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Prince George’s County Maryland sent this bulletin
Friday, September 11, 2020
Dear Prince Georgians:
As we continue moving forward with our response to COVID-19, we also continue moving forward with a number of initiatives in the County. Today, I want to remind everyone about the 2020 Census and why it is absolutely critical that every single resident is counted.
The 2020 Census was originally scheduled to conclude on October 31, 2020. Now, the count will conclude on September 30, 2020. Losing several weeks is bad for Prince Georgians and Marylanders. Every ten years, the Census provides our community with an opportunity to be counted and receive the representation and federal resources that we rightfully deserve, based on the total number of residents in our County.
In the 2010 Census, about 20,000 Prince Georgians were not counted. Due to that undercount, we have lost an estimated $363 million in federal funding over the last 10 years. Now in the 2020 Census, we fear we may be undercounted again. We cannot have that happen again, as we will need these federal dollars over the next 10 years to fund our schools, our infrastructure, and even our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
We are working hard to ensure all Prince Georgians complete their Census, but we need your help. I’m asking everyone to help us spread the word about the September 30 deadline and ensure their family members, friends and colleagues have been counted in the 2020 Census. It only takes 10 minutes to complete, and residents can do so online at my2020Census.gov or by calling 844-330-2020. Residents can also complete the Census by mail if they still have the response form mailed a few months ago. That must be filled out completely and postmarked on or before September 30.
Your County Government has been working for over a year on Census outreach, and now it all comes down to these last three weeks. Please reach out to your family, friends, neighbors and colleagues and ensure they have completed their Census. If they haven’t, encourage them to take 10 minutes and do so before September 30, and give them the above website and phone number. Working together, we can make sure that all Prince Georgians are Proud to be Counted.
I also want to recognize Labor Day, which was this past Monday, September 7. Labor Day is a day when we honor and celebrate the contributions of working Americans and unions to our County, State and nation. I want to sincerely thank all the essential workers of our County, who have continued working hard throughout this pandemic to ensure our County, region and State are able to continue running. We truly appreciate the sacrifices that these heroes continue to make each and every day.
Finally, today is September 11. 19 years ago, we lost nearly 3,000 Americans in a heinous act of terrorism. Today, we honor the lives of those who were lost, and the heroic efforts of civilians, first responders and law enforcement who worked tirelessly and put their lives on the line to save others. As we reflect on this day, let us remember that, as Americans, there is so much more that unites us than divides us.
Yours in service,
Prince George’s County Executive
The County is launching the Child Care Provider Recovery Program, providing grants to licensed child care providers to assist with reopening and operating costs. Applications opened September 9 and must be received by October 2. Grant awards will be announced on October 9. To learn more and apply, please visit our Economic Development Corporation’s website.
We are continuing to work hard to address food insecurity in our County, and we want to provide information on next week’s distribution locations for our Stand Up & Deliver program.
Grab & Go Groceries – Friday, September 18 at 12:30 PM
Grab & Go Meals
Additional food distribution locations can be found on our website by clicking here. This map is updated regularly. If you are able to make a contribution to our Stand Up & Deliver program, please click here to donate.
The Prince George’s County Circuit Court entered a hybrid phase four reopening Monday, August 31. If you have an upcoming Court date, make sure you call in advance to determine if you are supposed to appear in person. To learn more about the phased reopening and what services are available by appointment only, please click here.
With the 2020-21 academic year underway in Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS), we have several important updates for students and families. Student meals are now free for PGCPS students through December 31. You have two options for getting meals on Mondays and Wednesdays — school pickup or community delivery — between 10:00 AM and 1:00 PM. Please check the PGCPS website on meal delivery days for any important updates or changes.
As a reminder, families with students who receive school meals through the free and reduced-price meals program must reapply at the beginning of each school year to remain eligible. You can apply here.
Finally, PGCPS is covering the cost of the Comcast Internet Essentials program, which provides affordable high-speed internet at home for families eligible for free and reduced-price meals (FARMS). Non-FARMS families may obtain a Comcast or Verizon hotspot for home internet access by contacting their child’s school or the Distance Learning Hotline at 240-696-6229, Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
For more information and the latest updates, please visit the PGCPS website.
The Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) has announced that utility shut-offs are prohibited statewide in Maryland through November 15, 2020. For more information and to find energy assistance programs, please visit the Maryland PSC website.
Several of our local utility providers are offering energy assistance programs. If you have questions about your WSSC Water bill or would like to know about affordability programs, WSSC Water has customer service advisors available to help. Visit their website for more information. In addition, Pepco recognizes the financial impact COVID-19 is having on its customers and is expanding its repayment services, including eliminating security deposits, extending payment periods, and more. Visit their website for more information.
Did you miss our Census Midday Meet-Up back in April? We are re-airing the two-hour event on September 13, 20 and 27 from 2:00-4:00 PM. Join County Executive Alsobrooks, Joe Clair of WPGC 95.5, DJ Chris J and several other special guests for music, fun and critical information about the 2020 Census. The event will be accessible from the County Executive’s website here. Remember to complete your Census online at my2020Census.gov or call 844-330-2020.
Did you receive mail from the State Board of Elections recently? That’s not junk mail, nor is it your actual ballot. It is an application for a mail-in ballot. In order to vote by mail for the 2020 General Election, voters must first apply for a mail-in ballot. We are strongly encouraging voters to vote by mail, so if you have not yet completed your mail-in ballot application, be sure to do so as soon as possible. Those applications must be received by the County Board of Elections by October 20, 2020.
If you fill out your mail-in ballot application by hand with the application you have received in the mail, you can return it in the prepaid envelope provided or you can physically drop it off at our County Board of Elections in Largo. Also, you can complete and return an application in person at our County Board of Elections. If you prefer to complete an application online, you can do so by clicking here or texting VBM to 77788. Also, don’t forget that if you are not registered to vote, you must do that first by October 13. You can register to vote online here.
County Executive Alsobrooks created the County’s Police Reform Work Group to study and review police department policies covering the full spectrum of its operations, including hiring, training and use of force policies. This group of diverse leaders and advocates meets regularly and will present a report to the County Executive with recommendations on police department reforms by October 30, 2020.
Work Group meetings are streamed live online and can be viewed by members of the community. The next meeting will be held Thursday, September 17 at 5:00 PM. Community members who would like to view this meeting or reach out to the Work Group should visit our website here.
The Dine, Learn & Move program is back, starting online September 23! The FREE 11-month virtual program promotes and reinforces healthy eating and active living to reduce the prevalence of various chronic diseases in Prince George’s County. Dine, Learn & Move is a partnership between the County Health Department, the County Department of Parks and Recreation, Suburban Hospital, and the University of Maryland, Capital Region Health.
Dine, Learn & Move online sessions are one hour and 30 minutes long and include activities such as:
Sessions are held from 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM, and the first sessions will be held Wednesday, September 23, Wednesday, October 28, and Wednesday, November 18. Registration is required. Contact us at WellnessInfo@co.pg.md.us for registration information and class details. Learn more by visiting the Department of Parks and Recreation’s website.
The Office of Community Relations’ 311 on the Go! team conducted a community walk with residents in the Kenilworth section of Bladensburg. During the walk, community members shared their concerns about a specific area which attracted illegally parked cars as well as frequent illegal dumping. Through 311 on the Go!’s assistance, the guardrails that were requested by the community have now been installed.
If you would like to have 311 on the Go! visit your community, please reach out to our Office of Community Relations by calling 301-952-4729 or emailing email@example.com.
The Office of Community Relations’ Common Ownership Communities Division will launch the EDvantage Online Training Program this fall! The EDvantage Online Training Program is the first simulated training program to be launched within County Government. Our overall goal is to develop and enhance participants’ understanding of common ownership community policies and procedures. The EDvantage Online Training Program will give community stakeholders the competitive edge needed when leading their community. More information about the program will be coming soon. At the conclusion of the online training program, participants will be able to identify the following:
The Prince George’s County Planning Board of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) announces it will hold its 2020 Budget Forums virtually this fall to solicit comments on the Commission’s budget for planning, parks, and recreation in Prince George’s County for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1, 2021. The virtual public forums will be held from 7:00 to 9:00 PM on Tuesday, September 29, 2020 and Tuesday, October 13, 2020.
Public participation is encouraged either through a phone bridge or by using GoToMeeting. The forums can be viewed live through the Planning Board’s streaming service (http://mncppc.iqm2.com) and a video recording will be available for review after the hearing.
Individuals or representatives of community organizations who wish to speak at this year’s Budget Forum must register online, by noon, the Monday before the forum. To register, select a meeting date, complete the form in its entirety, and hit submit. Following the registration submission, an email will be sent with the GoToMeeting information by 3:00 PM the Monday before the forum, including the phone number and a web address to connect to the meeting. To submit documentation as a part of the forum, email that information to PublicAffairs@ppd.mncppc.org.
Written comments will also be accepted until close of business Tuesday, October 27, 2020. Comments may be addressed to Elizabeth M. Hewlett, Chairman, Prince George’s County Planning Board, 14741 Governor Oden Bowie Drive, Upper Marlboro, Maryland 20772. Comments may also be faxed to Chairman Hewlett at 301-952-5074 or transmitted via email to PublicAffairs@ppd.mncppc.org.
Artist rendering of the future Suitland Senior Apartments Complex.
The Redevelopment Authority of Prince George’s County (RDA) is pleased to announce the groundbreaking of the next major development at the Towne Square at Suitland Federal Center, the Suitland Senior Apartments. The Suitland Senior Apartments is a new, state-of-the-art, $34 million complex with 137-units that will provide affordable housing for individuals age 62 years and over. It will feature a rooftop terrace, a yoga room, fitness center, game room and club room.
The Towne Square at Suitland Federal Center is a vibrant, mixed-used development that will attract quality retail to the area and include public spaces and a performing arts center. Mission First Housing Development Corporation will begin pre-leasing in October 2021 and the complex’s completion date is early 2022.
Laurel Commerce Center proposed design.
The Redevelopment Authority of Prince George’s County (RDA) awarded $900,000 in Commercial Property Improvement Program (CPIP) grants to local shopping centers. The CPIP was established to assist owners of shopping centers and main street retail space with exterior façade, place making, lighting and major building systems improvements that enhance retail competitiveness and viability.
Grant recipients will use the funds to improve the appearance of their shopping centers and enhance the retail experience for Prince George’s County residents. CPIP awards are based on the shopping center’s performance, economic impact and owner investment. The minimum grant award is $50,000 and the maximum award is $350,000. Shopping center owners must provide 100% matching funds.
The 2020 CPIP award recipients include:
Prince George’s County has advanced to 2nd in ranking as one of the top ten Digital Counties in the United States in the 18th annual Digital Counties Survey. The survey, conducted by the Center for Digital Government (CDG) and the National Association of Counties (NACo), identifies the best technology practices among U.S. counties, including initiatives that streamline delivery of government services, encourage open data, collaboration and shared services, enhance cybersecurity and contribute to disaster response and recovery efforts.
The County ranked 2nd due in part to the Office of Information Technology’s (OIT) risk and disaster recovery strategic planning efforts. The County was able to quickly facilitate business continuity through teleworking in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the existing network infrastructure and laptop-friendly environment was easily expanded to accommodate additional business needs and remote capabilities. OIT was also able to quickly stand up technology to carry out several of the County Executive’s COVID-19 initiatives, including the Emergency Rental Assistance program, the Temporary Outdoor Restaurant Seating permit program, and the Business Recovery Initiative that awarded more than $20 million in grants to small and local businesses.
For more information about the Digital Counties Survey and a full list of winners, click here.
Leslie Graves, CEO & President of Experience Prince George’s.
Experience Prince George’s CEO and President Leslie W. Graves will be a panelist in the National Blacks in Travel and Tourism, Collaborative Dollars & Sense webinar, sharing her insight on hospitality and tourism during a virtual roundtable discussion on Thursday, September 17 at 1:00 PM. The session will feature Black female CEOs leading destination marketing organizations and state tourism organizations as they discuss how they are changing the game, diversifying the C-suite and addressing some of the challenges they face as Black women leaders in tourism. Register here.
On September 18 and 19, Prince George’s County Parks will host a virtual conversation around a fire at Montpelier Historic Site where Native and enslaved ancestors once lived and worked to discuss their stories, their struggles, and their legacies. This unique two-day commemoration is alongside the acclaimed non-profit, The Slave Dwelling Project, and its founder Joseph McGill. The evening will feature special guests, a virtual tour of the grounds, highlights of decades of archaeological discoveries, and a conversation on the lasting legacies of colonization and chattel slavery in Prince George’s County.
The virtual event will allow you to participate in a virtual "conversation circle" around the fire at Montpelier Historic Site. Share your stories, insights, and thoughts about the legacy of slavery in Prince George’s County. Join the conversations on Facebook with @pgparks.
In support of the Black Lives Matter Movement, Prince George’s County Parks is hosting a virtual concert series featuring young, talented Black artists from the Prince George’s County area. Charli Dahni already put on an incredible performance to open up the Young, Talented, & Black Virtual Concert series. You can view it here. Upcoming virtual performances include Trilogy on Friday, September 18 and Kelvin Dukes on October 2. Follow @pgparks on Facebook to watch the concerts.
The Prince George’s County Economic Development Corporation’s “Takeout Tuesday” series recently highlighted Main Street Coffee and Treats in Upper Marlboro. Check out the video and get to know another local business making us Prince George’s Proud.
A mail-in ballot application was sent to all registered voters by the State Board of Elections, so don’t mistake it for junk mail! Check out the WUSA9 story about applications for mail-in ballots arriving in the mail, what they look like, and what to do when you receive one. Remember, complete and return the application as soon as possible in order to receive your mail-in ballot.
Through the County’s Business Recovery Initiative, small businesses throughout the County have received more than $20 million to help them keep their businesses open during the pandemic. Check out a story about the Initiative from WJLA/ABC7 here.