Issues

Building Bridges

I chose the campaign slogan “Building Bridges” for its variety of meanings. Of course, there is the iconic image of our own Thomas Johnson bridge. And then there is the fact that my district bridges two counties. But most importantly, it illustrates one of the main reasons that I ultimately chose to run. I have seen too much division in government – between parties or sometimes even within a party. I believe that we get the most done when we work together. Elected officials can work together to achieve good for the people of southern Maryland. By focusing on the issues instead of on partisan politics, I believe I can bridge the increasing gap that we see in government these days.

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Education

I grew up in a family that valued education of all kinds at all levels, and during my time here in Southern Maryland, I have worked to increase educational opportunities for the youth in our area.

Adequately and equitably funding and investing in education is essential for the success of the state of Maryland. The first action we must take is to “Fix The Fund” and ensure that casino revenues will go to education, as was originally intended. The Kirwin Commission recently researched and made recommendations to help Maryland regain our #1 schools status. Their recommendations include programs like universal Pre-K, continued teacher training and education, and teacher retention initiatives.

Additional efforts to support public education in Maryland include offering a variety of options for career and technical training and education as well as higher educational opportunities including community colleges through four-year and graduate programs. By supporting continual education, we can ensure that our workforce is always primed to take advantage of the next wave of innovation and provide Maryland workers with access to great paying jobs and a brighter future.

I believe that we must continue to protect public education, ensure funding for our public schools, and offer a variety of options, such as STEM or Fairlead Academy, or the Tech Center, for students and parents so that all of our students will have the education and skills they need for the jobs of today and tomorrow.

education

 

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Infrastructure

First and foremost I will advocate for the rebuilding/improvement of the Thomas Johnson Bridge in a manner that will accommodate daily commuter traffic between counties, as well as be a more effective evacuation route for southern Calvert County than the what we currently have now. I will also work to include pedestrian and bike lanes to facilitate transportation cross counties for as many people as possible.

In addition to structural infrastructure improvements, we need to expand reliable and accessible public transportation in Calvert and St. Mary's counties, including inter-county options. I will work with county commissioners and MDOT to increase funding for public transportation so our bus routes can include additional routes and stops where needed to best serve areas in the most need of reliable public transport. A resident in Southern Calvert County should be able to take a bus to Prince Frederick without having to plan a trip of an hour or more, as well as any resident should be able to take a bus across the Thomas Johnson Bridge to utilize the businesses and services available in the adjoining county.

By making our public transportation system more connected, reliable and accessible, we can help increase employment opportunities, increase patronage to retail and other businesses, provide access to medical services, and even decrease the traffic we all deal with each day. It's an investment that is not just worthwhile, but essential for our growing community.

transportation

 

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Affordable Housing / Jobs

To improve the quality of life for working families in St. Mary’s and Calvert Counties, we need to work on increasing affordable housing options and strengthening public transportation for all. Reported wait times in St. Mary’s for housing assistance exceed 8 years, and more than a third of renters in St. Mary’s County pay more than 35% of their income to housing. We need to find a way to create more affordable housing options in our area, and increased options for getting around our rural counties.

We also need to look carefully at job creation – we should be trying to attract other industries to our area, for example. We need to ensure that we are supporting our small businesses and our investments in the future.

As Delegate, I would also like to improve veterans’ services in our communities – one way may be by working with federal, state and local stakeholders to build a new, ADA accessible Community Based Outpatient Clinic in Charlotte Hall and to open another clinic closer to Patuxent River Naval Air Station.

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Clean Water / Local Economy

The health of the Chesapeake Bay is crucial for our region - it affects our watermen, our local businesses - restaurants and tourism in our area - and the quality of life for residents who enjoy being on and in the water.  It is important that we protect our waterways.

At a state level, we need to work with the other states in the Chesapeake Bay watershed so that we are working together on this project.  As delegate, I will work to ensure that policies implemented across the state will take into account the necessity for clean water in our region, I will work to promote collaboration with other states on this issue, and I will support environmental standards that will keep our land, air and water clean.

In order to preserve and protect the health of our home, we have to develop and support a partnership between environmental guardians and local business like our Southern Maryland farmers and watermen. We must also hold industry accountable so their actions in Southern Maryland are transparent, in the best interest of the community, and above all safe. When our priority is ensuring clean air, land, and water, everyone plays a part.

environment

 

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Opioid Epidemic

The disease of addiction affects people from all walks of life and has touched the lives of many in our community. A coordinated approach targeting both primary prevention and addiction treatment can help deal with the epidemic and save lives.

The State Department of Health and Mental Services, in coordination with the County Health Departments are working to coordinate efforts to combat the problem. As Delegate, I would continue working with these departments to ensure they have the resources necessary to maintain and increase their efforts as needed.

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