Arelis Perez to Get This Year’s Jack Perry Award

Arelis Perez

At tomorrow’s City Council meeting, the Council will consider approving the nomination of north College Park resident Arelis Pérez as the recipient of the 2021 Jack Perry Award.

Ms. Perez is deeply committed to serving the community, which she has demonstrated by her commitment to equality, support, and representation. She has participated in neighborhood, civic, and municipal affairs to an extraordinary degree.

In 2020, Ms. Perez was a board member of the Complete Count Committee in College Park, which aimed to increase awareness about and motivate residents to respond to the 2020 Federal Census. She is a former Board of Election Judge for the city, where she administered voting procedures in her precinct and ensured a fair and accessible election for all eligible voters in College Park.

She is the current Board Commissioner Chair of the Housing Authority of the City of College Park (HACCP). She is a current Board Member of the College Park Seniors Committee which supports the development of a community-based, volunteer neighborhood network and identifies legislative priorities relating to the senior community.

Since 2020, she has served as the Vice-Chair of the AARP Livability Workgroup, providing effective strategies, initiatives, and programs that engage older adults in College Park.

She was the Former Board Treasurer and Member of the North College Park Community Association (NCPCA) which serves to strengthen the community and promote the interests of residents and homeowners.

She is a current Board Member and Treasurer of Neighbors Helping Neighbors (NHN-CP) which helps to create a community of volunteers to act as a safety net for aging residents to allow them to stay in their homes.

This past year has been a year like no other. Throughout the pandemic, Ms. Perez engaged the World Central Kitchen to provide healthy and generously portioned meals to our community. She recruited volunteers to deliver the meals to residents of Attick Towers and the Spellman House apartments.

She also drove seniors to appointments and continued meal delivery even after restrictions were relaxed.

[Delegate Joseline Penmelnik, City of College Park]

Good Neighbor Day Turns 10!

Volunteers at the Hollywood Elementary School site (photo credit: UMD Office of Community Engagement)

I want to thank everyone who joined today to celebrate the 10th Good Neighbor Day and to do some fantastic service projects in College Park.

I had the opportunity to join a group at the Hollywood Elementary School to make a Little Free Library for the school children. Our team was able to build the library and put the post at the corner of the school. Unfortunately, our team didn’t have enough time to paint the library. That said, the team talked to the school about a future school project to get it painted in the coming weeks.

I always look forward to seeing this day that brings our long-time residents and the student residents together in one place and thus giving us a true sense of community.

My special thanks to President Pines, Vice President Carlo Collela, M-NCPPC Chair Hewlett for joining our Hollywood site and showing their support. #GNDTurns10

City Publishes Data on Voter Turnout, Absentee Ballots, and More

Yesterday, the City published more data about last week’s election.

This includes the voter turnout in each district. According to statistics, a total of 1,536 voters voted in this yea’s election. The total number of voters in 2019 and 2017 were 2,092 and 2,648 respectively. This year’s City-wide voter turnout is 10.35%. The voter turnout was 12.51% in 2019, and 14.5% in 2017. You can see the historical voter statistics here on City’s website.

At this year’s elections, the Percentage Voting in District 1, 2, 3, 4 are  11.5% 8.5% 11.5% 8.0% respectively.

685 voters voted on Election Day.

The City mailed  13,579 ballot applications to active voters as of 8/31/21. The Post Office returned about 1,500 applications as undeliverable. Most likely, these voters do not live at the addresses anymore.

The City issued/mailed 1,095 ballots before the election day, however, it received 851 “valid” ballots by the deadline. Ballots returned by mail with deficiencies (i.e., in an Oath Envelope that was not signed, or without an Oath Envelope) were deemed invalid unless cured.

Voters dropped 471 ballots at 3 ballot drop boxes located at Calvert Road School (161 ballots),  at Stamp Student Union (15), and at Davis Hall (295)

From the total number of votes cast in every district, I was able to calculate the % of votes cast for each candidate. Please see that below

% of
Kabir (D1)56459594.7%
Kennedy (D1)38659564.8%
Catlin (D2)10725142.6%
Esters  (D2)17025167.7%
Whitney (D2)16425165.3%
Adams (D3)27547857.5%
Day (D3)240478 50.2%
Rigg (D3)37747878.8%
Mackie (D4)17321281.6%
Mitchell (D4)18321286.3%
Wojahn (Mayor)13121,53685.4%

Council Sent Letter Opposing New County Council Redistricting Map

At this week’s meeting, the City Council approved a letter to the County Council opposing the new redistricting map that the County Council adopted on October 19, 2021. This new map continues to split College Park neighborhoods and damage the interests of our City. Please see here more on the new map here.

The letter states that the process by which a County Council majority has attempted to gerrymander the districts has damaged the public trust in the Council and has damaged the County’s reputation. Also, please consider testifying before the County Council’s November 16 meeting on the redistricting plan. You can now sign up to speak at the November 16th meeting about it here on County’s website.

Tonight’s NCPCA Meeting : County Redistricting, Development Updates, and More..

NCPCA – It’s Your Neighborhood Association

Today is the second Thursday of the month and thus the day when the North College Park Community Association will be having its November monthly meeting. Please see the full agenda below. The Zoom link and other information can be found here on NCPCA’s website: http://myncpca.org

7:00 Welcome & Review of procedures.

7:05 NCPCA officers’ reports & approval of October minutes.

7:15 Getting acquainted with the new City Manager, Kenny Young

7:45 County redistricting — possible motion

8:00 Development updates to include Sunnyside’s new park, the Endelman property, the Hollywood Streetscape, and a proposed project on Rt. 1.

8:20 Membership

8:30 Discussion about meeting formats and possible motion to request Davis Hall and other city buildings be re-opened

8:40 Announcements by elected officials and members (limited to 2 minutes each)

8:45 Practice questions for Christmas party trivia

8:50 New Business & Future Agenda Items

Humbled to Have the Opportunity to Serve Another Term

Now that all the votes are counted, I want to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt gratitude for allowing me to serve you one more term. I’m truly humbled, honored, and grateful for having your support in this election.
Congratulations on the re-election of my colleagues Wojahn, Kennedy, Esters, Rigg, Mackie and Mitchell. Also, congratulations to Councilmember-Elect Whitney and Adams on your election. I look forward to working with you all. Let us also thank Council members Dennis and Day for their selfless service to the community over the years. Three of us started serving the Council together ten years ago, and I’ll dearly miss you in the next term. Finally, many thanks to former Council member Catlin for running a spirited campaign. Everyone is a winner in this election – so congratulations to you all.
Please note, no matter how you voted, I will remain at your service. So, please feel free to let me know in any way I can be of your help. I really enjoyed helping you all in getting things done and addressing your concerns – as much as I could, and I will continue to do so in my next term.
Please see below the final Election Results.
District 1
Kabir 564
Kennedy 386
Wojahn (Mayor) 511
District 2
Catlin 107
Esters 170
Whitney 164
Wojahn (Mayor) 224
District 3
Adams 275
Day 240
Rigg 377
Wojahn (Mayor) 399
District 4
Mackie 173
Mitchell 183
Wojahn (Mayor) 184

Yes, You Can Compost That!

Have some sunken pumpkins? Don’t toss them, compost them! Take your old pumpkins along with other accepted food scraps to one of our food scrap drop off locations. More information at www.collegeparkmd.gov/foodscraps. #MGWMonth

[City of College Park]


College Park Election Results of Today’s In-Person Votes

Here are the initial results from today’s in-person voting.

The final vote counts including absentee and provisional ballots will be available next Wednesday, November 10th.

The City has mailed more than 1,000 absentee ballots. Thanks to everyone for taking the time to vote today. And congratulations to all candidates for running fantastic campaigns!!

District 1
Kabir 242
Kennedy 155
Wojahn (Mayor) 212

District 2
Catlin 55
Esters 84
Whitney 86
Wojahn (Mayor) 114

District 3
Adams 122
Day 112
Rigg 151
Wojahn (Mayor) 170

District 4
Mackie 72
Mitchell 75
Wojahn (Mayor) 79

Vote College Park!

Vote College Park! Polls are open TODAY at 9 am – only at the College Park Community Center, 5051 Pierce Avenue, MD 20740.
Please note – due to COVID restrictions, you won’t be able to vote at Davis Hall. Hope to see you at the CP Community Center! Voters from all districts will vote at the Community Center on Election Day.
Voters will elect the Mayor and all eight district Councilmembers. Polls are open from 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
For information about the candidates, visit our collegeparkmd.gov/elections.
Ballots cast today will be tabulated at Davis Hall after the polls close today. The official canvass, which includes the absentee (mail-in ballots) and validated provisional ballots, will be held on Wednesday, November 10, at Davis Hall. Due to COVID capacity restrictions, public access at Davis Hall may be limited, but both counts will be televised.
Election results will be certified at the Council meeting on Tuesday, November 16, 2021.
[City of College Park]

Meet Chief Aziz – Public Safety Monthly Community Zoom Meeting, 7:30 p.m., Monday, 8th November 2021

Public Safety Committee Meetings
Monday, November 8, 2021 | Virtual. | 7:30 p.m.

Please join City Elected Officials, Police, Department of Public Services staff, and your neighbors from all around the City, for an informative monthly community meeting. This meeting takes place every second Monday of the month via zoom. Zoom link: https://zoom.us/j/96168994626.

This community meeting will discuss City-wide crime statistics, recent incidents of public interest, neighborhood watch tips, and special public safety-related topics. This month, Prince George’s County Police Chief Malik Aziz will be joining!

To facilitate City-wide participation, these will be virtual meetings that you may join in from your home. Please invite your neighbors so that this useful information may be shared throughout the City.

[City of College Park]

City to Form Lakeland Restorative Justice Commission

A sign saying the “Urban Renewal” project in the Lakeland community in the 1960s. [File photo]

At this week’s meeting, the City Council discussed a proposal to form a restorative justice commission to study what happened in College Park’s Lakeland community back in 1960′ as part of the “Urban Renewal” project and find possible restorative justice to address those issues.

Back on February 9, 2021, the City Council approved creating the Restorative Justice Steering Committee in response to Council resolution denouncing the systematic racism, which called for a restorative justice process to address the harms caused to the Lakeland community by the City, particularly during the urban renewal process in the 1960s.

The Resolution stated that the City acknowledges and apologizes for its past history of oppression, particularly regarding the Lakeland community, actively seeks opportunities for accountability and truth-telling about past injustice, and aggressively seeks opportunities for restorative justice.

On April 13, 2021, the City Council appointed eight members to the Restorative Justice Steering Committee (RJSC), which is recommending establishing a Restorative Justice Commission.

Within the next 5 years after its establishment, the committee would deliver the following

  • Records of historical race-based adverse actions and harm caused, and that of truth-telling
  • Community engagement process that consistently solicits input and feedback from current, former, and future members of the broader Lakeland community
  • Concrete restorative measures, which to the extent possible, correct the race-based harms from the City and its partners impacting the African American community of College Park, Maryland
  • An active memorial space sited in Lakeland, the historic African American community of College Park, to house the historic record and serve as a place of recognition and celebration for the City’s cultures and history.

The City has allocated $100,000.00 for the start of the Restorative Justice Commission’s budget in FY 2022.

The Council will formally form the commission and appoint the committee members at a future Council meeting.

Grocery Giveaway, and Turkey Drive

Grocery Giveaway
Please save the date for another Grocery Giveaway next weekend on Sunday, Nov 14th #grocerygiveaway. The event is open to all! Please spread the word. Thank you

Turkey Drive

Also, please help families in need this Thanksgiving! Donate a small frozen turkey and help us meet the goal of distributing 250 turkeys 🦃! The College Park Food Bank will be collecting frozen turkeys Friday, November 12, and Friday,

November 19 from 4 to 6pm. Thanks for helping reduce hunger in our communities!

👉 Please pledge to donate here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/9040a44ada62daaf85-turkey . Thank you for your support!


Community Forum on City Use of ARPA Funding

Community Forum on City Use of ARPA Funding
Tuesday, November 30, 2021
Virtual | 7:00 p.m.

A few months back, Congress enacted the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), and specifically the Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (LFRF). They gave the City significant funding to be used to help the City, its local businesses, families, and individuals recover from the major negative economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The city is excepted to get about $21 million ARPA funds to be used in College Park.

Join City of College Park staff and elected officials to learn about the purposes of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), eligible uses of the funds, and provide your comments on City needs to be addressed. Please RSVP to planner@collegeparkmd.gov and a Zoom link will be sent to you. For more information, please call 240-487-3538.

City Council May Change How it Gets Residents’ Input Before Spending their Tax Dollars

At tonight’s meeting, the College Park City Council will discuss how the City can include more residents’ input in our annual budget process.

College Park has an annual budget of $20 million that is spent to provide essential services to its residents and build long time infrastructure projects. The City’s budget cycle runs from July 1st of a year to next year’s June 30th. City staff start preparing the draft budget in January and publish it on City’s website in late March. The City Council spends a weekend in April to discuss the draft budget and makes some small changes to it.

The Council then holds a public hearing on the budget in May and votes in June, and votes to approve the budget. Some Council members have also been hosting community town halls before the public hearing to get some community inputs.

Traditionally, very little is changed to the draft budget between the public hearing on the draft budget and the Council approval of the final budget.

Through the Participatory budgeting process, the City is trying to change this process to include more citizen’s feedback in this budget process

Participatory budgeting is a process of democratic deliberation and decision-making, involving City residents and stakeholders to decide how to allocate part of the annual budget. Participatory budgeting allows citizens to identify, discuss, and prioritize public spending.

Citizens assist in defining and prioritizing which projects, processes, problems or opportunities should receive a portion of the City budget, and how much that portion should be.

Watch this video from the Participatory Budgeting Project to learn more about how other municipalities, such as New York City, use participatory budgeting and engage the community to make decisions on how government funds should be used in their neighborhoods.

Proposal Seeks to Increase Pollination in College Park

At tomorrow’s Council meeting, the College Park City Council will discuss a recommendation from the Bee City USA Committee to initiate a No Mow Month in April 2022 to reduce lawn mowing that will help provide food and nesting opportunities for early emerging pollinators.

The proposal asks the Code Enforcement Officers to refrain from enforcing tall grass Code violations during this period. No Mow Months (originally called No Mow May) are actions taken by cities that seek to reduce lawn mowing by residents for one month early in the Spring. This reduced mowing allows the herbaceous plants commonly present in lawns to flower, providing crucial nectar and pollen sources for pollinators emerging from winter diapause.

In the USA, this action was first implemented in Appleton, WI, and is now promoted across the country.