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News and CLPA Updates

Policy news and updates from local and national news sources, as well as updates, press releases, and analysis from CLPA here.

Offices of the State’s Attorney for Baltimore City and Prince George’s County Announce Comprehensive Legislative Priorities for 2024

Thursday, February 8, 2024

Recently, the Offices of the State’s Attorney for Baltimore City & Prince George’s County, MD, have released their legislative priorities for the year, focusing on public safety enhancements, juvenile justice reform, criminal justice reform, and restorative justice programs. Key proposals include the Pava Marie LaPere Act, aimed at prohibiting diminution of sentences for individuals convicted of first-degree rape or sexual offense; modifications to the Juvenile Interrogation Act to require in-person consultations with attorneys; and extensions to probationary periods for certain juvenile offenses, along with changes to procedures for handling auto-related crimes and technical violations of probation.

The legislative agenda also includes provisions for postconviction review and sentence modification, granting State’s Attorneys limited discretion to file motions for sentence modifications based on factors such as rehabilitation and changed circumstances. Additionally, funding requests for restorative justice programs are highlighted, including the Emerging Adults Program focused on aiding individuals aged 18-26 in successful reentry into the community through mentorship, counseling, job training, and work placement. The report provides detailed insights into the proposed legislative measures and their potential impact. For a comprehensive understanding of the legislative priorities outlined by the State’s Attorney's Office, to read the full report it is available at PGSAO Legislative Priorities 2024.

U.S. House Judiciary Subcommittee to hearing on Rising Violent Crime in D.C.

Thursday, October 12, 2023

The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Federal Government Surveillance will hold a hearing on Thursday, October 12, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. ET. The hearing, "Victims of Violent Crime in the District of Columbia," will examine the rise of violent crime in Democrat-run Washington, D.C., and the lack of prosecutions and prosecutorial accountability.


  • Gaynor Jablonski, Washington, D.C. business owner attacked on June 29, 2023, inside of his business in front of his 4-year-old son

  • Charles Stimson, crime control, national security, homeland security, and drug policy expert at the Heritage Foundation, Deputy Director of the Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies

  • Mitchell Sobolevsky, victim of robbery at gunpoint in Washington, D.C. 

  • Greg Pemberton, Metropolitan Police Department Detective, Chairman of the D.C. Police Union


Click here to stream the hearing.

Arlington County Board Seeks Resident Input on Ranked Choice Voting

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

The Arlington County Board is actively seeking the opinions and feedback of residents regarding the implementation of Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) in the upcoming primary County Board elections in 2023. To ensure community engagement, residents and voters are invited to share their thoughts and experiences with RCV in Arlington using a convenient online feedback form. The feedback collection period will conclude on July 5. Additionally, residents have the option to submit their comments in writing via email to or, or by calling 703-228-3130.

The feedback form is designed to be user-friendly and can be completed within 3 to 5 minutes. All submissions will be treated as anonymous.

The County Board will review the findings during its July 2023 meeting, where they will also consider the possibility of extending the use of RCV to the November 2023 General Election.

About Ranked Choice Voting in Arlington

In July 2020, the Virginia General Assembly passed a bill granting localities the authority to implement RCV in elections for County Board of Supervisors or City Council members. Following a public engagement process in the fall of 2022 to explore the potential of Ranked Choice Voting, the Board approved a pilot program for RCV in the 2023 County Board primary election.

For more information about Arlington's use of ranked-choice voting in the June 2023 County Board primary election, please visit the County's dedicated RCV webpage.

Politico: Voting Rights Act dodges bullet at Supreme Court

June 8, 2023

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The high court’s ruling affirmed a challenge to Alabama’s congressional map that alleged its creators diluted the power of Black voters in the state.

Read this full story from Politico here.

Montgomery County Council Seeks Applicants for Two Vacancies on the County Board of Appeals

May 22, 2023

The Montgomery County Council is accepting applications to fill two County Board of Appeals vacancies. The terms of Ms. Seminario-Thornton (Republican) and Mr. Sternstein (Democrat) expire in September 2023, and they plan to reapply. Applications must be submitted by June 19 at 5 p.m. At most, three Board members can be from the same party. 

Applicants must be registered voters in the county. The Board's current members are Chair John Pentecost (Democrat), Richard Melnick (Unaffiliated), Caryn Hines (Democrat), Laura Seminario-Thornton (Republican), and Alan Sternstein (Democrat). Board members work 15-25 hours per week and receive salaries ranging from $16,563.50 to $23,408.82 annually. By law, up to three members of the Board can be from the same political party.


Among other duties, the Board's responsibilities include:

  • Reviewing variances from development standards.

  • Hearing appeals from administrative decisions.

  • Deciding on conditional use appeals.

Interviews to fill two County Board of Appeals seats will be public and televised; appointed candidates must submit financial statements. Letters expressing interest, accompanied by a resume, should be emailed to addressed to Council President Glass, or sent via mail to Council President Glass, County Council Office, 100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville, Maryland 20850.

College Park, MD Special Mayoral election scheduled for May 6th

May 1, 2023


Patrick Wojahn resigned as mayor of College Park in March, after being arrested and charged with possession and distribution of child exploitative material. It was alleged that he shared child pornography on the social media platform KIK with the username "skippy_md," and legal records indicate that this material was uploaded between January 9 and January 11. In light of these events, a special election was called to select Wojahn's replacement.


To run for the position of College Park mayor, candidates must meet specific requirements, including being 18 years of age, a US citizen, a registered voter in the city, and having lived in the city for at least a year before the qualification date. Candidates may also be required to provide proof of domicile, and the elected mayor must continuously reside in College Park until the end of their term.


Four candidates are currently running for mayor: Bryan Haddad, Fazlul Kabir, Catherine "Kate" Kennedy, and Denise Mitchell. Voters can cast their ballots either through early voting on May 2, 2023, or on Election Day, May 6, 2023, at City Hall.

Virginia and DC Primary Results

June 21, 2022

Image by Element5 Digital

Yesterday primaries were held in Washington, DC and in Virginia’s Second Congressional District.


Virginia State Senator Jen Kiggans won the Republican primary with 55.6% if the vote. Jarome Bell finished with 27.%, Tommy Altman finished with 14.3%, and Andy Baan finished with 2.9 of the vote. Kiggan will now advance to the general election to face incumbent Rep. Elaine Luria who is vying for a third term in the House of Representatives representing Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District. Full results can be found here in the NY Times.

Incumbent Washington DC, Mayor, Muriel Bowser, currently in her second term, won the Democratic primary with 50% of the vote. Her closest competitor Robert White won 38.6% of the vote followed by Trayvon White with 9.8%, and James Butler with 1.5%. Mayor Bowser now heads to the General Election to face off against Stacia Hall, a businesswoman, Christian community leader, and former model and singer. Full results can be found here in the NY Times.

CLPA will profile these candidates and more at a later time.

Comptroller Franchot's Statement About Proposal to Suspend Gas Tax

March 10, 2022

The flag outside the north entrance of the Maryland State House in Annapolis, MD. where th

Comptroller Peter Franchot issued the following statement this evening after Gov. Larry Hogan and General Assembly leadership agreed to fast-track legislation that would suspend the state gas tax for one month.

"I’m elated that less than three hours after I called on the Governor and the legislature to enact a gas tax holiday, they worked together at lightning speed to agree on a one-month holiday. This is how government should work: putting aside political differences to deliver immediate results for the people that we serve.

"I congratulate the Governor, the Senate President, and the Speaker for working in a bipartisan fashion to provide immediate relief for Marylanders.

"However, I think we can – and we must – do more. The unfortunate reality is the economic whiplash at the gas pump resulting from the Russian invasion of Ukraine will be felt by Marylanders for more than 30 days. What’s more, with a $7.5 billion revenue surplus, we’re in a strong financial position to not only be able to provide a three-month gas tax holiday for our residents, but also provide much-needed assistance to Marylanders and businesses who continue to struggle from the economic consequences of COVID. That’s why I continue to renew my call for $2,000 emergency survival checks for low-wage earners; $500 million for child care providers; and $500 million for small businesses."

Link to the Comptroller's Press Release

Prince Geroge's County Fiscal Year 2023 Budget Listening Session on February 1st.

January 25, 2022


On February 1st at 6:00 pm, Prince George's County Executive Angela Alsobrooks will host a listening session to hear the community's input on this fiscal year's budget.

Anyone who wants to testify during the session can do so by pre-registering online by the day of the session. All testimony is limited to 3 minutes per presenter and one speaker per organization. If you want to submit written testimony, it can be forwarded to The budget listening session will be streamed on Zoom and streamed live to YouTube.

Montgomery County is set to lift its indoor mask requirement tomorrow.

February 21, 2022


Montgomery County is set to lift its indoor mask requirement tomorrow. However, businesses and other organizations can continue to require customers or visitors to wear a mask in their establishments. The lifting of the indoor mandate from the Board of Health does not impact mask requirements in Montgomery County Public Schools.

CLPA's County Council Vote Reports Published for PGC and MoCo Council

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December 13, 2021

CLPA recently published the legislative reports for Prince George's County Council and the Montgomery County Council. More reports will be published for other legislative bodies in the Washington Metropolitan Area over the next few weeks. The legislative reports cover all legislation CLPA covered in 2021 that received a floor vote. In 2022, CLPA will continue to provide information regularly throughout the year.

  • Link to Prince George's County Vote Report

  • Link to Montgomery County Council Vote Report


Maryland Citizens Redistricting Commission Publishes Their Final Recommended ​Maps. Governor Hogan Responds

November 11, 2021

Last week the Maryland Citizens Redistricting Commission submitted their final maps for Congressional, State Senate and House of Delegates districts to Maryland Governor Larry Hogan. Governor Hogan submitted the plan to the Maryland General Assembly without changes on November 5th.  Those maps can be found on the Maryland Citizens Redistricting Commission website at this link. Yesterday, Governor Hogan tweeted a statement in response to the release of the maps, which can be found here

CLPA will continue to provide updates on the progression of the proposed maps in the General Assembly as they become available.

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October 12, 2021

Forest Heights Mayor Habeeb-Ullah Muhammad, who served as Mayor from 2017-2021, tragically passed away on August 15th. As a result, tomorrow, October 13th, the City of Forest Heights will hold a Special Election to determine her successor. !

Panoramic view of the city administration in old town in Alexandria City, Virginia. Beside

October 8, 2021

The City Manager of Alexandria, Virginia, is an official appointed by the City Council and serves as the City’s Chief Administrative Officer. As Chief Administrative Officer, the City Manager is responsible for the daily operations of Alexandria City’s government. Among other responsibilities, the City Manager oversees the City’s budget and finances and appoints all of the City’s heads of department and employees

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October 5, 2021

If enacted, the Redefinition of Child Amendment Act would update DC Law so alleged crimes committed by Washingtonians under the age of 18 would be tried as juveniles in Family Court.

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October 1, 2021

Add a short summary of a news article or relevant publication with a link to the original. You can also add a video for extra engagement!


September 24, 2021

As the name would suggest, the Delegation is made up of policymakers currently serving in the Maryland General Assembly representing Montgomery County. The Delegation's primary role is to develop policy and advocate for Montgomery County's interests in Annapolis


September 22, 2021

The Washington region is full of news junkies. But how many know what their local government is up to?


September 10, 2021

In our first Institution Spotlight, CLPA highlights the Prince George's County Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). The DCHD is responsible for administering entitlement programs with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Apartment for rent sign displayed on residental street. Shows demand for housing, rental m

September 7, 2021

If passed, the bill would extend the prohibition on raising rents included in Expedited Bill 18-20, the COVID-19 Renter Relief Act, until one year after the expiration of the emergency.

Expedited Bill 30-21 would also prohibit charging late fees accrued during and one year after the crisis. 


September 6, 2021

This week, the Center for Local Policy Analysis (CLPA) will begin its first in a series of weekly policy-related updates.

Covid 19

Report: COVID-19 Policies for Public Schools in the Washington Metropolitan Area

September 1, 2021

Schools across the DC Metropolitan Area have begun to reopen for in-person learning for the first time since the pandemic began in 2020. Many may be confused about the policies put in place to protect both students and school staff from the still surging coronavirus. CLPA has pulled the most frequently requested sections from the COVID-19 policies from select school systems around the DC Metropolitan Area (that were publically available) and compiled them in one place.

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Analysis: 2021 Local Criminal Justice Legislation in Washington DC and Maryland

August 26, 2021

As September approaches and legislative bodies across the Washington Metropolitan Area prepare to return from recess, CLPA is highlighting criminal justice reform bills that have either already passed or are still in committee being debated. Many of these bills are a response to the #BlackLivesMatter movement and ongoing call for police reform nationwide.

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D.C. Council approves final vote on city budget

August 10, 2021

(Washington Post) The D.C. Council passed a final vote on the city’s 2022 budget Tuesday, but not without some last-minute debate and changes — notably, an amendment that would significantly boost monthly tax credits for low-income families in the coming years.

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Infographic: How a Bill Becomes a Law (DC Council Edition)

August 4, 2021

In the link below is a useful infographic from CLPA which walks through how laws are made in Washington, DC. 


Analysis: 2021 Housing Legislation in the Prince George’s County Council

August 3, 2021

As of today, there have been three bills related to housing in the Prince George's County Council this year. Two of those bills have already been enacted, and one is still in committee. All three bills will have an impact on housing in the County. Here is a quick snapshot of each bill. Links to the bill text and other relevant documents are provided.


Washington, DC mask mandate to go into effect at 5:00 am on July 31st

July 30, 2021

Washington DC Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that on Saturday, July 31 at 5:00 a.m., all people over the age of two must wear a mask indoors, regardless of vaccination status. See the link below for the recent Situational Update from Washington, DC Mayor Bowser.


July 21, 2021

During its July meeting, the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB) approved a resolution to add the proposed I-270/I-495 HOT (high-occupancy toll) lanes project back into its air quality analysis, a federally-required step for regionally-significant projects to move forward.


July 1,2021

This week, the County broke ground on six new schools that will all open in two years. While there has been some community opposition to this effort, most notably at the K-8 Academy in Fort Washington, but we have worked with the community to address those concerns, particularly around flooding.

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June 28, 2021

Angela D. Alsobrooks, the leader of one of the most powerful majority-Black communities in the country, has said that amid this national racial-justice reckoning, she wants her county to be a model for police reform.

She hired a new chiefassembled a police reform work groupinvested in mental health services and paid a historic settlement of $20 million to the family of a man killed by an officer in the Prince George’s County Police Department in Maryland.

But behind the scenes, her administration has been vigorously fighting an attempt by some of its own officers to hold that same police department accountable in court — and in the process has authorized the spending of at least $17.6 million of taxpayer money, according to invoices obtained through a records request and reviewed by The Washington Post.

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