Updated: Mar 4
On Feb. 21, 2021 a group of concerned citizens came together in the Town of Capitol Heights to form the Town's first-ever official Civic Association.
Many Towns, Cities, and communities in Prince George's County have a functioning Civic Association. A Civic Association is essentially an interest group of engaged, concerned, and active community members. The community members organize, convene meetings, and structure their priorities to effect change where they live (or to solve some problem). The strength of the Civic Association is in its people power or people capital.
In the Town of Capitol Heights residents wanted to form a group to help hold government leaders accountable to the residents' needs. "Many of us [residents] are frustrated with the lack of focus from the Town Council. I mean, instead of focusing on important issues, like their negligence and slow-acting response to the tax bill, some of the council-members decided to grind a personal axe against our mayor," said one of its founding members James Brown. "I have stayed on them and try to hold their feet to the fire, but they don't seem to care or listen. Many times I email and ask for things, to see if they have a plan, and no one seems to respond, except for Mayor Maldon (before he was suspended) and Councilwoman Cason.
Upon being suspended and striped of his title as mayor, Shawn Maldon immediately started doing what he does best. "I wanted to create an advisory board of the sorts. I wanted something that would keep the elected body connected with the people it served. Thus, I sought to form a Civic Association. I am not distracted by the suspension. It's politics. I knew going into this that it could get ugly. That didn't surprise me. However, I am always a little surprised when elected officials seem to ignore and disregard members of the community it was elected to serve. I am hoping that with an active Civic Association, we can restore that relationship between the government and the people," said Shawn Maldon.