June Update

Because of the Annual Municipal Conference I'll be posting twice this month-here is the first installment! *|MC:SUBJECT|*
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Hello Ward 6!
June is a great month because we get to meet up with other council members from across the state at the Maryland Municipal League (MML) conference.  In addition to having some great conversations about trash cans and how other municipalities are handling curbside composting(stay tuned for more information shortly!), we got to learn more about the state laws that govern our work and how other municipal police departments work and how other municipal elections are handled.  I have some brief updates below, if you'd like to talk further about anything please email me at bethpmackenzie@gmail.com.  Our next worksession is on Thursday July 21st at 7:30 pm and i'll send out an update after that!

The Grateful Table

I don't know about you but shopping and making good meals for my family gets so hard in the summer.  Between the kids being out of school and the hours we spend at the pool, we are hardly home!  That's where the Grateful Table comes in handy!  This Cheverly Mother-Daughter Chef Duo take all of the planning and work out of shopping for and making healthy meals for your family.  Check them out at www.thegratefultable.com
*I am using this space to highlight Cheverly-based handmade/independent businesses, this is not a sponsored post and all comments are my own, if you have a business you'd like me to feature, email me at bethpmackenzie@gmail.com*
Our closest early voting locations are:
Kentland Community Center 2413 Pinebrook Avenue Hyattsville, MD 20785
Wayne K. Curry Sports and Learning Complex 8001 Sheriff Road Landover, MD 20785
MML Conference
Every Summer council members from across the state of Maryland are invited to Ocean City to meet and discuss the issues facing our towns and learn from each other.

There were some great sessions and I've added a short summary below.  I'd love to talk about the sessions if you'd like to hear more about any of these!
I also had the opportunity to speak at the young elected leaders story slam.  It was so great to be able to talk with other young elected officials even if I'm only nominally young-especially compared to a guy who was elected mayor at 19!
Municipal Election
Municipalities have a lot of flexibility with how they can hold their own elections.  Two Cities shared their efforts to increase participation in local elections.  Rockville recently adopted a Vote By Mail policy. They are going to mail ballots with prepaid return envelopes to each registered voter and will accept the return envelopes through the mail, dropped off at a secure voting location or will allow some voters to vote on the day of.

Takoma Park has changed their voter eligibility to allow for both 16 year olds and non-citizens vote in municipal elections. Their records show that 16-18 year olds vote at twice the rate of the over 18 population. 
These options seem really interesting and I'd love to know what you think about possibly changing Cheverly Municipal Elections to make it easier to vote and allow for more people to vote!  Email me or stop me with your thoughts!
Municipal Response to Civil Unrest
This session was led by the Police Chief from College Park and the Director of Emergency Management in Annapolis. The presenters shared their thoughtful implementation of 21st Century Policing strategies to make sure that constituents first amendment rights are protected while also engaging in deescalation tactics.  The main takeaway I got from the session were that calmness is contagious.  
Police Advisory Board
Finally, and unrelated to the MML Conference Chief Robshaw has put together an advisory committee of members of the community and has invited them and the police force to an anti bias training this week. I will also be able to attend and will report back afterwards.  Here is a link to the first meeting's agenda
The Cheverly Town Council Passed the 18-19 budget,  highlights are:
-Stormwater treatment for Boyd Park
-Revitilization of Woodworth Park into an inclusive playground
-Repaving of Lake St. and other roads
-reduction of town tax rate from .54 cents to .51 cents
-Reconfiguring the town pay scale to remove any grades below 15 dollars/hour
-A new town website with increased constituent communication capabilities
Consensus and Team Building
My first session brought me back to grad school with an exercise right out of my negotiation class. The thing I realized is, is how important it is to listen and be available. It's really interesting how many times my Social Work skills are suited to my work as your council person! Please come to me with any issues you may be having-no matter how small!
Building a Multi-Cultural Organization
This was an incredible session that really went into working through our implicit bias and how to work through that to ensure our organizations are truly multicultural. This isn't my first implicit bias training but I find each one incredibly important in helping me be better. One of the best takeaways is that no matter how much we try, we will make mistakes (she called it falling forward) and it's important to just apologize, and keep working to be better. 

I'm looking forward to the Cheverly Community Dinners this fall to continue this discussion in an intentional way.
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