In 2022, What’s eating Hyattsville?

 Smiling volunteer looking at donation box on a sunny day. Happy volunteer separating donations stuffs. Volunteers sort donations during food drive

What is the #1 concern of Hyattsville Residents?

The biggest topics in the news right now come down to economics. Practically speaking, though, people don’t worry about “the economy,” they worry about how they’re going to feed their family, how they are going to house their family, and how they are going to provide for the future. I would argue that safe-guarding these 3 things should be a primary goal of Hyattsville’s city council in the next few years. If elected to the council, these issues would be my primary focus, although how to tackle them takes layers of work.

The first issue is food security. In Prince George’s County, about 15% of residents are food insecure. According to the 2020 census, 10% of Hyattsville Residents are living in poverty. During the pandemic, Hyattsville area food banks and cafes saw a sudden rise in need. Our local churches that provide meals to the homeless and hungry have mobilized volunteers to try to meet this need. The City of Hyattsville has also expanded its partnerships with area business and on a regular basis distributes groceries and diapers with the help of city volunteers.

In the next few years as the economy gradually gets back on track, the city needs to make sure this effort does not wane. The city should continue to strengthen those partnerships and put an emphasis on communicating these resources to those in need. Council members need to ensure that their residents are making use of those resources, they need to identify those who are in need and make sure that communications about the available resources are effective at reaching those in need.

While I would make city-backed programs a budget priority, as a council member I will equally put in the work to support the community organizations that have been working for those in need. That means staying in contact with program leaders and asking them how the city can support their missions. I will reach out to my friends and neighbors to make sure these programs have volunteers. Leveraging the strength of our community programs is essential to tackling this enormous problem.

Very little is more important than fortifying the groundwork to make sure that the residents of Hyattsville are fed.