Elegance and Empowerment
A Night Of Glamour And Celebration Toward Fulfilling the Promise: Prince George’s County Executive-Elect Angela Alsobrooks 2018 Inaugural Gala
Saturday, December 1, 2018, 6:00 p.m., Gaylord National Harbor Maryland Room
Story By Aisha Brantley // PHOTOGRAPHY BY AMIR STOUDAMIRE AND MARCUS JOHNSON
Amidst the glamour, sophistication, and soul of attendees at the 2018 Inaugural Gala for then Prince George’s County Executive-Elect Angela Alsobrooks, the atmosphere was charged with the spirit of hope, faith and festivity. From the upper echelon of Prince George’s County society, corporate executives, and musical talent—to elected officials, public servants, and residents who elected her to office—the sweet sounds of victory amplified in congratulatory sentiments for the first female County Executive resounded throughout the Maryland Room all evening.
As the embodiment of beauty and grace in a jewel-encrusted gown, the newly elected County Executive stood with a confident yet humble posture while addressing attendees. As she spoke, the sparkle in her eyes and the jewels of her dress were symbolic of her new leadership of the “Crown Jewel of Maryland.”
During her brief speech, Ms. Alsobrooks expressed her gratitude to the mentors, colleagues, and family members who supported her along the way. In attendance was Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, who was first among the people she acknowledged.
“I’m looking at our very own Governor Larry Hogan who is from Prince George’s County,” she remarked. “We are excited, Mr. Governor, to work with you. There’s so much to accomplish. We have one thing that we’re going to talk about on the top of our list that is to be discussed at a later time, but I'll just say one word: Redskins!”
Ms. Alsobrooks also welcomed Senator Chris Van Hollen, Congressman Elijah Cummings, and the Chair of the Maryland Democratic Party, Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, before acknowledging her brothers and sisters in public service.
Said Alsobrooks: “From the State Legislature to the County Council and Board of Education, so many of our citizens are here tonight to celebrate our beautiful county. I want to say thank you.”
As a mother, daughter, and sister, Ms. Alsobrooks expressed gratitude for the love and sacrifices of her parents, her 13-year-old daughter, and her two sisters. She remarked that her siblings Sonya and Kimberly were essential to campaign success and gala planning.
As she continued to thank everyone who supported Team Alsobrooks, she revealed the mentoring role that Baltimore City Mayor Catherine Pugh played in her career. “There is a super bad lady in this room who has extended herself to me, who has called to support. Our Mayor Catherine Pugh is here tonight,” she said as Mayor Pugh rose to her feet. “You reached out to me on a constant basis, offering your mentoring and help. I just want to say thank you so very much.”
Finally, the Prince George’s native thanked departing County Executive Rushern L. Baker for his dedicated service during his tenure. “He left this government in fantastic shape,” she remarked to him as attendees matched her sentiments with their applause. “He has been a colleague and a friend to me over the last several years, and I think he did an amazing job.”
During the event, national gospel recording artist Anthony Brown lifted a rousing inspirational song of worship. Congratulatory remarks and commentary about Prince George’s County progress were expressed in person and by video from notables such as actor Lamman Rucker, Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh, Police Chief Hank Stawinski, County Historian Thelma Boyd Nash, Interim School Superintendent Monica Goldson, upcoming artists Tia and Eli, Councilman Sydney Harrison, School Board Member Edward Burroughs, and South County Democratic Club Chair James Dula.
Later that evening, in-person sentiments and well wishes for Alsobrooks were abundantly shared with Prince George’s Suite Magazine.
“She’s a great leader, and was already a great leader as State’s Attorney,” remarked Baltimore City Mayor Catherine Pugh. “She is forward-thinking. She is a visionary. I have no doubt that she will fulfill the promise of Prince George’s County.”
Newly elected County Councilman Sydney Harrison spoke to the foundation of love that has been established with the transition of office, while County Board of Education Member Edward Burroughs, III addressed her willingness to make education a priority.
“With Angela as our leader, I’m really looking forward to serving with our County Executive,” Councilman Harrison expressed. “The spirit of love, humility, grace, honor, decency, and integrity is in the room.”
“Ms. Alsobrooks so far has been so collaborative in working with our Board,” said School Board Member Burroughs. “I’ve actually had more positive conversations with her about the future of our school district than I had with any other County Executive. I feel she’s going to be a breath of fresh air.”
Two of the evening’s performers and rising stars of Prince George’s County—talented singer Tia, and 13-year-old triple threat Eli—each shared how Ms. Alsobrooks inspired them.
Prince George’s County Councilmember Deni Taveras (D-Dist. 2) said the evening was a sign of a great new start for the county. “The energy in the room is incredible and it’s wonderful to start a new chapter in the life and growth of Prince George’s County. It’s great to be here,” she said..
“This is so inspiring for young women like myself,” said Tia, who performs in stage plays for First Baptist Church of Glenarden, Ms. Alsobrooks’ church home. “It’s a big deal. I’m so excited to see where she’s going to take our county.”
“Having an African American County Executive woman is amazing and inspiring,” said Eli, a product of Benjamin Foulois Performing Arts Academy in Morningside who plays eight instruments. “This is great for the youth like me as well. I’m excited about what the future holds.”
Speaking of the youth—there was also a Teen Inauguration happening several rooms over, in parallel to the Inaugural Gala, as the County’s First Daughter, Alex Alsobrooks, prepares to transition with her mother’s installation as County Executive.
The South Prince George’s County Democratic Club Chairman, Dr. James Dula, spoke to the county’s positioning for future success.
“It feels like the family is coming together to move forward in a greater way,” Dr. Dula remarked. “We are a super county, but we know that there are greater things that we can do to work with issues such as housing and veterans. We have to work together to leave a legacy for our children to build upon. In order to fulfill that legacy, we can only do it through the spirit of unity. And if we can do that, like the song that played tonight, then ‘Ain’t No Stopping Us Now’ to make this county the ‘Crown Jewel of Maryland.’”
Steak, salmon, top-shelf beverage service, gourmet dessert, and an open dance floor rounded out the celebratory nature of the historic occasion. With the Inaugural Gala being a formal affair, bowties, tuxedos, heels, gowns, sequins, furs and African garments tailored with textiles from the continent were the order of style and flair.
As she greeted attendees during the celebration, Ms. Alsobrooks shared her thoughts with Prince George’s Suite Magazine. “I’m feeling grateful, excited, and ready to work. Tonight, we celebrate, and on Monday, we get to work.”