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County Council Convenes Final Session of Legislative Year 2020
Supports Continued Declaration of Emergency; Authorizes COVID19-Related Public Safety Hazard Pay; Adopts “Healthy Kids Meals” Legislation; Enacts Several Zoning Bills

By ANGELA ROUSON
Prince George’s County Council Media

The Prince George’s County Council convened virtually for its final session of Legislative Year 2020 on Tuesday, November 17, 2020.   The Council will meet on December 1, 2020, for the Exchange of the Gavel, and schedule a December date to convene in response to COVID-19.

Council Chair Todd M. Turner (D) – District 4, commended the Council’s work over the past year to pass legislation addressing the needs and concerns of residents, especially during the unprecedented challenges presented by the COVID-19 global pandemic.

“This has been a challenging Legislative Year for the Council and the residents we are privileged to represent.  I commend my Council colleagues, and the Legislative Branch staff, for a very successful year of work on behalf of Prince Georgians.  In collaboration with County Executive Alsobrooks and her administration, we were able to enact legislation that improves quality of life for County residents, and the issues that concern us all, especially during this time of crisis.”

The day-long session began with the introduction of Council Resolutions, followed by a review of Proposed Correspondence, 27 public hearings, and several measures eligible for a final Council vote, including CR-125-2020, legislation concerning the County’s seventh continued Declaration of Emergency, and Council Bill CB-071-2020, more commonly known as the “Healthy Kids Meal Bill.” Several zoning bills and legislation related to hazard pay for public safety and other County officials were also approved.

Among the bills enacted on Tuesday, and subject to County Executive Angela Alsobrooks’ signature:

 

Prince George’s County Continued Declaration of Emergency

Tuesday’s Council action included the introduction and adoption of CR-125-2020, legislation continuing the County’s Declaration of Emergency. Council Bill 125-2020, the County’s seventh continued Declaration of Emergency addressing the impact of the current COVID-19 surge  and the County’s return to a hybrid Phase1/Modified Phase2 status, as recently announced by County Executive Angela Alsobrooks.

 

Healthy Kids Meals

Council Members voted unanimously to approve CB-071-2020, far-reaching legislation to provide healthy food options for young people in the immediate community.  Following the unanimous vote, Council Member Sydney Harrison commented, “As the bill’s sponsor, Vice-Chair of the Council’s Health, Human Services committee, and a member of this legislative body committed to ‘Health in All Policies,’ I want to thank my Council colleagues and staff for their support and assistance with the passage of this groundbreaking legislation that moves us closer to a Healthier Prince George’s County.  I also want to thank coalition partners Sugar Free Kids Maryland, the Prince George’s Food Equity Council, and the American Heart Association for vigorously supporting this bill, and the speakers who testified in favor of the bill for their engagement in our legislative process.  I look forward to continuing our work with the restaurant industry and business community as part of our shared commitment to promote a culture of health and wellness in Prince George’s County, especially as we all continue to respond to the devastating impacts of COVID-19 in our communities.”

 

Health in All Policies Legislation

Tuesday’s Council adoption of CR-127-2020  establishes an approach to recognize health factors outside of clinical settings and require communities to  carefully consider their investment choices for health. The legislation, which references the recommendations in the most recent RAND report, states in part, “The Prince George’s County Council, sitting as the Board of Health, believes in Health in All Policies as a collaborative approach that integrates and articulates health  considerations into policymaking across all sectors to improve the health of all communities and people.”  CR-099-2020,  legislation designating Healthy Foods Priority Areas in the County, for targeted tax incentives for grocery stores, also received final Council approval on Tuesday.

 

Landlord-Tenant Code

CB-078-2020, legislation supported by the Council, amends the Landlord-Tenant Code to limit a landlord’s ability to increase rent for tenants above a certain amount during the COVID-19 health crisis. The Council also enacted CB-53-2020, legislation requiring that any air conditioning equipment provided by a landlord shall be properly installed, connected and maintained; and be able to generate temperatures at a certain level.

 

Hazard Pay

The Council supported 15 Council Resolutions related to COVID-19 hazard pay for public safety officials, first responders and County support staff, including but not limited to correctional officers, police, fire fighters and paramedics.

 

Zoning Matters

Council Members enacted several zoning bills, including but not limited to an ordinance concerning Food Halls, CB-070-2020; legislation prohibiting fly ash landfills in the County, CB-083-2020; enacted required updates to the County Zoning Ordinance and Subdivision Regulations and extensions of certain development plans. 

For the full agenda and details of the Council’s final session for Legislative Year 2020, visit the Council’s Legislative Information and Zoning System (LZIS).

 

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REALTORS® Host Thanksgiving Meal Give-Away Drive-by Event in Partnership With Golden State Warrior’s Damion Lee, The L.E.E. Way Foundation, and Giant Food

By ERICA KALEDA
Prince George’s County Association of REALTORS®

Landover, Md. (November 18, 2020)—On Saturday, November 14, the Prince George’s County Association of REALTORS® (PGCAR) hosted a Thanksgiving Meal Drive-By co-sponsored by Damion Lee and Michelle Riddick of The L.E.E. Way Foundation and Giant Food. Members of the Association’s Community Service Committee and Young Professionals Network (YPN) joined volunteers from The L.E.E. Way Foundation on Friday (11/13/2020) to prepare and pack holiday food gift bags. The gift bags were delivered on Saturday morning (11/14/2020) to 75 families in need at a drive-by event held at PGCAR’s offices in Landover, MD.

“2020 has been a challenging year! Our Thanksgiving Food Drive-By is a way for REALTORS® to support families who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in hopes of providing them with a sense of normalcy and bring joy this holiday season. It is important to support the communities where we live, work, and play,” stated PGCAR President, Shameeka Price.

YPN Chair, Carole Webb shared; “Through the assistance of the Prince George’s County Department of Social Services, 75 families were identified and invited to receive a dinner consisting of a whole turkey along with all of the fixings of a traditional holiday feast, including dessert!”

The L.E.E. Way Foundation’s co-founder Michelle Riddick stated; “It’s important for The L.E.E. Way Foundation to partner with PGCAR to give meals to families in need during this season. We’re in a pandemic and it’s difficult for some people to have a traditional Thanksgiving holiday. We want to help provide that for them.”

The L.E.E. Way Foundation was founded by NBA’s Damion Lee of the Golden State Warriors and Michelle Riddick.  The L.E.E. Way Foundation’s goal is “to provide a sense of community and safe environment for the youth around the world. Focusing on self-esteem, team-work, relationship building, communication, and leadership skills they strive to give youth an opportunity to be heard and room to grow.”

 

The Prince George’s County Association of REALTORS® is the voice for real estate in Prince George’s County, Maryland, representing more than 3,500 real estate professionals in the national capital area. PGCAR is an affiliate of the Maryland and National Association of REALTORS®. We are proud to serve our members and our community and work to ensure professionalism in the industry.

 

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New Gastroenterologist Joins MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center
Alireza Meighani, MD, is now accepting new patients in Clinton

By CHERYL RICHARDSON
MedStar Health

Clinton, Md. (November 18, 2020)—MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center has added Alireza Meighani, MD, to their team of gastroenterologists. Dr. Meighani is board certified in gastroenterology and internal medicine and treats all types of gastrointestinal issues. He is particularly passionate about helping people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and autoimmune diseases, such as ulcerative colitis.

“I see a wide range of patients such as ones who are in pain from various GI disorders or patients who can’t swallow food because they have a narrowing in their esophagus,” said Dr. Meighani. “When I can do things like dilate the esophagus so they can eat normally again or remove a pre-cancerous polyp during a screening colonoscopy, that changes patients’ lives, it motivates me.”

Dr. Meighani believes the journey leading up to the procedure is just as important as the procedure itself. He focuses on discussing patients’ goals and desired outcomes in a clear, compassionate manner. These conversations allow him to consider each person’s unique needs and circumstances when developing their treatment plan. “I am very intentional about how I relate to my patients from the very beginning,” he said. “I always want my patients to get the best care possible, just as I would want for myself.”

Dr. Meighani graduated from medical school at Gulf Medical University outside Dubai and completed his residency in internal medicine at Henry Ford Health System in Detroit. He stayed at Henry Ford to complete his fellowship in gastroenterology, where he was selected as chief fellow. Now at MedStar Southern Maryland, he said, “I love the patient population here. I’m able to really put my skills to use and help people. It’s very fulfilling.” 

Dr. Meighani’s office is located at 7501 Surratts Road, Suite 206 Clinton, MD 20735. For an appointment, please call 301-877-4599.

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