Unspun: Jolene Ivey — Pr. George’s ‘cool mom’
By Kate Havard,
Name: Jolene Ivey
Occupation: Delegate, District 47, chair of the Prince George’s County delegation
Hometown: Washington, D.C.
Unlike other Unspun interviews, this one begins with a question from Ivey.
Have you had your flu shot yet?
Go next door and do that, and I’ll be ready for you when you come back.
[10 minutes later] This is a Barbara Walters question: If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?
I would be a maple because it’s beautiful and it changes in ways that are beautiful and you can climb it. I like to think that I am helpful and useful like that.
What do you do to relax?
Relax? What’s that? I like to knit. I like to quilt. I was learning to knit this fall but I’ve gotten so busy my knitting just shames me every time I walk past. It says, “Jolene, you haven’t finished me yet.” I hate not finishing things!
If you were a grocery store, which kind of grocery store would you be?
Maybe I’d be Glut. It’s the oldest food co-op in the Washington area. Glut is very quirky, granola, but people come from everywhere — schoolteachers, flower children, my parents used to go. They were the most straight-laced people ever. So it’s a great gathering place, too. One of my kids, when he was little he had a teddy bear, and he took it everywhere, and one day we left the teddy bear there and we didn’t know where he went, and the next day, there he was, sitting in a prominent place with a sign on him: “Someone left this Teddy Bear.” So I’d like to be Glut.
Who is your favorite president?
Are you kidding? Barack Obama. Second favorite, Bill Clinton. Third favorite, Hillary Clinton.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
My mother told me, “Never do acid.” Let’s see, I got really good advice from Sheila Curry, when my husband Glen first became state’s attorney. She said to gather my friends closely around me and to realize those might be the only friends you ever make, because you never know why people want to be your friends anymore.
What’s on your iPod?
What’s really sad is I don’t know how to put music on my iPod so the only music that I have is the music my kids have put on here. And it’s all Kanye West. So I go for walks and I put on my iPod and I listen to Kanye West even though I am not the biggest fan.
Which issues are most important to Prince George’s County?
Well, this session, it’s probably transportation. We’ve got big projects that will go by the wayside if we don’t find money for them, so we’re trying to figure out how to do that. Maybe that’s a small increase in the sales tax that needs to be spread out around the state. In Prince George’s County, we’ve got $500 million in unfunded projects alone.
What do you mean big projects?
Purple Line is a big one.
Do you think of yourself as a “cool mom”?
My kids say I am. But that’s not the goal. The goal is to raise good kids who are kind.