The Maryland County Officials Diversity Caucus discussed human trafficking challenges at its lunch meeting during the 2019 MACo Summer Conference on August 15.
Andrea Nunez, Chair of the Legislative Committee of the Montgomery County Human Trafficking Prevention Committee, presented an overview of human trafficking and provided examples of how counties can respond to it. Nunez walked through the definition of human trafficking, highlighted trafficking “hotspots” in Montgomery County, and detailed County enforcement and victim treatment efforts.
Maryland Hospital Association (MHA) Vice President of Government Affairs Jennifer Witten described how MHA and hospitals are working to identify and treat victims of human trafficking. Witten highlighted several innovative hospital programs, including: Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore City, Greater Baltimore Medical Center in Baltimore County, and Frederick Memorial Hospital in Frederick County.
The Diversity Caucus is a chapter organization within MACo and provides an organizational structure for county elected officials of minority descent and gender to empower, represent, and respond to issues affecting the most vulnerable communities and constituencies; to promote legislation and policies beneficial to the people they represent; and to serve as a central point for information and participation within MACo.
Diversity Caucus President and Montgomery County Council Member Craig Rice chaired the meeting