August 15, 2022

Healty Care

The Healthy Lovers

Candidate Profile: Angela Alsobrooks Seeks County Executive

19 min read

PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY, MD — Candidates in the Democratic and Republican parties will be competing on Tuesday in their respective primaries to see who will be on the Nov. 8 ballot.

Patch has asked each of the candidates running in select races to fill out a questionnaire, sharing facts about themselves and why voters should choose them to represent their party in November.

Let’s start with your name.

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Angela Alsobrooks

What email should be used to contact your campaign?

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[email protected]

Does your campaign have a website?

https://www.angelaalsobrooks.com/

What city or town do you live in?
Upper Marlboro

What office are you seeking?
Prince George’s County Executive

What is your party affiliation?
Democrat

Please share with us with your education.
B.A. Public Policy, Duke University; J.D., University of Maryland School of Law

What is your occupation?
Prince George’s County Executive – 3.5 years

Do you have a family? If so, please tell us about them.

Mother – Patricia Alsobrooks
Father – James “Mac” Alsobrooks
Daughter – Alex Alsobrooks
Sister – Kimberly Seymour

Does anyone in your family work in politics or government?
No

Have you ever held a public office, whether appointive or elective?

Prince George’s County Executive – 2018-present
Prince George’s County State’s Attorney – 2010-2018
Executive Director, Prince George’s County Revenue Authority – 2003-2010

How old will you be as of Election Day?
51

Why are you seeking this office?

As a proud, lifelong Prince Georgian, I’m seeking re-election as County Executive so we can continue the tremendous progress we have made in the past three and a half years, despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. We broke ground on nine new schools last year, we just opened the County’s first behavioral health facility, and we opened the Office of Veterans Affairs to serve our 60,000 veterans. There is still work to be done, and the best is yet to come for Prince George’s. I want to be sure we can continue to go “Further Together” for our residents.

Please complete this statement: The single most pressing issue facing my constituents is \_\_\_, and this is what I intend to do about it.

Violent Crime
As the Chief Law Enforcement Officer for the County for 8 years, I know how to reduce violent crime. In fact, through the partnerships we formed and by holding repeat, violent offenders accountable at the courthouse, we were able to reduce violent crime by 50% when I served as State’s Attorney. We are going to continue working on this issue in two ways: by investing resources to help heal people, and by holding people accountable.

As County Executive, I have responsibility for making key investments to heal people and provide opportunities, and we’ve done just that. For our youth, we more than doubled the size of the summer jobs program my first year in office, going from 3,000 to 7,000 jobs. This summer, every child who applied for a job received one. We also launched the Alsobrooks Passport Experience last summer, to provide entrepreneurial and educational opportunities to keep youth engaged over the summer. This year, we have provided opportunities for 1,000 young people.

We’ve also provided grants to 16 non-profits through our Hope in Action Anti-Violence Project, which provide community wraparound services, diversion and re-entry programming, and more. This program also includes violence interrupters who are out working to diffuse situations and prevent violence from occurring in the first place. At the same time, we stood up a Gun Intelligence Unit in our Police Department last year, which has recovered over 2,100 guns and made over 1,400 arrests to help keep guns off our streets.

At the same time, we are ensuring that Prince Georgians receive fair and consistent policing. I created the Police Reform Work Group to conduct a thorough study and review of our Police Department, and we are currently implementing 46 reforms. I equipped all patrol officers with body-worn cameras during my first two years in office, and also hired a new police chief who is a national leader in community policing.

While there is still work to do, we have made investments that will help us heal people and reduce violent crime. During my second term, we will continue to be laser-focused on fighting crime. Our Police Department will continue to come up with new crime-fighting strategies, and the government will continue to make smart investments to provide opportunities to residents and address the root causes of crime.

What are the major differences between you and the other candidates seeking this post?

I’m the only candidate with executive leadership experience in this race; from my time as Executive Director of the Revenue Authority, to my time as State’s Attorney, and now my time as County Executive.

When I was State’s Attorney, we reduced violent crime by 50% to historic lows in the County. Now as County Executive, I have a strong track record of effectively governing this County, including during an unprecedented pandemic where we went from being the County with the highest infection rate in the State, to having one of the lowest infection rates in the State and one of the highest vaccination rates.

Finally, I’m not afraid to make tough decisions that are in the best interest of Prince Georgians, and I have shown that throughout my first term as County Executive. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Prince George’s County was the first jurisdiction to have a mask mandate because I issued an Executive Order. After the killing of George Floyd and the subsequent social justice movement, I created a Police Reform Work Group to tackle the issue of police reform. I love Prince George’s and the residents of this amazing County. I will always stand up and do what’s right for my hometown.

If you are challenging an incumbent, in what way has the current officeholder failed the community?

Healthcare

A primary goal of my second term will be to continue expanding access to healthcare and building a continuum of care across Prince George’s. The pandemic laid bare many of the inequities that were facing our County. Our jurisdiction was one of the hardest-hit in the region and State by the pandemic, and our residents became sicker when they contracted COVID-19 because of a lack of access to healthy foods and healthcare. However, we have been working to correct that during my first term.

Last year, we opened the doors to a new hospital. In 2020, I reallocated $20 million to build a new mental health and addiction care facility, the first of its kind in Prince George’s County. We just recently opened the doors to that new facility. We also opened the doors to a new behavioral health unit at MedStar Southern Maryland in May of this year. I worked with Governor Hogan to secure $67 million in funding for the County’s first freestanding cancer center, which we broke ground on earlier this year. We plan to apply for a certificate of need to build a new Adventist hospital in Fort Washington, to expand bed capacity and healthcare access for residents in South County. We are also building two new medical office buildings to attract more primary care physicians to the County, one in Largo and one in National Harbor.

In terms of our government Health Department, it has been underfunded for decades, and we have been working to correct that. In the FY 2022 budget, we included funding for ten new positions in the Health Department, which were designed to support continued pandemic response and recovery. In the FY 2023 budget, we included funding to expand the Prince George’s Health Assures Program, which will help us expand health insurance for 50,000 uninsured residents. Finally, we expanded access to mental health, vision and dental care in our public schools.

Overall, my Administration has been committed to expanding access to healthcare, but we still have more work to do. Mental health has been a major priority of my Administration, so we will work to build additional mental health facilities. We will also work to expand our bed capacity for our hospital system. Finally, we will continue to fund the infrastructure to attract more primary care physicians, so we can build a stronger and healthier Prince George’s.

Economic Development

A second goal of my second term is continuing our strong progress on growing and developing in a smart way. We have focused on transit-oriented development to build walkable, bikeable, amenity-rich neighborhoods, while also making significant and historic investments in affordable housing to ensure longtime and new residents can still afford to live in Prince George’s.

One way we have focused on economic development is by investing in human development. We want to be sure Prince Georgians have access to jobs and economic opportunity. That’s why we opened a new American Job Center at National Harbor, which provides job training and job placement assistance to 10,000 residents each year. We are also hosting quarterly job and resource fairs through Employ Prince George’s, to ensure residents looking for a job have as many opportunities to secure gainful employment as possible while also gaining access to housing, social services and other critical resources.

Our Administration has also made smart investments in economic development around our metro stations. New Carrollton is a $1 billion project that will transform that station into the premier transit hub on the eastern seaboard, complete with a hotel, restaurants and other amenities. Suitland Federal Center has a new workforce housing development and is receiving road improvements, a new grocer, a food hall, and more. Finally, we received $400 million in bonding authority from the State of Maryland for historic investments along the Blue Line Corridor, which will be used for a civic plaza, a library/cultural center, an amphitheater, and more. These projects and more are going to transform the landscape for Prince George’s.

We cannot grow and develop in a smart way without investments in affordable housing, and I’m proud to say my Administration is the first to make significant government investments to preserve and expand affordable housing in Prince George’s. In the past year, we have invested over $56 million in two affordable housing programs, which help provide workforce housing for workers like teachers and firefighters, while also keeping rents stable for seniors.

During my second term, we will continue to make critical investments in job training, economic development and workforce/affordable housing. We have been working hard to bring the jobs and amenities that Prince Georgians want and deserve, while making sure the residents who built this County can still afford to live here. I will continue to deliver results, just as I have during my first term.

What other issues do you intend to address during your campaign?

Healthcare

A primary goal of my second term will be to continue expanding access to healthcare and building a continuum of care across Prince George’s. The pandemic laid bare many of the inequities that were facing our County. Our jurisdiction was one of the hardest-hit in the region and State by the pandemic, and our residents became sicker when they contracted COVID-19 because of a lack of access to healthy foods and healthcare. However, we have been working to correct that during my first term.

Last year, we opened the doors to a new hospital. In 2020, I reallocated $20 million to build a new mental health and addiction care facility, the first of its kind in Prince George’s County. We just recently opened the doors to that new facility. We also opened the doors to a new behavioral health unit at MedStar Southern Maryland in May of this year. I worked with Governor Hogan to secure $67 million in funding for the County’s first freestanding cancer center, which we broke ground on earlier this year. We plan to apply for a certificate of need to build a new Adventist hospital in Fort Washington, to expand bed capacity and healthcare access for residents in South County. We are also building two new medical office buildings to attract more primary care physicians to the County, one in Largo and one in National Harbor.

In terms of our government Health Department, it has been underfunded for decades, and we have been working to correct that. In the FY 2022 budget, we included funding for ten new positions in the Health Department, which were designed to support continued pandemic response and recovery. In the FY 2023 budget, we included funding to expand the Prince George’s Health Assures Program, which will help us expand health insurance for 50,000 uninsured residents. Finally, we expanded access to mental health, vision and dental care in our public schools.

Overall, my Administration has been committed to expanding access to healthcare, but we still have more work to do. Mental health has been a major priority of my Administration, so we will work to build additional mental health facilities. We will also work to expand our bed capacity for our hospital system. Finally, we will continue to fund the infrastructure to attract more primary care physicians, so we can build a stronger and healthier Prince George’s.

Economic Development

A second goal of my second term is continuing our strong progress on growing and developing in a smart way. We have focused on transit-oriented development to build walkable, bikeable, amenity-rich neighborhoods, while also making significant and historic investments in affordable housing to ensure longtime and new residents can still afford to live in Prince George’s.

One way we have focused on economic development is by investing in human development. We want to be sure Prince Georgians have access to jobs and economic opportunity. That’s why we opened a new American Job Center at National Harbor, which provides job training and job placement assistance to 10,000 residents each year. We are also hosting quarterly job and resource fairs through Employ Prince George’s, to ensure residents looking for a job have as many opportunities to secure gainful employment as possible while also gaining access to housing, social services and other critical resources.

Our Administration has also made smart investments in economic development around our metro stations. New Carrollton is a $1 billion project that will transform that station into the premier transit hub on the eastern seaboard, complete with a hotel, restaurants and other amenities. Suitland Federal Center has a new workforce housing development and is receiving road improvements, a new grocer, a food hall, and more. Finally, we received $400 million in bonding authority from the State of Maryland for historic investments along the Blue Line Corridor, which will be used for a civic plaza, a library/cultural center, an amphitheater, and more. These projects and more are going to transform the landscape for Prince George’s.

We cannot grow and develop in a smart way without investments in affordable housing, and I’m proud to say my Administration is the first to make significant government investments to preserve and expand affordable housing in Prince George’s. In the past year, we have invested over $56 million in two affordable housing programs, which help provide workforce housing for workers like teachers and firefighters, while also keeping rents stable for seniors.

During my second term, we will continue to make critical investments in job training, economic development and workforce/affordable housing. We have been working hard to bring the jobs and amenities that Prince Georgians want and deserve, while making sure the residents who built this County can still afford to live here. I will continue to deliver results, just as I have during my first term.

What accomplishments in your past would you cite as evidence you can handle this job?

In terms of healthcare, last year, we opened the doors to a new hospital. In 2020, I reallocated $20 million to build a new mental health and addiction care facility, the first of its kind in Prince George’s County. We just recently opened the doors to that new facility. We also opened the doors to a new behavioral health unit at MedStar Southern Maryland in May of this year. I worked with Governor Hogan during the 2022 Legislative Session to secure $67 million in funding for the County’s first freestanding cancer center, which we broke ground on earlier this year. We plan to apply for a certificate of need to build a new Adventist hospital in Fort Washington, to expand bed capacity and healthcare access for residents in South County. We are also building two new medical office buildings to attract more primary care physicians to the County, one in Largo and one in National Harbor.

We have been working to grow and develop in a smart way, and that includes investments in workforce and affordable housing. I’m proud to say my Administration is the first to make significant government investments to preserve and expand affordable housing in Prince George’s. In the past year, we have invested over $56 million in two affordable housing programs, which help provide workforce housing for workers like teachers and firefighters, while also keeping rents stable for seniors.

For our youth, we more than doubled the size of the summer jobs program my first year in office, going from 3,000 to 7,000 jobs. This summer, every child who applied for a job received one. We also launched the Alsobrooks Passport Experience last summer, to provide entrepreneurial and educational opportunities to keep youth engaged over the summer. This year, we have provided opportunities for 1,000 young people.

To fight crime, we invested money in this current budget cycle for two new recruit classes of police officers, as well as incentives to hire officers that live in Prince George’s. We’ve also provided grants to 16 non-profits through our Hope in Action Anti-Violence Project, which provide community wraparound services, diversion and re-entry programming, and more. This program also includes violence interrupters who are out working to diffuse situations and prevent violence from occurring in the first place. These are just two examples of the many strategies we are using to combat the rise in violent crime that is not only taking place in Prince George’s, but jurisdiction across our nation.

My Administration launched a new economic development platform in the summer of 2021, to guide our economic development strategy over the long term and position our County to remain the economic engine of our region and State. One way we have focused on economic development is by investing in human development. We want to be sure Prince Georgians have access to jobs and economic opportunity. That’s why we opened a new American Job Center at National Harbor, which provides job training and job placement assistance to 10,000 residents each year. We are also hosting quarterly job and resource fairs through Employ Prince George’s, to ensure residents looking for a job have as many opportunities to secure gainful employment as possible while also gaining access to housing, social services and other critical resources.

Our Administration has also focused on transit-oriented development, making smart investments in economic development around our metro stations. New Carrollton is a $1 billion project that will transform that station into the premier transit hub on the eastern seaboard, complete with a hotel, restaurants and other amenities. Suitland Federal Center has a new workforce housing development and is receiving road improvements, a new grocer, a food hall, and more. Finally, we received $400 million in bonding authority from the State of Maryland for historic investments along the Blue Line Corridor, which will be used for a civic plaza, a library/cultural center, an amphitheater, and more. These projects and more are going to transform the landscape for Prince George’s.

In terms of education, this year alone, I allocated $2.63 billion to our public school system, a 12% increase over last year and the most we’ve ever funded our school system in County history. That $2.63 billion represents 62% of our total County budget, meaning we are putting 62 cents of every taxpayer dollar into our schools, because I believe education is the civil rights issue of our time and that every child deserves a quality education.

During my first year in office, I worked with our Schools CEO and allocated additional funding to raise teacher salaries. I also fought for additional funding from the State that helped us expand pre-K, providing an additional 5,000 seats for students. When Kirwan was being introduced in the State legislature, I went to Annapolis to testify in support of the legislation, and met with leaders in both the State House and Senate to ensure Kirwan was passed and that Prince George’s would get our fair share of resources. I’m proud to say that we were successful, and some key components of Kirwan include additional resources for students in the classroom and raising teacher salaries.

When I came into office, we had an $8 billion school construction backlog. That does not happen overnight…it came about due to decades of underinvestment in our school system and school construction. We have the second-oldest school buildings in the State, and it is unacceptable for our children to learn in schools that don’t have AC in the summer or heat in the winter. So, I did something about it. We went to Annapolis and got passed legislation that allowed us to set up a public-private partnership for school construction. Known as our Alternative Construction Finance (ACF) program, this innovative program has allowed us to break ground on nine new schools last year, six of which were through this program. Next year, we will break ground on another six schools; that amount of school construction is historic and unheard of for any jurisdiction in the State of Maryland.

One of the benefits of the ACF program is it allows us to build new schools more quickly and at a cost savings. Building six new schools would normally take 10-12 years, but we are doing it in 2 years. Also, it is built into the contract that the developer will be responsible for school maintenance for the first 30 years, which saves us money on maintenance. Finally, we have set aside, at minimum, $235 million in contracting opportunities for small, local and minority-owned businesses. Not only are we creating 3,000 jobs through these first 6 schools, but also generational wealth for minority-owned businesses.

While we have made some progress on STEM and CTE programs, more needs to be done. That’s why when we brought home a $30 million school construction grant from the State during the 2022 Legislative Session, I asked our Schools CEO to use it to build a new CTE school. That $30 million is going to build a new CTE school, and we are working on plans for additional CTE schools in the County.

In the summer of 2020, I created the Police Reform Work Group in Prince George’s. This Work Group consisted of individuals with backgrounds in civil rights, criminal justice reform, law enforcement, and community activism. They spent months conducting a thorough study and review of our Police Department, and also conducting multiple listening sessions with the community and civic leaders. They came back to me with a report with 50 comprehensive recommendations to reform our Police Department, and I accepted 46 of those recommendations and began implementing them in January 2021. These reforms include areas such as community policing, use of force, independent oversight, and more.

In 2021, I also hired a new police chief, Malik Aziz. Chief Aziz is a national leader in community policing, recognized by President Obama for his work while Deputy Police Chief of the Dallas Police Department. He was also National Chair of the National Black Police Association. Since taking over the Department, Chief Aziz has been committed to a robust community policing model, and has participated in dozens of community walks and community meetings with me and our Office of Community Relations. He is also fully committed to police reform and implementing the 46 reforms from our Police Reform Work Group, as well as the reforms passed by the State Legislature in 2021.

One other thing I’ve done while County Executive is implement body-worn cameras in the Department. When I was State’s Attorney, the very first unit I stood up was the Special Prosecutions Unit to prosecute police officers who were accused of misconduct in office. So, I understood the importance of having proper evidence to hold officers accountable. Within weeks of first taking office as County Executive, I included funding in the budget to purchase the infrastructure for body-worn cameras. Then, in the following year’s budget, I included funding to purchase the actual cameras. Within two years of me taking office, all patrol officers in our Police Department were equipped with body-worn cameras.

Overall, I have a track record of success governing as County Executive, and that has been proven throughout my first term.

What is the best advice anyone ever gave you?
The best advice I ever received was from my great-grandmother, who told me that if I didn’t like something, I should “go further, and do better.” Her words were in my head when I decided to run for State’s Attorney in 2010, because I wanted to make a change in our community and help reduce violent crime. That’s also why I ran for County Executive in 2018, because I saw the hurt that was present in the courthouse, and I wanted to reach higher and better serve Prince Georgians. Even my campaign slogan for my re-election campaign, “Further Together,” is reflective of the advice she gave me when I was a kid.

Is there anything else you would like voters to know about yourself and your positions?

I am a proud, lifelong Prince Georgian. I love Prince George’s, and I love the people of this County. While this has been a difficult few years, my love for the people of this County has only grown stronger. This was one of the toughest periods of our lifetimes, but I saw Prince Georgians come together and care for one another. When we were the first in the State to put in place a mask mandate, Prince Georgians did not hesitate to mask up. When people needed food, Prince Georgians helped donate to our Stand Up & Deliver program. When the vaccines became available, Prince Georgians lined up to get the shot.

I am so blessed to be able to lead a community like this. I often call Prince George’s County the Crown Jewel of Maryland, and I truly believe that. There is no other place in the country like Prince George’s, and it is the honor of a lifetime to be able to lead my hometown. What I hope is that our residents see the love, passion, and hard work I’ve put into this job for the past three and a half years. We have gotten a lot done, and the best part about it is, we’ve gotten all of it done by working together.

I hope Prince Georgians will give me the opportunity to lead our beautiful County for another four years, because there is still work to be done. The best is yet to come for Prince George’s, and I’m confident we can continue to go “Further Together.”


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