The Hyattsville Life & Times reached out to all candidates registered to run in the city’s 2021 municipal elections. You’ll find their statements in this section, listed by ward in numeric order. Within wards, candidates are listed alphabetically by last name.

 

Candidate Forums April 21 and 22

Join us Wednesday April 21 and Thursday April 22 as the Hyattsville Life & Times asks your questions to candidates for mayor and city council.  The virtual events will be moderated by Managing Editor Emeritus Maria James.

 

April 21

7 p.m: Mayoral candidates  (Ward, Solomon, Martinez)

8 p.m. Ward 1 (Denes, Rahman, Brown, Vallejos)  and Ward 2 (Croslin, Lopez)

 

April 22

7 p.m. Ward 3  (McClellan, Perry, Alfano, Wigley, Hanna, Houck)

8 p.m. Ward 4 (Haba) and Ward 5  (Sandino, Oriani, Brintzenhofe, Amador, Page)

 

The City will broadcast the Forums on cable channels 71 (Comcast) and 12 (Verizon) and stream online at hyattsville.org/meetings and on facebook.com/cityofhyattsville. You will be able to access video of the event on our website StreetcarSuburbs.News, or at facebook.com/hyattsvillelife.

 

 

MAYOR: There are three candidates running to serve as mayor for the remaining two years of former Mayor Candace B. Hollingsworth’s term.  Two, Joseph Solomon (Ward 5), and Kevin Ward (Ward 1), are current city council members.  

 

 

AUSTIN MARTINEZ

Age: 22 

 

Day Job: Self-employed 

 

Community Involvement: I am an advocate for minority communities, who has worked alongside elected officials to address to domestic violence, expanding social programs and educating minority communities on exercising their constitutional rights to vote. 

 

Statement to Voters: I am running for office to be a voice for my community. I will fight to offer pragmatic solutions for working class families, enhance the equality of life, provide economic opportunities and deploy educational resources to our communities. I will fight to make sure every resident in Hyattsville voice is heard and validated. Together we will prioritize on rebuilding after COVID. 

 

JOSEPH SOLOMON

Age: 35

 

Day Job: President/CEO of SI FEDERAL, a systems integration and technology consulting firm.  I specialize in the design, implementation, project management, and security of enterprise resource planning systems. I hold a B.S. in Computer Science from Morehouse College, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Rutgers University. I moved to the area when starting my career in consulting for Accenture Federal Services. After seven years, I established my own firm, contracting with the Office of Personnel Management, Department of Agriculture, and Federal Bureau of Prisons.

 

Community Involvement: Eight years on city council. Served as president of the Prince George’s County Municipal Association, vice president of the Prince George’s County Young Democrats, treasurer of the Maryland Municipal League, chair of the Prince George’s County Legacy Renaming Commission, and member of the State of Maryland Body Worn Camera Task Force. I have worshipped at many services here in the City of Hyattsville, but I enjoy spending my Sundays watching Zion Church online with Pastor Keith Battle.

 

Trabajando para la comunidad latina desde 2013:

  • Ayudé a traer un sitio para hacer las pruebas de COVID y distribuir la vacuna a Hyattsville y directamente a la zona de latinas más afectada por el COVID.
  • Co-propuse y pasé legislación para permitir que indocumentados y residentes del país puedan votar en las elecciones municipales de Hyattsville.
  • Co-propuse y pasé legislación para asegurar que Hyattsville sea una ciudad sanctuaria.

 

Statement to Voters: This is a campaign for those looking into the eyes of their children, parents, grandparents and loved ones, resolved not to accept our world within walking distance as it is but rather strive to build a better, safer, cleaner, and more sustainable community. For those who seek a bold and inclusive vision for the future of Hyattsville, that includes: rebuilding our economy and financial capacity post-COVID-19, expanding services and support for parents and seniors, reimagining housing affordability for renters and homeowners, environmental stewardship, improved customer service from city departments, and promoting participatory policy and decision-making. Promoting and securing quality schools for children will continue to be a priority.

 

KEVIN WARD

Age: 43

 

Day Job: Self-employed education technology (EdTech) and human services consultant; Father; Husband

 

Community Involvement: Interim mayor of Hyattsville; Hyattsville city council president; Hyattsville city council vice president; Hyattsville city councilmember for Ward 1; Hyattsville Middle School PTA; Hyattsville Elementary School PTA; Northwestern High School PTSA; Emcee for the Hyattsville Zombie Run; White House Foster Care and Technology Hackathon; Forbes 30 Under 30 Mentor; Three-time Rotary Paul Harris Fellow for Dedication to Youth Leadership and Service; Assistant camp director for RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards) for nearly two decades.

 

Statement to Voters: I love Hyattsville. Our city has become a jewel in the crown of Prince George’s County, and I ask for your vote to become its next mayor. I plan to build on the city’s strong record over the past six years, creating a Hyattsville that grows in beauty, safety, inclusiveness, and financial responsibility. The first priority is doing our part to helping our residents and businesses survive the pandemic, now that the end appears in sight. By dedicating COVID-relief funds and building partnerships with government and community partners, Hyattsville can provide assistance to residents and businesses to help make ends meet. But at the same time, housing and food insecurity are not COVID-dependent. We must build durable solutions to meet the needs of our city. We must expand the inventory of clean and safe affordable housing in Hyattsville. And we must demand that our county representatives step up to the plate and help in this effort. We can make it safer and easier for residents to travel throughout the city. I want to harness technology to make it easier for the city to hear from and serve more people, more easily. We must support our artists and entrepreneurs, plus draw more of them to Hyattsville. We should expand community policing to improve public safety. We should continue to lead on environmentally responsible policy making. And we must treat all parts of the city equitably, both in terms of investment and availability of city resources. With pragmatic and smart decision making, these ambitious goals are achievable if we all work together. That is why I am running for mayor and humbly ask for your vote. Sensible. Practical. Here for Hyattsville.

 

WARD 1: Each ward has two council members.  Councilmember Bart Lawrence, whose term is up in 2021, is not seeking reelection. Councilmember Kevin Ward is running for mayor.  If he is elected, the city will hold a special election within 75 days for a council member to serve the remaining two years of Ward’s term.

 

MAI ABDUL RAHMAN

Age: 55

Day Job: Last December, I was asked to join the Covid-19 Task Force at the Maryland State House, where I currently work.

Community Involvement: I am a member of the Education Advisory Committee and the Police & Public Safety Citizens’ Advisory Committee, Maryland’s Responds Medical Reserve Corps, and Engine 13 Volunteer Fire Station (EMT). After the lockdown, I began volunteering at Prince George’s first Covid-19 test site (FedEX Stadium), later joined other local Covid-19 test sites, and weekly helped with packaging food and PPE to deliver to Hyattsville residents who tested positive and quarantined. 

Statement to Voters: While the collection of my civic activities offered me greater insight on the needs of our community and how best to address them, I never lost sight of how special Hyattsville is. Nonetheless, there is room for improvement. For brevity, I will share two specific issues that I believe deserve attention. They concern two of our collective assets: our youth and seniors. 

Ward 1 enjoys the highest college graduation rates, yet our high school proficiency rates in reading (23%) and math (47%) are dismal, and dropout rate is substandard (33%). As an educator who taught K-12 students and prospective teachers at the college level, I know that this is a problem that is fixable. It requires institutionalizing high quality supportive systems and measures. Methodically designing and developing the right targeted supports and quality control procedures would help students realize their full potential and teachers flourish as productive professionals. 

Our culturally diverse seniors and retired residents also merit our attention. Research shows that 60+ adults are interested in health, wellness, and intellectual engagement. This requires funding a senior center where our diverse senior population socializes and fulfills their social, physical, emotional, and intellectual needs. Where willing seniors can bridge the achievement gap by supporting young students as reading and math instructors, or mentors, which would advance the well being of seniors and youth. 

I do not claim to know all the answers. However, I promise to be a good listener and serve Ward 1 sincerely, thoughtfully, and to the best of my abilities. And that is a promise I intend to keep.

Dr. Mai Abdul Rahman

5652 46th Place

Hyattsville, Maryland 20781

 

MICHAEL BROWN

Age: 33

 

Day Job: Engineer for Army Corps of Engineers

 

Community Involvement: Engineer, veteran, and activist Michael Brown first showed interest in politics when he joined Veterans in Politics after enlisting in the United States Navy. In addition to his involvement with that group, Brown was deployed to the Middle East where he served his country in uniform with preparation, expertise, and confidence. This experience would help shape his commitment to his country and inspire him to serve his local community.

 

Brown is an emergency food distribution volunteer helping to distribute over 1000 boxes once a week of USDA fresh produce, proteins and dairy products, nonperishable, and perishable items.

 

Statement to Voters: As the next Hyattsville City Council representative for Ward 1, Brown is deeply connected to both Hyattsville and Prince George’s county with family ties to the area that extend over 30 years. Brown’s vision for Hyattsville focuses on the following: 1) Education & Art, 2) Community Enhancement, 3) Transparent & Open Government, 4) Health & Wellness, 5) Economic Development and 6) a Better Hyattsville!

  

I’ll work to ensure that our city council is more transparent and responsive to the needs of our residents. I believe that public engagement enhances the effectiveness and improves the quality of the council’s decisions. I’ll advocate for a culture of transparency, accountability, communication, and represent the voices of the people. I’ll champion a dynamic community that celebrates us all.

 

SAM DENES

Age: 40

 

Day Job: Marine acoustician, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

 

Community Involvement: City of Hyattsville Health, Wellness and Recreation Advisory Committee, secretary

Arts District Hyattsville Master Homeowners Association Board of Directors, president

WABA Maryland Legislative Advocacy Working Group, member

Frequent attendant, Hyattsville City Council meetings

Frequency attendant, Ward 1 Check-ins 

Volunteer, Anacostia Watershed cleanup

Volunteer, City of Hyattsville emergency food distribution

Statement to Voters: I love Hyattsville. I first came to Hyattsville when house hunting in 2017 and knew I had to look no further. Experiencing the charm of downtown and community spirit as I toured the neighborhoods, I knew I had found a new home. Since moving here, I have grown incredibly fond of the city and its residents and have endeavored to make Hyattsville even better. Through advocacy, volunteering, and service on an advisory committee, I have spent the past four years working for a better Hyattsville. Now I would like to bring my care and commitment to the city council, and that is why I am running to represent Ward 1. 

Representing Ward 1 on city council my top priorities will be 1) transportation/pedestrian/cyclist safety, 2) the environment, 3) crime prevention, and 4) responsible governance. 

Since moving to Hyattsville, I have been advocating for increased bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure and safe streets initiatives. For more than two years, I’ve been a member of the city’s Health, Wellness, and Recreation Advisory Committee, working to provide Hyattsville residents with a variety of programming and opportunities. In 2019, I became a board member and, eventually, president of the Arts District Hyattsville Master Homeowners Association. During the pandemic, I have regularly volunteered with the city’s food distribution program, helping to get weekly emergency provisions into the hands of families that need it most. I’ve also regularly attended (virtually and in-person) other committee meetings, Ward 1 Check-ins, and city council meetings. These experiences have helped me to understand the functions, limitations, and possibilities of our local government.

I’d like the opportunity to explain how my experience, dedication, hard work, and leadership will contribute to my goals of making Hyattsville even better. Email: samdenes4hvl@gmail.com

 

DANIEL VALLEJOS-AVILA

Age: 77

 

Day Job: I have been retired since 2019. I was a secondary school teacher in California for 11 years. I studied and practiced law for 30 years prior to that. I handled many civil rights cases. I was licensed with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, the federal district court for Western Washington and the state of Washington Supreme Court. I was also a licensed counselor in community mental health. 

 

Community Involvement: I am fluent in English and Spanish. I began moving to Hyattsville in September 2020. Along with CASA, I participated in the 2020 census. In 2014 I assisted Eric Guerra in his candidacy for Sacramento, Calif., city council. He’s now running for the state senate. In 2012, I worked for Stockton city councilmember Susan Talamantes Eggman in running for the California State Assembly successfully. She is now a candidate for the California State Senate. Each senator represents one million constituents. 

 

In 1991, I ran for the Seattle School Board. My platform included Black elementary academies, the forceful elimination of gay bashing of youngsters and culturally relevant classrooms for Latinos and Asians students. I was endorsed by The Seattle Times newspaper and a couple of unions. In 1985 I began serving on the education task force for the Seattle school district. 

 

I served on the board of directors of several Latino social service organizations. I incorporated one of these agencies. 

 

As legal counsel, I represented several immigrant groups: anti-Pinochet Chilenos, Salvadoreños, and Eritrean-African socialists. I supported the elimination of the apartheid system in South Africa in 1972.

 

In 1985, I ran for office regarding the Sacramento County War on Poverty Commission. 

 

Statement to Voters: The Hyattsville population of 18,000+ is 37% Latino, 29% Black, 24% White and 4% Asian. There is currently no Latino representation on the city council. My candidacy creates a Latino presence, and future acceptability of Latinos as having representation in city government. I am a Mexican American.

 

Ward 2

Each ward has two council members.  Incumbent Robert S. Croslin is running for reelection.  Olivia Lopez, who would be new to city office, is running against him. Councilmember Danny Schaible will stay on the council, and has two more years to serve out his term.

 

ROBERT CROSLIN

Age: 69

 

Day Job:

 

  • Goldsmith
  • Artist and jewelry designer
  • Former landscape architect
  • Former HUD [Department of Housing and Urban Development] contractor

 

Community Involvement:

 

  • Eight years on the city council
  • Hyattsville Aging in Place: founding member
  • Hyattsville Community Artist Alliance: founding member
  • Council liaison to the Police and Public Safety Committee
  • Bridging Cultural Gaps Book Club: founder and participant

 

Statement to Voters: I have been a Hyattsville resident for 32 years and your councilman for eight. I am running to continue my advocacy for programs and initiatives that reflect the priorities of Ward 2 residents and the larger community, such as hiring a senior/disability coordinator, establishing and supporting city pandemic relief with Ward 2 discretionary funds, and voting for mental health first aid classes in English and Spanish for residents. I have hosted a community conversation at my home after the Ferguson killing, and I work as the council liaison with the Police and Public Safety Committee to ensure that all citizens are served and protected equally. I will propose that our city council take a strong stance against all forms of hate, bigotry and violence. I supported the designation of Hyattsville as a sanctuary city, and I will continue to work with residents and the council to develop initiatives that foster equity, diversity and inclusion in our community, so that every person feels respected, welcome and safe. This includes proposing reactivation of a teen advisory committee to obtain input on what city support our young people need. 

I am a founder of the still-active Bridging Cultural Gaps Book Club, which meets the second Thursday of the month, now via Zoom, and remain active here in the Arts District via the Hyattsville Community Artist Alliance, which I helped found. 

I am grateful to have been trusted by my community to serve on the city council for eight years, and I am asking my neighbors to reelect me on May 11. We still have much work to do on other issues such as affordable housing, practical green initiatives, and improved city services for the community, all within the parameters of fiscal responsibility. I am always available to discuss your ideas and concerns.

 

OLIVA LOPEZ

Age: 42

 

Day Job: Managing director for policy at philanthropic organization focused on promoting equity and economic mobility. Directora gerente en una organización filantrópica dedicada a promover equidad y oportunidades económicas.

 

Community Involvement: I am a long-term supporter of CASA de Maryland and other local efforts to support immigrant and refugee populations in Hyattsville and Prince George’s County. I have a background in community organizing that has taken me all over the country, and other parts of the world. My decision to run for city council is rooted in my desire to give back to this community. 

 

Apoyo a CASA de Maryland y otros esfuerzos locales para apoyar a las poblaciones de inmigrantes en Hyattsville y el condado de Prince Georges. Tengo experiencia en organización comunitaria que me ha llevado a viajar por todo el país y otras partes del mundo. Mi decisión de postularme para el concejo municipal tiene sus raíces en mi deseo de contribuir al bienestar de esta comunidad.

 

Statement to Voters: I hope that my professional experience working to promote economic opportunities in majority minority communities like Hyattsville, and my current work to ensure there is equitable access to Covid vaccines can be of service to our community and neighbors. For example, last year I had the chance to work on efforts to extend the reach of the Farmers to Families program, which is the U.S. Department of Agriculture program that facilitates distribution of food to our neighbors in need every Tuesday at the park. I am also looking forward to sharing what I learned from managing First Lady Michelle Obama’s young women’s mentoring program to help create and support more opportunities for young people. As we continue to grow and evolve as a community, I also hope to do my part to help ensure that the voices of all residents are represented in our city’s government, and I am particularly interested in building bridges with our Spanish-speaking neighbors. I hope I can count on your support, and I look forward to meeting you, listening and learning from you in the weeks to come.

 

Espero que mi experiencia profesional trabajando para promover oportunidades económicas en comunidades de minorías mayoritarias como Hyattsville, y mi trabajo actual para garantizar que haya un acceso equitativo a las vacunas Covid puedan ser de utilidad para nuestra comunidad y vecinos. 

 

Por ejemplo, el año pasado tuve la oportunidad de trabajar en esfuerzos para extender el alcance del programa Farmers to Families del Departamento de Agricultura. Este programa facilita la distribución de alimentos a nuestros vecinos todos los martes en el parque. También espero compartir lo que aprendí al administrar el programa de liderazgo para mujeres jóvenes de la primera dama Michelle Obama y ayudar a apoyar y crear más oportunidades para nuestros jóvenes.

 

A medida que continuamos creciendo y evolucionando como comunidad, espero hacer mi parte para ayudar a asegurar que las voces de todos los residentes estén representadas en el gobierno de nuestra ciudad, y estoy particularmente interesada en construir lazos con nuestros vecinos de habla hispana. Espero poder contar con su apoyo y espero conocer, escuchar y aprender de usted en las próximas semanas.

 

 

Ward 3

Each ward has two council members. Council member Carianna Suiter, whose term is up in 2021, is not seeking reelection.  Councilmember Ben Simasek will stay on the council, and has two more years to serve out his term.

 

ADAM ALFANO

Age: 36

 

Day Job: I currently work for PPG Industries in automotive refinish. This means that I work with local body shops in the surrounding counties and help the owners manage their business by improving efficiencies and profitability. Prior to this position, I spent 15 years working in the restaurant industry in the DMV area with most of my experience with Clyde’s Restaurant Group. I worked my way up from dishwasher to general manager over the course of many years and have worked in all styles of restaurants. The hospitality industry is important to me and is the lens in how I view the world. I enjoy working with people and learning from each person.

 

Community Involvement: I play tennis at JTCC [Junior Tennis Champions Center] 3-4 times per week. JTCC is committed to growing the sport of tennis through its community outreach programs in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area by providing free tennis instruction to underserved youth, military veterans, Special Olympians, and adaptive athletes. 

  

Statement to Voters: I am running for city council to ensure that all voices are heard. Having spent many years working in restaurants and now body shops, I have had the unique opportunity to learn from people with many different backgrounds. I also have the experience of running and owning a small business, which is another skill set that is important to helping those that live and work in Hyattsville. I live across the street from PG Plaza Mall which is a tremendous opportunity for the city. Big box retail won’t survive the next 10 years, and we can use this opportunity to promote small, local businesses. My focus is on keeping small businesses thriving in Hyattsville and providing opportunities for all. I want to focus on the people and the businesses that make Hyattsville a wonderful place to live and continue to improve the lives of all residents.

 

SHERLYNA HANNA

Age: 23

 

Day Job: Social worker at Synergy Family Services, Inc. in Hyattsville; Maryland Fellow for IGNITE National

 

Community Involvement: State Advisory Board for Juvenile Services. Political campaigns, voter education, voter registration, advocated for propositions on the ballot. Volunteered at Magruder Park for the weekly food distribution. Volunteer with local geriatric facilities for virtual activities with their residents. Brand ambassador for locally owned businesses in Hyattsville.

 

Statement to Voters: I am an engaged and motivated servant leader dedicated to my community. I have demonstrated a commitment to Hyattsville through philanthropy, psychotherapy, and advocacy. I am running to be your Ward 3 city councilmember to serve as an accessible and transparent advocate. As someone who has often been secluded from the table, I recognize the importance of an inclusive environment and will advocate for those who are underrepresented not only to have a seat at the table, but to also be a part of the decision-making process. As a reflection of my commitment to Hyattsville, I will be hosting “Tuesday Talks” every Tuesday until election day to talk to Ward 3 residents about the issues that matter. As a servant leader, I believe it is imperative to put the needs of the community first. My goal as councilmember is to listen to the needs of the community, provide opportunities for collaboration, and ensure effective solutions. 

 

Me postulo para ser su Concejal de la Ciudad del Distrito 3 para servir como un defensor accesible y transparente. Como alguien que a menudo ha sido apartado de la mesa, reconozco la importancia de un entorno inclusivo y abogaré por que aquellos que están subrepresentados no solo tengan un asiento en la mesa, sino que también sean parte del proceso de toma de decisiones. Como líder de servicio, creo que es imperativo poner las necesidades de la comunidad en primer lugar. Mi objetivo como Concejal es escuchar las necesidades de la comunidad, brindar oportunidades de colaboración y garantizar soluciones efectivas.

 

Website: Www.hannaforhyattsville.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Sherlyna-Hanna-for-Hyattsville-City-Council-Ward-3-105444114950408/

Instagram: @HannaForHyattsville

TikTok: @HannaForHyattsville

 

ALEXANDER HOUCK

Age: 32

 

Day Job: I serve as the safety and compliance specialist at DASH [Alexandria Transit Company] in Alexandria, Va.

 

Community Involvement: This is my first foray into true Hyattsville-centric community involvement. I did serve as a Prince George’s County election judge for the 2020 general election at the Northwestern High School precinct and have been accepted into the Anacostia Watershed Stewards Academy, which I believe vitally important with Duck Pond Park and Northwest Branch of the Anacostia so close to my home and throughout the community. I have served as a university senator and two-year member of the senate’s ERC (Elections, Representation, & Governance) Committee for nearby University of Maryland, College Park. I am quickly learning about the different opportunities for civic service within the greater Hyattsville community.

 

Statement to Voters: To my fellow residents of Hyattsville, my goal is not to win an election for personal gain. It is to serve the people of this community and my neighbors in a role where I believe I can be an advocate for change and provide good stewardship of the city’s future. I plan on raising my family here, so the changes and protections I seek — affordable housing, safe parks and roads, and economic prosperity for all among them — are challenges that many in our community face and may not have the means or ability to advocate for themselves. I want the community to continue to thrive and develop but not at the expense of the diversity and cultural richness that already exists and make Hyattsville a great place to live. By entrusting me with your vote, you will get a councilmember who will always consider what is best for the community at-large without turning into another cookie-cutter D.C. suburb. Hyattsville is now my heart and my home, and I want nothing more than to have the ability to work hard for us and our families.

 

JIMMY MCCLELLAN

 

Age: 30

 

Day Job: Assistant director for College Park Scholars—Life Sciences, University of Maryland

 

Community Involvement: Hyattsville Code Compliance Committee, Route 1 Mask Match coordinator, Food bank distribution volunteer, Young Democrats of Maryland Pride Caucus chair, Social Justice Training Institute 

 

Statement to Voters: As a city of neighbors, Hyattsville has a distinct culture that is anchored in art, local business, and diverse communities. My partner and I relocated to Hyattsville in search of an inclusive community that values and uplifts its residents and creates opportunities for progress. I am running to serve as your councilmember because I believe in the power of service and the importance of representatives who genuinely care about and uplift the voices and experiences of the communities they serve.

 

Connection and communication are at the center of my leadership philosophy. These values have been instilled in me as a former kindergarten teacher, an advocate, and from my mom and dad, a proud immigrant and a veteran. As a councilmember, I would apply these values to ensure the needs of our community are well represented. 

 

Serving our community has been a consistent priority for me since the day we arrived in Hyattsville. This has included working with the Hyattsville Code Compliance Committee, helping to launch Route 1 Mask Match, and talking to our neighbors while volunteering and engaging in city initiatives. These experiences allow me to deeply understand the issues in our city, the needs of our community, and the unique opportunity that the city council has to make the lives of our neighbors better.

 

Four key priorities have emerged after listening to our community and reviewing resident surveys and feedback. As a councilmember, I would focus on:

  1. Nurturing an Inclusive City 
  2. Championing Community Safety 
  3. Protecting Our Environment
  4. Maintaining Hyattsville’s Character and Culture

 

This is just the start of our conversation. I hope to hear about what matters most to you so that we can work together. Learn more about these priorities on www.jimmyforhyattsville.com and on Facebook and Instagram (@jimmyforhyattsville). Join the conversation by giving me a call at 301.615.2392. I hope to earn your vote and represent you on city council.

 

CHUCK PERRY

Age: 53

 

Day Job: I own and operate my own business. I have two degrees in electrical engineering and a minor in applied mathematics. I am a member of the IEEE Eta Kappa Nu electrical engineering honor society. 

 

Community Involvement: I am currently a volunteer for Dogs Finding Dogs (a nonprofit). As a volunteer for Dogs Finding Dogs, I work with Leighann (the dog in the photo with me) to help people find their lost pets. I have also served on the Race and Equity Task Force, and I actively attend the Public Safety Task Force meetings of the Hyattsville City Police Department (HCPD). I am also very active in county level efforts with Progressive Maryland.  

  

Statement to Voters: I moved to Hyattsville about 10 years ago. About the first two weeks of being a resident of Hyattsville, the HCPD would park in front of my house from time to time and simply watch. I even remember the unit number of the car, Unit 19, a K-9 unit. One time when I left on business, the patrol car followed me for a good distance outside the city limits of Hyattsville. I did file a complaint with Chief Holland, but it was quickly dismissed. This is just ONE incident among many involving the HCPD and the county police of Prince George’s.

 

The HCPD arrest data for 2017-19 shows that the majority of people arrested by the HCPD are African American males. (You can see the complete analysis and data on my Facebook page in detail — www.facebook.com/chuck.perry.31337.)

 

I would like to see a leaner police department and the formation of a professional, full-time non-law enforcement department of licensed mental health professionals that would be specifically tasked to help the homeless and the mentally ill per the Austin, Tex., example (The Texas Tribune: rb.gy/cvdie5).

 

I consider overpolicing to have a negative impact on the physical (not carbon neutral due to gas combustion patrol vehicles) and social environment of Hyattsville. I am running for Ward 3 council for substantive change for the betterment of the whole community.

 

JAMES WIGLEY

Age: 35

 

Day Job: Operations manager at the National Association of Bond Lawyers. I help manage my organization’s finances, streamline operations, and support bond sales that fund local public infrastructure projects.

 

Community Involvement: I regularly attend city council meetings and recently advocated for traffic-calming measures on Oliver Street to make our neighborhood safer. I’m also a longtime supporter of the Capital Area Food Bank and the D.C. Legal Counsel for the Elderly.

 

Statement to Voters: There is nowhere that my wife and I would rather call home than Hyattsville. Over the past year, I’ve been inspired to run for city council by talking to neighbors about their concerns and by regularly watching city council meetings. 

 

Hyattsville is a vibrant and diverse community, and its residents should prosper when the city does. As your city councilmember, I will advocate for safe, walkable streets; I will fight against disruptive cuts to our public transit; and I will make sure Hyattsville’s tax dollars go towards community programs like the city’s food distribution and activities for families and seniors.

 

My number one priority will always be looking out for the residents of Ward 3. In my day job, I manage budgets, evaluate vendors, and support infrastructure deals. If elected, I would use these skills to ensure that Hyattsville is effectively using its funds to improve our daily lives and to meet our city’s long-term needs.  

 

One of those needs, especially here in Ward 3, is access to reliable public transit. This summer, Metro will close four stations in our area and cut off many residents from a system they rely on daily. WMATA’s budget for 2022 threatens to devastate our bus service as well. I will tirelessly oppose these reductions while also working to improve our city’s streets, sidewalks, and trails.

 

Most importantly, I want to hear from you. When this pandemic is over, I would like to hold monthly meetups, say hello in person, and listen to your ideas to make our city thrive. For now, please send your thoughts and concerns to james@wigleyforhyattsville.com, or contact me through my website, www.wigleyforhyattsville.com.

Ward 4

Ward 4 Each ward has two council members. Councilmember Edouard Haba is running unopposed in the 2021 election. Councilmember Daniel Peabody will stay on the council, and has two more years to serve out his term.

EDOUARD HABA

Age: 39

 

Day Job: Child Abuse and Neglect, Custody and Divorce mediator at D.C. Superior Court

 

Community Involvement: City council, Hyattsville Aging in Place, Hyattsville Corridor Community and St. Mark Catholic Church

 

Statement to Voters:

Dear neighbors and Ward 4 residents,

 

I have decided to seek reelection, and I hereby ask for your vote. Since moving to Hyattsville in 2009, and joining the city council in 2013, a lot has changed, and more change is underway. These changes can be seen both in the makeup of our community and through economic and infrastructures developments.

 

Key highlights from the last four years, with direct and visible impact on Ward 4, include: improved street lighting, ongoing Riverfront Project, almost completed Ager Road Green Street Project, revamped parking policy, traffic light at Nicholson Street and Queens Chapel Road, ongoing installation of new sidewalks, ongoing upgrades to Heurich Park. Upcoming improvements include, among others, repaving and upgrading our neighborhood streets, bathroom facility at Heurich Park, new Kaiser Permanente building.

 

The progress we have made did not happen overnight. It took commitment, actions, perseverance, and working as a team with a shared vision. One example of this collaborative approach can be found in my work with the Hyattsville Corridor Community to get the traffic light at the intersection of Queens Chapel Road and Nicholson Street.

 

While we continue to see economic growth and improvements around us, I am also aware that they have brought more traffic to and given rise to the issue of affordability in our neighborhood and city. As someone who is a strong supporter of the notion of “aging in place,” and who also views Hyattsville as a city where young professionals and couples can settle, I am committed to pursuing policies in support of affordable housing and a safe, family-friendly and walkable/bikeable community.   

 

That is why I have been a constant advocate for sustainable and practical improvements to the quality of life in Ward 4, while working to make Hyattsville more inclusive and welcoming. I will continue to faithfully and steadily represent our neighborhood on the city council, so that we can continue to build on our progress. 

 

Ward 5

Each ward has two council members. Councilmember Erica Spell Wolf, whose term is up in 2021, is not seeking reelection.  Councilmember Joseph Solomon is running for mayor.  If he is elected, the city will hold a run-off election within 75 days for a council member to serve the remaining two years of Solomon’s term.

 

DANIEL AMADOR

Age: 29

 

Day Job: Daniel works as a management consultant and provides federal government clients with advice and implementation support to address operational challenges, use data to improve outcomes, and increase accountability. He is passionate about improving how the federal government operates and delivers services to constituents. He wants to use this experience as councilmember to enable Hyattsville to better serve its citizens. 

 

Community Involvement: Daniel enjoys giving his time to support organizations that advance representation of underserved communities in college and corporate America, that advance human rights, and that strengthen families. He has provided pro bono management consulting services to several nonprofits in the DMV and currently serves on the board of the Foster and Adoptive Parent Advocacy Center in D.C. He also mentors several Latino young professionals. 

 

Statement to Voters: I am running for office because I want to see Hyattsville thrive. Our diverse community needs to maintain its vibrancy by investing in our small businesses, diversifying our business districts, maintaining a variety of housing options and price points, and investing in infrastructure that will make our community more environmentally friendly. I am also running to be your voice for Ward 5. As your councilmember, I will make sure that I listen to your concerns, needs, and that I represent those throughout my tenure. With your support, I will work to build a Hyattsville that allows us all to thrive. 

 

Me presento como consejal porque nos quiero ver prosperar a Hyattsville. Nuestra comunidad diversa necesita mantener su vitalidad y lo podemos lograr si investimos en nuestras pequeñas empresas/emprendedores, si aumentamos la diversidad de nuestras áreas comerciales,  si mantenemos la diversidad de alojamientos y precios para el acceso a la propiedad, y si investimos en infraestructura que nos hará una comunidad más verde y sensible al medio ambiente. Yo me presento para consejal para ser su vos para ward 5. Como su consejal, yo me aseguraré de escuchar sus ideas, necesidades, y de representarlo sin falta durante mi término. Con su apoyo, yo trabajaré para construir un Hyattsville que nos permite a todos salir adelante.

 

 

KURT BRINTZENHOFE

Age: 61

Day Job: Retired, currently a part-time graduate student at University of Maryland conducting independent research in social psychology. Finalizing my book that documents the analysis and results. Education includes a bachelor’s (1982) and graduate degree (1990) in mathematics, and graduate certificate in engineering cybersecurity (2014). Former principal staff at The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (1991-2008). Transitioned to federal government to work and finally retire as an acquisition specialist and senior test engineer (2009-2016). I am a Navy Reserve retired senior officer (veteran).

 

Community Involvement: Regular public participant of city council meetings since September 2019. I provide weekly yard care and outside maintenance to my senior neighbor, and coordinate with immediate neighbors in maintaining city code requirements.

 

Statement to Voters: I am running for the WARD 5 council position because I believe improving Hyattsville community involvement and verbal interaction is important. The city recommends “Speak Up HVL” (hyattsville-md.granicusideas.com/meetings), an online forum for community comments on council agenda items. Whether through “Speak Up HVL” and/or neighborhood representatives who report to their councilmembers, we need to improve participation with the council, within the community, and require responsiveness from WARD 5 councilmembers.

Such improvement may be made through participatory budgeting (Nov. 2, 2020 city council meeting agenda discussion item). New York City and many other cities have been doing this for over a decade (council.nyc.gov/carlos-menchaca/on-to-the-next-phase-of-pbnyc/). Participatory budgeting could provide WARD funding to address identified issues or initiatives such as educational opportunities, environmental sustainment, or affordable housing. Its effectiveness requires full community involvement, diverse representation, and careful planning through community interaction to meet our community’s needs and unique culture. Building on this, I agree with the city’s position on police legislation reform as was scheduled to be voted on March 24, but also think the next step is to improve positive community interaction with our police force beginning with coordination through Ms. Adrienne Augustus (city media relations/mental health programs manager) and our police chief. Our police are part of our community, we should help them continue thinking of us as part of theirs.

SOPHIE ORIANI

Age: 29

 

Day Job: Montessori toddler teacher, St. Jerome Academy

Associate editor, Hyattsville Life & Times

 

Community Involvement: I am a former co-lead at the Hyatt Park Garden, and have volunteered with the HY-Swap, a free exchange of children’s clothes and goods, for many years.

 

Statement to Voters: I am running for city council because too often, when people say “Hyattsville,” they don’t even think about Ward 5. I want to make sure the people of Ward 5 get the representation and advocacy they deserve. It’s important for a councilmember to be deeply engaged with the residents of her ward, and I will work hard to make your voice heard by the city.

 

Some concerns I’ve heard from residents include policing, affordable housing, traffic safety, and responsible development. I have reported on city council meetings for two years and have seen very little discussion of how these issues affect Ward 5 in particular. We can and should do better for our residents.

 

As a mother, I bring a different perspective to the table. Women are underrepresented on city council. I want my children and your children to see a city council on which women have a strong voice. I have also lived in three different countries, which has shown me how the same problem can be approached in many ways.

 

My greatest strength as a candidate is my commitment to our community. Four generations of my extended family live in Ward 5, so I’m here for the long haul. You can count on me to put Ward 5 and its residents first!

 

PATRICIA PAGE

 

As of press time, the Hyattsville Life & Times was unable to contact Patricia Page.

 

ROMMEL SANDINO

Age: 35

 

Day Job: Community organizer

 

Community Involvement: Rommel Sandino has called Hyattsville his home for the last 17 years, and it has witnessed him grow from a teenager attending University of Maryland to his current role as a parent raising a beautiful big family. The diversity of families and places in the city is what inspires and motivates him to get involved, such as: participating in his children’s PTA at Hyattsville Elementary and supporting the fun activities; advocating the city to expand democracy by enfranchising noncitizen residents in municipal elections; and working with neighbors and city officials to promote safety by implementing reasonable traffic measures in the neighborhood, among others.

 

Statement to Voters: He has decided to run with much honor and joy to become the next Ward 5 councilmember to work on behalf of all Ward 5 residents, including children, families and seniors. The public health pandemic has impacted all of us, but it has disproportionately impacted families of color, and as such, he is committed to ensure that city services and resources to build beyond COVID are accessible, inclusive, and reflect the diverse needs of the community. Some of his priorities are to expand accessibility to city programs and services by reflecting the diversity in the languages throughout the city and exploring equitable technological access; support working families with affordable before- and after-school childcare and programs; support and expand seniors programs and services; work with our schools to make sure that all the children have enough to thrive; ensure that all families have equitable access to COVID-19 testing and vaccination; support safe affordable housing; and work as a good steward of the environment so that our future generations can enjoy a healthy and vibrant city and world.

 

He is a passionate freedom fighter and social movement builder who believes in transformative justice and building power to win dignity and justice so that Black, Brown and Immigrant families can live free and are able to thrive. He immigrated from Nicaragua at the age of 4 and used to be a DREAMer until 2011 when he received his U.S. citizenship. He is a millennial.