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Governor O’Malley Continues “Jobs Across Maryland Tour” in Prince George’s County, Declares Capitol Heights Maryland’s ‘Capital for a Day’

CAPITOL HEIGHTS, MD (April 15, 2010) –Today, Governor Martin O’Malley continued his “Jobs Across Maryland Tour” in Prince George’s County where, joined by Maryland’s Executive Cabinet, Capitol Heights Mayor Darryl Miller, Prince George’s County Executive Jack Johnson, Senators Ulysses Currie and Nathaniel Exum, other local officials and area residents, the Governor declared Capitol Heights Maryland’s “Capital for a Day.”  Governor O’Malley focused his visit on job creation and strengthening small businesses with a visit to Gray Graphics in Capitol Heights, and touring the future site of the Capitol Heights Town Hall.

“To rebuild and restore our economy, we must help our businesses create and save jobs, and improve the conditions under which business can create or save jobs.  That’s why strengthening our local partnerships is absolutely critical to the progress of areas like Capitol Heights,” said Governor O’Malley, making his “Capital for a Day” declaration during a Cabinet Meeting held at the Capitol Heights Fire Station.  “I want to thank the people of Capitol Heights for their hospitality today.  It’s more important than ever for Maryland’s families to see that their state government is working for them each and every day and its equally important for us to meet and hear from people firsthand about the challenges and opportunities we face as a state.”

The monthly “Capital for a Day” program brings the State Capital to every corner of Maryland through a series of events across a diverse selection of Maryland cities, towns and communities.  The “Jobs Across Maryland Tour,” kicked-off last week in Baltimore County, brings the Administration to every region of our State, visiting with large and small Maryland businesses, public schools and career-training programs throughout Maryland.  At each stop, Governor O’Malley highlights efforts to create and save jobs, including the Jobs Creation and Recovery Tax Credit, which offers $5,000 to Maryland businesses for every unemployed Marylander they hire.

Even in difficult economic times, development and progress continues in many parts of Capitol Heights and the surrounding areas, built on the foundation of a strong partnership with the State.  Central High School in Capitol Heights received nearly $1 million in the FY09 Capital budget.  Doswell Brooks Elementary School received over $4 million in two years for renovations, part of more than $1 billion in school construction funds over a three year period under the O’Malley-Brown Administration statewide.

“Capitol Heights is one of the crown jewels of Prince George’s County.  As one of our more established communities, it serves as a reminder of the great history of our county,” said Prince George’s County Executive Jack Johnson.  “I want to thank Governor O’Malley for choosing Capitol Heights as ‘Capital for a Day.’  I know that continued partnerships between the county and state will allow us to achieve new successes in Capitol Heights and Prince George’s County.”

“I am very excited and proud that the Town of Capitol Heights has been chosen to receive this honor,” said Darrell A. Miller, Mayor of the Town of Capitol Heights.  “We have established the leadership that sets the example for our community and encourage our citizenry to reach new levels of success.”

Governor O’Malley began the day touring Gray Graphics, a family owned printing company in Capitol Heights for the past 35 years.  As a business that continues to grow even in tough economic times, Governor O’Malley will promote the Jobs Creation and Recovery Tax Credit, which offers Maryland businesses a $5,000 tax credit for every unemployed worker it hires.  Gray Graphics currently employs 65 employees and is growing.

“Our family is delighted for the privilege to host Governor O’Malley and his team,” said Abrahem Helal, VP of Operations at Gray Graphics. “We look forward to sharing our views and hearing those of others in the community. We sincerely thank him for allowing us this unique and wonderful opportunity.”

Following the small business tour, Governor O’Malley met with local faith leaders as part of a statewide initiative to connect church ministries with state services, including foreclosure prevention, child nutrition assistance, and other services for citizens during these tough economic times.  The O’Malley-Brown Administration has worked extensively with the faith community in its foreclosure prevention initiative, helping homeowners facing foreclosure get the help they need to save their homes.  Church leaders have taken a leadership role in this initiative by reaching out to members of their congregation who may qualify for these services.

The Governor then visited the future site of the Capitol Heights Town Hall, purchased by the town and renovated using $150,000 state bond secured in 2008.  The Governor then joined Mayor Miller and others for a walking tour of the newly created green demonstration house featuring energy-efficient appliances that will be open for residents to tour and learn about affordable, energy-efficient living.  Capitol Heights received a $114,000 in Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant through the U.S. Department of Energy.  The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds will renovate the vacant home that sits between Capitol Heights Boulevard and Quire Avenue, about four blocks from Town Hall.

“Governor O’Malley has a strong record of supporting Prince George’s County schools and protecting homeowners against foreclosure and predatory lenders,” said Senator Ulysses Currie. “We have worked together to make our communities safer, healthier and stronger, and it is a pleasure to welcome him to Capitol Heights.”

“It’s good of the Governor to come to a muncipality in Prince George’s the could use some assistance,” said Senator Nathaniel Exum.

The Governor’s final agenda item occurred at the Capitol Heights Fire Station, where he was joined by Maryland’s Executive Cabinet and an official Cabinet meeting.  There, the group heard a presentation of local challenges and opportunities from Mayor Miller, County Executive Johnson, and Senator Exum.  The Governor concluded the Cabinet Meeting by presenting an official “Capital for a Day” proclamation and a $150,000 check, secured through a bond bill passed for FY09, which will help renovate the town’s new Town Hall.

“Capital for a Day,” a program launched by Governor O’Malley in 2007, brings the State Capital to every corner of Maryland through a series of monthly events across a diverse selection of Maryland cities, towns and communities.  Previous “Capitals” have included Cecil County, Calvert County, Westminster, Hagerstown, Chestertown, Leonardtown, the Port Towns of Prince George’s County, Cumberland, Pocomoke City, Gaithersburg, Laurel, Rockville, Bel Air, La Plata and Ellicott City.

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