Scott, Ball, Raskin Have Telephone Town Halls on Virus Set for This Week

    Want to talk directly to your elected officials about the COVID-19 outbreak?

    Two are hosting virtual town halls about the pandemic this week.

    At 6:15 p.m. Thursday, Baltimore City Council President Brandon M. Scott (D) has an interactive telephone town hall scheduled with Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, the former Maryland health secretary who now heads the Office of Public Health Practice and Training and is director of the Bloomberg American Health Initiative. The town hall will center on COVID-19 and its impact on the Baltimore community.

    Scott described the town hall as a way to reach residents who do not have regular access to the Internet.

    “Residents need accurate information about the risks of COVID-19 and how to keep themselves safe,” he said.

    Anyone can join the town hall by dialing 855-756-7520 and entering access code 57975#. Questions will be collected during the call, but they may also be submitted ahead of time to [email protected].

    At 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Howard County Executive Calvin Ball (D) is also hosting a virtual town hall, where he’ll answer questions about the coronavirus and the local response, the census, and upcoming elections.

    Residents are encouraged to pre-register and will receive a phone call to join the virtual town hall. Or residents can call in at 855-756-7520 ext. 57556#. The event will also be live-streamed online. 

    “I want the Howard County community to know that our government is working tirelessly to keep our public safe and informed,” said Ball. “We’re hosting this town hall to provide updates, clarity and reassurance to our residents as we face this challenge. We will get through this together, with collective action, compassion, and kindness.”

    And at 2 p.m. Friday, U.S. Rep. Jamie B. Raskin (D-Md.) is hosting a telephone town hall focusing on the impact of COVID-19 on senior citizens.

    Raskin will be joined on the call by U.S. Rep. Donna Shalala (D-Fla.) — who served as U.S. secretary of Health and Human Services during the Clinton administration — and by representatives from AARP Maryland, the Carroll County Bureau of Aging and Disabilities, the Frederick County Department of Aging, and the Montgomery County Aging and Disability Resource Unit.

    People wishing to participate in the call can RSVP here to receive a call on Friday afternoon. Or they can dial in at 877-300-1219. They may stream the audio on Raskin’s website here.

    [email protected]



    Josh Kurtz
    Co-founder and Editor Josh Kurtz is the leading chronicler of Maryland politics and government. He began covering the State House in 1995 for The Gazette newspapers, and has been writing about state and local politics ever since. He later became an editor at Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, and spent eight years at E&E News, an online subscription-only publisher of news websites covering energy and environmental issues. For seven of those years, he led a staff of 20 reporters at E&E Daily, which covers energy and environmental policy on Capitol Hill and in national politics. For 6 1/2 years he wrote a weekly column on state politics for Center Maryland and has written for several other Maryland publications as well. Kurtz has given speeches and appeared on TV and radio shows about Maryland politics through the years.