All posts by Patti Mallin

City Career Recruitment Spotlight

The City of Takoma Park offers rewarding career opportunities in a variety of fields such as public works, recreation and law enforcement. We offer competitive wages and have an excellent benefits package for full-time and most part-time employees.

Interested in working here? Start by visiting our Careers With Takoma Park page. We look forward to receiving your application and wish you the best in your endeavor to serve the community.

Featured Opportunities This Week:

  • ARPA Manager to aid in the administration, oversight, tracking, and reporting of federal funds to aid in recovery from the COVID pandemic.
  • Facilities Maintenance Supervisor to perform skilled work in the repair and maintenance of City facilities and equipment and oversee the day-to-day operations of the Building Maintenance division and Custodian division.
  • Recreation Programs Coordinator to develop and implement programming to promote youth success through: outreach, enrichment activities and workforce/college readiness services for the City’s young residents.
  • Crossing Guard and Substitute Crossing Guard to help ensure the safe streets and passage of our young residents during before and after school hours.
  • Front Desk and Passport Agent to be responsible for the reception area of the Takoma Park Community Center and the processing of U.S. Passport applications
  • Class Instructors (Contract) to teach a variety of classes for the Recreation Department.
  • More postings

To apply for these positions, or learn more about other opportunities, please see the Careers with Takoma Park page.

City Manager Transition

 

The Summer Solstice ushers in a seasonal transition. In Takoma Park, we’re also experiencing a very important transition, as we say farewell to departing City Manager Suzanne Ludlow and welcome her replacement, Jamal Fox.

Suzanne has been important to the City government over the last 27 years, serving 7 years as City Manager. It’s almost impossible to find aspects of our municipal life that she hasn’t touched in meaningful ways. Whether it’s managing our annual budget and keeping Takoma Park fiscally strong; leading and inspiring City staff; coordinating work on key development projects; interacting directly with residents seeking information or assistance, and so many other vital initiatives, she’s had a hand in them and often played the lead role.

We were delighted that — in the last City Council meeting of Suzanne’s tenure in Takoma Park — the Council adopted a resolution honoring her many contributions to our local government, economy, and culture. Moreover, Councilmembers and residents had the opportunity to share their personal memories of Suzanne’s work on behalf of the City and their interactions with her. We wish her all the best as she moves on to a new phase in her life, with an appreciation for everything she has given to Takoma Park. You can watch a video of the tributes to Suzanne starting at the 26-minute mark.

Meanwhile, you may have seen Jamal in the City, even though he doesn’t formally start as the new City Manager until August 2. He and his family will be moving to the area in the coming weeks. However, we’re pleased he’s been able to start meeting with Councilmembers and staff, not to mention touring the City and saying hello to residents. We were particularly glad Jamal said a few words at the recent swearing-in ceremony for a group of new Takoma Park police officers.

Jamal’s background, in communities large and small, in different parts of the country, with service as both a staffer and an elected official, make him a great addition to the City staff. We look forward to collaborating with him as we inaugurate a great new chapter in Takoma Park’s story. For those in the City who haven’t yet met him, there will no doubt be many opportunities to give him a warm welcome.

Of course, transitions often come with a few challenges, and this one is no exception. There’s about a month between Suzanne’s departure and Jamal’s official start date. So our Deputy City Manager Jessica Clarke will serve as Acting City Manager for that month-long interim period. Those of us on the Council have full confidence in Jessica’s ability to keep everything on track during that hiatus. We’re also confident residents will appreciate there may be a need for a little patience as Jessica and Jamal work through the learning curves they’ll be facing. You can reach Jessica at jessicac@takomaparkmd.gov. Jamal’s email, which won’t be active until he starts on August 2, will be jamal.fox@takomaparkmd.gov.

Council City Manager Transition Sub-Committee

Mayor Stewart
Councilmember Kovar
Councilmember Searcy

Vaccine Clinic at Park Ritchie this Saturday, June 26

 

Free Mobile COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic

Date:
Saturday, June 26, 2021
Time: 9:00 am – 2:00 pm

Location:
Park Ritchie Apartments
Parking Lot,
7600 Maple Avenue

Any Maryland resident aged 12 and up is eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine for free at this mobile clinic. Register for an appointment.

Brought to you through collaboration between Southern Management/Park Ritchie Apartments, FEMA, the National Guard, Food Justice DMV, and the City of Takoma Park.

Community Engagement for the Takoma Park Recreation Center

 

In an effort to both reimagine the possibilities for the Takoma Park Recreation Center and engage the residents of Takoma Park in a more inclusive, meaningful way, the City of Takoma Park issued a Request for Proposals in December 2019 for a Community Engagement Consultant to help design and implement a comprehensive engagement process that would serve two purposes:

  1. to determine community priorities for a new recreation center, and
  2. to offer recommendations for how engagement can happen effectively across the city going forward for future public efforts.

DC-based consultancy Brick & Story was selected for this engagement in March 2020. Brick & Story worked with the City of Takoma Park to adapt their initial strategies to accommodate virtual and socially-distanced engagement, to create an invitation that was welcoming, inclusive, and intentionally targeted to communities in Takoma Park that are not traditionally represented in the public process.

The final report describes preferences and priorities for a new recreation center as gathered from City residents, and offers recommendation on conducting community engagement moving forward.

Read the narrative report, and see the appendix for more detail.

Grants and rebates available for weatherization, energy savings

 

The City offers residential sustainability grants to Income-qualified residents for FREE weatherization (insulation, draft reduction, and potentially heating and cooling equipment and appliances) by applying here.

Additional rebates are available for all residents who make energy efficiency improvements.

All residents looking to keep the cold air out, warm air in, and reduce utility bills at home can get a FREE ENERGY SAVING KIT from Montgomery County: https://mygreenmontgomery.org/2021/lwyl/

Kits contain:

  • door sweeps,
  • rope caulk for those leaky windows,
  • window insulations kits, and more.
  • requests must be received by March 31, 2021.

Creating Affordable Home Ownership Opportunities

 

Habitat for Humanity Metro Maryland, in partnership with the City of Takoma Park, plans to convert a multi-family rental property  located on Garland Avenue into two affordable homeownership opportunities.

 

The project began when the City of Takoma Park assigned its Right to Purchase to Habitat to buy the Garland property in November of 2020. The City also provided $200,000 from the Housing Reserve Fund to invest in the development of affordable homeownership opportunities.

 

Habitat will divide the existing structure, which now includes three rental units, into a duplex, creating two separate and distinct homeownership properties.

 

This project is a demonstration of how Missing Middle Housing typologies can be incorporated into established single-family neighborhoods. Splitting the property into two units helps to drive down the development cost per unit and ultimately the sales prices for each home. The property is also within one mile of a future Purple Line stop further emboldening the need to create, restore and preserve affordable housing opportunities, ensuring that all residents can access our public infrastructure investments.

 

Habitat will completely gut the home and rebuild it like new. The rehab will include a focus on sustainability starting with participation in the City of Takoma Park’s initiative to forego the use of fossil fuel in homes by abandoning the existing gas service to the home. This will be the first example of gas abandonment in the City in residential development. HFHMM will also incorporate an energy efficiency standard in its building practices, including continuous spray foam insulation for the entire envelope of the structure drastically reducing air leakage. Habitat will also install water sense fixtures, LED lighting, smart thermostats, and Energy Star mechanical equipment and appliances.

 

Once the project is complete, Habitat will sell the completed units to individuals living and working in our community but unable to afford a home through the traditional market. Habitat provides an affordable mortgage, ensuring that borrowers are not cost burdened. Providing access to affordable homeownership is critical for our communities so that families can build generational wealth. By providing homeownership opportunities for families at more income levels we can work to break down the racial wealth and ownership gaps and build more equitable communities.

 

Learn more at the project page.

Proposed Changes to Stormwater Utility Fee Structure

 

Click here to Access the Interactive Map

A letter was sent to owners of single-family residential properties in the City to inform them of discussions to be held this month by the City Council on changing the stormwater fee from a flat rate to a tiered rate based on the impervious surface area. The total amount of revenue from the combined residential and commercial stormwater fee remains the same – about $700,000 – but is more equitably charged among the properties.

A presentation will be given to Council on February 10 and a public hearing held on February 24. After that, more site-specific information may be sent to individual property owners based on the Council discussion. Please watch the presentation on February 10 and contact Daryl Braithwaite at DarylB@takomaparkmd.gov with any questions.

City of Takoma Park Police Department Joins National ABLE Project

 

The City of Takoma Park Police Department has been accepted into the Active Bystandership for Law Enforcement (ABLE) Project, Georgetown University Law Center’s national training and support initiative for U.S. law enforcement agencies committed to building a culture of peer intervention that prevents harm.

By demonstrating agency commitment to transformational reform with support from local community groups and elected leaders, the

City of Takoma Park Police Department joins a select group of more than 60 other law enforcement agencies and statewide and regional training academies chosen to participate in the ABLE Project’s national rollout. To date, hundreds of agencies across the country have expressed interest in participating.

Backed by prominent civil rights and law enforcement leaders, the evidence-based, field-tested ABLE Project was developed by

Community

Georgetown Law’s Innovative Policing Program in collaboration with global law firm Sheppard Mullin LLP to provide practical active bystandership strategies and tactics to law enforcement officers to prevent misconduct, reduce officer mistakes, and promote health and wellness.

ABLE gives officers the tools they need to overcome the innate and powerful inhibitors all individuals face when called upon to intervene in actions taken by their peers.

We are very excited to have our staff participate in the ABLE training,“ said Chief Antonio DeVaul. “We always seek out training that will increase trust and transparency within our community.”

“As we work to reimagine public safety and seek to rectify injustices in our institutions, we must also ensure individuals have the ability and skills to take action against bias and violence,” said Takoma Park’s Mayor Kate Stewart.  “Our participation in the ABLE Project is an important step to ensure accountability and continue the culture change in our police department needed to serve every member of our community.”

Those backing the City of Takoma Park Police Department’s application to join the program included the NAACP Montgomery Chapter and the Washington Adventist Church.

Professor Christy Lopez, co-director of Georgetown Law’s Innovative Policing Program, which runs ABLE, explained: “The ABLE Project seeks to ensure every police officer in the United States has the opportunity to receive meaningful, effective active bystandership training, and to help agencies transform their approach to policing by building a culture that supports and sustains successful peer intervention to prevent harm.”

Chair of the ABLE Project Board of Advisors, Sheppard Mullin partner Jonathan Aronie, added: “Intervening in another’s action is harder than it looks after the fact, but it’s a skill we all can learn.  And, frankly, it’s a skill we all need – police and non-police.  ABLE teaches that skill.”

The ABLE Project is guided by a Board of Advisors comprised of civil rights, social justice, and law enforcement leaders, including Vanita Gupta, the president of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights; Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore Police Department; Commissioner Danielle Outlaw of the Philadelphia Police Department; Dr. Ervin Staub, professor emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the founder of the Psychology of Peace and Justice Program; and an impressive collection of other police leaders, rank and file officers, and social justice leaders.

  • See the complete list of the ABLE Project Board of Advisors.
  • For more information about the ABLE Project, visit the program’s website.
  • See a list of the ABLE Standards to which every participating agency must adhere.
  • These articles share more information about active bystandership generally, and the ABLE Project in particular.

The ABLE Project Train-The-Trainer event begins later this month.  By the end of December, the City of Takoma Park Police Department instructors will be certified as ABLE trainers; and over the coming months, all of the Department’s officers will receive 8 hours of evidence-based active bystandership education designed not only to prevent harm, but to change the culture of policing.  Look for our progress in this critical area that will be on the web page soon.

For more information regarding the City of Takoma Park Police Department, contact Catherine Plevy, Public Information Officer at cathyp@takomaparkmd.gov

For more information on the ABLE Project, contact Liza, ABLE Program Manager, at lba17@georgetown.edu.

Community Stories Film Festival, November 20-22

 

The City of Takoma Park is proud to partner with Docs in Progress, supporting emerging documentary filmmakers by teaching the skills and providing the tools they need to shape their stories.  By developing, encouraging, and celebrating new and diverse voices via documentary film, Docs in Progress also seeks to lessen the racial divide in storytelling.

 

Documentary Dialogues Takoma is a multi-year program that uses video as a vehicle for reflection, self-expression, and empowerment by engaging Takoma Park residents through hands-on video production activities and film screenings. This project educates, inspires, and transforms people’s interaction with documentary film. Activities include The Community Stories film festival, running from November 20-22.

 

Community Stories Film Festival, November 20-22

25 Films, 7 Live Q&A Sessions Over 3 Days. 

The 2020 Community Stories Film Festival, presented by Docs In Progress, showcases people, places and events from the Maryland, Washington DC, and Northern Virginia region. This year, COMMUNITY STORIES will be virtual and free via Eventive on November 20-22.

 

The City of Takoma Park’s Community “Quality of Life” Grant program provides financial support for projects that provide greater access and participation in the arts and sciences for predominantly low-and moderate-income Takoma Park residents.

Information Session for TKPK Job Seekers with STEM backgrounds

 

The City of Takoma Park is proud to partner with Upwardly Global (UpGlo), an organization focused on integrating immigrant and refugee professionals into the U.S. workforce. With funding from the City’s Community “Quality of Life” Grants program, UpGlo has developed a program to serve Takoma Park residents with science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) backgrounds who are underemployed in their professional fields. Watch this short video for an overview of Upglo’s program and impact.

Information Session for Takoma Park job seekers interested in applying for Upwardly Global’s free job searching services:

 

Session Info:

Date: Wednesday, November 18
Time: 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm

Who should attend?
Eligible job seekers with STEM backgrounds

What:
Virtual session to learn about free job-searching services

RSVP:
Register here


The City of Takoma Park is excited to offer this program to residents because working with UpGlo can lead to life-changing individual success stories. UpGlo helps clients move from unemployment or “survival” jobs as rideshare drivers, cashiers, and nannies to careers as Data Scientists, Financial Analysts, and Software Engineers– jobs that can break the intergenerational poverty cycle and enable newcomers to realize their full potential in their newly-adopted home.  

More information on eligibility criteria and Upwardly Global’s Program is available online at www.upwardlyglobal.org.

Volunteers and Employers can also help Upwardly Global’s mission and work in Takoma Park.