Maryland State Delegate for
Legislative District 12B
July 24, 2014
Summer is moving on, and what a beautiful place to live here in Columbia during this and all seasons.
I am acutely aware that I am now in my last six months of public elected office over a period of 30 years. I am so happy and pleased that Terri Hill was successful in the Democratic Primary Election for the House of Delegates to represent Lloyd and me in our legislative district. I am pleased that she will now run a cooperative campaign with the other two candidates who won in the primary -- Eric Ebersole and Clarence Lam. Those three candidates for delegate from District 12 will run with Ed Kasemeyer, who has served us so well for so long in the Maryland Senate. Lloyd and I will be working hard in their campaigns.
4th of July
The Longfellow parade is the longest standing parade in Columbia. For years I have walked the two mile loop on this occasion right along with the kids on their tricycles and troops of scouts. This year, my last in public office, I was named the grand marshal and rode on the back of the rear seat in the beautiful shiny convertible of my long time dear friend Susan Jacobson, who was involved in politics before me as the president of the Columbia Democratic Club and Chairperson in our congressional district for the George McGovern campaign for president. I was deeply moved to receive so many thank you's for your public service.
It is so easy for those of us who live in Columbia to take for granted our underground utility lines. What foresight our new town's founder demonstrated here! The Washington Post article below gives us an idea of not only the great cost but also the depth of disturbance to "retrofit" above ground utility wires to underground. Thank you, Jim Rouse.
About ten years ago, with the help of many dedicated economic justice advocates, I was successful in attaining passage of several bills regulating predatory lending practices in Maryland. Payday lenders, referred to in this Baltimore Sun article, were among them along with debt management establishments including one of the nation's largest right here in Howard County. Since that time the legislation has been weakened, though as related in this article, it still has some teeth.
Death with Dignity
I believe the Washington Post editorial below gives a well reasoned explanation of the "death with dignity" issue. Now that we have legalized medical use of marijuana, this may be the next step to be debated in Maryland's legislative chambers. I will not be present to participate, though I would welcome the opportunity to advocate.
Reflections on Zach
When I am out and about in the community, many people, some of whom I know and some I do not, continue to approach me telling me how they have been inspired by Zach's life. I am certainly right there with them. As time passes, I continue to become more and more deeply aware of how he lived life as a beautiful gift - "living the dream." I recall Zach's telling me "the most important word is love."
Next weekend our family will leave for our annual week at the beach in North Carolina, in the same house where we have vacationed for the past 17 years. I'm sure that Zach's spirit will permeate our beach house, the beach itself, and the surf. For the past 12 years at the beach, per Zach's suggestion, with the exception of last year, the two of us have walked along the beach at water's edge and watched the sunrise.
This year I will continue these walks and know he will clearly be right there with me in spirit. On September 20th, the Zaching Against Cancer Foundation will sponsor a 5K run at the Howard County Fairgrounds. An hour is allowed to complete the course, and Lloyd and I will participate. I'll send more info next month in case any of you want to come out and join us in honor of Zach's life.
On Sunday, August 10 at 10am, I will be giving the talk at the service of the Howard County Unitarian Universalist Society in the Owen Brown Interfaith Center. The title of the program is "Sunshine on a Cloudy Day" reflecting Zach's love for the music of the Temptations and the way he lived his life in the face of what most of us would have treated as great adversity. You are welcome to join us, I would love to see you.
Recently Lloyd and I reread the many hundreds of letters and cards we received after Zach took his last breath in this life. I was amazed at how many wrote that they had been personally inspired by Zach in ways which show up in their day to day life. I also reread my "Updates on Zach" that were included in my e-newsletters from January of 2012 when we learned Zach had another brain tumor until the present. In one of the first messages I included this quote from Zach, "Grandma, I plan to reach out to others and through that to help myself as well." He certainly did.
Enjoy the rest of the summer,
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