As 2017 Comes to a Close

December 19, 2017
2017 has been quite a year! There have been highs and lows - moments of utter disbelief and unexpected joy. As an optimist, I’ll shine a little light on the highs that bookend the year for me: the Women’s March and the election of Doug Jones to the U.S. Senate in Alabama. The sense of community and purpose so many of us felt from participating in the Women’s March back in January persists even today. And while the election of Doug Jones was close, it demonstrated the importance of organizing and of showing up. Both of these events are reminders of the power that ordinary people can bring to bear on the course of history.

As we head into 2018, I am optimistic that Maryland will continue to buck the tide of what is happening at the federal level by protecting our state from this Administration’s assaults on working, middle class families, our environment, and open access to the internet among other things.

I am looking forward to the 2018 General Assembly session that begins on January 10th and continuing the fight for opportunity, fairness and transparency.  You’ll hear more about my legislative initiatives in the coming weeks, but rest assured that I am working: to strengthen the economic stability of our community, for workplace fairness, to provide some relief for students burdened with student loan debt, and to support policies that are consistent with our community’s values.

Wishing you and your family warm, safe, and joyous holidays!


In and Around the District

School Visits

Every year, I look forward to being a judge at the annual holiday door decorating contest at The Harbour School. This year’s theme was “Kindness is the Best Gift,” and below is one of my favorite doors. Surely, we could all use more kindness in our lives!

I recently spoke to the 3rd graders of Wellwood Elementary School where we discussed the three branches of government, the characteristics of a good leader and what it means to compromise. I was so impressed with the students’ knowledge and understanding. What sharp 3rd graders! I also had the opportunity to visit with Principal Kalisha Miller of Pikesville Middle School and tour this vibrant & growing school.







Bagel Boys

It was wonderful to speak with the lively crowd - also known as the Bagel Boys -  at the Myerberg Senior Center. A few years ago they started with just a handful of members and they now have over 100!

MAYSB Award                                                                                                                                           
I was honored to receive the 2017 Cornerstone Service to Youth award from the Maryland Association of Youth Services Bureaus (MAYSB). Youth Service Bureaus (YSB’s), like First Step and Lighthouse in Baltimore County, provide counseling and a family-focused approach for the positive development of our youth.

Pikesville Chamber Visit

The Pikesville Chamber of Commerce hosted a discussion of upcoming issues in the 2018 General Assembly. I always enjoy the opportunity to discuss issues that will have an impact on local businesses, like earned sick leave, fair scheduling, phasing in a $15/hour minimum wage, and other business-related issues.


BJC Legislative Briefing
Many of my colleagues and I attended the Baltimore Jewish Council Legislative Briefing to discuss our upcoming agendas for the 2018 session and our work in and beyond the Jewish community.

Art with a Heart

Art with a Heart’s mission is to “enhance the lives of people in need through visual art.” Many of you know about their good works in the community at schools, domestic violence programs, shelters, etc. They offer a fantastic leadership program for 10th and 11th graders. You can read more about the program and access the application here. Help to spread the word about this important opportunity for youth.


Shelly Hettleman