2018 Update—February 18th to March 3rd

On Tuesday the 20th I attended a lecture at the UD by John Carlos, who, with Tommie Smith, gave the 1968 Olympics Human Rights Salute. The lecture was excellent, and inspiring. Afterwards I attended a meet and greet with one of the Attorney General candidates. On Wednesday I hosted a meeting to explore the best way to hold meetings about cyber security to honor the public’s right to know policy decisions, but also to honor the need for confidentiality as it relates to current security holes. That afternoon I met with Christiana Care to discuss the healthcare benchmarks initiative. On Thursday I met with building contractors to discuss their desire to match Delaware law with that of surrounding states. That day I had two phone calls, one on medical aid in dying, and one on poultry handling policy. That evening I met with a candidate for Newark City Council. On Friday the 23rd I joined several colleagues to meet with New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer and some of his team. Later that morning I joined many elected colleagues to serve food for the Newark High School Staff Luncheon (no, I did not wear a hair-net).

On Sunday the 25th I attended a legislator forum organized by Delaware United, and afterwards a gun violence forum organized by three gun violence prevention groups. Both forums were held at the Newark Unitarian Universalist church. On Monday I went to the Goddard School on Polly Drummond Road and read Dr Seuss books to the children (cute picture attached). I had a phone call about Newark Housing Authority at mid-day, and had a dinner meeting with advocates for the White Clay Creek State Park. On Tuesday I had a tour of a senior-care facility run by St Francis on the Wilmington Riverfront. That evening I attended a celebration at Deerfield honoring the launch of the Delaware Commission on Indian Heritage and Culture. On Wednesday morning I attended the monthly coffee sponsored by Senator Dave Sokola, and that evening I was joined by Senator Bryan Townsend for my monthly Facebook Town Hall. On Thursday the 1st I had a phone call with UD to better understand proposed changes to their anti-discrimination policy. I joined an all-day conference by phone on Saturday, for Compassion and Choices, the national organization promoting full choices at the end of life, including medical aid in dying.

Emails—In the past two weeks I have had many emails with many parties. Since we have not been in session during these weeks, the volume was more modest.

There were emails about legislation, including HB 160 (End of Life Options Act), HB165 (Direct Shipment of Wine), draft legislation to provide medical coverage for treatment of PANDAS/PANS, HB110 (Adult Use Marijuana Regulation/Taxation/Legalization), raising the legal age to buy and use tobacco to 21, a resolution to recognize Sikh Appreciation Month, draft legislation to simplify the personal income tax, draft legislation to improve animal welfare in poultry farms, several bills and draft legislation on gun violence prevention, SB65 (conversion therapy), and HB276 (my bill to collect past-due taxes and fees from owners of manufactured housing communities).

There were emails regarding state agencies, tourist attraction signage with DelDOT, a sink hole in Nonantum Mills and a drainage problem in Paper Mill Farms, a personnel matter with the Department of Human Resources, new voting machines (with DTI and DOE), a resident who was at risk of becoming homeless (with DHSS), a road/drainage issue in Chapel Hill (DelDOT), healthier choices in vending machines (DHSS/DPH), home care nursing (DHSS), pothole reporting (DelDOT), Newark-areas applying for the Opportunity Zone Program (Governor’s office), Thompson Station Road resurfacing (DelDOT), two requests regarding inmates in our prisons (Corrections), medical marijuana dispensaries (DHSS), health insurance policy policy (Insurance Commissioner), connection between UD and India for exchange programs (Indian Culture and Heritage Commission), savings for DHSS,

I reached out to our federal delegations’ offices regarding a Newark Housing Authority matter with HUD. I have had emails regarding City of Newark issues, including developments (the one on Barksdale Road). I had emails regarding the University of Delaware, regarding its recently proposed changes to its anti-discrimination policy.

There have been emails about manufactured housing matters, as I chair the House Manufactured Housing Committee. One related to a productive meeting of some stakeholders, and a set of legislative changes recommended by homeowners.

A resident reached out about two questions—changes in pharmacies participating with his state retiree prescription drug program, and how a person in their early 50s with a disability might be able to qualify to live in a Newark-area 55+ community. Addressing a resident question, I asked whether Delaware pharmacies have ‘gag rules’ that prohibit a pharmacist from sharing with a customer when a lower-cost equivalent medicine is available to them. I had an email from a resident regarding the state’s approach to increasing numbers of children diagnosed with autism. One reached out about a recent human trafficking sentencing story in the papers.

On Saturday I had many emails regarding the restoration of electrical power lost during the storm on Friday night.