2015 Update—December 21st to January 10th

The week of December 21st was quiet; I attended NO legislative meetings.

On Monday the 29th I spend an hour on WDEL radio primarily discussing manufactured housing issues.  Later that afternoon I met with members of the Rodel Foundation, which focuses on education reform.  On Tuesday the 30th I met with a member of the Christina School District board, and afterwards met with Speaker Schwartzkopf in Dover (we discussed a wide range of topics, with infrastructure spending and education reform at the top of the list).  On Wednesday I met with Tizzy Lockman, education advisor to the Wilmington City Council, and afterwards with Tony Allen, who leads the Governor’s Wilmington Education Task Force.  On Friday the 2nd I met with two education leaders from Red Clay School District, and afterwards met with members of the Wilmington City Council.  At each of these meetings we discussed student-weighted funding, Priority Schools, and major adjustment to Wilmington public schools.  On Sunday I met with Representative John Kowalko, to discuss committee assignments, which came out on Monday morning.

On Monday the 5th I attended a meeting of members of the Delaware Coalition Against Gun Violence, later met with an education leader from the Christina School District, and that evening attended a meeting of the Wilmington Education Task Force.  Afterwards Tony Allen met with me and with several other legislators to discuss the task force and its direction.  On Tuesday I met with Lindsay O’Mara, education advisor to Governor Markell, and that evening I went to Dover to a meeting to discuss the new test (Smarter Balanced) and school accountability.  On Wednesday the 7th I hosted my monthly coffee at Panera with residents.  Afterwards I participated in a conference call to go over the upcoming midwifery reform bill, then attended the ground-breaking ceremony for the new regional headquarters for the Chesapeake Bay Girl Scouts Council.  That evening I went to Wilmington, meeting with an attorney interested in midwifery reform, and then I attended (and spoke to) the Christina School Board meeting.  On Thursday I attended a legislative luncheon at the Riverfront hosted by a coalition of automobile manufacturers.  On Friday I attended the ‘Greater Newark Interagency Council,’ where homeless services were a leading topic, and later participated in a conference call regarding the planning for a conference in Wilmington this summer for CSG/ERC, a regional (multi-state) government group.

Leading topics of emails during these three weeks were education reform, infrastructure spending, and midwifery reform.  Committee assignments were another topic (and recently residents have emailed me with concerns over the Speakers’ committee assignments and comments).

I have worked on some road/drainage/traffic issues with DelDOT.  I have worked with a student from Newark Charter High School on their proposal for a change to the parking policy in the City of Newark (they met with the Assistant City Manager last week to go over the issues).  I have gathered some information on the upcoming sale of property along Paper Mill Road owned by the Church of the Nazarene.

There have been emails on legislation, on the restaurant bill I introduced last week which was profiled in the News Journal’s front-page article yesterday, on a ‘section 8 convention’ to advance a constitutional amendment to reverse the Citizens United decision, on reforming the Office of the Public Defenders office, on establishing suitable procedures prior to instituting body cameras for law enforcement officers, on establishing a Delaware Commission on Indian Heritage and Culture, on removing some loopholes exempting some folks from following zoning established by Delaware municipalities, a death with dignity law, and adding a state income tax deduction for contributions to 529 (college savings plans).

I have had some emails regarding reimbursement by insurance companies to the Newark Emergency Center.