Submitting testimony about SB 382, COVID-19 vaccine accessibility and the RELIEF Act
Make your voice heard about the future of the Harford County Board of Education
This edition of our newsletter is about the Harford County Democratic Central Committee advocating for our community and how you can too. Continue reading for how you can get involved.
Submit testimony about SB 382
Monday, March 1 from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. is your opportunity to submit testimony about SB 382. This is the only time window to submit testimony and all testimony must be submitted through the Maryland General Assembly website.
The committee hearing for the bill is Wednesday, March 3 at 1 p.m. You can watch the livestream on the Maryland General Assembly website or YouTube.
The HCDCC has created comprehensive instructions about submitting testimony. Visit our website for a step-by-step walkthrough.
To recap, SB 382 is a partisan Republican power grab to control the Harford County Board of Education. Here’s what you need to know about the bill:
SB 382 empowers the County Executive, instead of the governor, to appoint board members with County Council’s approval as well as stagger the four-year terms of elected and appointed members
The proposed amendment for the bill is a major conflict of interest because the County Executive decides on approving operating budgets created by the Board of Education, but one-third of board members could be beholden to the County Executive
Harford County Republicans know they won’t always control the governor’s office, but they feel a lot better about holding on to the County Executive’s office
Harford County Republicans support SB 382 because it sets them up to appoint Board of Education members in the future
Republicans like Billy Boniface, the Chief Advisor to the County Executive, and Sen. Bob Cassilly can run for County Executive in 2022 and want the power to appoint board members
When you’re submitting testimony, be sure to include:
You do not want to see any changes to the Harford County Board of Education
The public needs to provide more input on legislation during the General Assembly’s recess
Crafting legislation needs to be a more collaborative process with all stakeholders involved
Make the COVID-19 vaccine more accessible for all of Harford County
The Harford County Democratic Central Committee is calling on the Harford County Health Department to make the COVID-19 vaccine more accessible for all Harford County residents.
All but two vaccination sites in the county are located in Bel Air, the predominantly white area of the county. This puts an undue burden on the elderly, people of color and working-class communities. We already know that COVID-19 disproportionately affects these communities so continued lack of access to the vaccine is causing them more harm. The lack of options across the county has forced residents to get vaccinated in Baltimore County and Conowingo.
While it is good that more vaccination sites are opening in Aberdeen and Joppa, it should not have taken as long for these sites to be established. The health department knew the demand was coming ahead of time yet still chose to focus on the predominantly white areas in the county.
The HCDCC is strongly urging the Harford County Health Department to place future vaccination sites more equitably across the county so all communities have more access to the vaccine. The Committee is also strongly urging the Harford County Health Department to increase and improve outreach and communication about obtaining vaccinations.
You can find more information about COVID-19 vaccinations in Harford County here.
The RELIEF Act
ICYMI: The RELIEF Act is an important step towards building our state and economy back better. The over $1 billion COVID-19 aid package will:
Send direct payments to low-income families
Provide assistance to small businesses
Give tax relief to those receiving unemployment insurance
This is a good first step, but it’s not a substitute for a big and broad federal relief package. Congress needs to pass President Biden’s American Rescue Plan as soon as possible, and we’re grateful to our Democratic members who are doing just that.
Remember to continuously make your voice heard and hold our elected leaders accountable. The HCDCC will be there alongside with you.
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