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County Executive Pittman launches Office of Community Engagement and Constituent Services

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Top (from right to left): Jenese Jones, James Kitchin, Dejah Williams, Derek Matthews and Bottom: James Reed, Maria Casasco, Janice Hayes-Williams, Sergio Polanco

Annapolis, MD (January 24, 2019) – Today, Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman launched the Office of Community Engagement and Constituent Services (CECS). Janice Hayes-Williams, formerly a senior advisor for community engagement, was appointed as the office's director. The constituent services areas are now aligned with County Council districts in order to strengthen the working relationship between Council and Administration staff on constituent issues.

 

"We put together a team to truly engage our communities and move beyond just responding to constituent concerns,” said County Executive Pittman. “We recruited people with the passion and professionalism to engage residents in the work of making Anne Arundel County the best place. I'm proud to introduce them today."

 

During his campaign for office, Pittman spoke often about the importance of public engagement in local government. The new CECS team will be out in the communities to learn about their needs and is tasked with ensuring that all communities have a voice in the Pittman Administration. County officials also plan to design a more robust 311 system so that routine issues can be reported on 311, allowing the CECS to spend more time at community events and meetings.

 

Ms. Hayes-Williams brings broad experience to her role as director. She served a similar role for Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley, where she was the director of constituent services. Prior to that, she was the legislative assistant to County Councilmember Chris Trumbauer. In addition to leading the office, she will handle constituent services for Council District 6, which includes both of the county's municipalities: Annapolis and Highland Beach.

 

"The CECS team is knowledgeable and hardworking, and we have already hit the ground running," said Hayes-Williams. "My staff and I will have a strong presence in our communities and offer strong support to county residents when they have a constituent issue."

 

The CECS team works closely with community partners and local organizations to assist them with their community goals. CECS staff also serve as the primary liaisons for the county executive in each council district to help improve the lives of all county residents.

 

The office includes three other constituent services officers and a coordinator:

 

Jenese Jones - Council Districts 1 & 2 (Linthicum, Brooklyn Park, Severn, Glen Burnie). Ms. Jones is a former teacher and has more than 16 years of experience in education policy.  

 

James Reed - Council Districts 3 & 5 (Pasadena, Severna Park, Broadneck). Mr. Reed has a degree in political science and is pursuing an M.A. in public policy. Mr. Reed served in the Office of Constituent Services for the past 2 years.

 

James Kitchin - Council Districts 4 & 7 (Crownsville, Odenton, Crofton, South County). Mr. Kitchin is a former high school teacher and is a public policy doctoral student at the University of Maryland.

 

Dejah Williams - CECS Coordinator. Ms. Williams has a degree in political science and has expertise in media operations and public outreach.

 

In addition, the office works with several other important community support positions in the county executive’s office:

 

Derek Matthews - Special Projects Coordinator. Mr. Matthews has a diverse law enforcement background and leads several special projects to improve diversity in the county workforce.

 

Maria Casasco - Immigrant and Multicultural Affairs Officer. Ms. Casasco has a long career in county government, including working for the county department of health.

 

Sergio Polanco - Latino Affairs and Translation Coordinator. Mr. Polanco is the co-host of "Bienvenidos TV," the county Spanish language television program and maintains the county's Spanish language website.

 

The Office of Community Engagement and Constituent Services recently unveiled a new webpage: https://www.aacounty.org/departments/county-executive/constituent-services/index.html

 
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