Angela’s Education Platform for Prince George’s County

Our residents deserve to live in great neighborhoods they are happy to come home to, and proud to have family and friends visit.

 

While excellent schools and safe neighborhoods are essential to our quality of life, there is so much more to consider. You pay for a better quality of life and county government needs to do more on this front. I am committed to delivering real results and that:

  • code infractions are corrected
  • vacant homes are maintained and quickly occupied, and
  • our public spaces are attractive and meet your high standards.

 

As State’s Attorney, I know what it takes to manage an organization of 200 and ensure accountability. As County Executive, I will take the same approach to County government. Every county employee should see our residents as partners in building a better County for all. I want our residents to receive:

  • courteous, concerned customer service
  • the information or service needed, and
  • without multiple referrals or transfers.

 

I will be listening to you. Being visible in the community isn’t just part of the job description; it is who I am as a person.

Angela’s position on Quality of Life and Environment issues:

To emphasize community outreach, I will devote staff to being actively involved in our communities and municipalities. It is impossible to be responsive if you aren’t in the community, being present and learning about what you need to be working on.

  • As State’s Attorney, I have attended hundreds of civic meetings, community gathering and have hosted events to bring members of our community together. There is no other way to truly understand each neighborhood’s issues than to hear them first hand. As County Executive there will never be a question of whether you can reach me or my office.
  • My office will increase the number of people devoted to community outreach. Their job will be to know what is going on and, if there are problems, to bring the resources necessary to address those concerns.
  • I will designate individuals in county government to be Community Ambassadors. They will be responsible for interacting with each of our communities and acting as the point of contact for all county services. They will attend civic meetings and act as liaisons with our partners in municipal government, but also make sure that every resident knows that the county government is there to help.
  • We will consider opening a one-stop convenience center in the southern part of the county so our residents and businesses can conveniently access county services close to home, such as dropping off permit applications, signing up for government programs and the like.

How our government communicates with residents needs to improve. When out in the community, I have heard time and time again about the difficulties presented by Prince George’s 311, and its companion site, County Click.

  • While the County has improved service delivery somewhat by creating Prince George’s 311 and County Click, people must have faith in the system. The system should not lead to frustration when residents are trying to do the right thing and report a problem to the County.
  • On Day 1, I will make it a priority of my administration to improve 311 and County Click’s communication with residents, delivery of the requested service and the accuracy of their service reports.

Vacant and abandoned properties are a blight on our County and we must do more to mitigate them.

  • Keeping homes occupied helps maintain property standards. To prevent potential foreclosures, I will work with our federal and state partners to provide opportunities for owners to stay in their homes.
  • The foreclosure crisis is still damaging our neighborhoods. Thus we must address the growing number of vacant, unattended homes. Currently, the county government provides minimal services for these homes. As a county, we must do a better job of maintain the standards of care with these properties, but more importantly, we must hold banks responsible—as these properties are costly to maintain and should not be the county’s responsibility.
  • To offset these costs, we should examine policies that have jurisdictions pursued and adopt disincentives for the owners of vacant houses by increasing their tax rate. For example, Washington DC charges owners of vacant properties a higher tax rate, and it is even higher for owners of blighted, vacant properties.
  • Then we must partner with non-profits and others to stabilize and rehab these houses, and move families in. That is the long-term solution, and we must do more to address the impact of vacant homes.
  • The number of rental properties is increasing across the county. While most renters, and rental property owners, are responsible and take care of their properties and respect their neighbors, we often see bad actors. Whether it is too much trash, overgrown yards or other problems, we need to enforce our neighborhoods’ property standards.

Just like your home, the County must have curb appeal. The appearance of our roadways, medians and public spaces immediately signals the area’s quality and beauty. A lack of maintenance reflects poorly on our neighborhoods and diminishes the overall value of area properties.

 

Just like you, I want clean, attractive public spaces. We also need to do more to pick up litter and remove dumping on our roadsides and in public spaces. We need to step up our enforcement of anti-dumping laws. We must:

  • Be proactive in combatting litter. Installing self-compacting trash cans in problem areas and emptying existing public trash cans regularly is part of the solution.
  • Educate our residents, especially our youth, about the importance of caring for their neighborhood by not littering.
  • Improve bulky trash collection. Currently, collection takes far too long and leads to piles of trash on our roads. We will streamline scheduling and bulky trash pick-ups.
  • Reconsider once a week trash collection. Throughout the county, this is one of the most common issues you have raised with me. It was a cost-saving move, but it is good basic government to meet people’s needs, and we should again evaluate twice a week collection. I understand the frustration because I have lived it as well. At minimum, we should explore how neighborhoods can opt in to have additional trash collection services.