Deputy Majority Whip, Maryland State House of Delegates (2015 - Present)
To be claimed
Type: bill Chamber: lower
Type: bill Chamber: lower
Type: bill Chamber: lower
Alonzo T. Washington (b. September 2, 1983) is a Democratic member of the Maryland House of Delegates, representing District 22. He was appointed to the chamber on December 19, 2012. Washington is running for re-election in the primary on June 26, 2018. The general election will take place on November 6, 2018.
Washington earned his B.A. in Criminal Justice and Criminology from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2007. His professional experience includes working as Chief of Staff and legislative aide to Prince George's County Councilman Will Campos.
Member, Maryland College and Career-Ready Standards and Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) Implementation Review Work Group, 2014-present
Member, Commission on Special Education Access and Equity, 2013-present
Member, Legislative Black Caucus, 2013-present
Member, Education Subcommittee of the Ways and Means Committee, Maryland State House of Delegates, 2013-2017
Member, Revenues Subcommittee of the Ways and Means Committee, Maryland State House of Delegates, 2013-2017
Member, Children, Youth, and Families
Member, Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education
Member, Federal Relations
Member, Management of Public Funds
Chair, Subcommittee on Election Law
Member, Ways and Means
Green Eggs & Ham
Implementing Free Tuition for Community CollegeOne of the first promises I made to you was to make a college education more affordable and accessible to students in our District, in our County, and in the State of Maryland. Rooted in my own experiences of growing up in poverty and raised by a single mom who did not have even a high school degree that commitment only grew stronger as I traveled around our District and spoke with many students, families, and parents overwhelmed by the burdens of college costs and college debt. As the first in my family to graduate from college, I clearly remember the fiscal barriers that can make a college education unattainable. Right now, only 30% of the population in Prince George's County over the age of 25 has a bachelor's degree, while in several of the lowest income communities, less than 15% of the population has a bachelor's degree. Following my election in 2014, I got to work to lead the debate on college affordability in Maryland. Beginning in 2015, I proposed legislation to establish the Maryland Higher Education Outreach & College Access Program. This program, which received $250,000 of funding last year, provides grants to non-profit organizations that help low-income students apply for and enroll in college. In 2016, I supported the College Affordability Act of 2016 and the Next Generation Scholars of Maryland Fund which will provide student debt relief and support various college access services. Most importantly, in 2017, I established the Prince George's Promise Scholarship Task Force to study how we could implement free tuition at Prince George's Community College. Last year, $1.7 million was allocated in the County's budget to initiate the program, and now, we are sending 500 new students a year to Prince George's Community College for free.
Improving Education in Prince George's CountyThe number one issue I heard as I knocked on over 10,000 doors in our district was: "We need better." And, I couldn't agree more. My highest, number one priority as your Delegate is to improve Prince George's County's public schools. New Facilities Evaluation ModelsFirst, we must re-examine how our schools are physically evaluated. Currently, many of our schools are in need of severe renovation or total replacement. Every day, students and teachers at William Wirt Middle School are suffering from black mold, rodent infestation, and failing pipes. But, they are also suffering from a facilities evaluation model that is far out-dated and too narrow-minded. It is clear that we must rethink the process by which we evaluate the physical needs of our schools. Under the current evaluation model, schools are solely graded on the structural and engineering needs of the building. To reform how our school facilities are assessed and ensure that all students and teachers are working in a 21st Century learning environment, I have proposed legislation to require the State to complete a statewide assessment of all school facilities by 2020 and establish new criteria to evaluate and rank school facilities in the State. Ending School SuspensionsIn the 2012-2013 school year, 13,951 students were suspended from Prince George's County Schools.While this figure does represents a 1,664 drop in student suspensions from the 2011-2012 school (15, 615 students suspended), it also means that still almost 9% of students in Prince George's County were issued a suspension in the 2012-2013 school year. This number is simply too high. The subjective nature of suspensions that often takes on a racial bias must be eliminated by eliminating suspension as a disciplinary tool altogether. I plan to propose legislation that will pilot a program to remove the option of a suspension as a form of punishment from one high school in Prince George's County and replace it with an opportunity for community service. Such legislation would demonstrate that we as a County are actively working to eradicate forms of discipline that are racially biased, too subjective, and frankly, overall ineffective. Community service would also provide students with a chance for personal and community growth, an opportunity that out of school suspensions clearly deny. Boosting Parental InvolvementAnother threat to our County's school system is the staggeringly low high school graduation rate. For the 2013 school year, Prince George's County had a 69.5% high school graduation rate, one of the lowest in Maryland. I believe a significant contributing factor in the County's low high school graduation rate is poor parental involvement. Increased parental involvement has been proven to increase high school graduation rates and improve overall student achievement. To help improve parental involvement, I am working with the Prince George's County School System to institute a new outreach program to get parents, especially those parents or family members who cannot be reached through our traditional parent outreach methods, more involved in their student's education.
Our seniors have devoted their lives to our families and to bettering our neighborhoods for the next generation. It is our obligation to ensure that they continue to have a strong voice in the community. Immediately following my appointment, I was the first representative in the State of Maryland to host a town hall meeting to discuss the Affordable Care Act. Since the town hall meeting, I have been proud to continue to advocate for various issues that affect our seniors. In Prince George's County, seniors, especially low-income seniors, are severely overburdened by our County's high property taxes. I believe that we must alleviate these taxes from seniors, many of who have been strong and active anchors in their communities for decades past. In addition, I know that we must improve senior services in District 22. In particular, we need to ensure that senior citizens are provided with reliable forms of transportation and have access to various benefit programs.