Prince George’s Co. council member announces resignation

Mel Franklin served as District 9 Council member and At Large Council member in the Prince George's County, Maryland, legislature until his unexpected resignation on June 14, 2024. (Courtesy Prince George's County Council)

Prince George’s County, Maryland, Council member Mel Franklin has announced his resignation from the position he’s held since 2018.

Franklin’s resignation after more than a decade spent in service — first as a District 9 council member in 2010 before winning an at-large council seat in 2018 — was announced and went into effect late Friday.

“We thank Council Member Franklin for his years of dedication, hard work, and service. He’s authored numerous pieces of legislation that have significantly shaped Prince George’s County, and his knowledge and expertise have been invaluable in guiding the Council over many years. His presence will be greatly missed,” council administrator Jennifer Jenkins said in a statement.

A spokesperson for the county council told WTOP that the reason why Franklin is leaving his long-held seat was not shared.

Franklin has suffered from undisclosed health issues and has not been involved with the council in person since December.

The seat will remain open until a special election later this year, as the legislative body moves to promptly fill the vacancy.

“We are committed to a smooth transition for the benefit of our residents,” Jenkins said, adding that further details regarding the special election would be provided soon.

Among the most recent contributions Franklin made while sitting on the Prince George’s County Council were efforts to increase microchip production in the county.

Franklin introduced the bill in July of 2023, encouraging research, manufacturing and development of microchips in the county after a similar federal law passed in 2022.

“Prince George’s County needs to become a national leader in the production of computer chips. It is one of the most cutting-edge things that we as a nation are doing,” Franklin told WTOP.

Franklin was also involved in a September bill to promote virtual voting for then-pregnant District 7 Council member Krystal Oriadha that sparked intense debate, a rally outside the council chambers and contentious votes.

Initially, Franklin voted against the measure to expand access to virtual voting for Oriadha. However, when the issue rose again, Franklin and others changed their vote. The bill passed 8-0, with three council members abstaining and Franklin joining a chorus of apologies and calls for unity.

“I think it’s important to bring some unity to this body. I want to hopefully see this council become more unified,” he said.

WTOP’s John Domen contributed to this report.

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Ivy Lyons

Ivy Lyons is a digital journalist for Since 2018, they have worked on Capitol Hill, at NBC News in Washington, and with WJLA in Washington.

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