I strongly believe in public education and want to make sure it’s adequately funded for ALL students.
In Annapolis, I will work for better school facilities, optimal student-to-teacher ratios, and the resources that special needs students deserve. I also want to address the shortage of teachers and education professionals. We need to ensure that good teachers do not leave the school system. We hear about violence in schools and other behavioral problems; we can address this with an adequate number of therapists and counselors in schools and manageable classroom sizes.
High out-of-teacher-pocket spending is symptomatic of systematic underfunding of school systems. Read my op-ed “Voluntary funding efforts are worthwhile, but Baltimore County schools need more support from state.”
I want to help sustain and grow small businesses. I also want to help and support blue- and white-collar workers who may need to transition to new careers.
Technology is changing the way in which we shop, do business and interact with other people. Despite its many positive effects, technology has also introduced uncertainty for small business and the employment of many people. By investing in research and our universities and aiding innovation, helping startup companies, expanding apprenticeships, and creating non-traditional educational programs we can create high paying job opportunities in Baltimore County.
Not everyone knows that District 42B is a technology hub for gaming companies. We also have the technology shops of many big companies in 42B including Paypal, Travelers Insurance, and healthcare companies. If we expand the Towson Incubator and partner with our world -class universities and the local business community to support tech startups, we will be able to create high paying jobs right here in the Hunt Valley area.
The environment is everyone’s responsibility.
As your Delegate, I will work to save open spaces and prime agricultural land in northern Baltimore County. We also need to live up to our commitments to Chesapeake bay. I support common sense solutions, such as upgrading wastewater and sewage treatment plants to improve the health of the Bay.
I will also promote the production of alternative energies. For example, we have more than a 1000 acres of paved parking lots and 447 acres of commercial buildings in District 42B. If we put solar panels on 20% of this developed commercial property, we can generate enough electricity to power 10,000 homes—roughly 50% of our district. We can come up with creative solutions through use of tax credits and public-private partnerships to save our prime agricultural land and make good use of blacktops to generate renewable energy.
Healthcare is a human right and should be accessible and affordable for all. No one should ever go bankrupt trying to obtain decent healthcare.
The ACA gave us the opportunity to make sure so many more Americans gained health insurance, but the ACA also had flaws that needed to be addressed. Unfortunately, the current administration has instead actively sought to undermine the ACA, thus leaving it up to Maryland to come up with solutions for our state. I believe that we should, at the very minimum, protect all-payer status in Maryland. The introduction of a public option in our health care exchanges would be a viable first step in ensuring that all Marylanders have access to quality healthcare.
Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder
The State of Maryland must set an example by hiring more neurodiverse people. We need to tell their success stories and show that hiring them is a win for employers.
According to current CDC estimates, 1 in 68 children are being diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, or ASD. Roughly 500,000 adults with ASD will be seeking employment over the next decade. The unemployment rate in adults with ASD is between 55 and 80%. This is true even for high functioning adults with ASD.
In Baltimore we have only one social agency that deals exclusively with adults with ASD. Governor Hogan has underfunded this agency, but as State Delegate, I will ensure that funding for these crucial services keeps pace with reality.
I favor a comprehensive three-pronged approach to tackle the opioid crisis: 1) integrate prescription drug monitoring databases into electronic health records to prevent multiple prescriptions, 2) provide assistance to medication-assisted treatment, and 3) invest in expanded access to the antidote naloxone.
We must work to stem the tide of violent crime across the state. Curbing violent crime in Baltimore City will also bring about a safer Baltimore County.
Police play a critical role in our society. I want to support law enforcement officers in Maryland by making sure they have the latest technology at their disposal to fight crime effectively. I will also support measures, with the guidance of both community leaders and law enforcement, to restore community trust in law enforcement, which is essential for these officers to do their jobs safely and successfully.