in the county on those days.  I also hope you will join me in visiting one or more of our many farmers markets across the county so that you can eat at least one locally grown food item each day during the Buy Local Challenge Week.  The ‘Buy Local’ message is a critical part of the ‘Jobs First’ philosophy that we are stronger when our dollars stay and circulate within our own county.”

Take the Pledge for the Maryland Buy Local Challenge Week here: http://www.buylocalchallenge.com/survey.html.

Miller Farms is located at 10140 Piscataway Rd, Clinton, MD 20735 and is open 8AM-7PM Monday through Saturday and 9AM-5PM on Sunday.  Here is a listing of farmers markets from across the county: http://www.pgcountyfarmfun.com/.

Here is a list of featured Prince George’s County restaurants: https://www.visitprincegeorgescounty.com/featured-restaurants/

Here is a broader list of county restaurants by category: https://www.visitprincegeorgescounty.com/dine-in-prince-georges-county/

###

Help spread this message on social media by doing the following:

FIRST

Please like and share the “Buy Local” facebook post with your friends/followers on your facebook page with the hashtags #pgcbuylocal #jobsfirst. Here is the facebook post: https://www.facebook.com/friendsofmelfranklin/posts/1510345085688666

If you are on twitter, please like and retweet the “Buy Local” twitter message with the hashtags #pgcbuylocal #jobsfirst. Here is the tweet: https://twitter.com/melrfranklin/status/888600281856061440

If you are on instagram, please like and share the “Buy Local” instagram post with the hashtags #pgcbuylocal #jobsfirst. Here is the posting:  https://www.instagram.com/p/BW1ZCDWAhWZ/

SECOND

If you visit a local restaurant or farmers market from July 22-30, please snap a pic and post to whichever social media platform(s) you are on and use the hashtags #pgcbuylocal #jobsfirst and encourage your friends to do the same.

For yesterday’s full Prince George’s County “Buy Local” message, go to: http://www.melfranklin.net/prince-georges-county-residents-lets-buy-and-eat-local-during-maryland-buy-local-week-july-22-30/

Please help support our local businesses and create jobs!

purple line

Statement: D.C. Circuit’s Purple Line Decision is a Common-Sense Victory for Jobs and Opportunity in Our Region

July 19, 2017

For Immediate Release

Statement of Prince George’s County Councilman Mel Franklin on the Decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to Allow the Purple Line to Proceed

Reinstatement of Environmental Approval Allows Project to Seek $900 Million in Federal Funds

Contact: Mel@melfranklin.net

Upper Marlboro, MD – Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit reinstated the federal environmental approval for the Purple Line Light Rail Project in Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties, putting on hold a lower court ruling by Federal District Court Judge Richard Leon in Friends of the Capital Crescent Trail et al. v. Federal Transit Administration et al.  The Court of Appeals ruling allows the project to pursue a full funding agreement with the U.S. Department of Transportation for $900 million in federal funds that was previously allocated for the project.  Today, County Councilman Mel Franklin (D-District 9) issued the following statement:

“The D.C. Circuit has delivered a common-sense decision for jobs and opportunity in our region.  The Purple Line project will alleviate traffic, improve our environment, and create new opportunities for high quality development.  The unnecessary delay caused by this litigation has placed this critical project in jeopardy for far too long.  I strongly urge our federal and state partners to move without delay towards a full funding agreement for the Purple Line so that we can put shovels in the ground and start this long overdue $2 billion project for the working families of our region.”

###

Outside FBI Building

Statement: Trump Administration Decision to Cancel FBI Headquarters Replacement is Damaging to National Security, Has Questionable Timing

July 11, 2017

For Immediate Release

Statement of Prince George’s County Councilman Mel Franklin on the Trump Administration’s Cancellation of FBI Headquarters Search

Councilman Calls Decision Harmful to National Security and Questions Timing in Light of Ongoing Trump-Russia Collusion Investigation

Contact: Mel@melfranklin.net

Upper Marlboro, MD – According to published reports, the Administration of President Donald Trump has cancelled the Federal Government’s solicitation to replace and consolidate the outdated and crumbling headquarters of the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), which has been investigating the 2016 Trump Campaign’s alleged collusion with the Russian Government.  Today, County Councilman Mel Franklin (D-District 9) issued the following statement:

“The Trump Administration’s apparent decision to cancel the replacement and consolidation of the headquarters of our nation’s most important federal investigative agency is damaging to our national security.  On the heels of the unjustified firing of former FBI Director James Comey, this is yet another decision that raises questions about the competence of the Trump Administration to protect our nation, especially while the FBI investigates the growing likelihood that the Trump Campaign colluded with the Russian Government to assist in winning the 2016 Presidential Election.  Bipartisan officials and experts have highlighted the growing deficiencies and national security risks created by the deteriorating Hoover Building, which can only hold little more than half of the agency’s more than 11,000 employees, with the rest of the agency’s employees scattered among more than a dozen offices in the Washington region.  A consolidated, secure FBI headquarters is vital to the agency’s mission of protecting the homeland of our great country, giving our outstanding FBI employees the proper base of operations to defend our nation against terrorism and other threats.”

Councilman Franklin also contends that the cancellation of such a major federal procurement in its late stages after several years of work by the private sector sends a chilling and damaging message to the business community.

“The lengthy pursuit of the FBI headquarters consolidation has cost the private sector millions of dollars and placed a number of sites in the Washington region in limbo, creating uncertainty for job creation and economic development.  With the cancellation of this important project, all of that work may have been in vain.  Once again, this raises serious doubts about whether the Trump Administration is competent to lead and manage our federal government.”

###

Prince George's Rising Logo Brand

Prince George’s Rising – July 8 Update from Councilman Mel Franklin

Prince George’s Rising – July 8, 2017

An Update from Councilman Mel Franklin

July 8, 2017 | Volume 3, Issue 6                                                                                                                     

Prince George’s Rising is a countywide newsletter designed to empower communities with key information and issues of concern. It is my honor to serve you on the Prince George’s County Council. Over the last several years, including two years as Chairman, I have worked with my colleagues on the Council to move our County forward. With your help, we are bringing the world to Prince George’s County and putting Jobs First. For more information, please go to http://www.melfranklin.net/news/ or e-mail me at mel@melfranklin.net.

The Prince George’s Multiplier Effect

Did you know that studies show that “a dollar spent at a locally owned store is usually spent 6 to 15 times before it leaves the community?  From $1, you create $5 to $14 in value within that community.”  In order to grow a thriving county economy, we must have thriving county-based small businesses.  The Jobs First! philosophy is the principle that “When we buy local, hire local, invest local, and bank local, especially with our small, minority, or woman owned businesses, we create a local ‘multiplier effect’ that creates jobs, generational wealth, and a larger tax base to fund critical priorities, like education, public safety, and transportation.”  But we have a long way to go to make this a reality.  Right now, despite all of our wonderful diversity, of the $400+ million that the County Government spends annually in buying services and products with your tax dollars, we are only spending 11% with minority or woman owned businesses based in Prince George’s County.  With your support, we can and will do better.  When we put Jobs First!, we put “people first” in Prince George’s County.

#jobsfirst

#princegeorgesrising

 

Congratulations to Our Outstanding Prince George’s County Youth

WTOP – DuVal student accepted at Harvard (& other Ivies) picks her new school: “Princeton, Harvard, Cornell — those are just some of the 14 schools that accepted 18-year-old Olawunmi Akinlemibola, a DuVal High School student from Prince George’s County. So which did she choose?”  Full story: http://wtop.com/prince-georges-county/2017/05/duval-student-picks-campus/

NBC4 – Prince George’s County Teen on His Way to Becoming Opera Star: “An 18-year-old from Prince George’s County could very well become the world’s next big opera star.”  Full story: http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/Prince-Georges-County-Teen-on-His-Way-Becoming-Opera-Star-430250393.html

Congratulations to Prince George’s County Native Markelle Fultz on being Selected No. 1 in the NBA Draft: “In three and a half years’ time, Markelle went from being a junior varsity high school basketball player to the top pick in the NBA draft. Markelle, Prince George’s County congratulates you.” Full press release: http://www.melfranklin.net/councilman-mel-franklin-congratulates-upper-marlboro-native-markelle-fultz-on-being-selected-no-1-in-the-nba-draft/

 

County Council Town Hall Meeting on New Development and Zoning Laws – July 17

From the County Council: “Updating the County’s zoning policies is among the most important undertakings of the Council in its role as the County’s land use authority, and will enhance the ability of this critical economic development tool to stimulate growth in our County.”  The County Council encourages you to “participate in the Council’s Zoning Rewrite Town Hall Meeting and help create a 21st Century Zoning Ordinance for Prince George’s County.” Meeting Details: Monday, July 17, 7pm-9pm, County Administration Bldg., First Fl. Hearing Rm., 14741 Governor Oden Bowie Drive, Upper Marlboro, MD 20772.

 

Prince George’s County Family & Friends Day is August 27, 2017, The Show Place Arena, featuring famed recording artist Raheem DeVaughn: Please stay tuned for more details about our annual countywide festival.

 

COMMUNITY NEWS YOU CAN USE

UMMS Hosts Local MBE Outreach Event for the Regional Medical Center – Wednesday, July 12

The University of Maryland Medical System will be hosting a Minority Business Enterprise networking fair for the construction of the new regional medical center in Largo, Maryland, An overview of the current project will be presented. The construction managers that will be bidding the project will also have booths for networking.

When: Wednesday (corrected day), July 12, 2017

Time: 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Where: 900 A Boulevard at the Capital CentreLargo, MD, 20774

All interested parties are encouraged to attend this FREE meet and greet with Prospective Construction Management Bidders & learn more about the project and opportunities for Local/Minority Participation.  Please R S V P to Dawn Hall at dhall4@umm.eduEvent flyer (with target industry areas) here: https://tinyurl.com/umms-lmbe-event

More info about the UMMS MBE Program: http://umms.org/about/vendors/vendor-information/minority-business-program

 

Parks & Recreation and Camp Joe’s Creative Robotics Summer Camp – August 7-August 25

From M-NCPPC and Camp Joe’s (spaces limited): Build robots, learn robotics programming and experience photography, theater technical arts, digital media, storytelling and movement. Camp Joe’s is a hands-on experience that builds skills based in science, technology, engineering, math, and the arts (STEAM).  Hours: 9 am to 3 pm. Before- and after-care available. Cost: $600 per camper. For Ages 10-13. Limited financial aid available.

For the camp information flyer, go here: https://tinyurl.com/summer-robotics-camp

To register, go here: http://bit.ly/2iSniZb

 

PGCPS Teacher Recruitment Fairs – July 12, 19, and 26

From PGCPS: “Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) will host a recruitment fair to hire dynamic educators from across the nation who believe all children can achieve greatness. We are looking for talented educators who are committed, focused on making a difference, and hold (or are eligible) for a teacher certificate issued by the Maryland State Department of Education.”  The July 12 Recruitment Fair will be held at Dr. Henry A. Wise High School, 12650 Brooke Lane, Upper Marlboro, MD 20772, 8am-12pm, and the July 19 and 26 Recruitment Fairs will be held at Northwestern High School, 17000 Adelphi Road, Adelphi, MD 20782, 8am-12pm.  Please go here to apply, get more info, and for future teacher recruitment fairs: http://pgcps.org/page-3-zone.aspx?pageid=235709&id=227980.

 

Workforce & Training Round-Up Event – Career Assistance July 13

From PGCEDC: Please join the Prince George’s County Economic Development Corporation – Workforce Services Division for its Workforce & Training Round-Up event being held on July 13th at the EDC Offices.  The Prince George’s County Public Workforce System offers FREE Occupational Skills Training and assistance for eligible participants to help you get noticed by employers and put you on the path to your DREAM JOB! Attend our Workforce & Training Round-Up to meet the local service providers and learn about trainings in the following industries: Information Technology; Administrative; Transportation; Hospitality; Construction Trades; Cyber Security; Healthcare; Security; Culinary.  Event Details: Thursday, July 13, 2017, 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM.  Register at http://www.pgcedc.com/events/workforce-training-round-up.

 

PGCPS: Late Lottery Openings Available for Kindergarteners at Maya Angelou French Immersion

From PGCPS: The Prince George’s County Public Schools Department of Pupil Accounting and School Boundaries will hold a late lottery to fill kindergarten seats at Maya Angelou French Immersion for the 2017-18 school year.  Please visit www.pgcps.org/mayaangelou/ for information about the school and the French Immersion program. To enter the lottery, download and complete the lottery form here: https://tinyurl.com/maya-angelou-late-lottery and then mail it to: Department of Pupil Accounting and School Boundaries, 14201 School Lane, Room 211, Upper Marlboro, MD 20772.

 

Maryland Legislative Black Caucus Prince George’s/Charles County Town Hall Meeting – July 13

From the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland: There will be four Town Halls hosted in various regions across Maryland by the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland on issues of critical concern.  The Prince George’s/Charles County Town Hall Meeting will be held on Thursday, July 13, 6pm-8pm, Prince George’s Community College, Rennie Forum, 301 Largo Road, Largo, MD 20774.

 

The Senior Community Service Employment Program

From Family Services: “The Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), also known as Title V, provides part-time work-based training opportunities at local community service agencies for older Prince Georgians who have poor employment prospects and are unemployed. SCSEP assists individuals in finding employment opportunities in the community through a variety of supportive services such as personal and job-related counseling, job training, and job referral. SCSEP providers also educate employers about the benefits of hiring older workers.”  For more info, please go here: http://www.princegeorgescountymd.gov/1728/Senior-Employment

 

Bowie State University Welcomes New President: Dr. Aminta Hawkins Breaux

From Baltimore Business Journal: “The University System of Maryland Board of Regents has appointed Aminta Hawkins Breaux as the new president of Bowie State University, effective July 1.  Breaux is currently vice president for advancement at Millersville University, where she has grown the Pennsylvania school’s endowment from $30 million to $40 million.  Breaux will succeed President Mickey L. Burnim, who announced his impending retirement last year.  Burnim has led the university for nearly 11 years and has worked in higher education for 40.  Bowie State, in Prince George’s County, serves more than 5,600 undergraduate and graduate students and offers 41 bachelor’s and master’s degree programs, two doctoral programs and 14 graduate and advanced study certificates. Areas of focus at the school include computer science, information technology, nursing, natural sciences and education.”

Full story: https://www.bizjournals.com/baltimore/news/2017/04/28/new-bowie-state-university-president-named.html

 

Explore Prince George’s County’s History

The Prince George’s African-American Museum & Cultural Center at North Brentwood

From PGAAMCC: The Prince George’s African-American Museum & Cultural Center recognizes “the diversity of experience of the African American community and aim to reflect the broad spectrum of social and cultural activities of this community. We cherish our traditions and believe that our past should inform our future, and that bringing together diverse groups of people can create new approaches to cultural understanding.”

For more great info, go here: http://www.pgaamcc.org/

Prince George’s County Natural and Historical Resources Division Sites & Museums

From the Parks and Recreation Department: “The Natural and Historical Resources Division has historic sites and museums to interest anyone that is looking for information and experiences in archaeology; African American history; aviation; preservation; the Civil War; War of 1812; county and national politics; early political figures; agriculture; early plantation life; pre-history; dinosaurs; early churches, cemeteries and schools; and the Lincoln assassination.”

For more great info, incl. historical sites and museums, go here: http://history.pgparks.com/sites_and_museums.htm

 

The County Supports Locally Owned and Operated Business with Local Business Loan Program – Special Assistance for Local Entrepreneurship (S.A.L.E.): http://www.melfranklin.net/special-assistance-for-local-entrepreneurship-s-a-l-e-program-invest-local-and-create-jobs/

#jobsfirst

#princegeorgesrising

#investlocal

 

OTHER IMPORTANT COMMUNITY RESOURCES

Domestic Violence Crisis Intervention – Call 211

Still I Rise, Inc. Call (301) 868-4903 or go to http://www.stillirisemd.org

Prince George’s Co. Family Justice Center/The Next Step: http://www.princegeorgescourts.org/358/Prince-Georges-County-Family-Justice-Cen

 

Employment/Workforce Training

The Training Source: http://thetrainingsource.org/

No Opportunity Wasted: http://www.nooppwasted.org/

Training Grounds Inc.: http://traininggroundsdmv.org/

Prince George’s Community College Workforce Development: https://www.pgcc.edu/Programs_and_Courses/Workforce_Development_Institutes.aspx

 

Maryland Veterans Resource Guide: http://veterans.maryland.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2017/04/4-12-17-Resource-Guide.pdf

 

Apply for the Homeowners/Renters Tax Credit Program

Call 1(800) 944-7403 or go to

Homeowners: http://dat.maryland.gov/realproperty/Pages/Homeowners’-Property-Tax-Credit-Program.aspx

Renters: http://dat.maryland.gov/realproperty/Pages/Renters’-Tax-Credits.aspx

 

Apply for the Homestead Tax Credit Program

Call (866) 650-8783 or go to https://sdathtc.dat.maryland.gov/default.aspx

 

How to Appeal Your Property Tax Assessment

Call (301) 952-2500 or go to http://www.dat.state.md.us/sdatweb/appeal.html

 

Free Legal Assistance: District Court (Upper Marlboro) Self-Help Legal Resource Center

Call 410-260-1392 or go to http://www.courts.state.md.us/legalhelp/districtctselfhelpctr.html

 

County-Based and Minority Business Procurement Opportunities and Certifications

Call (301) 883-6480 or go to http://www.princegeorgescountymd.gov/1259/Business-Development

 

County Employment and Workforce Assistance

Call (301) 583-4650 or go to http://www.pgcedc.com/workforce-services

 

For constituent concerns, please use County Click 311: http://countyclick.princegeorgescountymd.gov or call 311

 

Request County Road Pothole Repair: http://www.princegeorgescountymd.gov/1025/Potholes

 

Request State Road Pothole Repair (Roads with numbers, like MD-5, MD-4, US-1, US-301): http://www.mdot.maryland.gov/knowyourroads.html

 

Find Your Other Elected Officials:

Contact the County Executive at http://www.princegeorgescountymd.gov/directory.aspx?eid=93

Find out and contact your state and federal elected officials at http://mdelect.net

 

View the Prince George’s County Code and Charter at http://www.municode.com/library/md/prince_george’s_county/codes/code_of_ordinances

Is a resource you need not here?
Check http://www.melfranklin.net or contact me at: Mel@MelFranklin.net

 

Obamas Fourth of July

Statement of Councilman Mel Franklin on Independence Day 2017

July 4, 2017

For Immediate Release

Statement of Prince George’s County Councilman Mel Franklin on Independence Day 2017

Contact: Mel@melfranklin.net

Upper Marlboro, MD – Today, County Councilman Mel Franklin (D-District 9) issued the following statement celebrating the 241st anniversary of the adoption of our nation’s Declaration of Independence:

“A mere 241 years ago, the greatest declaration of freedom in the history of the world was signed at Independence Hall in Philadelphia.  This Declaration of Independence would serve as the guiding moral foundation for the greatest country on Earth, leading to a continual evolution of freedom and equality throughout our nation’s history.  Dr. King, paraphrasing abolitionist Theodore Parker, once said that ‘the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.’  Our Declaration of Independence has bent the morality and progress of our nation towards justice and equality throughout our history and it continues to guide the values that we collectively share today.  Its words ring true today just as they did in 1776, that everyone is ‘endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.’  Let us continue to build towards a more perfect union.”

###

public school bus

Statement of Councilman Mel Franklin on the Controversy over County School Graduation Rates

June 26, 2017

For Immediate Release

Statement of Prince George’s County Councilman Mel Franklin on the Controversy over Prince George’s County’s Graduation Rates

Councilman Urges Focus on Student Achievement not Politics

Contact: Mel@melfranklin.net

Upper Marlboro, MD – Today, County Councilman Mel Franklin (D-District 9) issued the following statement regarding public allegations of fraud regarding Prince George’s County’s public school graduation rates:

“As proud public school parents, my wife, Monekia, and I are very pleased with the quality and the rigor of the education that our son and daughter are receiving in the Prince George’s County Public Schools.  The allegations that some portion of the school system’s great progress in higher graduation rates might be systemically fraudulent are alarming, but we should never start with a presumption that these claims are true and, instead, should allow a fair, independent, and apolitical investigation into these concerns to take place.  This is not an issue on which to grandstand on the eve of a gubernatorial election season.  There are far too many students, teachers, and administrators who are doing extraordinary, positive things in our school system to simply have their accomplishments drowned out by politics.  Grade inflation or fraud in any form is wrong for our children and, if it has occurred, even in isolated situations, it should be rooted out completely with the offending people held responsible.  However, we should avoid rushes to judgment and the usual political finger-pointing about this issue without a fair and complete evaluation of the evidence.  Our children deserve nothing less.”

###

 

Olawunmi Akinlemibola

WTOP: DuVal student accepted at Harvard (& other Ivies) picks her new school

Princeton, Harvard, Cornell — those are just some of the 14 schools that accepted 18-year-old Olawunmi Akinlemibola, a DuVal High School student from Prince George’s County.  So which did she choose?  “Stanford.”  The graduating senior explained that its quarter system gives her the opportunity to test herself and indulge her curiosity.  “If you’re somebody like me, who can’t make up their mind on what they want to do or finds everything interesting, you can take classes that are, like, outside of your major,” Akinlemibola said.  “Students there care about the current climate and the current issues of the United States and they’re not sitting down and doing nothing,” she explained. “They’re actively participating.”She was also drawn by the activism of students on the Northern California campus. During a visit, she noticed demonstrations going on, and she said she found them inspiring.

Full story here: http://wtop.com/prince-georges-county/2017/05/duval-student-picks-campus/

#princegeorgesrising

Aaron Crouch Opera Star

NBC4: Prince George’s County Teen on His Way to Becoming Opera Star

An 18-year-old from Prince George’s County could very well become the world’s next big opera star.  Aaron Crouch was accepted to the renowned Julliard School in New York, but decided to complete his first year at the Curtis Institute of Music, a conservatory in Philadelphia that is said to be the most selective program for vocalists in the world.  Crouch started singing gospel music at just 5 years old and says it quickly became his passion.  “I just wasn’t really into pop and R&B, I just wasn’t. I just liked gospel and I just sang gospel,” he said.

Full article: Prince George’s County Teen on His Way to Becoming Opera Star | NBC4 Washington http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/Prince-Georges-County-Teen-on-His-Way-Becoming-Opera-Star-430250393.html#ixzz4kuDhtaVC