2013 Update—October 1-11

Semi-monthly update:  On Tuesday the 1st I attended the Principal-for-a-Day Kickoff at Newark High school, at which Governor Markell used the login at www.dscc.com to sign up.  I had lunch with representatives from the Turkish American Friendship Association, and went to the workshop at WILMAPCO to review options for connecting Newark and Wilmington with safe bike paths.

I hosted my monthly coffee on the 2nd at Panera, attended the 20th anniversary celebration of the UD Center for Disabilities Studies—they do incredible work throughout the state, and attended the monthly meeting of the Progressive Democrats for Delaware.

On the 3rd I met with representatives from The Data Centers, the firm which is proposing a data center and power plant on a portion of the UD STAR Campus in the city.  I also joined Senator Dave Sokola for a Town Hall meeting, at the Newark Day Nursery.

On Friday the 4th I attended the unveiling of the Louis Redding Residence Hall on the UD Campus, which was attended by many family members of this incredible individual, who helped desegregate not only the University of Delaware, but Delaware public schools, and the nation.

On Saturday morning the 5th I joined the city’s Community Cleanup, and picked up trash along Nottingham Road from the Newark Country Club to Casho Mill Road.  Later that day I attended the kickoff for Newark mayor candidate Rebecca Powers.  I also attended the Oktoberfest fundraiser for the Young Democrats of Delaware on the Riverfront.

The city has several great candidates running for mayor this fall; I am friends with several and expect to attend events for multiple candidates.  The Delaware League of Women Voters is hosting a Candidates’ Forum on Thursday November 14th, from 7-9pm at the Newark Senior Center (see http://lwvdelaware-newcastlecounty.org/calendar.html).  City residents, please take the opportunity to connect with them, and please vote on Tuesday November 26th!

On Monday the 7th I attended a civic meeting at the Independence School to consider the proposed CVS at Whiteman’s Garage, and I attended the monthly meeting of the 23rd district Democratic committee.

On Tuesday I met with the daughter of a constituent to discuss issues surrounding Delaware’s exceptional children, and I attended a meet/greet for Rebecca Powers.

On Friday the 11th I attended the grand opening of the Newark Bike Project’s new site at 58 East Main Street (in the 23rd district!).  See http://newarkbikeproject.org/ for more information, including how you can donate old bikes from your garage/basement to help our community, and how they can help you maintain your current bike.

In the past two weeks I have worked with DelDOT to get stop signs replaced in Nonantum and Chapel Woods, I have worked with Christina School District on an absentee issue and on the issue of 4th and 5th grade class sizes, finalized our working with Senator Sokola and the city of Newark to maximize the impact of the spending of our CTF, Community Transportation Fund dollars, worked with a constituent on how to get a misdemeanor record expunged, I began reviewing the January 2013 Electric Service Agreement between the UD and the city, and the November 2011 report of the meeting between The Data Center and DNREC, worked with residents to explore how truck traffic could be reduced (or quieted) along New London Road, and did some digging into a bill which awaits us in January that affects how the state’s disabled are able to apply for housing.

Data Center and Power Plant—I was out of town much of this past week for a professional conference, and was unable to attend the Governor’s town hall on Thursday evening.  On Facebook I have strived to keep people apprised of news items regarding the proposed project, both those in support and in opposition.  The heat has been turned up this past week, as, despite this currently being a city matter, the Governor and several State Representatives who don’t represent the city are publicly weighing in (this overstates the situation, as of course the Governor does represent the city, however Newark comprises less than 4% of the state, his full constituency).

As a matter of respect, I wouldn’t offer judgment on projects in Wilmington, Dover, Lewes, without first reaching out to the local State Representatives, those on the ground in the area, and I would likely defer to the views of those most local representatives, those who understand the issues, in all their detail, the best.  I would welcome such respect in return.  Perhaps in time this will come.