Mount Rainier might endorse Medicare for All Act

Mount Rainier City Council is considering joining a growing list of local governments to endorse a congressional plan to expand Medicare. The measure to support a partisan congressional proposal – the Medicare for All Act is a proposal from Democratic legislators – is notable in Prince George’s normally non-partisan city governments. 

Mount Rainier gets new City Councilor to fill vacancy

Mount Rainier elected officials voted to seat Jimmy Tarlau, a former state delegate and city councilor, to fill a City Council vacancy left by May’s election of Celina Benitez as mayor. 

Tarlau was voted in by a vote of three to one at Mount Rainier’s June 1, 2021, City Council meeting. Ward Two Councilor Scott Cecil voted against. Under Mount Rainier’s City Charter, the responsibility for selecting possible candidates to replace Benitez lies exclusively with the remaining Ward One representative, City Councilor Luke Chesek, who is allowed to forward up to three names for consideration. 

In nominating Tarlau, Chesek said Tarlau’s experience in city as well as state government will be an asset. 

“The biggest reason just has to do with experience,” said Chesek. “I just thought about a few people who had been in this role and Jimmy made the most sense.”

Tarlau said he was happy to be nominated to help Mount Rainier. “I’m really just here to help the Council fulfill its mission.

Hyattsville approves housing plan calling for rent control, tenant rights

Editor’s note: Route 1 Reporter is a subscriber-supported local news website. In the interest of the public discourse, articles about government policy are available for free. If you like the reporting, please support Route 1 Reporter on Patreon. Hyattsville City Council unanimously approved an ambitious “Housing Action Plan” whose policies, if fully fleshed out, they hope will preserve and produce affordably-priced housing in the growing suburb. The vote came during the city’s May 17, 2021, Council meeting without much comment, perhaps because City Council has been deliberating over the document for more than a year.

Elections reshape Route 1 corridor councils

Hyattsville voters chose incumbent interim Mayor and Ward 1 City Councilor Kevin Ward as their next mayor, along with five other City Council members, concluding the spring 2021 municipal election season along the Route 1 corridor, with elections in Mount Rainier, Brentwood, Riverdale Park and University Park taking place the week before. 

The elections brought some firsts, as well. In Hyattsville Ward becomes the first African American man elected to the Mayor’s office. Ward is also the first African American man to serve as Mayor, though he earned that distinction in January when he succeeded former Mayor Candace Hollingsworth, who resigned her seat early to focus on other political ambitions. 

Ward handily beat campaign rivals in Ward Five City Councilor Joseph Solomon and political newcomer Austin Martinez. Ward received 1,606 votes to Solomon’s 823 and Martinez’s 247. With only 500 same-day votes uncounted, Ward’s 783-vote lead over Solomon is more than enough to secure the win.