A historic image of women who lobbied legislators for women’s voting rights 100 years ago could soon grace the streets of downtown Annapolis.
Of course, legislators have to approve it first.
The Downtown Annapolis Business Partnership is already shopping around for the best location and an artist to do the job in hopes that legislators will grant $15,000 — the full cost of the project. Del. Shaneka Henson, D-Annapolis, brought forth the request, which she said will celebrate the diversity of the movement.
The request was among 11 that Anne Arundel County lawmakers discussed Friday morning — and adds to the list of two dozen that were heard in November. The process isn’t done, as Del. Mark Chang, D-Glen Burnie, said hearings will continue on March 7 and March 9.
Several million dollars have already been requested, though Gov. Larry Hogan has not actually appropriated any funds for legislative bond initiatives in his proposed capital budget. This isn’t unusual — the money is typically allocated later in the process.
Last year, Anne Arundel lawmakers doled out about $12.5 million to nonprofits, including flood mitigation efforts, nonprofit headquarters renovations, and smaller projects like a new playground at John Marshall Park. Lawmakers typically favor organizations that are close to construction and have outside funding.
Supports for local teen mothers
Del. Sandy Bartlett, D-Maryland City, accompanied Barbara Palmer, executive director of Kingdom Kare Childcare Center, who requested $200,000 to open a family support center for young mothers.
Palmer, who became a mother when she was 16, said the West County Family Center would help the young women apply for childcare vouchers from the state to subsidize the cost, and they would work to cover the rest with grants and other funding.
“I know what it's like to be a teen mother so I want to be a support to these young ladies,” Palmer said.
She’s been in conversations with Anne Arundel County Public Schools about whether teachers could be provided to help ensure young parents are able to earn their high school diplomas. AACPS is supportive of her initiative but said it is yet to be determined whether teachers would be provided, because of where they are in the budget process, said Bob Mosier, a spokesman for the school system.
Kingdom Kare will provide childcare, and the center will offer resources to bolster parenting skills, life skills and financial planning for young families. She hopes to also offer ESL classes and mental health services.
It would model family support centers across the state, Palmer said, and it would be a partner of the Maryland Family Network, which is headquartered in Baltimore.
Money to improve school facilities
Del. Nic Kipke, R-Pasadena, accompanied a gaggle of junior ROTC members from Northeast High School, who are requesting $50,000 to build an obstacle course on their campus that stretches to the neighboring Tick Neck Park.
Senior Abigail Ward, a commanding officer of the program, implored the delegates to consider their request, as the obstacles represent physical challenges, but also real-world challenges like deciding what to do after high school and how to do what is right.
Kipke said the request for $50,000 won’t cover the entire cost, but they are hoping to do some fundraising and perhaps work with the community on charitable donation or design and other elements of the obstacle course.
Delegates also considered a $60,000 request from Bartlett that would repair tennis courts at Lindale Middle School.
Bartlett spoke about the confidence she gained playing tennis. Officials from Lindale said that they’d like to start a junior tennis club if repairs are made.
Del. Seth Howard, R-West River, accompanied Joan Mele-McCarthy, executive director of the Summit School, which seeks to build a new academic resource center. The requested amount was not available online and Howard did not respond to immediate requests for comment.
Del. Ned Carey, D-Brooklyn Park, was accompanied by AACPS Senior Planning Manager Greg Stewart, who hopes to see a field house built at North County High School. Steward is requesting $2,673,000 for the project — $50,000 would be put towards design, and the rest would be put towards construction.
Funds for veterans and community centers
Two delegates supported the requests of American Legion posts in the county.
Del. Alice Cain, D-Annapolis, joined Curtis “Gunny” Jones from Post 141 in requesting $25,000 to repair a leaky roof.
Post 141 is the only American Legion in the city of Annapolis, and Jones said it is regularly used as a community center for veterans and non-veterans.
And on the Mayo Peninsula, American Legion Post 226 serves the same community purpose. Howard helped them advocate for an updated temperature control system. The requested amount was not available online and Howard did not respond to an immediate request for comment.
In Severna Park, the Woods Community Center is also struggling with temperature control — and requested $25,000 for a new HVAC system, with the support of Del. Michael Malone, R-Crofton.
Funds to help preserve historic homes in the county
Del. Mark Chang, D-Glen Burnie, advocated for the needs of the Benson-Hammond House, which he called a treasure in Anne Arundel County.
The Linthicum house was originally built in the 1820s, according to the Anne Arundel County Historical Society, and has several renovation needs due to water damage. The Anne Arundel County Historical Society is requesting $100,000 for repairs. Chang said maintaining the Benson-Hammond House is important to preserving African-American history in the county.
The Goshen Farm in Cape St. Claire, which was built in the 1780s according to its website, is requesting $60,000 for the stabilization of the foundation, said Del. Heather Bagnall, D-Arnold.