2014 Update—October 19th to November 7th

On Sunday the 19th I knocked on doors in the 23rd district, and also knocked on doors with Bethany Hall-Long in her senate district.  I attended and spoke briefly at the memorial for Mark Manno on Monday the 20th.  That evening I attended the Jefferson Jackson Dinner, the annual fundraiser dinner for the state Democratic Party.  On Tuesday the 21st I attended the open meeting the City of Newark held to review preliminary information on the rental needs assessment.  That evening I attended a reception at Vice President Joe Biden’s home in Washington DC, joined by many fellow UD alumni.  On Sunday the 26th our campaign group marched in the Newark Halloween Parade, and afterwards we held a fundraiser at the Del Sol restaurant on North College Avenue.

On Monday I participated in a conference call of the Delaware Coalition Against Gun Violence (DECaGV), on whose board I serve.  On Monday I met in Dover with the state Department of Education to discuss the student-weighted funding approach to school funding.  I then attended the meeting of the Student Retention and Social Promotion Task Force, which I chair.  Afterwards I returned to Newark to attend the quarterly meeting of the White Clay Creek State Park Citizens Advisory Council.  On Wednesday the 29th I joined a breakfast meeting at Panera, discussing homeless and near-homeless needs of the greater Newark area, with many stakeholders.  After this I attended a portion of the Vision 2015 conference at UD’s Clayton Hall.  That evening I attended a fundraiser for State Representative Deb Heffernan in Wilmington.  On Thursday the 30th I attended a meeting at Newark High I organized, with representatives from the school, school district, school board, the city, the city police department, and State Senator David Sokola, to explore lessons learned from the prior week’s events at Newark High School.  That evening I attended a fundraiser in Newport for State Representative Kim Williams.  On Friday the 31st I met with a DelTech history student, to field her questions regarding state government.

On Monday the 3rd I led a meeting I organized at Delaware State University in Dover, to go over the midwifery reform legislation I had championed earlier this year.  Afterwards I attended a meeting of a subcommittee of DHMIC, the Delaware Healthy Mothers and Infants Coalition.  Among other items, we discussed developing guidelines for homebirth midwifery practitioners.  On Tuesday the 4th I spent 13 hours at the 8 polling locations in the 23rd Representative District, met a lot of residents and had some great conversations.  That evening I went to the Christiana Hilton to watch the results come in.  The next month, Wednesday the 5th I hosted my monthly constituent coffee at Panera on Main Street.  I joined another DECaGV conference call, and in the evening I attended a Parent Advisory Council meeting and a PTA meeting at Shue-Medill Middle School (I was very impressed with the parents and with the principal).  On Friday I spent much of the day speaking with several members of the Academic Framework Working Group, to better understand the 2014 Delaware School Accountability Community Survey and the charter of this workgroup.

By email and phone, I have worked on several issues.  I continue to work on midwifery reform, answering questions posed, arranging meetings, working with different groups.  I submitted an editorial which ran on November 2nd, describing the effort and the reasons behind it.  I also continue to work on promoting the adoption of the Student Weighted Funding approach to school funding.  In the past two-plus weeks I also spend much time digging into the events at Newark High School the week of the 22nd, the media response, the student response, and the public’s response.  I was able to have the Wilmington News Journal retract their editorial, and I was quoted in the paper on this topic.  I have also worked on three additional education issues—Priority Schools, Teacher Compensation, and this School Accountability Framework.

I have spent a bit of time on manufactured housing issues, including the progress on the redevelopment of a portion of Glasgow Court community, and a Sussex court ruling reaffirming the rejection of a rent increase that exceeded inflation.  This court case was exciting, as it confirmed that the hard work so many people put in to Senate Bill 33, the rent justification law, created a solid framework which courts would uphold.

I worked on a concern raised from a resident, in which her mortgage provider appears to have made changes without her approval.  I worked with CHIMES on the concern that a resident in one of their group homes, which they were able to promptly address.  I obtained information on how two witnesses to a crime in Newark could request a date change for an Alderman’s court hearing, due to their UD exams.  I have ‘passed up the chain’ a concern that a resident raised regarding the potentially premature (first three days of school) judgment by school staff on a child’s ability to remain in the Mandarin program at Downes Elementary.  I was able to encourage DelDOT to FINALLY have the construction signs removed from neighborhoods along Casho Mill and Barksdale Road.