Do you have questions about the Economic Development Fund the county council passed last year at the urging of Executive Rushern Baker? Do you want to know who should apply for funds, how will funds be dispersed and what will be the process used to determine spending?
Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker and many of his top economic development officials are hosting a forum on Wednesday, February 29th at Roosevelt High School from 7PM-9PM.
The meeting is open to the public and free. For more information visit www.pgcedc.com/busDevelopment/EDIF.php.
The EDI Fund, which passed with council approval last fall after it was delayed, has been in the news again lately. The county council put $50 million dollars into the fund from the fund balance in 2011 but were shocked to see that the controversial slots legislation proposed by State Senator Douglas JJ Peters (D-23) would funnel more money to the program, money the council would never have control over. In a vote last week the members of the council voted 9-0 to oppose the legislation.
The Washington Post Editorial Board on one of the worst news making days of the year announced they had endorsed Derrick Leon Davis to fill the vacant seat on the County Council in next month’s Democratic Primary. Davis who is running against fourteen other challengers hopes his third bid for the sixth district seat will be a successful one has the backing of Executive Rushern Baker and much of the political establishment. So what do you think? Tweet us @realpgcounty or leave a comment below with your thoughts…does Derrick Leon Davis deserve the endorsement?
PRINCE GEORGE’S County Council member Leslie Johnson’s guilty plea on corruption charges capped a dismal chapter in county history, but it offers an opportunity. In addition to sending a clarion message that Ms. Johnson’s unscrupulous behavior is unacceptable in elected office, it also positions the council for a qualitative upgrade.
Both men ran last year in the Democratic primary won by Ms. Johnson. Mr. Davis finished a strong second; Mr. Polk, a distant fifth. Last year, we endorsed Mr. Polk, while also identifying Mr. Davis as a strong choice. This time, we think Mr. Davis is the better candidate.
We make the switch partly because of Mr. Davis’s much stronger performance in last year’s primary. He showed a convincing ability to connect with District 6 voters.
We also favor Mr. Davis this time because the county’s political stars are realigned. Mr. Davis is backed by (and himself supports) County Executive Rushern L. Baker III, who, since taking office in December, has brought a badly needed dose of honesty, decency, transparency and good government to Prince George’s.
By contrast, Mr. Polk has been critical of Mr. Baker and a number of his proposals, including the Economic Development Initiative, a measure currently stymied by the council that could help attract quality development and jobs. It’s an honest disagreement; we happen to believe Mr. Baker is right.
It’s hard to overstate the importance of the shift underway in Prince George’s since the departure of Mr. Baker’s predecessor, Jack B. Johnson, who, like his wife, Leslie, faces prison time following a guilty plea on federal charges. After eight years of pay-to-play corruption by an executive who regarded the public with contempt and taxpayer dollars as a slush fund for personal use, Mr. Baker is remaking the county’s image, political culture and governance. It’s critical that he have allies in that endeavor. Mr. Davis would be a valuable one.
Douglas Edwards is not really a household name to many in Prince George’s County, however his advocacy in support of District 6 Councilwoman Leslie Johnson might be starting to become a problem for not only him but his organization as well. Douglas Edwards is the President/CEO & Founder of Mission of Love Charities, one of Prince George’s most successful health and human services organizations. However Edwards isn’t making headlines off of the good work his charities does, but instead as a result of a group he is leading to fight the actions taken by Council Chairwoman Ingrid Turner stripping Leslie Johnson of the ability to vote or participate in committee meetings. Edwards and his group are also outraged at the decision that cost Johnson her power to oversee development projects in her district, a privilege normally offered to other district representatives to push through proposals that impact their communities.
After it became public that Edwards was the leader of the group demanding the council reinstate all of Leslie Johnson’s powers some community activist questioned if his involvement violated the IRS status of the Mission of Love Charities. Douglas Edwards according to other sources has rebutted those concerns by stressing his involvement has been solely as a district 6 resident and not as President of MOL. In fact a simple view of the Maryland Board of Elections Campaign Finance Database shows no contributions from Edwards to Johnson over the last four years. However it does show a Douglas Edwards (we haven’t confirmed it to be this Edwards) who has donated more than $2,300 to other candidates, one of them being Johnson’s opponent in the primary Arthur Turner. According to Board of Elections records a Douglas Edwards has donated about $200 to Turner who after calling for Johnson not to take the oath of office, changed course and is now a leading advocate for her powers to be restored. Also in the report with the Board of Elections Douglas Edwards donated more than $1,300 to fmr. Councilman Sam Dean’s Servant of the People Unity Slate. He also donated $100 a piece to Martin O’Malley and Anthony Brown but the shocker seems to be the $200 he donated to Bob Ehrlich’s campaign.
Douglas Edwards group has been fighting behind the scenes to ensure that according to them their community is not taxed without full representation. The County Council has not shown any indication they might be open to reviewing or reconsidering their decision to take away any of Johnson’s powers as of yet.