WASHINGTON, D.C. – Constituents from Prince George’s County assembled on Tuesday at the United States Senate offices where Bill Dauster, policy advisor to U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), answered questions and addressed concerns regarding new legislation introduced by the Trump administration.
Michele Pintur, a county resident, pioneered the movement with a press release that stated the group, known as MoveOn, intended to voice concerns about certain cabinet choices made by President Donald Trump, as well as the repeal of President Barack Obama’s health care law and the recent ban on immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries.
Pintur says she is just an average citizen who is concerned about the political climate in the country and how it will affect Prince George’s County.
“A huge concern we have is with Betsy Devos as Secretary of Education,” Pintur said. “She does not care about public education and that is a huge issue in Prince George’s County.
“I think the immigration (executive order) is very troubling to Prince George’s County because we are so diverse. We are already a sanctuary county, and the threat that federal grants could be stripped from our budget is worrisome.”
Prince George’s County is one of just three in the state of Maryland with policies in place that will shelter undocumented immigrants from federal laws. As of 2015 more than 21 percent of the Prince George’s County population was born somewhere outside of America, according to the United States Census report.
Local resident Karen Gladding also voiced her displeasure with the new administration.
“This is not the way government is supposed to work, and so it is our job to come out here and let our voices be heard,” Gladding said. “The things that are happening right now are not a mandate from all citizens and they should not be presented as such.”
The rally was one of more than 200 planned nationwide by MoveOn. The group is promoting a social media trend with the hash tag #SwampCabinet in order to demonstrate the possible threats posed by certain cabinet nominees. MoveOn specified Jeff Sessions, Rex Tillerson and Tom Price as three of the nominees who it feels poses a threat to the political system.
Many of the people who attended also voiced their concerns about Secretary of Education nominee Betsy DeVos, the immigration ban and the Affordable Care Act repeal. MoveOn made it abundantly clear that it opposes all of those ideas as well.