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Delaware Governor: Jack Markell

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  Archived Posts From: 2010


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?

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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.

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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.


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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!

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Governor Jack Markell’s Update

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

Thank you and welcome to the first issue of Delaware Forward!

  1. PBF to put Delawareans back to work — Company announces purchase of the Valero Refinery.
  2. Delaware was ranked first — and will receive $100m — in the national “Race to the Top” competition to improve our schools.
  3. Connect with us through social media and a grassroots effort to promote our small businesses.

Please note: You have received this email because you indicated previously that you would like updates from the Governor’s office. If you do not want to receive future updates, opt-out information is at the bottom of this email.

Reopening the Doors to Good Jobs

From December of 2008 to November of 2009, Delawareans were hit particularly hard by three events. Our state’s Chrysler plant closed that December and our General Motors plant closed a few months later. Last November, we were told that Valero would be shutting down its facility in Delaware City.

But once again, we’ve seen what happens when Delawareans come together to solve a problem.

Last week, PBF Energy company announced that — in part because of the great teamwork from so many Delawareans — they will be buying the Valero facility, making significant investments in the plant and putting hundreds of people to work.

This builds on the success of the other two facilities: The Chrysler site now belongs to the University of Delaware, which is moving forward with its plan to put people to work to improve our economic future. Fisker Automotive is buying the old GM plant and expects to employ thousands to manufacture plug-in hybrid cars.

Learn more about how we are saving and creating quality jobs.

Continuing Our Race to the Top

The U.S. Department of Education recently announced that Delaware achieved the highest score in the nation during the first phase of the rigorous “Race to the Top” competition. Delaware will receive about $100M over the next four years — we are one of only two states out of 41 applicants named “winners” in this phase.

One important reason for that is that teachers, the business community, school administrators, parents, school boards, legislators, charter schools and our congressional delegation all came together with a singular focus on what we need to do to improve our schools. In short, it was about the kids, not the adults.

What’s really important is where we go from here. Read more.

Social Media: Community & Business

People have asked me: “Why do you have a Facebook page?” and “Why are you on Twitter?”

Here are three reasons why I am exploring and engaging through social media:

  1. Delaware is a state of neighbors. Social media is another channel through which we can strengthen our community. Our people know how to work together. We get the right people in the room, and we move fast. Companies like Fisker have told me that this is one of the reasons they chose to grow their business in Delaware.
  2. Delawareans are helping each other promote our small businesses and nonprofits through social media to help our employers thrive and create more jobs.
  3. We need your creative ideas to ensure that Delaware is the best place to start and grow a business.

There are so many amazing things happening in our state, and we need to get the word out. Learn more about the grassroots discussion here.

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