Tag Archives: Maryland

Maryland leads the nation in incarcerating young black men

MARYLAND, USA — More of Maryland’s prison population is black than in any other state in the nation, according to a November report issued by the Justice Policy Institute.

The state of Maryland has the highest incarceration rate in the nation of black men aged 18 to 24, while the second-highest incarceration rate for young black men is in Mississippi. 

“No disrespect to Mississippi,” Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee Chairman William C. Smith Jr. said. “But this should be something that raises everyone’s eyebrows throughout the entire General Assembly, and especially in this committee.”

Many men ages 18 to 24, who were sentenced to extreme prison sentences, still remain imprisoned even decades later. Currently, the state of Maryland imprisons 3,000 people over age 50, and nearly 1,000 individuals who are 60 or older. 

According to the Justice Policy Institute, more than 70% of all people in Maryland’s prisons double the national average and almost 80% of people serving at least 10 years, are black. 

The latest data from the Department of Justice, however, shows that the proportion of the Maryland prison population that is black is more than double the national average of 32%.

These are the highest rates in the country, easily overshadow the next closest states – Mississippi, South Carolina, and Georgia.

Credit: Justice Policy Institute

“Maryland is the worst state in the nation when it comes to incarcerating people who are Black,” Justice Policy Institute Executive Director Marc Schindler said. “These disparities are most pronounced for people serving the longest sentences who were sentenced as emerging adults (18 to 24 year-olds). This is a racial justice crisis that Maryland’s leaders must tackle head-on.

By keeping the incarcerated adults in prison, it is continuing to cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars.

Tyree Colion, the man who designates “No Shoot Zones” in and around Baltimore, is arrested on Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017. Tyree Colion was arrested in Middle River on Wednesday after spray painting the words, “No Shoot Zone” on a wall behind a store, near where a 13-year-old girl was killed Tuesday. (AP Photo/Juliet Linderman)

Back in 2017, Maryland was at the forefront of the national criminal justice reform conversation when the state reported an unprecedented 10% decrease in its overall prison population. 

While policymakers declared victory, the state of Maryland has been plagued with high rates of racial disparities among emerging adults serving long prison terms.

“We must focus on the emerging adult population for an effective, fair and unbiased criminal justice system,” Delegate Erek L. Barron said. “It’s past time for Maryland to join other jurisdictions exploring innovative reforms related to emerging adults.”

via WUSA

PG County Task Force Issues Final Report, Recommendations on Food Insecurity.

An appointment-only thrift store at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Hyattsville, Maryland, is stocked with pounds of food and other nonperishable items on Jan. 24. 

A food-security task force in Prince George’s County has completed its report on how to provide healthy nutrition options in a jurisdiction among the most limited in the D.C. region for food choices.

You can read the full report here.

One of the task force’s recommendations for Prince George’s officials to consider while working on the fiscal 2023 budget proposal is to set aside at least $250,000 to create a food security office. A director and staff would coordinate and lead various programs with other county agencies, private businesses, local farmers and residents.

“Prior to the pandemic, we didn’t have a centralized focused office addressing food issues,” said County Council member Todd Turner (D-District 4) of Bowie, who chaired the 21-member task force. “We have the [county’s] Food Equity Council to fill that role as a nonprofit in the interim, but there needs to be a full response from governmental, private sector, not-for-profit sector to be able to address these issues in the future.”

The task force document cited the Capital Area Food Bank’s “Hunger Report” from last year that shows the majority-Black jurisdiction continues to lead the D.C. region in food insecurity, or lack of resources to provide affordable and healthy food options. The percentage increased from 14.3% in 2019 to 17% during the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.

Despite tax incentives for grocers to move to the county and food distribution events that remain ongoing, the task force issued 11 recommendations (four foundational and seven general) to address short- and long-term food needs.

Some of them are:

• Establish “robust” data collection to assess a person’s ability to access affordable and healthy food choices. • Increase resident participation in federal nutrition programs.

• Incorporate food security measures into existing emergency operations such as snowstorms and when other extreme weather conditions affect the region.

• Increase and invest in transportation for residents in rural and underserved areas.

These and other budgetary items are scheduled for discussion during the county’s first budget listening session on Feb. 1 at 6 p.m. Residents who want to testify during the virtual meeting must sign up by Jan. 31 at 5 p.m.

The county continues to offer food programs such as “Stand Up and Deliver,” one of the county’s first launched during the pandemic, has distributed more than 1 million meals and other nonperishable items to residents at churches, community centers and other locations.

The Capital Area Food Bank recently opened a mobile grocery truck offering produce, dairy, personal care items and other products in the county’s underserved areas.

As for the task force recommendations, whether they meet the county council’s approval for inclusion in the upcoming budget remains to be seen.

“The council appreciates the diligent work of the task force and looks forward to reviewing the final report and recommendations,” council Chair Calvin Hawkins II said in a statement.

Food insecurity in the DMV has become a larger focus during the pandemic.

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PGCPS Teen arrested in fatal University Park shooting

PGCPS Teen arrested in fatal University Park shooting

College Park, Md: (Reform Sasscer) – Prince George’s County police said Tuesday they’ve arrested a suspect in connection with a fatal shooting last year in University Park, Maryland.

Police said 18-year-old Andres Aguilar, of University Park, has been charged in connection with the shooting death of 19-year-old Luis Miguel Utrera, of Hyattsville, in November.

Utrera was found with a gunshot wound in the driver’s seat of a car that had struck a tree in the 4000 block of Underwood Street Nov. 17. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Authorities said it was a “drug-related robbery.”

Aguilar was arrested in D.C. on Jan. 19. He’s charged with first- and second-degree murder and other charges.

He’s being held in D.C. awaiting extradition to Prince George’s County.

At least 10 juveniles were killed last year in Prince George’s County, Maryland which was the worst year since 2008.

County Executive Alsobrooks has implored the community to come together to “disrupt the cycle of violence that is growing again.”

According to Alsobrooks, for example, there have been 162 carjackings in Prince George’s County. She acknowledged on during a press briefing on or around January 11 and said that juveniles are responsible for 96 of them.

“And so this tells us a lot about where we’re headed. And we must do something right now to disrupt it,” Alsobrooks said.

Dr. Monica Goldson a CEO for PGCPS who was selected through public corruption has never spoken publicly about the out of control fights and public corruption sweeping quietly through the school system. These willful violations include closing down schools ready for real estate option, paying off lawyers, siphoning money off to friends and family etc. Prince George’s county citizens must raise up and demand answers without delay. These out of control fights and other purposeful disregard are not fair to county residents, their families and United States.

Read more >>> ‘Hope in Action’: Prince George’s Co. launches new anti-crime effort

Read more >>> PGCPS Parent Fatally Shot in Front of his 3 Children, Girlfriend.

Dr. Monica Goldson a CEO for PGCPS who was selected through public corruption has never spoken publicly about the out of control fights and public corruption sweeping quietly through the school system. She is not responsive to parents needs and many are being blackballed within the system due to retaliation.

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Donna Edwards jumps into the race for her old Md. congressional seat

Donna F. Edwards, the former five-term Maryland congresswoman, has launched a bid for her former seat in the 4th Congressional District, reshapinga race that already includes several former and current Prince George’s County public officials.

The seat is open this year after Rep. Anthony G. Brown (D-Md.) announced that he would not seek reelection and would instead run for state attorney general. In an interview with The Washington Post ahead of her announcement, Edwards said she spent the past two months deliberating over whether to enter the race — “it was not an easy choice to make,” she said — before ultimately deciding that “I still have service to give.”

“There’s a point at which you can’t just sit on the sidelines. You have to go back in, and I felt like I needed to go back in and fight for the things that are important to this district and to the country, which is why I feel so good about beginning this campaign,” Edwards said.

Edwards’s foray into the race is likely to pose a heftier challenge for her opponents, many of whom have their own distinct track records of public service in Prince George’s but without the benefit of her 8½ years in Congress — something Edwards said she planned to emphasize during her campaign.

She will take on Del. Jazz Lewis (D), a protege of House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.), who endorsed him; Glenn Ivey, who served as county state’s attorney from 2002 to 2010 before running unsuccessfully against Brown in 2016; and former delegate Angela Angel, who served two terms in the House of Delegates and advocated for domestic-violence-prevention legislation.Ivey put out his first radio ad campaign Thursday, highlighting his record as a prosecutor and his development of a domestic-abuse unit and after-school programs for at-risk youth.

Because the 4th District — which also includes parts of Anne Arundel and Montgomery counties — votes overwhelmingly Democratic, the primary campaign is expected to draw the most heated competition and fundraising. Democrat James Curtis Jr. is also running, along with one Republican, Jeff Warner.

Edwards served in the House of Representatives from 2008 to 2017 — a liberal stymied by the Republican majority for much of her tenure — before running unsuccessfully in 2016 for the seat vacated by former U.S. senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D).

“I have a record to run on — a record in the Congress, in the House of Representatives, to run on — and I plan to do that,” Edwards said. “There are some things I worked on in Congress where I was at the vanguard, whether it was on opioids or ending the federal death penalty, or the fight for the $15 minimum wage, back before it was popular.”

In a campaign video announcing her run, she highlighted a three-month, 12,000-mile road trip she took in 2017 that she said she took to learn more about the country during President Donald Trump’s administration, bonding with people she met over the costs of insulin and the cost of her own medicine for multiple sclerosis, “bringing my perspective as a Black woman from Prince George’s County to the national conversation.”

Edwards had accused the Democratic Party of not doing enough to uplift the voices of women and minorities after she lost the Democratic primary in 2016 to the eventual winner of the general election, Sen. Chris Van Hollen. She said she believed that Democrats had made progress nationally since then — but pointed out that Maryland currently has no women in its eight-membercongressional delegation. “For a state that prides itself in being really progressive, we need to do something about that,” she said Wednesday.

Edwards said she planned to prioritize addressing public health and health-care-infrastructure inequities, lowering prescription drug costs, and — as a former member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee — ensuring adequate infrastructure and transportation resources for the region. She said she also planned to fight to bring a new FBI headquarters to the district — something she advocated for before leaving Congress while Virginia and Maryland lawmakers lobbied to bring the headquarters to their areas, a competition of sorts that is ongoing.

In her campaign video, Edwards also said she would prioritize criminal justice reform, strengthening democracy and environmental justice, and ensuring people have living wages. “We’ll make the wealthy finally pay their fair share, so we can start bringing down the cost of living for our families,” she said.

Edwards, who started her career as a Lockheed Martin contractor at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, later became a lawyer and philanthropist, co-founding the National Network to End Domestic Violence, which helped spearhead efforts to pass the Violence Against Women Act in 1994.

Since leaving Congress, Edwards ran unsuccessfully for Prince George’s county executive in 2018. She became a political analyst on network news, as well as a contributing columnist with The Post.

“I’ve never really fully jumped out” of politics, she said.

Via Washington Post

OPINION

Go Donna. As a leader, Donna was always thoughtful, pragmatic, solution-minded commentary that she offers on MSNBC in her own analyses. We are very impressed with her and we need people in Congress who can offer solutions to our many hard questions on governing including for PGCPS and the Prince George’s County in general. She is the best proven candidate who took the bull by its horns!

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Prince George’s Co. Public Schools budget proposal would consolidate alternative schools

PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY, Md. (FOX 5 DC) – Some Prince George’s County students and staff say they were shocked to learn their schools are on the chopping block. FOX 5 has learned the PGCPS CEO’s budget proposal would consolidate the county’s alternative schools from five down to three.

Staff said they were caught off guard by the news and some board members said they were also surprised to see this in the budget plan for next school year.

The schools that would be consolidated under the plan are Tall Oaks Vocational High School in Bowie and Community Based Classroom, known as CBC, in Lanham.

Jade Mason, who attends CBC, said she just found out about this on Thursday.

“I was really shocked. Out of all the public schools I’ve been to, CBC is the last school I would close,” said Mason. “It’s so versatile and flexible. They work with you.”

She also provided some statements of support for the school by fellow students.

At Thursday’s school board meeting, several CBC staffers spoke against the proposal during public comment, saying the schools are important options for at-risk students.

CBC has a 95 percent graduation rate. English teacher Zena Whitworth, who spoke before the board, said these students could very well be left behind in a traditional school.

“For example, those students who suffer from anxiety, those students who have been bullied, those students who don’t do well because of the large class sizes,” said Whitworth.

She also mentioned students who’ve been involved in the criminal justice system and those who are parents. CBC has day and evening classes.

“What programs are you going to put in place for these types of students?” she asked.

FOX 5 reached out to PGCPS Thursday for additional details from CEO Dr. Monica Goldson, but we are still awaiting a response.

The budget offers few details about the plan and reasoning behind it, stating the five alternative schools would be restructured into a northern and southern high school location and one middle school program.

CEO Goldson was not at Thursday’s board meeting. The board chair said she’s on travel.

The school board will now amend the CEO’s budget before voting on it. There are several meetings in the coming weeks.

The first public hearing on the budget is on Jan. 27.

Via Fox 5 DC

CEO Goldson was not at Thursday’s board meeting. The board chair said she’s on travel.

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Alsobrooks Boasts $1.2M War Chest in Reelection Bid fueled by Developers and others.

Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks has a war chest of $1.2 million in her bid for reelection in the majority-Black jurisdiction which is fueled by outsiders and others.

Largo, Md, (Reform Sasscer) – Why has the Prince George’s County, Maryland become so thoroughly corrupt? The reason is historical—it goes back many decades—and, in a way, philosophical. The county leadership is best understood as an insurgency that carried the seeds of its own corruption from the start. This corruption continues to advance with the developers and other folks interested to lining up their own pockets in heavy toll. As a result, Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks has a war chest of $1.2 million in her bid for reelection in the majority-Black jurisdiction which is fueled by outsiders and others.

Though Alsobrooks hasn’t officially filed paperwork with the Maryland State Board of Elections, a campaign statement released Wednesday summarizes the Democrat’s plans to seek a second four-year term despite major fiasco sweeping the county schools. Allowing elected officials in Maryland to use campaign funds to pay for their legal defense is a “slap in the face” of efforts to reform the state’s corruption-plagued political culture,” stated a resident who wanted to remain anonymous.

The latest campaign finance report for Jan. 14, 2021 – Jan. 12, 2022 showed her campaign has raised nearly $702,000.

“I couldn’t be more grateful for the overwhelming amount you chose to invest in the vision that I have for Prince George’s County,” Alsobrooks said. “Please continue to volunteer for our campaign and tell friends about what we are doing. I need you more than ever to keep our momentum moving forward.”

A summary shows out of the 1,432 donations received, about 902 came from Prince George’s County. Approximately 823 donations came in at $100 or less.

A few of the major contributions:

• $6,000 from AES Electrical Inc. of Laurel.

• $6,000 from Gordon Barnaby, founder and president of BarnAllen Technologies of Rockville in Montgomery County.

• $5,000 from Bowie Trucking Service of Upper Marlboro.

• $2,500 from Andre Gingles, an attorney and owner of Gingles LLC in Laurel.

• $2,000 from EXP US Services Inc. of Chicago.

Meanwhile, four other Democratic candidates filed to run for county executive by the deadline on 11:59 p.m. Wednesday to file campaign finance reports online. If mailed, the reports needed to be postmarked on or before Wednesday.

Former NFL player and county native Leigh Bodden of Bowie has about $4,400 cash on hand, the second-highest amount in the race. He contributed about $1,000 to his campaign.

Sherman Hardy, a real estate agent and Air Force veteran of Clinton, raised $2,406 last year but with only $473 cash on hand.

Tonya Sweat, an attorney from Accokeek who also runs her own consulting firm and is well knowledgeable with the State and county issues, raised slightly more than $6,465 last year. However, her campaign finance report shows a deficit of $386. She will make a great county executive if given a chance.

“I still have a couple outstanding bills that need to be paid,” she said.

As she continues to campaign, Sweat has some advice for voters.

“If they want to stay in the same place they’re in right now, then that’s their right,” she said. “If they want change, then they need to stop and think about where the money’s coming from. Money doesn’t necessarily bring about change. It’s a resource and a tool we can use to get there, but if it’s not in the right hands, we’re not going to be any better off.”

As of 11 a.m. Thursday, a campaign finance report wasn’t online for Billy W. Bridges who has promised a robust campaign and he is aware of the issues as well. He sought the office in 2018 and made prayer in public schools a part of his campaign platform.

All prospective candidates have until Feb. 22 to file documents with the state elections board.

The winner of the June 28 Democratic primary is all but guaranteed victory in the general election with Democrats outnumbering Republicans 10 to 1 in the county. The jurisdiction with a population of 967,200 has the highest number of registered Democrats in the state.

County residents eligible to run for public offices are encouraged to vie as democrats’ for all open seats to challenge and beat the incumbents without delay this year. A few senators and delegates are okay. This is the only way to bring a positive change in Prince George’s county, Maryland.

Read more >>> PGCPS Parent Fatally Shot in Front of his 3 Children, Girlfriend.

Read more here >> Major Drama as Fights Break Out at Suitland High School and others.

Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks plans to seek a second four-year term despite major fiasco sweeping the county schools.

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Prince George’s Co. residents speak out on restructuring school board in public session

The Prince George’s County Public Schools headquarters in Upper Marlboro. (Photo: Maryland Matters/Danielle E. Gaines)

Upper Marlboro: Reform Sasscer – Residents of Prince George’s County, Maryland, shared their thoughts Wednesday on the kind of board they want to lead the county’s public school system.

The Board of Education Task Force, a panel formed to study restructuring the school board, hosted its second public listening session. Most of the residents who commented said they support the task force’s preliminary recommendation that the board abandon its current structure of nine elected and four appointed members in favor of an all-elected board.

“Democracy is always a little messy, but that’s OK, it’s still the best system that we have,” said an Upper Marlboro resident.

Another resident, Amity Pope, echoed similar sentiments.

“Stand firm in not disenfranchising the voters of Prince George’s County. A recommendation for a fully-elected school board is a vote for democracy,” Pope said.

While other public participants supported the idea of making the school board all-elected, some also offered the task force additional advice on improving its governance, thereby improving public schools.

“There needs to be some type of training so that they are properly trained and understand how things operate in a board structure … training in fiscal oversight, nonprofit management and governing skills,” said resident Tanya Wingfield.

One commenter suggested wholesale changes are needed at Prince George’s County Public Schools.

“We need to transform teachers’ pay. We need to transform curriculum for students. We need to transform those who are charged with leading our children,” said Dannine Johnson.

The task force is expected to finalize its recommendations next month in a county dotted by youth violence out of control.

At least 10 juveniles were killed last year in Prince George’s County, Maryland which was the worst year since 2008.

County Executive Alsobrooks has implored the community to come together to “disrupt the cycle of violence that is growing again.”

According to Alsobrooks, for example, there have been 162 carjackings in Prince George’s County. She acknowledged on Tuesday this week and said that juveniles are responsible for 96 of them.

“And so this tells us a lot about where we’re headed. And we must do something right now to disrupt it,” Alsobrooks said.

Dr. Monica Goldson a CEO for PGCPS who was selected through public corruption has never spoken publicly about the out of control fights and public corruption sweeping quietly through the school system. These willful violations include closing down schools ready for real estate option, paying off lawyers, siphoning money off to friends and family etc. Prince George’s county citizens must raise up and demand answers without delay. These out of control fights and other purposeful disregard are not fair to county residents, their families and United States.

Dr. Monica Goldson a CEO for PGCPS who was selected through public corruption has never spoken publicly about the out-of-control fights and public corruption sweeping quietly through the school system.

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Baltimore’s chief prosecutor Marilyn Mosby indicted, accused of perjury and making false loan applications

Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby in 2019. (Julio Cortez/AP)

Via Washington Post By Ovetta Wiggins and Katie Mettler – Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby, a rising star who was thrust into the national spotlight after the 2015 police custody death of Freddie Gray, was indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury on two counts each of perjury and making false loan applications.

The indictment alleges that Mosby (D) claimed, under penalty of perjury, to have experienced “adverse financial consequences” as she twice asked to withdraw money from her City of Baltimore retirement fund under a Cares Act clause designed to help people cope with the pandemic.

Prosecutors say the work hardships Mosby cited in May and December of 2020, to withdraw $40,000 and $50,000, respectively, were unfounded as she received her full gross salary of $250,000 that year. Mosby ultimately received the money from her retirement account, the indictment alleges, then used it to purchase two properties in Florida — a home in Kissimmee and a condo in Long Boat Key.

On both mortgage applications, Mosby was required to disclose her liabilities but failed to do so, according to court records. She did not reveal that she had unpaid federal taxes or that in March 2020 the Internal Revenue Service had placed a $45,000 lien against all properties she and her husband owned, the indictment states.

Additionally, the indictment alleges that Mosby signed a “second home rider” on the Kissimmee property, which allowed her to obtain a lower mortgage rate and included a promise that the space would be primarily used by her as a second home. But a week before that, prosecutors allege, Mosby signed an agreement with a vacation property management company to rent the home — which violated the terms of the second home rider.

An attorney for Mosby said Thursday that the charges were unfounded, “rooted in personal, political and racial animus five months from her election.”

“Marilyn Mosby is innocent, has been innocent, and we look forward to defending her in the court of law, and presenting evidence of her innocence to a jury of her peers,” A. Scott Bolden said in an email. “We will fight these charges vigorously, and I remain confident that once all the evidence is presented, that she will prevail against these bogus charges.”

The indictment does not immediately affect Mosby’s ability to remain in office. Under the Maryland constitution, a state’s attorney is subject to removal from office for incompetency, willful neglect of duty or misdemeanor in office, on conviction, or by a vote of two-thirds of the Senate, on the recommendation of the attorney general.

The federal probe followed a seven-month inquiry by the city’s inspector general examining Mosby’s travel, personal businesses and gifts. The report was released in February 2021.

Mosby is part of a new, growing generation of liberal prosecutors and a prominent voice among those seeking to address the country’s systemic inequity of mass incarceration.

Currently serving in her second term, Mosby gained national attention in 2015 when she charged six officers in the police-custody death of Gray, a 25-year-old Black man from West Baltimore. Gray’s death triggered days of unrest in Baltimore. None of the officers were convicted, which led to some criticism of Mosby from those who considered the charges an overreach.

Since then, her office has been both hailed and criticized for some of the aggressive actions it has taken to reform the criminal justice system and its response to the surge in violent crime in the city.

Last year, she announced she would stop prosecuting certain misdemeanor cases, including prostitution and drug possession. She said it was part of a shift to keep jails from overcrowding during the pandemic. Advocacy groups said the move would leave more resources to fight violent crime. Some community members worried about the effect the policy would have in neighborhoods impacted by drugs and violence.

Baltimore has recorded more than 300 homicides a year over the last seven years.

Zy Richardson, a spokeswoman for Mosby, said in a statement that her office will not be “distracted” by the indictment.

“State’s Attorney Mosby and the office remain completely focused and wholly committed to serving the citizens of our city,” she said. “Our leadership and our frontline prosecutors are some of the best in the world and we will not be distracted or sidetracked from our mission to make Baltimore a safer community.”

Gov. Larry Hogan (R) has repeatedly attacked Mosby over the years, blaming her for escalating violence in the city. During a recent appearance on Fox News Sunday, he called her a “big part of the problem.” “We have a prosecutor in Baltimore City who refuses to prosecute violent criminals and that’s at the root of the problem,” he said.

Mosby countered in a letter to Hogan, saying his own national ambitions drove him to use Baltimore City as a “punching bag” to “score political points with your conservative base.”

At age 34, Mosby became one of the youngest chief law enforcement officers in the country when she was elected in 2014. She is married to Baltimore City Council President Nick J. Mosby (D), who made a brief run for mayor in 2015. The former state delegate became council president in 2020.

The Mosbys have been the center of a federal probe for more than a year that has included the couple’s tax and business affairs.

Last year, a federal grand jury subpoenaed a range of financial records related to the couple, including tax returns, bank statements, credit card statements, loan documents and canceled checks, according to the Baltimore Sun.

Five months ago, the Sun reported that Marilyn Mosby’s personal attorney said a perjury charge was being pursued by the U.S. Justice Department’s criminal tax division over a signature on a document.

Bolden said officials refused to tell him anything more and accused them at the time of denying her due process.

On Thursday, he said that the indictment is “more telling for what is not in [it] rather than what is in there … a far cry from criminal tax evasion and tax-related charges that were at the heart of this federal investigation. More importantly, Ms. Mosby has never lied or made a false statement in connection the allegations contained in the charging document.”

He accused the U.S. attorney’s office and the DOJ’s Criminal Tax Division of conspiring to wrongfully indict on nontax-related charges.

Mosby’s indictment was announced by U.S. Attorney of Maryland Erek L. Barron, who was appointed last year as the state’s first Black lead federal prosecutor.

A date for her first appearance in U.S. District Court in Baltimore has not yet been set, the U.S. attorney’s office for the District of Maryland said in a news release.

The indictment is the latest scandal for the beleaguered city that has long built a reputation for corruption in the police department and at City Hall.

In 2017, seven Baltimore City police officers from an elite gun-trace task force were indicted, accused of robbing people, extorting drug dealers, filing false reports and claiming fraudulent overtime.

In 2020, former mayor Catherine E. Pugh was sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to fraud, tax evasion and conspiracy stemming from profits she made from a self-published children’s book “Healthy Holly,” thousands of copies of which weren’t distributed. Pugh was the second mayor in a decade to resign over allegations of corruption.

OPINION:

Various folks have expressed different opinions. Here below are some:

1.) In response to those who say this prosecution is “petty,” perjury is never a petty matter for 1) a lawyer, 2) a prosecutor, or 3) a public official.

2.) Please tell me this woman is not the face and future of progressive justice in the US. She and her husband represent the epitome of corruption and entitlement.

3.) Who said it was ok for whites to do it? ANYBODY who breaks the law should face justice.

4.) There are millions upon millions of honest, hard working, Black people in this country who do not engage in corruption. Trying to play the race card to justify her corruption is a slap in the faces of each of them.

5.) She knew she was in trouble with the IRS.
Her house was under lien.

In Florida, they can’t take your home if convicted.
She planned to escape there.

6.) Bingo, she took the money out of her pension to buy the Florida houses in order to keep from having it forfeited if she is convicted of corruption and has to vacate her position.

7.) How can someone claim she’s “for the people” of Baltimore while owning two properties in Florida? What’s the matter? West Baltimore not good enough for her? Or North Avenue?

8.) Mosby is no hero. She is a Trump in a black woman’s body. It’s always about her and she’s always the victim of some purported plot against her.

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Save PGCPS Community Based Classroom Alternative High School NOW!!

Upper Marlboro, Saccer Building: – Reform Sasscer – A change.org petition has been launched to plead and reach out to the Prince George’s County Board of Education to stop the shut down of specialty alternative programs and specifically Community Based Classroom (CBC)! At risk youth need option!

It reads:   

“Community Based Classroom (CBC) alternative high school has been successfully working with at risk seniors to earn their high school diplomas since 1989. The school has graduated thousands of students that would not have received a high school diploma without this program in place. We cater to the at risk 5th and 6th year senior who failed to graduate at traditional high schools. 

The data speaks for itself! With a graduation rate of 95% and an attendance rate of 93% (school year 2019-20) it is clear that our program works! By providing highly qualified teachers to deliver engaging in person instruction our students are motivated to gain the skills they need to get their diplomas and make a plan for their futures. We are the ONLY school that offers a flexible schedule for students with children or full time jobs providing morning, afternoon and evening classes. Students only need to attend school for the classes they need to graduate. 

Prince George’s County Public Schools proposed budget for school year 2023 does away with specialty alternative programs in lieu of a North and South hub high school stating that they are providing bigger and better programs. Don’t be fooled! There is no place for our students at the new 9-12 high schools. These hub schools will NOT give them the flexibility or support needed to successfully graduate. Our students will end up in online Edgenuity classes in which they lack the motivation needed to finish classes. Thousands of at risk youth will fail to graduate high school if CBC is shut down! 

Sign our petition now to SAVE CBC!!! WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT!!! Reach out to the Prince George’s County Board of Education today to stop the shut down of specialty alternative programs and specifically Community Based Classroom (CBC)! At risk youth NEED OPTIONS!!  

“There is just no other school like CBC based in the community in Prince George’s County, Maryland for students who need another chance.  CBC really gave me a different mind set for things in the future. CBC really helped me raise up my grades higher than I ever expected them to be. So honestly, CBC would be a great decision for other students who need another chance without any reminders of their past mistakes. Not only am I graduating from high school but now I am looking at attending college.” ~Current Student Erik L.

View CBC’s website here: https://schools.pgcps.org/communitybasedclassroom/

Petition details: https://www.change.org/p/prince-george-s-county-board-of-education-save-community-based-classroom-alternative-high-school-now

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PGCPS Laurel High School Student’s Eco-Activism Has Global Reach

Javier Fuentes, president of the Laurel High School Green Club, gives a thumbs up to the environmental initiatives that helped recertify Laurel as a Green School in Maryland. Courtesy photo by Cinthia Najera.

Editor’s Note: Taking climate lessons from the classroom to the community, Maryland students are becoming increasingly vocal, marching in protests, organizing rallies and challenging school and government authorities to act on their concerns.

Many have been inspired by Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, who, at 15 in 2018, staged daily protests outside the Swedish Parliament with demands that leaders listen to her pleas for the planet.

This month we profile three Maryland teenagers, each a leader among their peers seeking to address solutions to a global crisis.

They are part of a growing youth movement, impatient and frustrated, yet empowered by the sum of their collective effort to create a more equitable and sustainable future.

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By Rosanne Skirble: – On a Friday last winter, Javier Fuentes, then a sophomore at Laurel High School in Prince George’s County, was in his bedroom attending virtual school.

After classes he had a commitment.

Javier was the only student invited to join a global sustainability panel among educators from Scotland, Australia, Kenya, Mexico, Germany and the United States.

The online event was sponsored by the Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education, the non-profit that certifies green schools across Maryland.

“I was nervous, intimidated,” he admitted, but Javier gathered his nerves and forged ahead.

“I was never really involved or passionate about the environment until I was a freshman and decided to join the Green Club,” he said in his remarks to the more than 100 people registered for the event, all environmental educators or professionals in the field.

As a member of the club’s executive team that year, Javier facilitated two messy compost audits with expert help from the Smithsonian.

“Ninety percent of the [so-called] waste was actually compostable,” he said.

“It was fun, educational, and a gross experience,” he said, recalling the hands-on sorting.

Those efforts jump-started Laurel’s composting program, the first in any Prince Georges County school. In 2020, the program was recognized with a Waste Diversion Award for Innovation from the Prince George’s Department of the Environment.

By sophomore year, Javier was Green Club president with an executive team, three faculty advisors, and 50 to 60 students who showed up regularly to meetings.

During the pandemic, under Javier’s leadership, the Green Club didn’t slack off and instead accelerated, creating a recycled art competition and getting dozens of students to take a pledge for America Recycles Day.

“There is nothing flashy about him, and he never grandstands. Although he has a quiet personality, he is liked and respected by other students,” said English teacher Beth Gallagher, faculty co-sponsor of the club. “He guided the Club through a strange year of online meetings and at home projects.”

Javier also spearheaded Laurel’s Green School recertification process, Gallagher said.

Nadisha Clayton, another faculty co-sponsor, was impressed by Javier’s critical thinking and encouraged him to join the Envirothon, the largest high school education competition in North America.

Students study training materials, attend hands-on sessions with local experts, and then compete at the local, state and national levels. After placing second countywide contest in March 2020, the Laurel team advanced to the state competition.

“They performed well enough to be able to secure a $1,500 scholarship for each member of their [five-person] team,” Clayton said.

Javier’s visibility in Prince George’s County earned him an invite from the County Board of Education to comment on the county’s Climate Action Plan.

“Overall, I like doing all of these things,” Javier said, reflecting on a summer job with the National Energy Education Development Project, a national non-profit. He studied insulation, working in small groups online with packaged materials sent to his home in boxes.

“I had no idea about insulation, and the impact windowpanes and drafts have on home energy efficiency,” he said. “There are practical solutions that students like me can take, around their own homes, their own lives, so they can become more sustainable.”

Looking back at last February’s Global Sustainability Panel, Javier also broadened his worldview.  He learned from research scientist M. Carolina Ceballos Bernal, with the Centro de Investigación en Alimentación y Desarrollo, a Mexican research food and development institute, that she had created an environmental education curriculum, but there was no public policy in place to enforce it.

Javier said he was inspired that she kept fighting to bring the program to life.

“She was able to make connections with other environmental groups to conduct interviews of communities on how they believed environmental education should take place, train educators, and lobby for education on sustainable development and sustainable schools,” he said. “Those kinds of stories inspire me to continue pushing forward with environmental work in my community, that we have to keep pushing for sustainable development themes in our curriculum.”

While acknowledging that young people get impatient with government inertia, Javier said it is the duty of his generation to slow the wider impact of climate change, which is why each action is important.

“You really have to fight for what you want to get it to happen, building connections, with others with the same passion, that we can all work together to make a better, greener future,” he said.

Even small steps can make a difference, Javier tells others.

“Seeing the little successes is what gives me hope, like using reusable water bottles or turning trash into art, or on a bigger scale like closing the ozone hole, seeing that the world can come together to slow effects of climate change,” he said.

But, when he thinks about it, it’s his personal story that gives him the courage to lead. His parents immigrated from El Salvador before he was born, escaping violence and poverty. His parents taught him not to waste food and to conserve energy because back home they couldn’t afford a lot.

“They told me about the drastic differences in lifestyle, and that’s part of my environmental experience, why I reflect on my own habits in my day-to-day-life,” he said.

Javier plans to study engineering or architecture after high school graduation in 2023.

Gallagher sees a promising future whatever he decides.

“Look for Javier where remarkable things are happening. At the center of the project, you will find him – kind, intelligent, hardworking, never seeming to do anything and yet, somehow, holding everything together,” she said.

Laurel High School’s Green Team members, including Javier Fuentes, remove invasive species during the Prince George’s County Student Environmental Alliance Summit at Bladensburg Waterfront Park. Courtesy photo by Nadisha Clayton.

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