Prince George's CountyWilliam J. Ford

Lawmaker Couple Hosts Community Day in Fort Washington

Besides being a married couple with children, Maryland Del. Jay Walker and Prince George’s County Councilwoman Monique Anderson-Walker endure hectic schedules as lawmakers drafting policies, attending meetings and inquiring on a myriad of constituent services.

But on Saturday, the couple relaxed a bit and hosted their first Family Fun Day at Tucker Road Athletic Complex in Fort Washington.

“We rarely have opportunities to see each other unless we’re in passing,” said Anderson-Walker of Fort Washington, who represents the county’s District 8 region. “This gives us a chance to have all the generations come together for activities for everybody.”

The hundreds in attendance on the warm summer day played musical chairs, twisted hula-hoops and guzzled bottled waters. If anyone didn’t want hamburgers and hot dogs, three food trucks sold Mexican cuisine, vegetarian dishes and crab fries.

Children play limbo during Family Fun Day at Tucker Road Athletic Complex in Fort Washington, Maryland, on July 27, an event hosted by Del. Jay Walker and his wife, Prince George's County Councilwoman Monique Anderson-Walker. (Anthony Tilghman/The Washington Informer)
Children play limbo during Family Fun Day at Tucker Road Athletic Complex in Fort Washington, Maryland, on July 27, an event hosted by Del. Jay Walker and his wife, Prince George’s County Councilwoman Monique Anderson-Walker. (Anthony Tilghman/The Washington Informer)

Children and adults walked around with their faces, arms and other body parts painted.

Evelyn Wilson of Fort Washington and her 3-year-old great-grandson sported Spider-Man webs on their left shoulders as they walked around a county police department helicopter.

“I wanted him to see it and hear the experience to why [the department] uses it and what they use it for,” Wilson said as she scooped cherry-flavored Italian ice. “This is a great event. I came out to support and enjoy the day.”

Walker also honored high school students with scholarship awards and showcased a friendly seven-on-seven high school football competition with three schools from his district: Friendly, Oxon Hill and Potomac.

Walker, a college football standout at Howard University who now works as an ESPN Black college football analyst, briefly explained to Potomac head coach Ronnie Crump why a referee called offensive pass interference.

“His hands were fine, but once his arms extended that’s when it became interference,” Walker said with a smile as Crump shook his head.

On a serious note, Crump appreciates Walker “looking out for the young people.”

David Moore, 16, a senior on Potomac’s football team, called Saturday event “unique.”

“It’s a nice event,” said Moore, who plays on the defensive and offensive lines and recorded a score of 1,120 on his SAT test. “We get to see other teams that we might play in the season. I just want to keep on the same track both on the field and in school.”

As for the Walkers, each continue to work on specific agendas.

Anderson-Walker uses her personal experience to educate teenagers about safe driving. Her 78-year-old father still recalls when his father died in a car crash after being hit by a drunk driver. Her father was 4 years old when that occurred.

In March, she launched a “#DrivingItHome” initiative which started at four high schools in her district, but has spread with billboards posted in front of high schools throughout the county.

A “whole pile” of documents sit on her husband’s desk for research to craft legislation when the Maryland General Assembly reconvenes in January. He plans to reintroduce two bills that didn’t get approved this year, one which makes financial literacy a graduation requirement and another to implement a stronger physical education curriculum in public schools, especially at the elementary level.

“Good bills take a long time to get through,” Walker said. “We are talking about our youth and our kids. They can’t vote, so we have to represent them.”

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William J. Ford – Washington Informer Staff Writer

I decided I wanted to become a better writer while attending Bowie State University and figured that writing for the school newspaper would help. I’m not sure how much it helped, but I enjoyed it so much I decided to keep on doing it, which I still thoroughly enjoy 20 years later. If I weren’t a journalist, I would coach youth basketball. Actually, I still play basketball, or at least try to play, once a week. My kryptonite is peanut butter. What makes me happy – seeing my son and two godchildren grow up. On the other hand, a bad call made by an official during a football or basketball game makes me throw up my hands and scream. Favorite foods include pancakes and scrambled eggs which I could eat 24-7. The strangest thing that’s ever happened to me, or more accurately the most painful, was when I was hit by a car on Lancaster Avenue in Philadelphia. If I had the power or money to change the world, I’d make sure everyone had three meals a day. And while I don’t have a motto or favorite quote, I continue to laugh which keeps me from driving myself crazy. You can reach me several ways: Twitter @jabariwill, Instagram will_iam.ford2281 or e-mail, wford@washingtoninformer.com

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