Our 23A delegate wants to hear from her constituents [South Laurel/Montpelier]

Del. Geraldine Valentino-Smith, who represents South Laurel and Montpelier residents in legislative District 23A, met recently with constituents at the Montpelier Arts Center. While being treated to delectable snacks and coffee, community residents took advantage of the opportunity to get to know the delegate and her areas of emphasis. Del. Valentino-Smith views her role as a voice for the people, and describes herself as a mother, nurse, health care attorney and activist.

She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Catholic University, as well as her law degree with a specialization in health care law. Previously, Valentino-Smith served on the Bowie City Council and is currently on the House Judiciary Committee, Juvenile Law Subcommittee and the Park and Planning Subcommittee. Among the legislative issues she champions are education support for veterans, victims' rights and school board transparency. She has recently sponsored legislation such as the Workplace Violence Bill, specifically regarding assault on health care providers. Other areas of interest are the concerns of senior citizens in the community and juvenile justice.

Del. Valentino-Smith grew up in Bowie, and currently lives there with her husband, P.J., and their three children. The family belongs to St. Pius X Church, where she taught kindergarten religious education classes. The delegate is very interested in hearing from her constituents in District 23A. Contact her at geraldine.valentino@house.state.md.us, by phone at 301-858-3101, or go to her web site, http://www.delegategeraldine.com.

The Prince George's County Department of Parks and Recreation announces Formula 2040, a plan for future projects and programs in the area. We all have an opportunity to review the plan and to comment on it. The plan is available for viewing at http://www.pgparks.com/formula2040.htm .Those of us in the South Laurel/Montpelier community, who benefit from the historical programs at Montpelier Mansion, the classes, performances and exhibits at the Montpelier Arts Center, the facilities at Bedford Community Park and summer and year-round programs at Deerfield Run Community Center, owe it to ourselves and to our community to be aware of what the plans are and to take this opportunity to have our own input into the future. Comments on the plan may be forwarded to the Clerk of the County Council, County Administration Building, 14741 Governor Oden Bowie Drive, Upper Marlboro, MD 20772.

Two new exhibits are on display at the Montpelier Arts Center this month. Rania Hassan's works combining knitting and painting are on view until May 21 and Jacqueline Lee displays her creations using quilt and photography until April 30. Spring classes begin at the Arts Center on April 13. The class catalog is available at arts.pgparks.com, or call 301-377-7800.   

Here's hoping that we all have a happy and healthy spring — whenever spring decides to show up!

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