City of Glenarden, MD

Robin Jones

Council Member (At-Large)

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I stand on the shoulders of many persons….

Robert Frank Hampton Jones

The first sets of shoulders are those of my Father, Robert Frank Hampton Jones. Who in search of a better life literally walked from Grenada, Mississippi to Memphis, Tennessee.

He joined the United States Army, trained as a Medic and served in the jungles of the Pacific theater.

 After being honorably discharged, he settled in Louisville, Kentucky. Unlike many men at the time, (Black or White) my father had earned a high school diploma. His diploma together with his honorable discharge from military service during World War II resulted in his securing employment that offered a career path and benefits.

Employment and Union Organizing

While residing in Louisville “Jones” as (he was called) was able to find employment with Louisville/Nashville Railroad (L&N) in the roundhouse, International Harvester and E. I. DuPont.

White employees were being organized; the honorably discharged “Colored” employees were not included in union organizing!  My father diligently worked to mobilize the “Coloreds” to fight to be included in the Union. His efforts resulted in his being laid off from these employers.

Civic engagement and Community organizing

 One of the issues in Louisville’s west end was a liquor store requesting to be established in the neighborhood where he purchased with the G.I. bill his first home. The proposed liquor store would be a standalone business across the street from the newly constructed Public Housing known as the Cotter homes and across the street from the newly constructed single family homes. Of course, in the climate of 1950’s for “Colored Folks” this was not a welcome endeavor. My father organized his neighbors to oppose the liquor store. Business prevailed the liquor store opened. Decades later the location of the liquor store was known as the most notorious corner in Louisville’s west end 32nd and Young!

Seeking a middle-class life for his family

The family had grown to five children, (I am the 2nd child). Seeking income stability, my father decided to take the Civil Service exam. In meeting the requirements, he was given the opportunity to relocate to Maryland, working as a civilian, Andrews Air Force Base.

Relocating to the Town of Glenarden

Seeking permanent stable housing for his family, he was given the suggestion to go to Palmer Park, MD. He tells the story of being told by a white woman resident, “that the Coloreds do not live here, but in Glenarden which is up the road”! I use to think negatively concerning that comment, but as I look back on growing up in Glenarden, if “I had 10,000 tongues,” I cannot praise God enough for His grace and mercy towards that woman, and the families that settled in The Town of Glenarden.

…raised by the Village…

My Father purchased the model house on Cawker Avenue for my mother & my six siblings. There was sooo many children in The Town of Glenarden, I will only focus on Cawker Avenue. Cawker Avenue encompassed The Flowers house on Hayes to the Jackson home on Glenarden Parkway. As I reflect Glenarden gave exposure of our people in building, service and serving. Neighborhood Mothers such as Carrie Dawson, Helen Reed, Frances Lee, and Barbara Pugh had no problems in loading neighborhood kids up in their cars to explore various junkets. The Boys Club, where I was named the most Outstanding girl (cheerleader) in the Boy’s Club by Coach John Craig. At that time our football banquets were held in and sponsored by Dave’s Liquor. Teen Club with Mr. Truman, summer camp at GWES (Glenarden Woods Elementary School) with Imogene Key, going to what was considered “a cross the track” George Palmer Highway (Now MLK) to Miss Sherman’s store to buy penny candy, playing in the nearby woods, Four Square, Kickball, house parties, going to Dodge Park to the movie theater, catching the bus into DC to The Howard Theater, and sled riding down Cawker Avenue filled our days.

My Father also worked part-time for Leroy Cowan, American Service Station. Another Black owned Business in The Town of Glenarden.

This was at the corner Glenarden Parkway & George Palmer Highway (Now MLK).

My Dad was acquainted with most of the residents and children in the Town.

With and interest in broadcast, my Dad, upon retirement volunteered, Glenarden Cable Television in its early beginnings.

The many opportunities for employment were immeasurable. I babysat for Tommie and Mrs. Lillian Broadwater, The Bells, Fletchers, Jiggetts, Warrens, Bonnie Johns, the Campbell’s, and Mrs. Armstrong. I obtained my first job paying social security as a summer intern with the Town of Glenarden. This is where I met the Honorable James R Cousins, a visionary who propelled the Town into greatness. As a teenager I worked with Mary Godfrey in the Glenarden Housing Authority. This experience inspired my desire to serve, my focus on service. We live in a forever changing world demanding to be more inclusive. Service takes on a different approach.

Working with….
  • my sisters and brothers for various causes.
  • the Model Cities Board as a Youth Advisor.
  • State Senator Tommie Broadwater in the campaign offices of Carlton Sickles and Paul Sarbanes.
  • Wayne Curry (who became Prince Georges County Executive) and Gregory Gill (member of Model Cities board) on social causes in PG County. and
  • Attending Town Hall meetings watching John Hampton filibuster an idea.

Yes, I stand on the shoulders of ….

Mayors Rubin Reid, James C Fletcher and Marvin Wilson

Councilwomen Verly Wilson, Jean Eason, Barbara Armstrong, Margaret Dade all committed to Constituent Services.

Nationally I stand on the shoulders of Bella Abzug D-NY Rep Social Activist

Shirley Chisholm D-NY Rep Unbought & Unbossed.

My Father was big on current events. Always listening to Walter Cronkite, Face the Nation, and of course the nightly news. He allowed a platform in our household for debate of national, state, and local issues. The Lincoln library and The Washington Post were some of the resources provided to fact check.

It was not strange that my eldest sister would bring home persons such as Marion Barry (who loved my Mother’s cornbread), Rev. Doug Moore, Tony Brown Tony Browns Journal PBS, Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Ture) SNCC, and various Civil rights organizers, including Harley “Tommy” Smallwood promoting our race.

The Town of Glenarden offered plenty of opportunity to see just us, build us.

I purchased property in the City of Glenarden.  Speculators looking to build in designated wetlands on my street and surrounding streets caused me to organize my neighbors to stop the negative impact on our community.

I was appointed by Mayor John Anderson, and confirmed to serve on the Glenarden Housing Authority.

1970-1971 work Study leading to employment with Chesapeake & Potomac Telephone Company.

1971 graduated from Duval Senior High School

1971-1972 attend Prince Georges Community College

1973-2016 retired from Verizon Communications as a central office technician installing and maintain signal.

1976-2013 served as a Union Steward for Communications Workers of America to ensure Workers Rights.

2013-2016 served as the Executive Vice-President Communication Workers of America, Local 2336 Washington, DC. 

I was humbled when the seniors in the City of Glenarden, asked me to run for the Glenarden City Council to protect the rich heritage of my beloved community.

This has been a challenging experience, but fruitful and rewarding in serving The Citizens of the City of Glenarden.

I Am Glenarden!