Maryland State Delegate for
Legislative District 12B
This evening Lloyd and I will fly to London and spend a few days along the southern coast of England, and then on to Milan for two weeks traveling by train and boat through Italy's Lake District. Italy has been one of our most frequented holiday locations and we have covered most of the country. This will be our first visit to the Lake District, and we are so looking forward to it. No, we have not (yet) been invited to George Clooney’s wedding.
Looking out my home office window to the beautiful green and flowers, I realize just how fortunate we are to live here in this lovely community and also be able to travel. The cool summer has made this summer's end as colorful as any I can remember. I have always loved the change of seasons here on the east coast, and yet can hardly believe that autumn will be here in three weeks when we return. We have enjoyed so many scrumptious vegetables from Clark's stand this year and anticipate it still being open when we return.
Just this week I had an amazing opportunity to meet and talk with a woman who is one of the most active and effective activists for social and economic justice in our nation. Her name is Simone Campbell, and I was introduced to her by my dear friend, Margaret McHale, who works on environmental issues with me in Annapolis. Have you ever heard of Nuns on the Bus? Well, Simone is the "lead" nun on that bus which goes through the country espousing justice, and very effectively. She is the Executive Director of NETWORK, a Catholic leader in the global movement for justice and peace.
As I expected, Simone speaks about her life mission with deep enthusiasm and commitment as well as peacefully and without drama, as does our friend, Margaret. The three of us had lunch at Clyde's just yesterday, and I - not a Catholic - signed on as a supporter of NETWORK today. You may want to check out NETWORK on the web.
When I asked her to what she attributes the virtually instant success and recognition in shining a light on economic injustice, she replied that the time was just "right" with Pope Francis advocating for economic justice on a global scale and receiving worldwide positive publicity.
I drove home glowing inside and out from my time with these two women. It is so clear that Simone loves her work. She said it is such honor to be able to do it.
How encouraging and inspiring.
Lloyd and I looking forward to returning home for my 20th and final Fall Classic picnic. We would love to see you and your friends and family.
Join us at the 20th and Farewell Picnic
Sunday September 21st
2-4 at Cedar Lane Park West Pavilion
5081 Cedar Lane, Columbia, Md 21044
"I would love to see ALL of you and your families at my final annual picnic. We always have fun and great conversation at this Gathering of Good People Who Care About Good Government."
In some ways, I find it hard to believe that I have only four months remaining in public office; this will be a great way to celebrate!
RSVP by September 10 to 410-730-1206 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Post recently did an excellent series of editorials on climate change, two of which are included below. I worked with Representative Chris VanHollen from Montgomery County when he served in the Maryland Senate. I agree with The Post that his proposal is "not complicated" in that it simply puts "a price on emissions that affects the environmental damage they cause." This editorial also refers to "a second-best idea: Let states escape the EPS's centralized regulation if they enact their own carbon taxes instead." This second proposal comes from yet another Maryland Representative, John Delaney. I am so grateful to these two electeds from our own state for stepping front and forward on an issue that we must address or else pay dire consequences.
Last month I attended a National Council of Environmental Legislators Conference in Minneapolis. This is an organization that functions through donations from environmentally active state legislators from across our nation as well as other environmental individuals and organizations. There are no governmental funds involved, giving the group a strong independence.
Below is a letter that was circulated for signatures of the 100+ legislators present. I and most of the others present signed on. I know that many of you who receive this e-newsletter are active participants in urging our national government to move forward with strong measures regarding power plants. You would have found this conference very satisfying and encouraging. Just as an aside, after attending the conference I rented a car and drove to the St. Croix River area to spend some time at the suggestion of some Columbians who had lived there -- what a beautiful and serene place. I flew back home quite refreshed.
NCEL, October 10, 2014
We the undersigned state legislators would like to applaud the Environmental Protection Agency for taking action to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions causing climate change from existing power plants by at least 30 percent nationally from 2005 levels by 2030.
Clean energy is an American success story. Industry data shows it is one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the United States and already employs far more people than the coal industry. In this context, it would be very helpful for EPA to develop and distribute comparative data on the job impact of new technology development and installation versus the potential job impact of reduced use of coal.
We believe the Clean Power Plan could achieve even more pollution reductions with higher renewable energy and energy efficiency goals for states, and we support EPA moving in that direction.
The four pillar strategy of 1) increasing generation efficiency at existing power plants by 6 percent, 2) dispatching natural gas combined cycle power plants in place of coal, 3) increasing zero-emissions power sources, and 4) relying on end-use, demand response energy efficiency programs, is a solid start to moving our nation away from being dependent on dirty energy sources.
We appreciate the flexibility the EPA has given the states to adopt emission reduction measures other than those used to set the state targets. In addition, our ability to collaborate and develop plans on a multi-state basis, ability to choose how to meet the goal through whatever collection of measures that reflects our particular circumstances and policy objectives, and support for building on existing reduction programs, provides states the flexibility to effectively meet and hopefully exceed our carbon reduction goals.
Democrats and Republicans are in rare agreement on the issue. A June 2014 Washington Post-ABC News Poll found 57 percent of Republicans, 76 percent of independents and 79 percent of Democrats support state-level limits on greenhouse gas emissions.
We stand ready to assist your efforts to reduce carbon dioxide pollution to protect our families, communities and nation.
Below are two articles about state contracts for health care. I have little to say concerning the difference among state officials about the $16 billion price tag since it is beyond my level of comprehension.
I do have something very positive to say about the way state employees, including us as legislators will be able to use health care. The plans will "offer rewards for taking steps to stay well and impose penalties for refusing to comply." Although I'm sure it will be received by some as over-reaching, I believe the time has come.
The two articles below from The Sun cover the tragic deaths of two young people from use of drugs while attending a concert at Merriweather Post Pavilion.
I wrote a letter to the editor of the Columbia Flier, which was printed along with a similar letter from a long time Columbia resident. In my letter, I stated that it must be a priority of the highest order for the county government and the owner of the Pavilion to address this urgent condition. How can we as a community, in good conscience advertise this entertainment venue in our county while knowing the conditions can and have led to the death of these young people.
To date I have neither seen nor heard any response.
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