By James Wright, Special to the AFRO,

Capitol Heights is known throughout the Washington metropolitan area as a gateway for the District of Columbia into Maryland and for Marylanders wanting to enter the nation’s capital.

Shawn Maldon, a resident of Capitol Heights, understands its importance as a border municipality and wants to serve as its next mayor.

Shawn Maldon is an entrepreneur in Capitol Heights. (Courtesy Photo-Shawn Maldon)

“There are some real concerns that citizens have about what is going on in Capitol Heights,” Maldon told the AFRO. “I want to be able to address those challenges as mayor and help bring about positive change. I believe, for example, that we need activities for the youth in the town so that they will stay out of trouble.”

Maldon is seeking to succeed Capitol Heights Mayor Marnitta King, who is running in the June 26 Democratic primary for the District 24 delegate seat.

Capitol Heights is located in the central western section of Prince George’s County on the southeastern border of the District. It has a population of 4,437 residents and Blacks comprise 91.3 percent of the population.

The town has a “Capitol Heights” Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) train station that is used by thousands of commuters within its borders and the surrounding unincorporated communities are labeled by the post office as Capitol Heights for distribution and zip codes purposes.

Maldon holds bachelor’s degrees in political science and Spanish from Howard University and a master’s of education from Northeastern University. He is the chairman and CEO of The Maldon Brand, which operates businesses in the areas of commercial and residential cleaning, language interpretive services and management consulting.

Maldon wants the town of Capitol Heights to become more economically viable in the Washington region. “Capitol Heights is a wonderful place for growth,” he said. “It is right next to the nation’s capital and people want to live here. I would say to anyone if you want to live here, now is the time to move here.”

There is a planned development by the Capitol Heights Metro that would include residential units and retail that is supported by the WMATA management but Maldon wants more than that. “I would like to see more stores in the town and more grocery store options,” he said. “I am aware that Capitol Heights is considered a food desert and I want to change that. I want people to shop and live here. In addition, I will work to bring jobs to our citizens.”

Maldon said he will work with the mayors of Seat Pleasant, Fairmount Heights, and District Heights on common issues. “We as mayors need to come together,” he said. “It would be fun to work collaboratively.”

Maldon said that if elected, he would re-direct his salary as mayor  to an endowment fund to help Capitol Heights residents start their own businesses or buy a home.  According to the current mayor, the monthly mayoral salary is $616.17.

The town will hold its elections for mayor and council on May 7. Maldon is expected to kick off his campaign on March 31 at the Mercy Grace Center.

Demarion Lewis is a budding entrepreneur inspired by Maldon. He told the AFRO that Capitol Heights would be wise to elect Maldon as its next mayor. “He made me believe in myself. I believe he would do a lot in Capitol Heights because he really wants to make the community better.”