It is my great hope that you enjoyed the holiday weekend with your family friends. We all know the Fourth of July as a time to reflect upon and celebrate the formation of our great country, but I wanted to briefly share some interesting, lesser-known facts about our state’s role in the formation of the United States of America.
Many know that Maryland and other colonies declared independence from Great Britain in 1776. Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, and Charles Carroll of Maryland signed the Declaration of Independence on behalf of the colony. Before this declaration, an anonymous writer called Marylanders to action in the name of freedom.
A self-described Friend to America wrote:
"The people are now loudly called upon to exercise their right of instructing their deputies in convention, in this very important matter, remembering, that discord in America, only can enslave it, and that a house divided against itself cannot stand. Let the people in the respective counties meet and draw up suitable instructions, for the careful observance of which, let their honor be pledged…. These crude hints are offered to your consideration, by a sincere friend to America."
In just under 140 words, Maryland declared its independence. The record states:
Resolved unanimously, That the instructions given by the convention of December last (and renewed by the convention in May) to the deputies of this colony in congress, be recalled, and the restrictions therein contained removed; that the deputies of this colony attending in congress, or a majority of them or of any three or more of them, in declaring the united colonies free and independent states, in forming such further compact and confederation between them, in making foreign alliances, and in adopting such other measures as shall be adjudged necessary for securing the liberties of America, and this colony will hold itself bound by the resolutions of a majority of the united colonies in the premises: provided, the sole and exclusive right of regulating the internal government and police of this colony be reserved to the people thereof.
You can read it here in the Proceedings of the Convention of the Province of Maryland held... June 21, 1776.
Enjoy your Fourth!
Charles In The Community
SCHOLARSHIP AWARDS CEREMONY SUPPORTS 71 DESERVING STUDENTS
On June 5th, we held our annual Scholarship Award Ceremony at Morning Star’s Renaissance Center. The Scholarship Committee, which consisted of Gene Clark Brenda Armstead, Denise McDougal, Nayna Phillipsen and Sue Wilson, helped select our awardees. In fact, we awarded $52,000 in scholarships to 71 students! Scholarship recipients will be attending a variety of colleges and universities throughout the state. Photos from the event may be viewed here.
CHADWICK ELEMENTARY SCHOOL GROUNDBREAKING
On June 6, I joined Kate Miller, principal of Chadwick Elementary School, BCPS Interim Superintendent Verletta White, and other local and state elected officials to ceremonially break ground for a larger, new $45.1 million school to replace the existing school, which was constructed in 1966. The new 99,616 square-foot school, which is scheduled to open to students for the 2020-2021 school year, will have a planned capacity of about 735 seats. The current building, which has an enrollment of 649 students, has 50,235 square-feet.
PANDAS INSURANCE ADVOCACY WORKGROUP
Later that afternoon, I also was able to participate in the Maryland Insurance Administration’s first workgroup meeting on PANDAS. This workgroup was established to get information from stakeholders about the problems with obtaining coverage and treatment from health insurance plans after someone’s been diagnosed with PANDAS. This workgroup was a result of House Bill 15, which I introduced last session to require services for those suffering from the disorder. The Maryland Insurance Administration was asked to form a workgroup to get information from stakeholders concerning PANDAS and the problems with obtaining coverage of treatment from commercial health benefit plans. Additional information about this workgroup and its meeting schedule can be found here.
Supporters were also able to come together on June 12 for Spring Fundraiser! Senator Delores Kelley was the master of ceremony and introduced County executive Johnny Olszewski, Chairman Luke Clippinger (Judiciary) and Speaker Adrienne Jones to share stories about my work in office. Photos from the event may be viewed here.
If you were unable to attend, but would still like to contribute to the campaign, you may do so at this link or by mailing your check, payable to Citizens for Charles Sydnor to P.O. Box 47397 Windsor Mill, MD 21244.
In The Community
District 44B includes three different police precincts; they are the Wilkens, Woodlawn and Pikesville Precincts. This month, I am sharing an interview we conducted with Officer Alisha Helphenstine. Officer Helphenstine is a member of the Community Outreach Team with Baltimore County Police Department’s Woodlawn Precinct. Officer Helphenstine and I met years ago when she visited my community’s HOA meetings. She and the other officers of Woodlawn Precinct’s Community Outreach Team have done a great job serving Baltimore County.
Q: What made you want to become a law enforcement officer?
A: When I was young I wanted to be a veterinarian like my grandfather. As I grew older I started to notice police cars responding to calls and I wanted to know where they were going and what happened. It sparked a curiosity. Sometime between my middle school and high school years, I decided that I wanted to be a police officer. I wanted to go to calls and help people who need our help. Plus who wouldn’t want to drive a police car, with lights and sirens blaring, down the road?
Q: Why did you want to be a community liaison?
A: I took on a position with community outreach not really knowing what exactly I was getting into. Honestly I was ready for a change from patrol and I wanted to do something different.
Q: How long have you lived in your community?
A: I moved from Baltimore County in 2000 to Hanover Pa. I’ve lived in the same house for just about 19 years.
Q: What do you enjoy most about working with the community?
A: The people. I’ve enjoyed the friendships I have gained, some of which will be life long, and I’ve enjoyed the bonds formed with community members, business leaders, and politicians. I have been able to meet so many wonderful people who are committed to their communions and are working hand in hand with the police department.
Q: What goals do you want to accomplish in this role?
A: My goals would be to continue to build bonds between the community and the police department. I think we have been doing a great job with this and I want to continue doing so as long as I’m a community officer.
Q: What are some of the challenges you encounter as a community liaison?
A: I think one of the most challenging things to me would be dealing with people who want help changing a situation but won’t do anything to help us (the police) to make those changes. I’ve found that there are a lot of people who don’t want to get involved but want resolutions. This is one of the most challenging aspects of my job. I’ve slowly been building trust with my communities and they are learning that I will do everything to help them if they just give to me in return.
If you need to contact Officer Helphenstine, you can call reach her at 410-887-4714.
Delegate Sydnor Appointed to the Joint Committee on Legislative Ethics and Maryland State Commission on Criminal Sentencing Policy
Last month, Speaker Adrienne Jones appointed me to serve on the Joint Committee on Legislative Ethics. The Committee enforces provisions of the Public Ethics Law that apply to members of the General Assembly. It also renders advisory opinions and promulgates rules of legislative ethics.
Additionally, Speaker Jones also appointed to me to serve on the Maryland State Commission on Criminal Sentencing Policy. The State Commission on Criminal Sentencing Policy was established in 1999. The Commission consists of nineteen members and is responsible for the State's voluntary criminal sentencing guidelines. This commission meets quarterly and ensures that the judiciary is complying with sentencing guidelines, revising these policies and regulations to comply with new legislation, and providing jurisdictions and legislators with status reports on submission rates.