Category "Blog"

I was honored to attend the Howard County Fire & Rescue Service’s Annual Awards ceremony last week. However, one moment stood out for me personally, when the HCF&RS members and volunteers (pictured here) who responded to the Ellicott City flood received an award and special pin for their brave and selfless service. There is no doubt that these women and men saved many lives and prevented injury by their heroic acts.

Thank you to this group of amazing public safety personnel and to the entire team at HCF&RS.

With the BOE considering the two potential sites for High School 13 and the need for a decision as soon as possible, I wanted to share my thoughts on the two locations. One of my top objectives since taking office has been to advocate for a new high school to serve the eastern county as soon as possible. I worked early in my term, going back to the budget passed in May 2015 and the Council/BOE meetings in June and October of that year to focus attention on the need for HS13 and to encourage HCPSS to move forward quickly on the high school, including seeking a site in Elkridge and to engage Elkridge residents in the process. I worked within the budget framework to move funding for HS13 to expedite the opening date, sequestered county funds for that purpose, and I went to Annapolis this past Fall to request funds so we could build a high school to open in 2022. I maintain that the timing of completing construction is an important element, but certainly not the only criteria. In short, I believe the Troy Park site presents the best location for the high school and, I concur with Superintendent Martirano we need to continue with the acquisition of the Mission Road site for another school and additional educational facilities.

I have heard good arguments supporting both sites for the next high school, though I continue to be deeply concerned about the vitriol in the community pitting neighborhoods against one another. In the end, there is a clear consensus within the entire community in this part of Howard County that we need a high school here and that the overcrowding at Howard and Long Reach needs to be addressed sooner, rather than later. I am hopeful that the BOE and HCPSS will move forward to complete their decision on a site in the coming weeks to prevent further delays in opening HS13 as soon as possible. I encourage community members to continue to share your thoughts on the high school site with the BOE (boe@hcpss.org).

Patapsco Valley State Park (PVSP) is a popular destination for hikers, mountain bikers and picnickers. It’s so attractive, in fact, that park rangers frequently have to close the park entrances on summer weekends due to overcrowding.

Park managers predict the problem may worsen when the nearby Guinness Open Gate Brewery and Barrel House opens later this year and begins attracting 300,000 visitors annually. Upcoming milestone anniversaries down the line for the B&O Railroad and Thomas Viaduct are also expected to generate visitor increases.

With so many people already taking advantage of the history, nature and outdoor recreation opportunities PVSP has to offer, the Patapsco Heritage Greenway (PHG) has begun conducting annual summits with community stakeholders to discuss ways to leverage Howard and Baltimore counties’ resources and enhance the Patapsco Valley Heritage Area (PVHA) shared by both jurisdictions.
“A few points that came out of our first summit were that we have to build upon cross-county and cross-community collaboration,” said PHG Vice President Victoria Goodman. “We’re interested in visualizing Route 1 as a unification Corridor for Elkridge, St. Denis, Halethorpe and Relay, building a more robust Catonsville/Ellicott City tourism corridor and establishing trail connections that strengthen these corridors.”

At the organization’s second annual summit, held last month at Grace Episcopal Church, in Elkridge, local residents and community stakeholders brainstormed on possible solutions for challenges related to the Thomas Viaduct, trails and trail connections, the visitor experience and park infrastructure.

Howard County Councilman Jon Weinstein and Baltimore County Councilman Tom Quirk were also on hand to co-host and share some of their own ideas.

Read the full article here:  https://www.bizmonthly.com/howard-baltimore-counties-collaborate-state-park-improvements/

By Kate Magill : Contact Reporter
Howard County Times

Maryland U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin visited Wilde Lake High School on Friday to discuss school safety and gun control with students.

The Democratic senator’s visit with about 50 students was part of ongoing discussions he is planning to have with community members in the wake of the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., an aide said.

The discussion, which also included schools Superintendent Michael Martirano, County Council chairwoman Mary Kay Sigaty and Councilman Jon Weinstein, focused on students’ concerns regarding their safety in school.

Cardin chose to talk with students at the 1,200-student Columbia school because of its recent experience with gun violence, according to spokesman Tim Zink. In September 2017 Wilde Lake teacher Laura Wallen was shot to death and her former boyfriend has been charged with her murder.

“I was extremely impressed by the energy level of the students. They had a great deal of interest in the subject matter, they were extremely articulate, they asked great questions and I found it extremely encouraging for the future of Howard County, Maryland and this nation,” Cardin said. “They are concerned about their safety, they are concerned about their classmates’ safety. They recognize that we have problems in this country, they want to know why we are unable to pass gun safety legislation.”

Continue to the full article here:  http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/howard/columbia/ph-ho-cf-cardin-at-wilde-lake-0301-story.html

I was truly honored by the amazing turnout at my happy hour event. About 120 people came out to show their support for my work on the Council and in the community and to meet and talk with neighbors from around Howard County. I was honored by the many folks who mentioned this was their first political event and I was the first politician to whom they’ve contributed.

The people crowded into the party room at the new Manor Hill Tavern in Historic EC represented a wonderful cross-section of interests, organizations, and political affiliations. I believe that they shared my commitment to addressing the issues that face our community and seeking innovative ways to make our amazing county even better.

Special “thank yous” to:

  • Robin Holliday who set the stage for a great night with her greetings to everyone and her generous words about me. Robin and I have become friends over the time she has had her gallery on Main Street and is one of those people that you meet that leads with her heart and demonstrates to us all that compassion is truly powerful.
  • Jim Robey, a role model and mentor for me, who has served our community with honor and distinction for his entire life. Starting as a HCPD patrol officer, rising to Chief, then County Executive, and the Maryland Senate. His inclusive approach to governing and leadership set a high bar for those of us in public service. I was truly moved by his remarks about my time in office and I’m honored by his support going back to 2008 when I decided to run for the House of Delegates.
  • Randy Mariner and his team at the new and amazing Manor Hill Tavern. Months ago I ask Randy if I could hold the first private event at the tavern…. and that happened Thursday night. Besides having three, soon to be four of the best restaurants in Howard County, he and his entire family have given so much back to the community, including worthy causes like battling Cystic Fibrosis.
  • My team of volunteers whose ranks were thinned by business travel and illness. In particular, Carole Fisher, Dave Grabowski, and my amazing wife, Margaret carried the load for the event. Thank you, thank you!

Once again, I’m grateful for the support for my efforts and for the strong encouragement to continue my service to the county.

Benefitting the Ellicott City Recovery Fund
Sunday, Sept. 18, 1p-4p (Rain or Shine)

In light of the devastating flood in Ellicott City, this year’s annual community picnic has a special purpose. ALL proceeds will go to Historic Ellicott City’s recovery efforts. 

This is a FREE event! Donations are encouraged and will directly go to the Ellicott City Partnership. Please bring a check made out to the ECP or contribute online by clicking here (be sure to enter “Weinstein Community Picnic” in the “Comments” section).

Also, please be sure to RSVP so we can get an accurate count
by emailing 
Jon@VoteWeinstein.com or complete
and send the form below.

The picnic will be held at Centennial Park, Pavilions A&B

Click here for a map of the location.

Last month I drafted and coordinated a letter with Council Chairman Calvin Ball and County Executive Allan H Kittleman to the FAA echoing the concerns and frustrations from our constituents and pushing for FAA action to address noise in Elkridge and Hanover. Our letter has yielded a meeting next month in DC. Please read the following article regarding the long-standing issue:  http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/howard/elkridge/ph-ho-cf-bwi-noise-follow-0623-20160622-story.html

Via Baltimore Sun

Two Howard County Council members proposed a new publicly funded campaign system Monday that matches small campaign donations using public funds.

Proposed by Council members Jon Weinstein and Jen Terrasa, the resolution — called a “citizen funded campaign system” — is a major change to the county’s charter. If the council passes the resolution in the beginning of March, the amendment will head to the ballots this year and take effect for the 2022 election cycle.

Pushed by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision in 2010, which ignited a national conversation about the power of money in politics, publicly funded campaigns have picked up steam across the country. Joining nearly two-dozen states, Maryland lawmakers created an option for a publicly funded system in the campaign finance bill of 2013.

Weinstein hopes the proposal will urge more citizens to be involved in the democratic process.

“We want to engage citizens more in the process so they feel like they can wield influence, increase their voice and enhance it,” said Weinstein, who has accepted donations from corporations and Political Action Committees. “That is how the system is now. And we can have an alternative.”

“We are joining a national conversation on the influence of money in politics,” said Terrasa. “We have to preserve our democracy.”

Although citizen funding can affect how candidates run campaigns — or whether they decide to at all — the research is not conclusive, according to a literature review by the Campaign Finance Institute. However, matching funds provide incentives for candidates to spend more time and resources to mobilize small donors, according to the study

In September 2014, Montgomery County became the first county in Maryland to opt-in to the system. Howard County’s system will likely be modeled after Montgomery County’s system, which will be effective in the 2018 election cycle, said Weinstein. The county is working on details about the maximum contributions allowed, qualifications to access public funding and other requirements, he said.

A preliminary estimate indicates a four-year election cycle may cost up to $2 million, assuming many candidates opt-in to the voluntary system, Weinstein said. Studies to determine costs of the proposed system are in progress, he said.

To qualify for matching funds in Montgomery County, candidates for county executive must secure $40,000 with a minimum of 500 donations; candidates for at-large positions must secure at least $20,000 with a minimum of 250 donations; and candidates for district council seats must secure $10,000 with a minimum of 125 donations. Candidates who opt-in cannot accept money from corporations or PACs.

In Montgomery County, public contributions are capped at $750,000 for county executive candidates, $500,000 for at-large council candidates and $125,000 for district council candidates. The matching system is based on a tiered formula. For example, if a county executive candidate receives two donations of $50, the candidate will receive $600. But if the candidate receives one donation of $100, the candidate will receive $500. The first $50 of each contribution is matched at a 6:1 ratio for county executive candidates and 4:1 ratio for council candidates. The rate decreases for each $50 donated. The second $50 is matched at a 4:1 ratio for county executive candidates and at a 3:1 ratio for council candidates. The final $50 is matched at a 2:1 ratio for county executive and council candidates.

The Howard resolution creates the Commission on Citizen Funded Campaigns, which would include five county residents appointed by the council and two county residents appointed by the county executive. The commission would calculate estimated costs to fund the citizen funded campaign citizen budget, the resolution states.

Read more:  http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/howard/columbia/ph-ho-cf-campaign-finance-0204-20160202-story.html

Via Baltimore Sun

On Monday morning, County Council member Jon Weinstein announced the launch of Driving Student Success, a program that will collect donations from local businesses to provide students participating in after-school activities with a bus ride home.

“There is a direct correlation between a student’s academic success and future opportunities and their involvement in activities after school,” said Weinstein, a Democrat who represents District 1. “Whether participating in a club, seeking extra help or playing a sport, our students should have the opportunity to stay after school and still have access to transportation home.”

“Howard County is proud of its school system and this program promotes community support that will help maintain its excellence,” said Lisa Olivieri, chair of the foundation. She joined Weinstein and Superintendent Renee Foose at a press conference about the program at Howard High. “We look forward to continuing to work with the business community and the councilman to grow this program.”

According to a report by the Harvard Family Research Project, participation in after-school programs positively impacts students’ academic success, but also their social and emotional health.

“A decade of research and evaluation studies, as well as large-scale, rigorously conducted syntheses looking across many research and evaluation studies, confirms that children and youth who participate in after school programs can reap a host of positive benefits in a number of interrelated outcome areas — academic, social/emotional, prevention, and health and wellness,” wrote the authors of the report, Priscilla Little, Christopher Wimer and Heather Weiss.

Read more:  http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/howard/columbia/ph-ho-cf-driving-success-1119-20151116-story.html

© 2018 Vote 4 Jon : Vote for Jon Weinstein for Howard County Council