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Tom Dernoga Elected Chair of the Prince George’s County Council

This morning, the Prince George’s County Council elected District 1 Council Member Tom Dernoga as the Chair of the County Council for the 2023 Legislative Year.

County Council District 1 includes the City of College Park.

This will be Councilman Dernoga’s third time serving as Chair of the County Council, having served as Council Chair in 2006 and 2010. He also served as Vice Chair of the Council in 2005 and 2009. Council Member Dernoga’s tenure on the Council has been noted for his leadership on environmental, historical and agricultural preservation issues and smart growth.

Council Member Dernoga also announced the following members of his leadership team:

  • Vice Chair Wala Blegay, Council District 6, will Chair the General Assembly (GA) Committee.
  • Eric Olson, Council District 3, will Chair the Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy & Environment (TIEE) Committee.
  • Jolene Ivey, Council District 5, will Chair the Planning, Housing & Economic Development (PHED) Committee.
  • Krystal Oriadha, Council District 7, will Chair the Health, Human Services & Public Safety (HSPS) Committee.
  • Ed Burroughs, Council District 8, will Chair the Government Operations & Fiscal Policy (GOFP) Committee.
  • [CM Dernoga’s Office]
  • Residents Won – Judge Throws out ‘Gerrymandered’ Map, Asks to Adopt Independent Commision Map

    Circuit Court for Prince George’s County

    Circuit Court for Prince George’s County

    In a huge win for the County residents, today a County judge has ordered to “withdraw” the controversial redistricting map developed by the Prince George’s County Council.

    The judge has also ordered to use the redistricting map developed by the independent commission.

    The judge’s order says:

    ORDERED that the redistricting plan prepared by the Commission and submitted to the Council on September 1, 2021, which became effective by operation of law under Section 305 of the Charter for Prince George’s County on November 30, 2021, shall be used for all purposes in acting upon or implementing the County’s redistricting plan.

    Please see the complete version of the judge’s order below.

    The County council introduced its own plan in October and adopted it by a resolution the following month on a 6-3 vote.

    Councilmembers Jolene Ivey, Thom E. Dernoga and Dannielle M. Glaros opposed it.

    The council’s plan drew huge criticism from community members. Residents said that the map clearly was designed to keep some candidates out of the council member race.

    A group of county residents argued that the council had to pass a law (a bill), and not a resolution, in order to adopt its own plan over one provided by an independent redistricting commission.

    The plan was challenged after the county council passed its own redistricting map by simple resolution instead of treating it as a law.

    A Circuit Court judge ruled in favor of the residents back in late January. The judge’s decision was immediately appealed. by the County lawyers.

    Last week, the court heard arguments last week over the plan during the appeal hearing. The attorney for the residents argued that during last week’s argument that the council would have needed eight votes to override a veto from the county executive.

    Court Tosses County Council Redistricting Plan

    Last night, we came to know about a County Judge’s ruling that the County Council improperly adopted the controversial Council Redistricting Plan in November. This is a win for the residents who opposed the politically motivated gerrymandered redistricting map. Please read here for more about the news from Councilman Dernoga’s office


    County residents rejoiced Friday when Circuit Court Judge William Snoddy ruled that the County Council improperly adopted the controversial Council Redistricting Plan in November.

    The County Redistricting Commission produced a Recommended Map after months of public discussion and input. This Map (“Least Change”) proposed minimal changes from existing Council District boundaries.

    A majority of the Council developed a new gerrymandered plan to disadvantage their political opponents who are candidates for County Council. This Map was revealed at the last possible moment to hopefully limit the opportunity for public opposition – which it did not.

    The Council adopted its gerrymandered map on November 16th through Council Resolution CR-123-2021. Apart from disadvantaging political opponents, Vansille, Lakeland, College Park and Suitland residents became innocent bystanders whose communities were negatively affected.

    Four County residents from these affected communities filed suit Monday arguing that a Council Resolution is an improper means of enacting the Council Redistricting Plan. These residents successfully argued that the Charter (and State law) require that all “laws” must be adopted by a Council “Bill” subject to Executive Veto (unless specifically excluded).

    Judge Snoddy ruled from the bench and the parties are awaiting the issuance of his Order to understand the details.

    I believe that the plaintiffs are legally correct (and that the Council’s Redistricting Plan was an undemocratic gerrymander), we will have to wait to see whether my colleagues decide to appeal. One may hope that they finally put their personal political desires aside and put an end to this public embarrassment.

    [Office of CCM Tom Dernoga]

    Ignoring Residents’ Outcry, County Council Approves a Gerrymandered Redistricting Map

    The new County Council district map [Photo Credit: The Maryland Matters]

    The new County Council district map. The finger-shaped area in College Park is added to District 1. Critics say this was to prevent a candidate from running in the upcoming County election.  [Photo Credit: The Maryland Matters]

    Yesterday the County Council voted 6-3 to approve the latest County Council’s gerrymandered redistricting map. This happened after an intense public hearing, where 120+ residents spoke against the new map for nearly 6 hours.

    Not a single resident spoke in support of the new plan.

    Council members Dernoga, Glaros and Ivey voted against the new map.

    The changes that the County Council made to the latest map are pretty significant, and they are done without consulting or letting residents know. Some of the Council colleagues even didn’t know about these changes, until the vote was taken last month.

    It’s a very bad idea for elected officials to pick up their own constituents, and unfortunately, this is exactly what the County Council did.

    The new map has taken out the Autoville neighborhood in College Park from the west side of the current County Council district 1, but the Calvert Hills neighborhood is added to the south of district 1. No explanation was given for these changes. The only explanation residents have – to prevent a Council candidate from running in the upcoming County election. That candidate currently lives in the Calvert Hills, and he has been campaigning in District 3 for months. The county charter states a person must live in a district for at least one year prior to running in a primary election.

    There are other candidates who were expected to challenge incumbents in 2022 who were drawn out of their districts. For example, Krystal Oriadha was running for a seat in District 7. She lost by 30 votes in the last election and had already started campaigning for the next. The new map would move where she lives in Seat Pleasant from District 7 to District 5.

    The video of yesterday’s hearing should be available later today or tomorrow at under Available Archives and yesterday’s date.

    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.

    More Changes Made to County Redistricting Map – Final Vote on Nov 16

    At this morning’s session, the County Council introduced last Thursday’s “Davis” map, with some amendments.

    For College Park and the surrounding districts, here is a quick summary of the changes from last Thursday’s map:

    • The University of Maryland is put back to District 3. According to CM Turner, this was in response to Dr. Pine’s letter he sent yesterday.
    • Downtown College Park (including City Hall), West College Park and College Park Estates, and Yarrow are also put back to District 3.
    • District 1 still includes some parts of south College Park – Berwyn, Lakeland and Calvert Hill / Old town (in addition to north College Park). According to Turner, this was in response to College Park Council’s desire to have 2 council members representing College Park. He didn’t say why MD 193 wasn’t used as the boundary between District 1 and District 3.
    • The Autoville and Cherry Hill neighborhoods appear to have moved from D1 to D3
    • Most of South Laurel and some of Vansville were put back to D1.

    The vote was 6-4. CM Dernoga, Glaros, Ivey and Anderson-Walker were in opposition.

    The Public hearing and a vote will be held on Nov 16 on the amended map and the redistricting commission’s map.

    Amended map: Red lines showing the boundaries in last Thursday’s “Davis” map.


    A detailed version of the new District 1 map, showing Hollywood, Berwyn, Lakeland and Calvert Hill neighborhoods.

    Council Votes Opposing Prince George’s County Council Bill CB-115 – Redistricting

    Yesterday, the City Council unanimously voted in a special emergency session to express strong opposition to the proposed County Council redistricting map (the “Davis map”) put forward by a majority of the County Council on Thursday, October 14.

    Later, the City posted a statement that says:

    “This map is significantly different from that proposed by the County’s Redistricting Commission and would remove the entire portion of the City of College Park that is currently in District 3 from that district. Removing the City from this District hurts Prince George’s County by limiting cross-municipal collaboration and will limit the ability to create a strong economic and equitable development strategy along the Purple Line corridor.

    By introducing and voting in favor of a new redistricting map that ignored much of the public input that went into developing the maps by the Redistricting Commission, the County Council demonstrated a disregard for transparency and public input in redistricting and hurt the overall legitimacy of the elected government in our County.”

    In a letter sent to County Council Chair Calvin S. Hawkins, II on October 18, the City requests that he amend the proposed redistricting map to keep the existing boundaries between County Districts 1 and 3 within the City of College Park, as recommended by the Redistricting Commission.

    Residents can voice their concerns and/or opinions about redistricting and the Davis map to County Council, including the two at-large members, via email.

    Mel Franklin Council Member (At-Large)

    Calvin S. Hawkins, II Chair, Council Member (At-Large)

    Thomas E. Dernoga Council Member (District 1)

    Deni Taveras Vice-Chair, Council Member (District 2)

    Dannielle M. Glaros Council Member (District 3)

    Todd M. Turner Council Member (District 4)

    Jolene Ivey Council Member (District 5)

    Derrick L. Davis Council Member (District 6)

    Rodney C. Streeter Council Member (District 7)

    Monique Anderson-Walker Council Member (District 8)

    Sydney J. Harrison Council Member (District 9)

    [City of College Park]

    New Redistricting Map Puts Entire College Park into County Council District 1

    Yesterday, the County Council approved a new County redistricting map that’d put the entire College Park in District 1. Currently, College Park is part of two Council districts. The majority of north College Park is in District 1 (represented by CM Dernoga), and the rest of College Park is in Council District 3 (represented by CM Glaros)

    Council Member Derrick Leon Davis proposed a brand-new map at yesterday’s County Council’s Committee of the Whole meeting..

    Many, including some County Council members, said they did not see the new map before.

    The proposed map was different from the one proposed by the Redistricting Commission, which was published before.

    For College Park and surrounding communities, this new map includes multiple changes to your representation, below are several of the largest changes:

    • All of the City of College Park, including the University of Maryland, will be moved to District 1
    • All of the City of Greenbelt will be moved to District 3
    • The Town of Landover Hills and Bellmeade community will be moved to District 5
    • The communities of Lincoln Vista and all of Glenn Dale will be moved to District 4

    The Council approved the map proposed by Council Member Davis by a vote of 6-4. Those opposing it were Tom Dernoga, Dannielle Glaros, Monique Anderson-Walker and Jolene Ivey. Those voting for it were Chair Calvin Hawkins, Vice-Chair Deni Taveras, Mel Franklin, Todd Turner, Sydney Harrison and Derrick Leon Davis.

    The meeting was live-streamed and the archived video should be available to view here at the 3:47:45 mark.

    The County Charter requires that Council Members must live in their district for one year prior to running in a primary election. The Council primary is in June 2022. This new map may impact multiple individuals across the County who are already running for County Council next year or are planning to but will have been required to live within these new boundaries since last June. This is the reason that the Redistricting Commission’s map only changed boundaries when it was necessary for population balance.

    To view the Redistricting Commission’s report click here. To view the map proposed by Council Member Davis that was approved click here.

    The new proposed Councilmanic district map will be on the agenda for Introduction next Tuesday morning. If it receives a favorable vote on Tuesday, it will not be able to be changed. The public hearing will take place in November. However, at that time, only two options are possible: approval of the new map approved, or the Council could take no action which would mean the Redistricting Commission’s recommended map moves forward.

    Residents can reach out to the County elected officials and the At-Large members before Tuesday, October 19, when this new map is on the agenda for Introduction. Their email addresses are available below.

    The College Park City Council is expected to discuss the topic and send a letter with its position on the changes at next Council Tuesday’s meeting.

    Prince George’s County Council Member Contact Information

    Mel Franklin Council Member (At-Large)

    Calvin S. Hawkins, II Chair, Council Member (At-Large)

    Thomas E. Dernoga Council Member (District 1)

    Deni Taveras Vice-Chair, Council Member (District 2)

    Dannielle M. Glaros Council Member (District 3)

    Todd M. Turner Council Member (District 4)

    Jolene Ivey Council Member (District 5)

    Derrick L. Davis Council Member (District 6)

    Rodney C. Streeter Council Member (District 7)

    Monique Anderson-Walker Council Member (District 8)

    Sydney J. Harrison Council Member (District 9)

    [Source: Offices of CM Jolene Ivey,  CM Dernoga, CM Glaros]

    County to Lift Mask Mandate this Friday

    Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks announced today that the County will align with the State of Maryland and CDC recommendations and lift the mask mandate for fully vaccinated individuals, due to a continued decline in key COVID-19 metrics and increasing vaccination rates. These new guidelines will go into effect by Executive Order on Friday, May 28, 2021 at 5:00 p.m.

    Beginning Friday, May 28 at 5:00 p.m., fully vaccinated individuals can resume normal activities without wearing a mask. In line with the State of Maryland and CDC guidance, masks will still be required on public transportation and in schools, child care settings and health care settings. Unvaccinated individuals are strongly encouraged to continue wearing a mask until they are fully vaccinated and are encouraged to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Individuals who live or work in the County can walk up to County Health Department vaccination clinics with no appointment needed, or book an appointment in advance online at

    Over the past month, the County’s Vaccine Outreach Team has reached 30,000 Prince Georgians through door knocking, phone calls and text messages, providing information on COVID-19 vaccines and various government resources. The team has provided resource information on rental assistance to 2,146 families, temporary unemployment benefits to 2,669 families, access to food distribution sites or benefits to 1,753 families, and access to vaccination sites and appointments to 6,751 families.

    The outreach team is only 50% of the way through the first canvass pass, and the County will continue this effort through July. The County encourages residents to answer the door or pick up the phone if a member of the outreach team contacts them. Outreach team members will always wear bright yellow vests and carry identification badges to show they are affiliated with Prince George’s County Government.
    [County press release]

    FY21 County Budget Hearings – May 4 and 11, 2021

    The County Budget Public Hearings will take place on Mary 4 and May 11 at 5:00 p.m. Review the proposed budget and learn more here:
    Register to speak on May 4 or 11 via the “eComment” links for those dates here.

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