Great Seal of the State of Delaware
Jack Markell's Blog

Delaware Governor: Jack Markell

Facebook  Twitter  Google+  Instagram  Pinterest  Flickr  YouTube

  Archived Posts From: 2010


Volunteering for the Long Run

Written on: April 30th, 2010 in Helping Our Neighbors

As you may know, April 18-24 was the Delaware Week of Service.  It was an incredible experience, and we’re thankful for the opportunity to meet so many enthusiastic volunteers.

This week, these opportunities continued as we recognized the members of the New Castle County Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) as well as the recipients of the Governor’s Youth Volunteer Service Awards.  These two events, honoring our youth and the retirees who have long been there for us, illustrate the strength of our heritage and the promise for our future.  These volunteers have dedicated themselves over the long term, and I hope that we can all find inspiration from them, as we work together to build a better Delaware.

New Castle County Retired and Senior Volunteer Program:

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of meeting Molly Cohen, who was awarded the Wilmington Trust Award for Outstanding Senior Service.  Here are some impressive numbers:

  • Molly has provided over 18,000 hours of service to the community. At 95 years old, she still serves at Riverside Health Care and Jewish Family Services. 
  • In 2009, 1,144 NCC RSVP volunteers provided 232,583 hours of service.
  • Volunteers served in 82 different nonprofit and state agencies performing 231 unique jobs. 

These volunteers have laid the foundation for the next generation of volunteers in Delaware, and we should all be proud of the legacy they have created.

Youth Volunteer Service Awards:

Earlier this week, I met a number of high school students from across the state, who have already chosen to contribute to our community.  Fifteen individuals and three groups of young people were recognized for their outstanding service.

Week of Service & Other Volunteer Photos: 

 We have posted an album of photos submitted by volunteers on my Facebook page.  I hope you’ll take a look through them and learn about some of the activities that took place.

If you have volunteer-related photos and a story to tell, please submit your photos to this Flickr group.  This group will continue beyond the Week of Service, and we look forward to seeing what you’ve been up to!

The Delaware Week of Service may be over, but we hope you’ll make this a year of service!

There are opportunities that can fit everyone’s schedule, skill set and interests.   Learn more at

Tags: , , , , , ,


BFF: Across the State, Across Party Lines

Written on: April 23rd, 2010 in Effective & Efficient Government

As I call people around the country to make the case for Delaware, I often say that our competitive advantage is our ability to work quickly, get the right people in the room, and get things done.  Our state has a great story – we need to get the word out.

So, what if we could create an incentive system that would enlist all of our businesses – small, medium, and large – as a sales force to tell the Delaware story to their suppliers, customers and other business contacts?

This is exactly the question that DEDO Director Alan Levin asked.  He came up with an idea to use a technique that has long been used in the private sector to promote economic development in Delaware.

I’m proud to say that we’ve put together a bi-partisan bill for the innovative Business Finder’s Fee (BFF) Tax Credits.  The bill, sponsored by Representative Brad Bennett and Senator Nancy Cook and the Co-Chairs of the Small Business Caucus Representatives Bryon Short and Danny Short, was introduced yesterday.

How do we plan to reward our “Delaware Sales Team” and bring more high-quality jobs to our state?

Tags: , , , , ,


A Week of Service for Delawareans and Our Environment

Written on: April 22nd, 2010 in Helping Our Neighbors

Originally published in Coastal Sussex Weekly.

April 22nd is Earth Day.  It is a tradition that began 40 years ago, and is now celebrated across the world.   This same week, we are also starting a new tradition: the Delaware Week of Service, and we are calling on Delawareans to share the joys of volunteering.

The timing is perfect: it is essential for us to think about—and participate in—the celebration of Earth Day from the vantage point of service.  

Our state government is working hard to protect Delaware’s environment.  We are safeguarding our natural resources, reducing the footprint and costs of state government, and creating clean energy jobs.  But, just as the environment belongs to all of us, its protection belongs in all of our hands.

The beauty of our coast, wetlands, and forests is integral to our way of life and our economy.  Tourism directly employs 38,000 Delawareans, and every year, Delaware hosts more than 8 million visitors, along with migrating shorebirds, bald eagles and Atlantic sturgeon.  Some of our guests come from DC and New York, while others, such as the Red Knot shorebird, may travel up to 5,000 miles (nonstop) to enjoy our natural legacy. 

I also make an annual migration. My favorite way to explore the First State is by bike, and I ride from one end of the state to the other.  It’s incredible to experience Delaware at that level—to feel the ocean breezes, to see the birds soaring overhead, and to push up the hills of the Brandywine Valley.

This type of experience is one of the reasons why Delaware is so special.  Our natural heritage contributes significantly to our quality of life, which is important for our economic development and job creation.  As we work together to make Delaware an even better place to live, we are working towards making Delaware the best place to start and grow a business.

Please join me and contribute some time to protecting and appreciating nature.  Visit or  for opportunities this week and year round.

Tags: , , , , , , ,


One hour. One day. One dollar. One lifetime.

Written on: April 19th, 2010 in Guest PostsHelping Our Neighbors

Guest post by First Lady Carla Markell

This week, we are building on last year’s Weekend of Service and the ongoing efforts of to hold Delaware’s first annual Week of Service.

There are so many needs and so many ways to help – I hope you’ll join me to help our fellow citizens of the State of Neighbors.

The people of our state show their generosity of time, money, and spirit every day. Neighbors see a need, so they fill it.  Mentoring a child, collecting food, cleaning up local parks, painting buildings, planting flowers – there are many opportunities.  Every person can make a difference in the life of others and their community.

How can you volunteer?

  1. Go to and search through the projects that area non-profits have posted. Enter the keywords “Week of Service” for opportunities in your community.  Find something that stirs your passions and sign up!
  2. Challenge others to volunteer their time. Start a fun contest to see which family or group of friends can volunteer the most time and celebrate your successes.
  3. Be sure to log your time on the site. It is helpful to measure our contributions.
  4. Attend one of the fairs being hosted at a local library in each county in Delaware on April 24th. Get details at
  5. Thank one or more of the non-profits that you think are doing good work. The people who work there oftentimes do so because they care, but thanking them will make both of you feel good.
  6. Stay involved. The Delaware Week of Service lasts just seven days, but the need lasts all year. Commit yourself to ongoing service. It does not matter if you have one hour a week or ten. What matters is that you care enough to be involved.

How can you help online?

We need your help to spread awareness of volunteering, as well as the issues on which our local nonprofits are working.  Here’s what you can do:

  1. Submit your volunteer photos / videos to our Flickr group. If you have photos that show volunteer activities from the past or from this week, please share them.  Be sure to include information about the organization and the activity.  Please follow the group directions for posting, and if you have any questions, please email
  2. Each day, we’ll choose five great photos from Flickr to feature on the Governor’s Facebook page.   Please visit the Facebook page to “like” the photos you like.   This will raise the profile of the photos on Facebook walls across Delaware, helping to increase awareness.  The more “likes” and discussion we get, the more interesting it will be for everyone.
  3. Please spread the word and share your experiences during the Week of Service on Facebook and Twitter. On Twitter, you may want to use the hashtag #NetDE to reach many community-minded Delawareans.  Also, keep an eye out for Jack’s tweets on service.

Results so far?

Since our weekend of service last year, more than 3,000 Delawareans have logged more than 250,000 hours of volunteer time.  70 new organizations have registered.  Web traffic has increased almost 500%. It’s a remarkable accomplishment.   

This year, we want to do more.  Will you join us?

Please enjoy this video created last year by The Delaware Film Company.  It’s a great example of the volunteer use of their creative professional skills.


Tags: , , , , , , ,


DSHA: Opportunity for First-Time Homebuyers

Written on: April 15th, 2010 in Effective & Efficient GovernmentGuest Posts

I invited Anas Ben Addi, Director of the Delaware State Housing Authority, to update us on a program that we launched a few weeks ago.   We want to create jobs, foster a healthy housing market and help families.  By making loans available in a tight credit market, we stimulate the economy while facilitating homeownership for Delawareans.  – Jack Markell


Our goal is to continue to provide affordable housing opportunities and help support a strong, local economy.   A 2009 study by the National Association of Home Builders estimated that the construction of 100 single-family homes generates $21.1 million in local income, $2.2 million in taxes and other revenue for local government, and 324 local jobs.

Delaware State Housing Authority (DSHA) has made available $250 million in low-rate mortgages to First-Time Homebuyers. Currently, these mortgages are at a rate of 4.75%, 0 Points 30-year fixed. The rate drops down to 4.25%, 0 points 30-year fixed, if you are buying a new construction home.

Since the program announcement, three weeks ago, we have funded close to 100 mortgages totaling $18 million. 

So who is eligible? If you haven’t owned a home in the past three years, if you are making up to $89,000, and looking to buy a house priced at no more than $366,000, you definitely should contact us!

To start the process, call DSHA at 888-363-8808 or visit our website at

Helping you to achieve your dream of homeownership is our priority — Good Luck!

Tags: , , , ,