I have a few updates, in a purely random order.
Spaghetti Dinner—The 23rd Representative District (RD) is holding its 14th annual spaghetti dinner and auction on Friday April 3rd from 6-9pm at the UU church in Newark (www.uufn.org). I have tickets, $10 each. Chris Coons has agreed to emcee the auction—he is a riot. There is a rumor that we will have an item donated by a sitting Vice President of the US.
Reentry—There are four public meetings to consider how to address our prison situation, improving the reentry process, and perhaps reducing our incarceration rate (one of the highest in the nation). They are from 6:30-8pm as follows: March 9, PAL, Garfield Park, 26 Karlyn Dr, New Castle; March 10, Chase Center on the Riverfront, Wilmington; March 11, Sussex Co Admin Building 2 The Circle Council Chambers 1st Floor, Georgetown; March 12, Carroll’s Plaza, Dover DE. This is a high priority for Governor Markell. Come and learn and be heard.
Spiteful Son of a Gun—Our favorite Democratic (in name at least) state senator Tony DeLuca is no friend of open government. (By the way, he was one of the legislators who held up the wind power contract for months in the last legislative session.) With public input, recently the Newark city council unanimously proclaimed that they support the general assembly opening up to FOIA (the Freedom of Information Act). Senator DeLuca responded by drafting a Senate Bill to punish Newark, by weakening Newark’s Alderman’s Court, which provides revenues to the city. If you support open government, and oppose DeLuca’s retaliation against Newark, then ask your senator to oppose DeLuca’s Senate Bill related to Newark’s Alderman’s Court.
There is a Child Poverty Summit on Wednesday April 22nd, from 9am to 3:30pm in Dover. Go to www.dekidscount.org for more information, including registration information when it is available. This event is free, has limited space, and Michelle Obama has been invited, really.
Pro-Choice—Planned Parenthood of Delaware is holding a meeting on Thursday March 19th at 1pm at Planned Parenthood (625 N. Shipley St, Wilm). Clergy and members of faith-based congregations are invited to attend, and to explore how to strengthen and advance women’s right to reproductive freedom. For more information, contact Tammy Washington at 302-507-3662.
State Board and Commissions—There are a bunch of cool boards and commissions in Delaware (the full list is on pages 4-8 of http://governor.delaware.gov/board_and_commission_application-form.pdf). Governor Markell’s administration has the opportunity to fill many slots on these boards/councils. The following link can be used to see the full list, along with detailing the application process: governor.delaware.gov/boards-comms.shtml
Equal Rights Legislation in Dover—HB 5 – Non-discrimination Bill, sponsored by Rep. Schwartzkopf & Sen. Sokola, will prohibit discrimination against persons on the basis of sexual orientation in housing and employment. HB 10 – Domestic Partner Benefits for State Government Employees, sponsored by Rep. Schooley & Sen. Henry, will make the domestic partner of a state of Delaware regular officer, employee or eligible pensioner entitled to the same benefits that are provided to the spouse of a state employee or pensioner. HB 75 - Hospital & Nursing Facility Visitation Bill, sponsored by Rep. Keeley, Kowalko & Sen. Bunting, allows each competent adult patient to receive visits in a Hospital, nursing home or nursing facility from any individual from whom the patient desires to receive visits. It’s embarrassing that this legislation hasn’t been passed in Delaware years ago. I recommend the DLFMembers Yahoo Group, which does a great job of keeping up on this legislation.