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How ‘Communities of Interest’ May Factor in Md. Congressional Redistricting

When Hogan at his press conference introduced retired judge Alexander Williams Jr. as co-chair of the Governor’s Maryland Citizen Redistricting Commission, I recalled something Williams said at a three-judge panel hearing of the Maryland redistricting case of Fletcher v. Lamone, which challenged the state’s new congressional district lines, in December 2011. His remarks concerned a concept in political line drawing known as “communities of interest.” “The first thing they tell you up there is to hate the Redskins,” Williams said in a Greenbelt courtroom. “This is Redskins country.” He pointed out that the plaintiffs’ alternate proposal would have created a congressional district spanning from Baltimore southwest to Charles County. He seemed incredulous that Baltimore Ravens fans and fans of the Washington football team could live in the same congressional district!

Protective masks, normally used for surgery, are now in use to fight the Corona Virus SARS-nCov-19.
Free masks: the best thing the federal government can do to save lives right now

One day after taking office the Biden Administration released a National Strategy for The COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness, a comprehensive plan for mitigating the significant impact that COVID-19 has had on our country. And, while the seven-point plan focuses necessary attention on the distribution of very promising vaccines and expanding masking, testing and treatment, one small omission may have a greater immediate impact than all of the other plans combined.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Del. Reznik: Everyone for Themselves in the State’s Vaccine ‘Thunderdome’

My wife is on a daily mission. She has taken it upon herself to get her immediate family members vaccinated. Her grandmother is 92.  Her parents are 70 and 68. Her sister is an elementary school teacher. Her brother works at a state university directly with student athletes. Everyone but her is eligible under some part of Phase 1 for vaccination. In fact, according to the Department of Health, over 2 million Marylanders (approximately one-third of the population of Maryland) is eligible under Phase 1, while we are only getting approximately 12,000 vaccine doses a day from the federal government.

Raskin and House impeachment team writing first draft of Jan. 6 history better than journalists

Just two days into the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, Rep. Jamie Raskin and the other House impeachment managers are doing what journalism has so far mainly failed to do: producing a factual, coherent and compelling account of the storming of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6., one of the darkest days in American history. They are writing the first draft of history, something we in the business of journalism like to think we do.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Maryland’s senators must ensure Biden’s judicial nominees embrace reform

The onset of a new administration means plenty of attention on high-profile Cabinet appointments. But beyond the Beltway, nominations that take place with far less scrutiny may have a bigger impact on the everyday lives of Marylanders. The nomination of federal judges and U.S. attorneys who would serve exclusively in Maryland presents a unique opportunity for Sens. Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen (both D-Md.).

Prioritize Maryland’s health: Remove flavored tobacco products from the market

This year, the Maryland General Assembly has a historic opportunity to save lives, address racial health inequity, and support our economy by removing all flavored tobacco products — including menthol cigarettes — from the market. We strongly support this critical policy and urge state lawmakers to protect our youth and Black and brown communities. Big Tobacco has one goal: profit. Since their products kill or gravely harm many of their customers, they need to recruit the next generation of users to maintain their revenue stream — our kids.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Rubin: Jamie Raskin won the impeachment trial before it began

“Winning” the impeachment trial means removing any reasonable doubt in the minds of Americans that President Donald Trump incited a riot, that he let it continue in desperate attempt to keep power and that Republicans simply do not care. The House impeachment managers did a masterful job on all points in their opening arguments on Tuesday. Rep. Jamie B. Raskin (D-Md.), the lead House manager, demolished the notion that presidents get a free pass to commit high crimes in the waning days of their terms.

Roshong: The LGBTQ+ ‘Panic’ Defense Needs to Go in Md.

This year, Del. Julie Palakovich Carr introduced House Bill 231:  “Establishing that the discovery or perception of, or belief about, another person’s race, color, national origin, sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation, whether or not accurate, does not constitute legally adequate provocation to mitigate a killing from the crime of murder to manslaughter or an assault from the crime of assault in the first degree to assault in the second degree or another lesser crime.” This bill was introduced previously during the 2020 Maryland General Assembly session as House Bill 488.

McDaniels: The attack on Black history month

Some parents at a Utah charter school were so against their kids learning about Black history this month that the school recently offered an opt-out option from such lessons.  The Maria Montessori Academy in North Ogden has since reversed its decision to allow some children to skip Black History Month lessons and festivities as the school “works to change hearts and minds with grace and courtesy,” school director Micah Hirokawa wrote in a Facebook post addressing the issue.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Rodricks: Finally, someone tries to untangle Baltimore’s mess of overhead wires, but what about the trash?

Someone has finally stepped up to do something about a blight on Baltimore and suburban neighborhoods — the tangles of telephone wires and television cables, many of them dormant, that hang over alleys like the badly designed webs of giant, demented spiders. When I first described this problem in 2016, it generated only a modest response because these eyesores are mostly out of eyesight. They are located behind houses and not instantly visible. Unless you’re an infrastructure nerd, unless you’re in the habit of being in alleys and looking up, you probably have not noticed.

Read More: Baltimore Sun

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