2014 Update—December 7th to 20th

On Monday the 8th I had lunch at which we discussed the recently ACLU/CLASI complaint filed with the federal Office of Civil Rights.  That afternoon I spoke with the superintendent of the Appoquinimink School District, regarding rumors that there was an effort to ban some books from their school libraries.  That evening I attended a dinner with the Delaware Food Industry Council, and sat with some of the leaders of the Shoprite company.  On the 9th I went to Dover, and setup my office (which is now on the 1st floor).  After that I attended a meeting of the DESS, DE Educator Support System workgroup, which explored the current and upcoming ‘ESEA Waiver.’  After that meeting I had a meeting regarding student weighted funding, and another on student retention/social promotion.  That evening I attended a holiday function at the UD’s STAR Campus, and afterwards met with a resident to discuss Wilmington crime issues.  On the morning of the 10th I met with members of the Governor’s advisors to discuss the need for increased spending on our infrastructure, roads, bridges, and schools.

On Tuesday the 16h I participated in a meeting of the Delaware Coalition Against Gun Violence, and then attended a meeting with the Department of Education on school accountability system.  That afternoon I drove to Dover to lead a task force meeting on Student Retention and Social Promotion.  Afterwards I drove back to Newark and presented some tributes to Dominick, a new Eagle Scout from troop 252.  On Wednesday the 17th I dropped off a gift at Newark High School for their Annual Winter Chili and Soup Chaser event, had breakfast with a friend to discuss environmental issues, had a meeting to discuss Wilmington public school challenges and opportunities.  Afterwards I met with DelDOT and the Controller General’s Mike Jackson to discuss infrastructure spending.  That afternoon I met with House staff to discuss legislative priorities.  On Thursday morning the 18th I taped two segments for the Comcast Newsmakers program, and then presented tributes to Miss Ruth, who turns 100 this week.  That evening I attended a community justice forum in Wilmington, hosted by the Attorney General’s office.  On Friday the 19th I attended a holiday luncheon with the UAW, and that evening attended a meeting at Warner Elementary with parents, teachers, and others who are committed to our public schools.  On Saturday the 20th I met a resident to discuss infrastructure spending, attended the annual holiday party for Delaware Autism, attended a second holiday party in Newark, and then attended the Christmas concert of the New Ark Chorale.

Emails over the past two weeks have covered many, many topics.  Priority Schools have required much attention, including a Op-Ed which the News Journal ran on the 16th.  I joined colleagues in asking the state Department of Education to permit the Gateway Lab School to continue to operate, and I submitted my own letter in addition to the joint letter.  I have also continued to work on student-weighted funding.

I have worked with our state’s schools and libraries to address the book banning attempts at Appoquinimink School District.

I have been working with colleagues on plans for an ‘Article V Convention’ to pass a amendment to the US Constitution to reverse the Citizens United Supreme Court decision.

I have been working with colleagues to explore establishing a Delaware Indian Heritage and Culture Commission.

I have continued to monitor DelDOT’s efforts to address a serious drainage issue on Valley Road in West Newark.  I am also working with DelDOT, Aetna fire company, and Senator Hall-Long, to arrange for a crossover on route 95 for emergency vehicles east of the 896 interchange.

I have worked with Sean my aide to ensure that our CTF, Community Transportation Fund, projects are on course.  We are also exploring a drainage problem (and proposed solution) in the Evergreen community.

I am working with a House attorney on a bill to lower the number of seats that a business needs in order to qualify as a restaurant, and on other bills for filing in the coming weeks.

Bonus for reading this entire missive—FREE PARKING IN NEWARK!