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Maryland’s District 4 Rep. Glenn Ivey (D) introduced his first bill this week — HR2870, also known as The Raise the Age Act, which seeks to limit the access to long guns for Americans under the age of 21. As of April 26, he had 61 co-sponsors.
“I will be introducing my first bill in the 118th Congress,” Ivey said. “It will raise the age for young folks to buy center-fire cartridge semi-auto rifles from age 18 to age 21. The tragedies in Uvalde, Buffalo and Newtown were all caused by recently turned 18-year-old shooters, imagine if they had to wait until they were 21; the number of lives which would have been saved. Immature brains have time to develop, and emotional ups and downs may be more manageable for people, especially young men, just three years later.”
Ivey was joined on the day he introduced the legislation by Rep. Mike Thompson (California), chair of the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, and Adzi Vokhiwa, federal affairs director of Giffords, a nonprofit gun violence prevention advocacy group founded by former Rep. Gabby Giffords, who survived a gunman’s assassination attempt in 2011.
Treasurer Dereck Davis (D) has pledged that he will speak out as the state of Maryland makes payments, sometimes in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, to settle lawsuits against state employees. Many of these cases involve law enforcement and corrections officials.
“I would like to say to our attorneys and so forth when they’re negotiating settlements in the future: If me being quiet is contingent upon those agreements, then you might well forget it. That’s not going to happen,” Davis said at a Board of Public Works meeting earlier this month. During this same meeting, two payouts in excess of $100,000 were authorized to settle state lawsuits.
As Davis is not bound by any form of confidentiality agreements nor is the Board of Works a court of law, he has free reign to criticize outsized spending on state misconduct. He previously estimated that at least $750,000 every year is spent on lawsuits, amounting to a large slush fund for “agency misbehavior.” Davis was formerly the chair of the Economic Matters Committee and was an ardent voice to eliminate the death penalty in Maryland.
Davis was recently given control of the troubled 529 college savings program, where hundreds of parents reported issues with applying their savings to urgent college payments.
Municipal election dates and candidates
New Carrollton, Brentwood and Mount Rainier are all holding their elections on May 1. All of the municipal elections are nonpartisan, meaning that voters can participate regardless of political affiliation.
In New Carrollton, Mayor Phelecia Nembhard (D) is facing a challenge from Council member Katrina Dodro. There are 11 candidates for five positions on the City Council, with incumbents Cynthia D.B. Mills, Allyne Hooks, Brian Urbina and Lincoln Lashley seeking reelection. Lashley is running on a ticket alongside Council member Urbina (D) and new candidates Duane Rosenberg, David Lai and Ryan Hussey. Rashad Lloyd, a member of the Prince George’s Young Democrats is seeking the office of Council member and supporting Mayor Nembhard’s reelection bid. The New Carrollton police chief was fired recently, following a filmed incident where a police officer threw a young man into the back of a police car.
In Mount Rainier, Danielle Carter is running uncontested in Ward 1, and Ward 2’s candidates are Central Committee member Tanashea Saint Louis (D), Valerie Woodall and Toni George.
College Park is holding a May 6 special election to replace Patrick Wojahn, who resigned as mayor while facing charges of child pornography possession and distribution. The new mayor will serve at least until the November election. Denise Mitchell (D) is the interim mayor, as she was serving as mayor pro tempore at the time of Wojahn’s resignation. Mitchell is the first Black mayor in the history of College Park. Mitchell previously ran for mayor in 2015, losing to Wojahn, and won back her Council seat in 2017.
“Notably, I am currently serving as the mayor pro tem for the second time in College Park, the President of the Maryland Municipal League, and on the Board of Directors of the National League of Cities,” she said when asked about her qualifications to be mayor. “I have also served as the College Park City University Partnership Education Vice Chair and most recently finished supporting Comptroller Brooke Lierman’s Transition Team.”
Some of the issues she plans to address as mayor are affordable housing and aging-in-place.
The candidates in the special election include District 1 Council members Fazlul Kabir and Kate Kennedy, business owner Bryan Haddad and Mitchell. Kennedy is running on environmentalism and expanding affordable housing, while Kabir wants to start more businesses in the town and focus on public safety.
Haddad openly admits he is a single-issue candidate: he wants to ban illegally modified mufflers in College Park.