COVID-19 Update: Prince George’s County Joins UNICEF’s Child Friend Cities Initiative
Dear Prince Georgians:
As we navigate this pandemic, we are continuing to launch new programs and initiatives to support Prince Georgians now and during our post-COVID recovery. This week, I am excited to share that Prince George’s County will become the first county in the nation to implement an ambitious, two-year process toward recognition as a UNICEF Child Friendly County.
Our children represent the future of our County, State and nation, and we are fully committed to elevating their voices and empowering them to help build a brighter future for every resident as we work to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. We are excited about this opportunity and to be able to collaborate with the first cohort of municipalities in the United States to be part of UNICEF’s Child Friendly Cities Initiative (CFCI), which includes Houston, San Francisco and Minneapolis.
Originally created in 1996, UNICEF’s Child Friendly Cities Initiative uses a child rights-based framework to build a roadmap for establishing safer, more just, equitable, inclusive and child-responsive cities and communities around the world. Since its inception, CFCI has been adopted in over 3,000 municipalities in 40 countries.
To become a Child Friendly County, we will conduct a situational analysis of child well-being in the County. Based on these findings, we will implement an action plan that prioritizes the best interests of children and youth within local policies. CFCI will empower us to address the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and systemic racism on children, work to combat discrimination and elevate their voices in local governance and decision-making.
This Initiative will ensure that we create an even greater community for our young people and that their voices are heard in decision-making processes. We will share updates on this Initiative and our collective progress as a community as they become available. For more information about the Child Friendly Cities Initiative in the Unites States, click here.
I also want to provide an update on the 2020 General Election this November. Like many jurisdictions across the State, our County has had a difficult time securing the number of polling judges needed to staff our precincts for early voting and on Election Day. The majority of the 3,500 poll workers we typically have are seniors.
During this pandemic many are justifiably concerned for their safety, and so are we. So, I asked the Governor’s administration to consider a plan that would make voting safe during this pandemic, which included mailing a ballot to the home of every voter (instead of his mandate that voters apply to receive a ballot), increase the early voting period to 11 days, decrease polling locations, and have secured drop boxes at each of the locations.
While there were issues with the June 2 primary, Prince George’s had the highest voter participation since the 2008 primary, and 96% of our residents voted by mail. We are pleased the Governor recognized the challenges and recently allowed the state board to reduce polling precincts, but we still believe it’s critical that ballots are mailed to every voter.
I will continue to press this issue and ensure that every voter in our County has the opportunity to vote safely while we are still in the midst of this pandemic. At this time, we are encouraging voters to go ahead and request an absentee ballot so they can safely vote by mail. You can request an absentee ballot online here.
Finally, our Chief Health Officer signed a Health Officer Order on August 4 that provides further guidance on face coverings, physical distancing and other safety practices that will protect the health and well-being of Prince Georgians. More information on that is included below, but I want to remind everyone to please remember to wear a face covering in any retail or business establishment, including gyms and fitness centers, on public transportation, and outdoors when it is difficult to maintain physical distancing. Also, please remember to practice physical distancing, keeping at least 6 feet of distance between yourself and others, and wash your hands frequently with soap and water.
If we all continue to do our part, we can continue to keep this virus at bay and continue to make progress on our County’s recovery.
Yours in service,
Prince George’s County Executive
Reminder: Face Coverings Required
We must not become weary on COVID-19 precautions. As a reminder, you must wear a face covering when you’re in a store or business establishment. By doing so, you protect yourself and others. Also, Prince George’s County Health Officer Dr. Ernest Carter has issued an order clarifying and extending requirements for face coverings. Click here for more information.
Stand Up & Deliver Locations
We are continuing to work hard to address food insecurity in our County and want to provide information on next week’s distribution locations for our Stand Up & Deliver program. On Monday, August 17, groceries will be available at 10:00 AM at Faith Temple No. 2 Free Will Baptist Church (211 Maryland Park Drive, Capitol Heights, MD). On Tuesday, August 18, groceries will be available at 10:00 AM at St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church (7501 Adelphi Road, Hyattsville, MD).
On Friday, August 21, groceries will be available at 12:30 PM at four locations: Ebenezer A.M.E. Church (7707 Allentown Road, Fort Washington, MD), Mt. Ennon Baptist Church (9832 Piscataway Road, Clinton, MD), Faith Temple No. 2 Free Will Baptist Church (211 Maryland Park Drive, Capitol Heights, MD), and Port Towns Elementary School (4351 58th Avenue, Bladensburg, MD).
On Saturday, August 22, groceries will be available at 11:00 AM at Ebenezer Church of God (7550 Buchanan Street, Landover Hills, MD). Finally, on Sunday, August 23, groceries will be available at 10:00 AM at Community of Hope A.M.E. Church (3737 Branch Avenue, Temple Hills, MD). Groceries are distributed at all of these events on a first-come, first-served basis. We thank all of our partners for their support and assistance.
Additional food distribution locations can be found on our website by clicking here. If you are able to make a contribution to our Stand Up & Deliver program, click here to donate. To learn more about this critical program, watch our latest video here.
New COVID-19 Testing Location
The Health Department’s latest COVID-19 community testing site is now open at the Department’s D. Leonard Dyer Regional Health Center located at 9314 Piscataway Road, Clinton, MD 20735. Testing at this site is available Monday through Thursday, 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM, and follows the same testing procedures and policies as other County-run sites. Remember that testing through our County Health Department is free, and no appointment or insurance is required. You can find the latest information on testing here.
The Legacy Fund for Small Business Development
The Legacy Fund, established with a $1,000,000 grant from the Greater Washington Community Foundation, provides critical access to capital for small businesses in Prince George’s County. FSC First is currently accepting applications for The Legacy Fund through August 28, 2020. Small businesses can qualify for grants of up to $10,000. For more information and to apply, please click here.
Prince George’s Forward Task Force
The County Executive convened the Prince George’s Forward Task Force to navigate the complex and challenging environment COVID-19 has created so that we can reimagine and rebuild our County stronger than it has ever been before. This innovative, diverse, and forward-thinking group of experts is working hard to develop new solutions to complex challenges. Last week, the executive committee met to hear some of their preliminary ideas. To learn what they discussed, click here. For more information on the Forward Task Force, please visit www.princegeorgesforward.com.
MD COVID – Please Answer the Call
Contact tracing is one of the critical tools used to stop the spread of COVID-19. A contact tracer will get in touch with the close contacts of a person who has tested positive to alert them to their potential exposure to COVID-19 so they can take the steps necessary to protect the health of themselves and those around them. Contact tracers will never ask for your social security number, your immigration status, or request payment for anything. If you receive a call from MD COVID or from the Prince George’s County Health Department, make sure you take the call. Learn more about contact tracing here.
County News For You
Stuff “TheBus” School Supply Drop-Off Events
It’s that time of year again! Students are preparing to start the school year, but they won’t be filing into physical school buildings and classrooms, instead receiving instruction remotely due to COVID-19. The Department of Public Works and Transportation and the Office of Community Relations have teamed up for Stuff “TheBus” School Supply Drop-Off events during the past few weeks, and the last one will be held on Wednesday, August 19, 2020. Though Prince George’s County Public Schools students will begin the year at home with distance learning, they will still need many of the supplies necessary in a traditional setting. Please assist us in ensuring every child has the tools they need to learn during these unprecedented times.
On Wednesday, August 19, 2020, please drop your donations at the rear of 9400 Peppercorn Pl, Largo, MD from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM or at the Oxon Hill Park & Ride, Oxon Hill, MD from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM. Thank you to those that have already contributed!
Get Covered – Obtain Health Insurance Today
The State of Maryland has announced the reopening of the COVID-19 emergency health insurance enrollment, now ending December 15. Through PGC Health Connect, a program under the Prince George’s County Department of Social Services, nearly 11,000 Prince Georgians gained health coverage during the original special enrollment period from March 16 to July 15. With the new enrollment period ending December 15, PGC Health Connect wants even more residents to get covered! Visit www.pgchealthconnect.org for more information.
100 Events of Summer Back 2 School Grab-n-Go Event
Each summer, under their 100 Events of Summer initiative, the Office of Community Relations participates in at least 100 fun, family-friendly community events and activities across the County, in an effort to engage and connect with residents and the community. Join them on Saturday, August 22 as they close out this summer with a Back 2 School Grab-N-Go Event! Giveaways include pre-packaged meals and non-perishable goods, backpacks, school supplies, community resources, and a chance to win a Tanger Outlets gift card. Please register at ocr100eos.eventbrite.com or email Harrison Nwozo at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
C.A.R.E. Kit Giveaways
The Office of Community Relations is dedicated to connecting the community with available resources. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, they have created C.A.R.E. (Community Action Reaching Everyone) Kits to include items such as home essentials, baby diapers, wipes, masks, and hand sanitizer to assist those most in need. Join them Friday, August 21 as they host part two of their C.A.R.E. Kit Giveaway from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM, and Friday, August 28 as they host the Caregivers Edition Giveaway from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM. Registration is required and limited to Prince George’s County residents. For more information, email Caryne Moses at email@example.com.
What’s the 311?
What’s the 311?! Do you really know how your government operates? Join the Office of Community Relations and 311 on the Go! next Tuesday, August 18 at 12:30 PM to learn about your government services and resources. Next week’s featured agencies are the Department of Permitting, Inspections and Enforcement and the Revenue Authority.
Join on Zoom, meeting ID 934 2193 0839, password 000311
Follow the Office of Community Relations on IG (@pgc_communityrelations) and Twitter (@PGCCommunity) for more information on the What’s the 311? series and other upcoming events.
Voting – Democracy in Action
The Prince George’s County Human Relations Commission and Prince George’s County Memorial Library System (PGCMLS) invite you to their “Voting – Democracy in Action” discussion on August 31 at 7:00 PM. They will review the long fight for voting rights in this country and why using your voice and your vote is democracy in action. Special guests include University of Maryland History professor Dr. Richard Bell and Daneen Banks from the Prince George’s County Board of Elections, with opening remarks by PGCMLS CEO Roberta Phillips. Register in advance here for this free event.
Fall 2020 Community Partners’ Meeting Going Virtual
A previous Community Partners’ Meeting held before the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Community Partners’ Meeting is going virtual for the first time in its history! Due to physical distancing guidelines resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the three agencies that co-sponsor Community Partners’ – the Department of Permitting, Inspections and Enforcement (DPIE), the Department of the Environment (DoE), and the Department of Public Works & Transportation (DPW&T) – will present news and information via a PowerPoint presentation, allowing residents to “attend” from the comfort of their homes or offices.
Community Partners’ is a meeting held three times a year to allow residents to engage with County leaders about programs and services. DPIE, DoE and DPW&T alternate leading the meetings. Other government agencies also participate.
The PowerPoint presentation will be posted on the websites for the three sponsoring agencies on September 24, 2020. Each agency will offer a welcome by the department director and news about current projects and upcoming programs.
The presentation will also feature a Q&A section with questions from residents answered by representatives from each of the agencies. Residents are invited to submit a Community Partners’ Meeting Question Form by August 24. Forms should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Labor Day Holiday Waste Collection Schedule
Due to the Labor Day holiday on Monday, September 7, yard trim collections will be suspended and will resume on Monday, September 14.
Regular collections of trash and recycling will occur Tuesday, September 8 through Friday, September 11.
County Government offices, except public safety agencies, will be closed in observance of Labor Day. Also, TheBus, Call-A-Bus and CountyClick 3-1-1 will be closed and will resume regular operations Tuesday, September 8. Residents can still submit service/issue requests online here.
The Elephant We Don’t See Diversity Dialogue
The Elephant We Don’t See Diversity Dialogue continues on Tuesday, August 25, 2020 as the Prince George’s County Memorial Library System and the Human Relations Commission discuss the book Blind Spot: Hidden Biases of Good People. Register for this free event here and join in the conversation.
Prince George’s County Celebrates 30th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act
On Saturday, July 25, 2020, Prince George’s County celebrated 30 years of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Special guests included County Executive Angela Alsobrooks, Maryland Secretary of Disabilities Carol A. Beatty, Paralympic Silver Medalist John Register, WMATA Metro-Access Director Terrian Williams-Hall, and City of Bowie Mayor Timothy Adams. You can watch the virtual celebration brought to you by the Prince George’s County Department of Family Services and the Commission for Individuals with Disabilities by clicking here.
In The News
County Executive Pushes for Safe Voting in the 2020 General Election
The Washington Post recently covered the County Executive’s efforts to make sure residents can vote safely during the 2020 General Election. You can read that article here, and don’t forget that you can request an absentee ballot online here.
Prince George’s County Partnering With Community Groups to Tackle Food Insecurity
WJLA/ABC7 recently highlighted our efforts to fight food insecurity through our Stand Up & Deliver program, discussing how we are partnering with community groups as part of this innovative program. See the story here.
Prince George’s Proud Moments
Brandon Bellamy Becomes Only African American Majority Owner in Professional Baseball
Congratulations to Brandon Bellamy, the CEO of Velocity Companies in Prince George’s County, who has become the only African American majority owner of any professional baseball team in the country. His company is also working on the highly-anticipated Hampton Park Project at the site of the former Hampton Park Mall in Capitol Heights. Read more about the announcement here. We are Prince George’s Proud of Mr. Bellamy and his contributions to our County and collective community!
Beat the Knock
Door-to-door follow-up for the 2020 Census has begun, but there is still time to self-respond. Complete your Census online here or call 844-330-2020.