Newly-elected officials learned about the importance of working with their county’s General Assembly delegation and how they can participate in MACo’s advocacy efforts at the MACo January 2019 Winter Conference. The panel, The County Elected Official’s Role in the Legislature, was held on Wednesday, January 2, as part of MACo’s Newly Elected Official Orientation.
Maryland Senator George Edwards stressed the importance of getting to personally know your state legislators and maintain a good relationship with them because at some point you will need them to pass certain legislation. Edwards also discussed the need to testify in person or through written testimony. “You need to be involved,” Edwards urged. Edwards also called MACo “a wonderful resource.”
Maryland Delegate Sheree Sample-Hughes stated that MACo provided the “foundation for success” for county officials through its advocacy, knowledge, and networking opportunities. She stressed the importance of connecting with your constituents and coming to your state delegation meetings in Annapolis. The delegation meetings allow you to find out what the General Assembly is considering and provide some immediate feedback to your delegation. Sample-Hughes also urged county officials to get involved with the various General Assembly caucuses as well, such as the Veteran’s Caucus or the Women’s Caucus.
Finally, MACo Legislative Director Natasha Mehu discussed how county officials can get involved with MACo on its advocacy efforts. Mehu described how MACo’s Legislative Committee works, how Legislative Initiatives are chosen, and participation through MACo’s Legislative Action Alerts.
MACo 2018 President Jerry Walker moderated the panel.