News Roundup: A call to serve, the appointment process in Baltimore, senior leaders, and personnel news
Maryland Comptroller Brooke E. Lierman (D) announced this week that she will be setting up 11 advisory councils and workgroups, which will enable members of the public to help advise the agency on its strategic direction. An application process has been opened for those who would like to serve on the groups.
The councils and work groups are expected to begin meeting this summer. Groups are expected to meet quarterly and members will serve two-year terms.
The new advisory councils and workgroups are:
- Business Advisory Council
- Climate Advisory Council
- Faith Leaders Advisory Council
- Financial Literacy Advisory Council
- Information Technology Work Group
- Labor Advisory Council
- Local Government Advisory Council
- New Americans Advisory Council
- Staff Advisory Council
- Tax Practice Work Group
- Women’s Economic Empowerment Council
“I am excited to build these new bridges between our team and the public and encourage anyone interested in applying to do so right away,” Lierman said.
Individuals who are interested in serving on one of the groups must submit a completed application by June 23. Applications and additional details are available at www.marylandtaxes.gov/getinvolved.
Bridges to the future
The Baltimore City Democratic State Central Committee has announced its timeline for nominating a replacement for former Del. Tony Bridges (D), who resigned last week to become an assistant secretary in the Maryland Department of Transportation.
The central committee is accepting applications until 5 p.m. on June 2. Interested applicants should email a resume (attached as a PDF) to [email protected] and indicate “41st District” in the subject line.
The central committee will then interview the applicants by Zoom on June 8, beginning at 6:30 p.m., and the eight voting members of the committee from the 41st District are scheduled to recommend a nominee for the vacancy that evening. Gov. Wes Moore (D) would then make the formal appointment.
The Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee also in the process of filling a House vacancy in District 17, where former Del. Kumar P. Barve (D) resigned last week to join the Maryland Public Service Commission. Applications are being accepted until May 31, and the central committee will vote on June 14.
The Maryland Democratic Party’s annual spring gala on June 22 is being dedicated to longtime congressman and former U.S. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-5th).
The event will take place at Martin’s West catering hall in Baltimore County with a VIP reception at 6 p.m. The guest speaker is U.S. House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), who made history in January as the first Black lawmaker to lead a party in Congress.
The Maryland Democratic Party hosted a program last week in Gaithersburg to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Part of the main event featured three of the top Democratic candidates seeking to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin (D).
As for Hoyer, who turns 84 next month, he will remain busy as chair of the recently created Democratic Regional Leadership Council. Hoyer has served in the House for more than four decades and was the second-ranking Democrat from 2003 until early this year alongside former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
Less than two weeks before the Maryland Democratic Party function, Hoyer will host his annual bull roast June 9 at Newton White Mansion in Mitchellville. He has yet to say formerly whether he plans to seek a 22nd full term in 2024.
It didn’t get as much attention in Maryland as it did across the state line in Delaware. But on Monday, just a few weeks after Cardin, U.S. Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), the EPW Committee chair and a top protector of the Chesapeake Bay, announced his retirement.
Cardin quickly paid tribute to his colleague, calling him “a friend and an incredible statesman.”
“He knows instinctively when to listen and when to speak up,” Cardin said in a statement that sounded a little like somebody talking about Cardin. “It’s been a privilege to serve alongside him on the EPW Committee since I arrived in the Senate in 2007. To have a chairman and a long-term partner who understands exactly why the Chesapeake Bay is a national treasure, and the urgency of protecting its health has — without question — made a positive difference for the Delmarva region. The same is true for Tom’s commitment to making much-needed and historic investments in water infrastructure and surface transportation in our two neighboring states and nationwide.”
Cardin, 79, noted that he and Carper, 76, still have business to attend to before the step off the political stage at the beginning of 2025.
“It’s only 2023 and neither one of us is done yet,” he said. “Together, I know we will squeeze everything we can into the next 19 months.”
Comings and goings
Speaking of Cardin, he has a new press secretary: Sarita Williams, who comes to his office from a year and a half as director of communications for House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones (D-Baltimore County) — a job Cardin himself once held. Williams has also been a legislative analyst for the General Assembly and was deputy political director on the 2018 gubernatorial campaign of then-Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker (D).
Jeremy Baker, Jones’ chief of staff, said the office is searching for a replacement for Williams.
Another departure: Molly Knoll, an attorney and senior adviser to the Maryland Public Service Commission for five years, has just left the agency to become vice president for policy at the Coalition for Community Solar Access, a national advocacy group, where she’ll lead and manage the association’s policy team and priority state initiatives, federal policy initiatives, and serve as a nationwide spokesperson on key issues to advance distributed solar energy. She’ll be based in Baltimore.
“Molly’s extensive policy, legal, and technical expertise in one of community solar’s most successful programs will help us realize our potential throughout the country,” said CCSA’s CEO Jeff Cramer. “With the Inflation Reduction Act in place and a clear path forward to expand community solar, Molly’s state work will inform other state commissions and energy offices on how best to create and grow programs.”