Messages from First Lady Katie O'Malley
December 2, 2011
FROM THE BLOG ENTRY: A Fight for Our Children's Future
Over the course of this week, Martin and I have been leading a trade mission to India to help bring jobs and opportunity back to Maryland. And while our entire delegation continues to work to bring back jobs for our families, I have also had a unique and humbling experience visiting with children in need and working with court officials in India to discuss the possibility of establishing partnerships between Maryland and India.
I’d like to share a few highlights with you.
At the beginning of our trip, I met with high court officials in India to discuss the possibility of establishing a Rule of Law partnership with the State of Maryland, which would strengthen the ties between Maryland and India; provide educational training and promote resource sharing; and make everyone accountable to the law to protect human rights and the freedom of individuals and foster peace among our people.
On Tuesday, I visited the Sphoorti Foundation, where some of India’s most vulnerable children are being cared for and learning critical skills needed to prepare them for life and make them responsible, well-educated and well-rounded citizens. Here we are:
Today, I had the most humbling opportunity to visit with children at Mother Teresa’s Orphanage in New Delhi. Here’s a photo I took of their bright and smiling faces:
The people of India have been very gracious hosts and we have had a wonderful chance to experience the beauty and culture of this great country. As we continue to work to generate economic partnerships with India to bring jobs back home, I hope that we will also be reminded of the spirit of community that connects us not just from every corner of our State and not just across the nation, but around the world.
As I reflect on our trip, I’d like all of us to find hope in the eyes of a helpless child and know that this fight we fight together –whether for jobs, education and opportunity, for finding a cure for disease or erasing famine –is bigger than ourselves. It’s for our children and their future.
September 14, 2011
With the new school year upon us, I wanted to share a special message to our educators. As a mother of four, a Judge, and First Lady of Maryland, I truly appreciate everything you do for our kids every day. You have a tremendous impact on our children’s lives and it is because of your hard work and dedication that our schools are ranked #1 in the nation.
As educators and administrators, you also play a big role in preventing bullying and I wanted to encourage all of your to remain vigilant in the coming school year. Together we can teach our children to stand up against bullying and help stop the abuse. Thanks again for everything you do and best of luck for a great school year.
June 20, 2011
Last Week, we hosted a Great American Backyard Campout at Government House and it was great to see all of the kids outside enjoying nature. Camping is a wonderful way to get our children outdoors and it teaches them respect for their natural surroundings.
But in order for our children to be able to continue to enjoy the great outdoors, we need to make sure that we leave them with an environment that is clean, green and sustainable.
The 2011 Odwalla Plant a Tree project is an easy way to get involved in building a stronger environmental future for our children! All you have to do is click this link and “vote to plant a tree” in Maryland. For every electronic vote Maryland gets, the project donates actual, real trees to our State Parks.
It’s so easy and it takes only a minute. Need inspiration? Watch this great video:
It will take all of us working together to build a stronger environmental future for our kids. Start today by voting for more trees in Maryland.
May 18, 2011
Maryland kicked off its Second Annual Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week.
April 1, 2011
A note from First Lady Katie O'Malley: Last night, I spoke to students in a Cultural Anthropology class at the U.S. Naval Academy about domestic violence and the law.
Over the nearly 20 years I’ve spent as a prosecutor and judge in domestic violence cases, I’ve seen a big change in the way our courts handle these types of cases. And while we’ve come a long way, these cases are still far too common. In fact, nearly one out of every four American women will experience domestic violence at some point in her life.
In Maryland, our elected officials are working to strengthen our domestic violence laws, crack down on abusers, and better protect victims of domestic violence.
Martin and Lt. Governor Brown made a commitment to reduce violence against women and children 25% by 2012. The first step they took to achieve that goal was to pass legislation giving judges the authority to take guns from the hands of abusers in the temporary protective order – which is generally one of the most violent times for the victim. In our state, where half of all those who die as a result of domestic violence are killed with a gun, this legislation will save countless lives.
They’ve also passed a bill that requires that the victim be notified when the protective order is served. Oftentimes, the victim will ask me when the protective order has been served, so she knows when it’s safe for her to go back to her house. Before this bill, I wasn’t able to tell her. But now if the victim registers online, or if she calls 1-877-VICTIM-1, she can register with VINELink and find out when that order has been served – either through a phone call or email.
Stronger laws are an important first step toward protecting victims. But to eliminate domestic violence, it’s going to take more than new laws. It’s going to take the entire community working together – from judges, lawyers, and prosecutors, to law enforcement, to our schools and neighbors.
March 11, 2011
A note from First Lady Katie O'Malley: Yesterday, I had the opportunity to join the President, First Lady Michelle Obama, students, teachers, parents, and advocates for a conference on anti-bullying.
As a mother of four, I know firsthand how serious the issue of bullying is and how much it affects a child's ability to learn. The conference highlighted the need to raise awareness about the issue and set common guidelines and practices for dealing with bullying.
Maryland is leading the way with our anti-bullying initiatives and I commend the Maryland State Department of Education for their leadership on this issue. In fact, we were the seventh state in the country to enact an anti-bullying law that protects all students and we continue to make progress for our children.
However, there are still many instances of bullying throughout our communities and schools. During the 2008-2009 school year in Maryland, a total of 1,686 incidents of bullying were reported. All of us can agree--we can, and need to do more.
Last year, we teamed up with the Maryland State Department of Education to declare Bullying Prevention and Awareness Week in May to encourage schools across the state to engage students in events to stress non-tolerance towards bullying. I'm looking forward to participating this year and will share more information about the week as I get it.
March 1, 2011
A note from First Lady Katie O'Malley: As we kick off Women’s History Month, I can’t help but think about all of the strong women that have helped lay the foundation for our State and mold it into what it is today.
Harriet Tubman, Margaret Brent, Frances Watkins Harper, and Billie Holiday are just a few of the remarkable women who have fought for women’s rights, human rights and for a chance to be heard.
And as I look at my colleagues on the bench who are women, our elected officials, and women business owners, I am so thankful that they are fighting for us and that their voices can be shared with our nation and our world.
Still, we have a long way to go. On average, women still earn less than their male counterparts in the workforce and there are many social and political issues we have yet to overcome. But together we are making progress and it all starts with celebrating and recognizing the great accomplishments of women in history.
I hope you will join me and Martin in reflecting on the great women of Maryland. We are the first state in the country to have a comprehensive state-based center and museum dedicated to preserving Maryland Women’s Heritage.
Please take a moment to look at their website and learn more about Maryland Women’s history: www.mdwomensheritagecenter.org
My daughters Grace and Tara live in a world filled with opportunities that they wouldn’t have if it were not for the sacrifices and courageous efforts of Maryland’s women. Thank you to everyone who continues to work to advance the lives of women in Maryland today. Together, we’ll keep expanding opportunity to daughters, our granddaughters and all of the future generations to come.
Standing Up Against Bullying:
Maryland First Lady Katie O'Malley joins Facebook and Time Warner to encourage Marylanders to submit proposals for anti-bullying research.
Read Across Maryland
First Lady Katie O'Malley joined the students of Holabird Academy to celebrate "Read Across Maryland" month. For the month of March, students, parents and educators have been participating in the 30 minutes for 30 days challenge. While the month is almost over, there is always time to encourage your children to read and lay the foundation for their interest in education!
It Gets Better
Public Service Announcement
Foster Parent Appreciation Month
Governor O'Malley: This is Governor Martin O'Malley.
Mrs. O'Malley: And I'm Katie O'Malley.
Governor O'Malley: And this is Foster Parent Appreciation Month in Maryland. And we wanted to say thank you; thank you to the 3,000 Maryland parents who open their homes for kids that are in need of a safe and temporary haven.
Mrs. O'Malley: Foster parents bring a sense of security and stability in what can be a difficult time for a young child, and that's no small feat.
Governor O'Malley: There are over 9,000 children who, for a variety of reasons, are unable to live with their birth parents.
Mrs. O'Malley: We know that children do better in family environments, so that's why we're asking more people to step up and become foster parents.
Governor O'Malley: Won't you consider becoming a foster parent? For more information, please call 1-888-MD-KIDS2. That's 1-888-635-4372. We need you to call today.
The First Lady sits down with Rhea Feikin for a candid conversation about family, career and politics. A Maryland Public Television exclusive.
In the News
- Md. first lady talks about anti-bullying efforts - AP 11.27.12
- National suicide prevention center opens in Stevensville - My Eastern Shore 11.19.12
- SMYAL honors Katie O’Malley at Fall Brunch - Washington Blade 11.28.12
- 3rd Annual Bullying Prevention Summit being held in DC - Fox5 8.6.12
- Maryland to amp up anti-bullying efforts - Washington Examiner 8.6.12