2013 Update—August 22-September 2

In the past 11 days I began with a tour of the Newark Senior Center on the 22nd.  They have begun a capital campaign to upgrade their kitchen facilities, which not only serve members at the center, but also is ground zero for an incredible Meals on Wheels program.  On the 23rd and 24th I attended the CSG/ERC Executive Committee meeting.  The ERC is the Eastern Regional Council for the CSG, the Council of State Governments.  I serve on the Executive Committee, due to being elected Class President at the Eastern Leadership Academy at Penn.  Much of the two-day meeting was focused on organizing the regional conference which will be held in December.  I was joined by colleagues Speaker Schwartzkopf, Representatives Keeley and Hudson, and Senate Majority Leader McBride.

On Wednesday I began with the coffee at Panera with residents, then a meeting with the county Chamber of Commerce, later in the day a tour of the Newark Day Nursery, a community meeting to review the proposed CVS at Paper Mill and Corner Ketch Roads, and then I spoke at the Newark chapter meeting of Americans for Democratic Action.  On Thursday I had a meeting on gun safety, and then a two hour meeting with representatives of The Data Centers, which is working on plans to build a high-tech data center plus a power plant, at the STAR Campus (where the Chrysler Plant had been).

Today I attended the Labor Day Parade at the City of Wilmington, and marched with DSEA, teachers, bus drivers, paraprofessionals, and kids.  For the second straight year, we were joined by some serious downpours, but this didn’t dampen spirits.

This summer I have three primary ongoing projects:  I am following the proposed power plant at the STAR Campus, I serve on the Charter/District Collaboration Task Force, and I am working with the midwife community and the Department of Public Health (DPH) to improve midwifery in our state.

My concerns over the proposed power plant are focused on the question of the zoning.  I do not feel that the property is zones for a power plant, and I am encouraging the city to resolve this question, and identify the best path to resolve this matter.  I shall be moderating the meeting tomorrow (7-9pm at the George Wilson Center) where the company will be sharing information on the full project (data center plus power plant), and will be fielding questions submitted by the community, questions which I will moderate.  I am also sponsoring a subsequent community meeting (likely on September 12th) to address questions and concerns which are not addressed due to time constraints tomorrow.

The Charter/District Collaboration Task Force (finally) has its initial meeting set, for September 12th, from 10am to noon, at the Buena Vista conference center in New Castle.  I am looking forward to this task force’s work to identify successes from our state’s charter schools which can be incorporated into our traditional public schools.

We have a public meeting on midwifery in Delaware on September 26th in the evening (likely in Dover)—more details will follow.  In the meantime, I am helping to organize one-on-one meetings with stakeholders to build up the relationships which will be critical to good progress in this area.

My aide David Meluskey and I are working hard to allocate our Community Transportation Funds, to the most needy streets, and drainage areas, in our district.

I worked with DSHA and the Attorney General’s office, to review the proposed calculation of inflation (CPI-U) which will be used for the implementation of the rent justification process for manufactured homeowners this fall.

I have worked with some parents of fourth-grade children at Downes and West Park Elementary Schools, to explore crowded classrooms in those schools.

I am finalizing plans for a Town Hall meeting with Senator Dave Sokola, in the evening of October 3rd , and for another Town Hall meeting with Christina School District Superintendent Freeman Williams in the evening of November 5th.