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.
Debates over proposed self-storage facilities in the Route 1 corridor – and elsewhere – have been contentious in the past. But a new self-storage facility planned for the existing retail loading docks beneath the Mall at Prince George’s didn’t seem to raise much in the way of critical objections from Hyattsville City Council members, with one exception.
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.
Hyattsville’s Magruder Park will be officially renamed David C. Driskell Park. The change in namesake replaces a prominent white, early 20th-Century Hyattsville politician and landowner, William Pinkney Magruder, with a prominent African American, late-20th Century Hyattsville artist and scholar in Driskell.
Consider this Route 1 Reporter’s paean to the elections of the Prince George’s County Route 1 corridor’s smaller towns. Amid an historically-large field of candidates in Hyattsville this year, I was unable to provide the type of coverage I’d like for the other races in the corridor. Still, voters in Mount Rainier, Brentwood, Riverdale Park all have elections that are coming to a close today, May 3, 2021, while University Park will vote the next day. Below, a rundown of the races:
In Brentwood, a rhetorically contentious election pits two slates of candidates against each other. The Fair Leadership slate sees incumbent Mayor Rocio Treminio-Lopez court votes alongside council hopefuls Stefan Leggin, Quianna Taylor and Mary Vechery.