Delaware 2024 Election Overview

There is much to cover since the end of Delaware’s 2023 Session!

Leadership Changes:

This is how it went down last June:

  • Speaker of the House, Peter Schwartzkopf who served as Speaker for a decade, stepped down.
  • He recommended Majority Leader Longhurst, and that night, she was elected to Speaker position
  • This left a vacancy in Majority Leader role
  • Democratic caucus members elected Rep. Melissa Minor-Brown as House Majority Leader

House Democrats Elect All-Female Leadership Team, Setting Historic Firsts in Delaware

Valerie Longhurst
Speaker of the House
District 15

Valerie J. Longhurst is the first female Speaker of the House in Delaware history. She was first elected to the Delaware House of Representatives in November 2004 to represent the 15th District. The district consists of 24,000 people living in Bear and St. Georges. In 2008, she was elected as the House Majority Whip and served for four years. After the 2012 election, her caucus elected her House Majority Leader. In June 2023, she was elected Speaker of the House. – https://housedems.delaware.gov/members/house-district-15/

https://apnews.com/article/delaware-legislative-session-house-speaker-longhurst-6a2be3b6d0bc8336b70edb57dd05d1a6


Melissa Minor Brown
Majority Leader
District 17

Rep. Melissa ‘Mimi’ Minor-Brown is determined to make a difference by using her platform as a springboard for change, advocacy, and empowerment for her community. Rep. Minor-Brown knows what it means to work hard. She is an American success story, pulling herself up as a single teenage mother to evolve into a licensed practical nurse, to a registered nurse with a master’s degree in Executive Leadership, graduating Cum Laude from Wilmington University, to now serving as a legislator in Delaware’s House of Representatives. On a broader scale, Rep. Minor-Brown serves as the Region III Chair for the National Black Caucus of State Legislators. – https://housedems.delaware.gov/members/house-district-17/


Governor’s Race

Governor John Carney’s two terms as Delaware Governor ends in 2024! Below are the candidates for Governor in Delaware.

Bethany Hall Long
Lt. Governor (2017-2024)

Dr. Bethany Hall-Long has served as Delaware’s 26th Lieutenant Governor since 2017. As a member of the Democratic Party, she served in the Delaware House of Representatives from 2002-2008 and in the Delaware Senate from 2008-2017. –https://ltgov.delaware.gov/biography/

In the news:
How Hall-Long’s refusal to release audit findings sparked elections reform talks

Check out her campaign website here.


Matt Meyer
Newcastle County Executive (2017-2024)
In 2016, Matt Meyer was a sixth and seventh grade Math teacher when he first ran for public office, defeating a heavily-favored three-term incumbent in a grassroots campaign to serve as the Chief Executive of Delaware’s largest county. – https://www.newcastlede.gov/125/Matt-Meyer—County-Executive
Check out his campaign website here.

Lt. Governor’s Race

Kyle Evans Gay
DE State Senator
District 5

After becoming a vocal advocate for the successful Equal Rights Amendment to the Delaware Constitution, Sen. Gay was elected to the Delaware Senate in 2020, becoming the first Democrat to represent the Fifth Senate District in more than 40 years.She currently serves as the chair of the Senate Elections & Government Affairs Committee, vice-chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, co-chair of the Joint Legislative Oversight and Sunset Committee, and a member of both the Senate Transportation Committee and the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. – https://legis.delaware.gov/AssemblyMember/151/Gay

Check out her campaign website here.

Debbie Harrington
Retired Army Colonel
As a Social Justice Advocate, Debbie Harrington, has been the “boots on the ground” in Delaware communities, organizing food donations, back to school supplies, health fairs, financial literacy seminars and environmental protection initiatives. She still serves on boards where she has been able to affect education and health policies for all people. She is known for getting the hard jobs done. – https://debbiefordelaware.com/meet-debbie/
Check out her campaign website here.

Sherry Dorsey Walker
DE State Representative
District 3
Representative Sherry Dorsey Walker, a native of Wilmington, Delaware, is the first Person of Color elected to the Delaware House of Representatives from the 3rd District in 2018. As well, she is First Woman and the First Person of Color elected in the 6th District to the Wilmington City Council in 2012. She earned a Masters in Film from Howard University and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Delaware in English/Journalism. She is a proud product of St. Elizabeth School, where she attended for 12 years. – https://housedems.delaware.gov/members/house-district-3/
Check out her campaign website here.

Congressional Race to Watch

 

Colleen Davis
DE State Treasurer
Colleen C. Davis was elected State Treasurer in November 2018 and re-elected to a second term in 2022. Since taking office, Treasurer Davis has focused on three main priorities: bolstering retirement security and readiness, creating pathways to economic empowerment, and promoting a culture of financial excellence. Highlights of her first term include maintaining Delaware’s AAA bond rating, increasing return on the state’s investments by more than $58 million, and creating Delaware Expanding Access to Retirement & Necessary Savings (EARNS), an Auto-IRA program for Delaware private-sector workers not otherwise covered by an employer-sponsored retirement plan. – https://treasurer.delaware.gov/about-colleen-davis/
Check out her campaign website here.

Sarah McBride
DE State Senator

District 1As a state senator, McBride has passed legislation expanding access to health care, requiring mental health and media literacy education in public schools, promoting green technologies, and protecting workers and families. In just her first term, McBride also passed the landmark Healthy Delaware Families Act, providing paid family and medical leave to workers throughout the First State and marking the largest expansion of Delaware’s social safety net in decades. She currently serves as chair of the Senate Health & Social Services Committee, and a member of the Senate Banking, Business, Insurance & Technology, Education, Executive and Judiciary committees. – https://senatedems.delaware.gov/members/senate-district-1/

Check out her campaign website here.


Eugene Young
Director of Housing Authority
Delaware’s Director of the Delaware State Housing Authority, Eugene R. Young, Jr. was appointed to
his current position by Governor John Carney in May of 2021. In cooperation with other state agencies and advocates, Director Young drives DSHA’s mission to provide and assist others to provide, quality, affordable housing opportunities and appropriate supportive services to low- and moderate-income Delawareans. – https://leadershipdelaware.org/teams/eugene-young-jr/

Check out his campaign website here.


Business Branding

Discover a distinctive approach to business branding with Compass Public Relations, where strategic thinking meets immersive execution. Our public relations firm takes a strategic and immersive approach in understanding our client’s needs and their target audiences to steer brand identity, design, and development. Compass Public Relations specialists’ creative services range from designing websites and developing presentation decks to coordinating headshots for your team.

BRAND & WEB DESIGN PROCESS
  1. Discovery Session (1-2 Hours) – Unpacking who you are
Engage in in-depth discussions to outline your goals, brand mission, key elements and identify intended users.
  1. User Experience + Content (1-2 weeks) – Mapping it out
Design wireframes to map out the user journey and unpack what content is needed to clearly communicate products and services offered.
  1. Visual Design (1-2 weeks) – Making it look nice
Incorporate key brand elements and translate wireframes into a mockup design of the website.
  1. Development (2-4 weeks) – Bringing it to life
Utilize mockups to develop a fully responsive website using an advanced website design platform.
  1. Launch + Onboarding (1-2 hours) – Taking it live

Ensure all elements are functionable and provide training to empower you to make changes and take control of your site.


 

At Compass Public Relations, we are not just a service; we are your partners in establishing and executing a brand that is uniquely yours. Let us navigate the journey of shaping your business identity and ensuring it stands out in the digital landscape.

Transform your brand with Compass Public Relations – Your Success, Our Mission!

Cinderella Had a Ball… So Can You!

Planning an event can feel overwhelming but let Compass Public Relations Firm break it down for you in just 6 easy steps:

 

Step 1: Set Goals
Take some time when brainstorming plans for your event to set goals or intentions. These can be helpful to refer to when making decisions down the line. Your goal could be to create a space for people to network or to celebrate an accomplishment. When working with a public relations firm, goals will help define the event.
 

Step 2: Plan Your Location

Finding a good venue is important for the atmosphere of your event. Not only are components like adequate space and appropriate decorations important but also try to think about your location from the perspective of a guest. Is there enough signage so they can find exactly where to go? Does the location accommodate parking? Are there accessibility options if your guests need it? A public relations specialist can help plan your event location keeping all the details in mind so that your event can go off without a hitch!

 

 

Step 3: Plan Speakers

If you plan to have anyone outside of your group speak, make sure they are scheduled in advance! If you have a person in mind they need to ensure their schedule allows/knows what the message needs to be in order to answer any questions guests may have. Public relations firms will bake speaker research and logistics into the event to ensure all runs seamlessly. This helps with overall event organization and management, but if the speaker has a good experience they are more likely to return to a future event.

 

 

Step 4: Promote Your Event

Sending out paper invitations can feel daunting. Try and use other ways to get the word out about your event. Social media can be a great tool for guests attending to share the event in order to encourage others to come.
Key Tip– Events sneak up on people, especially if they are planned far in advance. Consider reminder emails or text messages to give guests a heads-up that you are looking forward to seeing them.

 

 

Step 5: Execute Your Event

The day has come to execute the event. Get lot’s of rest and promote on social media up until start time! Make sure the music is set and the bathrooms are clean, put on a big smile and enjoy!

 

 

Step 6: Prepare For Post-Event
To best plan for after the event, it is sometimes good to go back and look at your goals. You may want to put together social media campaign strategy and gather content for promoting an annual event. Maybe there were things that did not work that might have helped the event be more successful. Keep track!
Compass Public Relations Firm is here to help you plan and execute all types of events and any other public relations services for your organization. Session is quickly approaching, get started today!

Local Government Relations

When we say we offer
LOCAL government relations services,
what do we mean…?

Navigating the Mid-Atlantic with Compass Advocacy

Whether you call them counties, boroughs, parishes, or municipalities– each local jurisdiction plays a crucial role in governing daily life.. These local jurisdictions vary by state, county, and city all across the country. Just to make matters more confusing, each local government has a different way of governing. They have different names, different structures, responsibilities, and strategies for getting things done. At Compass Advocacy, we provide state and local government relations services, where we foster strong connections with decision-makers in local governments across the Mid-Atlantic region, aiming to simplify and guide you through the intricate processes.


Maryland Local Government 

Understanding the three forms of Maryland government is key: County Commissioners, Code Home Rule, and Charter. From Calvert to Washington, our expertise spans various counties, ensuring comprehensive government relations management.

County Commissioners: Empowered by the General Assembly, this form allows legislation for specific counties.  While a board of county commissioners exercises both executive and legislative functions defined by State law, and may enact ordinances, its legislative power is limited to those areas authorized by the General Assembly, enabling legislation, or public local laws.

Our reach extends to these counties:Calvert, Carroll, Garrett, St. Mary’s, Somerset, and Washington.


Code Home Rule: Since 1915, counties have had the option of governing under code home rule, which enables them to exercise broad local legislative authority.

Our reach extends to these counties: Allegany, Caroline, Charles, Kent, Queen Anne’s, and Worcester.


Charter: The charter government separates the executive branch from the legislative branch. Most typically, it consists of a county executive and a county council.

Our reach extends to these counties: Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Cecil, Dorchester, Frederick, Harford, Howard, Montgomery, Prince George’s, Talbot, and Wicomico.

Delaware Local Government 

The state of Delaware government affairs comprises  three counties: New Castle, Kent and Sussex. Our services extend to facilitate effective state government relations.

New Castle County

New Castle County manages local affairs by the County Executive and Council . The County Council is the legislative body and is made up of 12 members elected from each of the 12 districts, and the council president who is elected at-large. The county council is responsible for passing laws that help with the health and welfare of residents including topics like the budget, planning and zoning, and public entities such as public libraries.


Kent County
Distinguished by its name, the Levy Court, Kent County’s Levy Court consists of six commissioners elected by the district and one who is elected at large. They largely deal with zoning and development issues.


Sussex County
Sussex County, Delaware is governed by a County Council and a County administrator. The County Council consists of five members elected from five geographic districts. Each member serves a 4-year term. The County Council is responsible for the budget, policies impacting residents’ health and safety and growth and development goals for the county. The County Administrator is appointed by the Council and oversees the budget and policy implementation on behalf of the Council. Unlike other DE local governments, the County Administrator oversees services such as public safety, planning and zoning, and tax collection.

D.C. Local Government 

D.C. local government functions like many local governments with Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches. However, their relationship with the federal government sets them apart from other local state jurisdictions.

Executive- The Mayor
The current DC Mayor is Muriel Bowser. Who is responsible for the daily administration of the district government and is elected by 4-year terms. This includes overseeing government agencies such as the Metropolitan Police Department, public schools, the Health Department, and the Department of Planning and Economic Development. The Mayor approves or vetoes laws passed by the Council and is ultimately responsible for executing those laws.


Legislative- The Council of the District of Columbia
The city of DC is split into 8 wards, or districts, divided up by population. The council is made up of 1 member from each ward, as well as 5 at-large members, including a chairman, that represent the entire district. Members serve four-year terms, with staggered elections taking place every two years. The Council is responsible for making laws on behalf of DC residents on a variety of topics including crime, education, parking, and the budget.

In 2016, DC finally got control over its budget, separating it from the federal budget. Once the budget has passed the council, it is now submitted to Congress for a 30-day passive review, not requiring Congress to act for the budget to take effect.


National Representation

Taxation without representation! Famously, DC has no voting representation in the federal government. Due to their incorporated status, DC is only allowed to elect a non-voting delegate to the House of Representatives. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton currently serves on the Committee on Oversight and Accountability and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

https://mailchi.mp/compassadvocacy/compass-gr-august-navigator-9086948

Understanding State and Local Government in Maryland, Delaware and D.C

At Compass Government Relations, we specialize in government affairs, government consulting, and lobbying services, ensuring effective state and federal government relations management. For detailed insights, explore our Compass Navigator or contact us today to learn more about our state and local government relations services!

Brace Yourselves: Session Is Coming

Get ready as the Maryland General Assembly kicks off on January 10, 2024, following the Delaware General Assembly on January 9, 2024. While January might seem distant, strategic advocacy demands early preparation and planning to ensure your team is ready to make an impact as soon as the cannons fire. Explore coalition building, patch-though phone calls, emails, and polling with Compass. 

Let Compass Advocacy help you forge impactful coalition building strategies today!

Choose your weapon to fight for your cause this Session:
Patch-through phone calls (“PTP Calls”) are an important grassroots advocacy tool. Under a PTP Calls program, targeted legislators would receive phone calls from their constituents advocating for/against a bill/amendment/policy. Compass Advocacy can orchestrate Patch-through phone calls programs to amplify your voice.
Compass Public Relations specializes in designing and executing impactful email campaigns. These email campaigns enable individuals to send compelling emails to legislators, advocating for specific positions on critical issues. We help craft messages, build persuasive arguments, and create materials to amplify your message across various channels.
Understanding public opinion is critical – as public sentiment can have a significant impact on real policy decisions. Polling helps to garner a deeper understanding of the public’s thoughts, opinions, and beliefs on specific topics or issues. Compass Public Relations Firm will help design your questionnaire, collect the data, and provide valuable insight into the responses.
A coalition is the “joining of forces” between two or more independent organizations with shared interests. Coalitions are a great way to gather influence over specific subject matter because they can exert more power than a single organization alone. However, building and maintaining a coalition can feel like a daunting task. Compass has the expertise to guide you through the process of building and maintaining coalitions with shared interests, ensuring collective strength in advocating for your cause.

 

If your organization is looking for a public relations firm, let Compass Advocacy guide you towards effective coalition building strategies that will leave a lasting impact on the decisions that matter most. Contact us today!

Federal Government Relations: Lobby Days

“All politics is local”
– Former U.S. House of Representatives Speaker of the House, Tip O’Neill
At any level of government, from local to federal, curating relationships with your legislators is essential to the successful pursuit of your legislative priorities.

Lobby days provide advocates with the opportunity to directly engage with legislators and decision makers. Direct engagement with policymakers and their staff allow the unique opportunity to express concerns, share personal stories, and make persuasive arguments in support of the cause. This allows you, the advocate, to influence policy decisions directly.
Engaging with your federal lawmakers may seem like an insurmountable task if you don’t know where to start. But Compass Advocacy manages several federal client portfolios — we can help! We’ve had immense success engaging federal lawmakers across the country with constituents in their own district.
From fly-ins to DC for a lobby day with State delegations, to site visits across the country, Compass is ready to get you in front of the decision makers that matter most for your cause!

Building a Coalition

A coalition is the “joining of forces” between two or more independent organizations with shared interests. Coalitions are a great way to garner influence over specific subject matter because they can exert more power than a single organization alone. However, building and maintaining a coalition can feel like a daunting task.

Here are 6 steps toward creating sustainable coalitions:

Identify the coalition’s mission: Start by identifying a common goal or issue that brings potential members together. This can be a shared interest, a common problem, or a specific objective that can be better achieved through collective action.

 

Engage potential members: Identify individuals or organizations that share a common interest in the coalition’s mission. Reach out to them to gauge their interest, emphasizing the value of collaboration.

 

Ongoing recruitment: Coalition building is an ongoing process that requires active engagement and recruitment. By continuously adding to your membership base, the coalition broadens its expertise, increases influence and power, and expands resources and opportunities. Ongoing recruitment sustains momentum towards the coalition’s shared goal.

 

Strategy sessions: Once the coalition has a membership base, hosting strategy sessions can help members align goals and strategies. It’s imperative that each member knows their defined role in the coalition. Strategy sessions offer a space to build relationships and trust with other members, share knowledge and expertise, facilitate goal alignment, and create actionable plans.

 

Host regular meetings: Regularly scheduled meetings allow coalition members the opportunity to communicate, exchange information, and collectively make decisions. Bringing members together provides a platform for open dialogues and the exploration of differing viewpoints. Regular meetings also allow members to take an active role in monitoring the progress of the coalition.

 

Take action: There are many ways in which coalitions can take action toward their goals- whether it’s advocating for legal reform, mobilizing supporters, conducting community outreach, or legislatively! Engage in government advocacy efforts by mobilizing supporters, hosting lobby days, or creating awareness campaigns.

 


Overall, forming a coalition requires overcoming various challenges, including building trust and managing several interests. Coalitions are imperative for increasing political leverage and power towards a common goal. By amplifying individual voices through collaboration, coalitions can increase the chances of influencing policy outcomes and/or achieving shared goals.

Local Budgets 2023

In recent weeks, counties in Maryland have unveiled local budget proposals for FY24. The $63 billion Maryland State Budget passed during Session on April 3, 2023 – allowing local jurisdictions to tackle their own operating and capital budgets before the start of the fiscal year. Here are a few highlights & important dates from some notable jurisdictions in Maryland.

Anne Arundel County

Proposed Budget
Approved by June 15, 2023

Baltimore City

Preliminary Budget
Approved no later than June 26, 2023

Baltimore County

Proposed Budget
Approved by June 1, 2023

Frederick County

Proposed Budget
Approved no later than May 31, 2023

Harford County

Proposed Budget
Approved by June 15, 2023

Howard County

Proposed Operating Budget
Proposed Capital Budget
Approved by June 1, 2023

Montgomery County

Recommended Budget
Adopted by May 31, 2023

Prince George’s County

Proposed Budget
Approved by June 1, 2023

Need help securing local government funding in the future?
Our team has the experience and the relationships to help!

Read More Here!

Maryland 2023 Legislative Session: Wrapped

 

Maryland had many big-ticket-items in the queue this 2023 Session and proved to be a long (or short depending on who you talk to) 90-day Session. Read more to see what bills and policies are in the headlines following adjournment. As bill signing dates are released, your Compass Government Relations team will keep you apprised of what is being signed into law and when!

Abortion

  • Approved constitutional amendment to go on ballot in November 2024 to enshrine the right to abortion in the Maryland Constitution
  • Passed legislation to protect patients/providers from criminal, civil, and administrative penalties relating to abortion bans or restrictions in other states
  • Passed a data-privacy bill to protect medical and insurance records on reproductive health
  • Universities in Maryland required to have a plan for student access to birth control methods near campuses

Cannabis

  • Medical dispensaries can acquire dual licenses to sell recreational cannabis
  • Tax will be 9%
  • Adults 21 and over allowed to possess up to 1.5 oz and two marijuana plants

Guns

  • Private property owners can control whether firearms can be brought onto their property, including commercial establishments
    • Defines sensitive places where firearms cannot be carried
  • Lawmakers removed the “good and substantial reason” from state law
  • Tightened gun storage laws

Budget

  • $62.5 billion budget for next fiscal year
  • $900 million to help pay costs in future years of Blueprint for Maryland’s Future

$15 Minimum Wage

  • Rate of increasing minimum wage quickened from January 1, 2025 to January 1, 2024

Paid Family Leave

  • Implement law passed last year
  • Require cost split evenly between worker and employer

Gender Affirming Treatment

  • State expanded procedures, revisions, and reversals covered under Medicaid

Clergy-Abuse Lawsuits

  • Lawmakers passed a measure to end the state’s statute of limitations for when civil lawsuits can be filed against public and private institutions related to child sexual abuse.

Offshore Wind

  • Maryland to generate 8.5 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2031
  • Upgrade energy grid for energy transmission from sea to land

April 2023 GR Navigator

Spruce Up Your Brand This Spring!

It’s that thyme of year! As the temperature gets warmer and flowers start to bloom, it’s hard to miss the energy of spring coming our way. The universe decided spring was the time to re-plant our most successful business practices and we can’t help but agree! It’s time to take stalk of your life! Spring can be the perfect time to update your business and personal branding materials. You should update your website, clean out any old or wilted social media posts, or even change your Facebook status (ok, bloomer).

Compass Public Relations can help you revisit your logo and branding materials to give them a bright new look once and floral. Our team members take pride in taking the time to understand your business market and can help target your brand identity to be competitive in your plot. Helping your business rose to the occasion is always our priority. Lettuce do our best so you don’t have to, even if these puns are getting unbeleafable. Happy Spring!

 

April 2023 PR Navigator

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