Overview Black men, women and their families have been facing social injustices head on, since the birth of this nation -- but the fight to make things right isn't only for the advancement of our black communities but FOR ALL OF US. We all are impacted by social injustices.
It takes a Village, a people to bring about the tangible changes that we need in America. It takes the solidarity of human beings to overcome racisms. No, we cannot change what anyone feels or believes inside but we can reach a point in which anyone intending to discriminate against another human being has no power, no reach, no impact. I am an advocate FOR ALL OF US! Let's Change the Circumstances Together!
LGBTQIA Rights & Equality I will always advocate and support equal rights and progression for the LGBTQIA community. My views will support the community regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity; and choice to marry. I support anti-discrimination laws for the LGBTQIA community so that it is loud and clear all people have a right to live freely and without discrimination of their human rights. I support the right for any LGBTQIA person to serve in our armed forces - we must do whatever needs to be done to ensure protections of progress, fairness and equality.
Women's Rights & Equality My mother showed me the strength of a woman by going to work everyday and supporting a home with 7 children. In addition, she taught me how to be resilient and to stand up for what I believed in; therefore, I will work for Women Rights. Rights such as: Women's Right to choose; birth control access; equal pay; workplaces free of sexual harassment and disparaging treatments. From the strength of my mother to the growth of my 2 daughters I want Women's Rights to produce a generation of strong-willed and confident women.
Civil Rights Black men, women and their families have been facing social injustices since the birth of this nation. Now, we must work to rid the system of institutionalized oppression and social injustices. I will advocate for laws that will help fight against police brutality, create more youth programs in our communities, and work to end white supremacy.
Inclusion Inclusion is not limited to undoing racial social injustices and divides. It is more than hosting a forum or having an uncomfortable conversation. It isn't done in a simple tweet by a Republican or a Democrat. It's not just being a caucasian person talking about african-american issues. It's understanding the people, their communities and their circumstances. Inclusion is not 'inclusiveness of the races' - it's the work and progress to identify and resolve any social injustices experienced by people on the basis of their race, color, sex, age, language, sexual orientation, disability, religion, political views, etc. It can look different in any community. Our campaign uses White, Black and Brown because we all are descendants of each other - regardless of what continent we were born. It is not a generalization to not include specific ethnic groups.
District 13 is largely diverse and our inclusion can look and be different. I will work to ensure that all people are comfortable in their communities by working to listen and to create better circumstances that drives inclusiveness that bridges communities and people.
Overview Circumstances for a Better Education System I will work to eliminate PARCC and all standardized testing in Maryland. We need culturally competent educators in our classrooms and not the bias politics of unjust standardized testing. Teaching is an ART and our schools should never be funded based on the results of standardized testing - but our schools should be funded by a fair and adequate budget that promotes increased instructional time, smaller classroom sizes, equipped classrooms with resources and personnel essential to providing support for our classroom teachers, ESOL for students and their parents, and behavioral intervention practices that do not result in the misdiagnosis of student behavioral disorders. We must give teachers the ability to better identify the learning strengths, weaknesses and deficits of their students, free teachers from redundant evaluation practices that impede their ability to effectively access their teaching skills and best teaching methods.
Eliminate PARCC and all Standardizing Test I promise to work to eliminate all of the Pearson tests and replace them with a simple, reputable and meaningful assessment to satisfy ESSA and keep our public schools accountable. I will not only ask but work to ensure that only the minimum testing is being conducted to satisfy the 2015 Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). I want to also move towards eliminating standardized testing. We need culturally competent educators who work to build community-in-education, in the classroom not the bias politics of state testing. Teaching is an ART and we must protect the freedoms that allow teachers to get to know their students by identifying their real-time learning strengths, weaknesses and deficits. We have to reduce class sizes and recruit teachers who are eager to educate, share their knowledge and learn with their students. Resources and personnel should be catered to the discretion of classroom teachers and not the 'standardizing business of education.'
Safer Schools, Frequent Employee Background Checks As a product of the public school system, I am committed to an education system that supports higher graduation rates and most importantly safer schools. Our schools should be a safe harbor for our children when away from home. We will continue to enforce a zero tolerance policy against bullying and not allowing students to be around staff who do not complete yearly background checks. This means all school employees will be required to undergo a thorough and yearly background check. Too often, we hear of cases where trusted school employees have engaged in senseless acts of abuse and our students suffer ill consequences. We will hold our teachers to a high level of integrity, provide them with opportunities to participate in content based professional development, and foster an atmosphere that promotes holistic learning for all students.
Reduce & Prevent Behavioral Misdiagnosis As a state legislator, I will work to draw awareness to the often misdiagnosis of behavioral disorders that sometimes lead to missed opportunities in parenting. We sometimes mistake common misbehaviors in children as a need for special education evaluation that leads to common misdiagnosis of ADHD, depression, mood disorders, and other childhood mental health disorders. These misdiagnoses create a catalyst for justifications of a child's behavior or parents rely on monthly medications to help curb the child's behavior rather than increased parental engagement. It is my goal to ensure that diagnosis requires a more thorough review of data and evaluation.
Expand Pre-K & Headstart Program beyond Circumstances & Income Early Education access and college graduation rates have a direct correlation. My goal is to expand the access of Pre-Kindergarten programs to all schools or open new public centers to support age appropriate students. As a father, I know the importance of wanting to enroll a child into a program but it not being available in my district. I want to have policy makers rethink early education access for all student as a priority, so more toddlers can attend school and begin their journey-in-learning.
Every child deserves an early start on their education and learning. Every elementary school should start at Pre-K and offer Headstart and if schools are not able to provide this educational opportunity - we should build a certified network of licensed and qualified daycare providers who work with and receive oversight from their local schools and are guided by a dedicated liaison who performs quality education evaluations and professional teacher development training. We can work to extend our schools in our communities through our local daycare educators.
Free Community College Community colleges should be a tuition-free opportunity for every in-county student living in the state of Maryland for their first two-years of college.
Prioritize Public Schools Funding over Charter Schools We must work to make sure that our tax dollars are going to our public schools before a dime is sent to any charter schools. It is important to our students and teachers that our public schools have the resources and personnel needed to support our classroom teachers. If a student leaves or is ejected from a charter school so does the money. Accountability will work both ways and we will always prioritize our public schools.
Music, Arts and Athletics As a teenager and young adult I pursued an independent recording career. I enjoy songwriting, playing melodies on the piano, recording songs, and performing on stage. I will be the biggest advocate for music education, arts programs and athletics in public schools. These specialty areas of education are not core subjects but expressions of a child's individuality and provides a stage for their development of setting goals in their skill-building.
Overview Our Police officers must be better engaged in our communities so that they don't REACT but RESPOND. We ask our police officers for more than we often equip them to do. I want to make sure we are also listening to their side of the story so that we can work to protect our communities and support our polices officers. Respect for service and community begins in the sacrifice of respectable law enforcement officers.
Respectable Police Officers As a security officer, I've learned that protecting and serving others goes best with customer service practices. Police officers should greet complaints with open ears and problem solving mentality. In addition, police officer must understand the composition and community issues in the areas they police. It is my goal to encourage police officers to build on that approach. Police officers should never conduct themselves in any manner that could be perceived as inciting or provoking citizens, even during an apprehension. I am committed to making sure that our police officers and our communities maintain a healthy dialogue and partnership. I will encourage and advocate for officers to be more involved in community events. We want all community stakeholders to have positive interactions and not be victims of excessive police force or police brutality.
Reducing Domestic Violence I am dedicated to increasing the awareness of domestic violence and establishing mental health services that helps victims get the emotional and physical support needed to regain comfort and build independence. Through this expanded rebuilding stage, victims can use enhanced assistance such as Safe Harbor shelters, career building skills, and support groups. It should also be required for abusers to receive mental health services while serving their time in prison for their criminal offenses. This will also help prevent more serious and dangerous acts from occurring in the future.
School Safety School safety is a top priority and I am committed to ensuring students and staffers who enter the doors of Howard County Public Schools are greeted with respect and met with the knowledge that any acts of violence will not be tolerated. Safety in our schools is an essential part of the FOR ALL OF US platform. I believe we can develop better conflict resolution practices that helps settles disputes without acts of violence such as restorative justice. Everyone is a stakeholder in helping to create better circumstances so that our students work towards making better choices.
With a growing population we have to make sure that Howard County General Hospital is equipped with the best Doctors and Medical Tools and Technology. We have to also build an additional hospital.
We have to protect Medicaid and Medicare to ensure that children and their families and our senior citizens have a Primary Care Physician. With a growing population of retirees and elders, we must work to secure adequate health care, free or reduced prescriptions, and significant discounts to support all incomes.
We must work to prevent Drug Addiction and prescription drug abuse by working to make sure we have more access to recovery centers including in our correctional facilities and communities.
Drug Addiction and Opioids Abuse The abuse of opioids is an unfortunate epidemic. Families and lives are literally being ruined daily. I'm prepared to be an advocate for policy and programs that educate our community about prescription drug-use safe practices. I will also support mental health programs that better address drug addiction and helps push recovering addicts towards healthy lifestyles. Opioid abuse is an extreme disservice to patients who are in need of the medication to reduce their symptoms. We have to be more vigilant about tracking and monitoring the use and frequency of the drug; and holding physicians and pharmacist more accountable. I am committed to advocate legislation and collaborate with our community stakeholders to develop a holistic approach to rid our communities, families, jobs, and property of drug abuse. Not forgetting to extend this work to the heroin epidemic.
Adequate Health Care for a Growing County Health care premiums continue to rise throughout the nation and Howard County continues to be impacted by the lackluster health care availability. The needs of this county are diverse through age, socio economic background, and religion. With a growing population of retirees, we must work to secure adequate health care, free or reduced prescriptions, and significant discounts to support all incomes. Furthermore, we will work to make sure our hospitals are equipped physicians with the innovative technology to support our growing community. We only have one hospital, Howard County General Hospital, in a county that's growing a larger population. I am deeply interested in studies that will help to determine if an additional hospital needs to be built in Howard County.
Health and Dental Fund for Public Schools Employees In keeping with adequate health care, our county school teachers are facing the possibility of losing their dental and health care because of the misuse of grant funds. At this time, the school system is due to submit a new budget for the upcoming school year. At the same time, it is the goal of the independent auditors to complete the review of the medical and dental budget to find any impropriety. In addition, this will assist with teachers and retirees to continue to have the needed healthcare to support themselves and their families.
Women's Healthcare As a father of three young children, I would like to think I know the importance of Women's Health care because I went to every doctor's appointment, I asked every question, I checked to ensure the doctor shared in the same ideas about birthing and reproductive health as we did. So, I understand the importance of Women's Health and I support every woman's right to make her own health decisions and to consult with the folks she trusts.
Reducing Gun Violence On December 01, 2016 I lost one of my brothers to an act of senseless gun violence, so I know the unfortunate experience that is becoming far too familiar for many Americans. My goal for gun control is rather simple: I want to support our 2nd amendment rights by allowing citizens to purchase after a reasonably thorough background check. At the same time, I want to reduce the possession of illegal guns and illegal possession of guns. Only registered gun owners should have registered guns. If you have been convicted of a violent crime, you forfeit possession of any gun (firearm). Anyone found in possession of an unregistered or illegal gun should have to face penalties under reasonable gun laws. We should have reasonably thorough background checks for sellers and buyers that reflects the severity of the responsibility of being a gun owner. I believe in everyone's right to legally protect their homes and property.
Expanding Medicaid for Mental Health I believe we can encourage more people to take advantage of mental health services, by expanding medicaid without copays. Having expanded access to mental health services encourages trusting others, working through social challenges, and seeing the light on the other end of personal hardships. Mental illness is a reality facing many folks who are worthy of intervention and support. If we can provide more access we can reduce domestic violence, reduce gun violence and save lives. We could even reduce the abuse of drugs and opioids.
Protecting Medicaid, Medicare and The Children's Health Insurance Program Sara is a Maryland resident, who is concerned about preserving essential Health care programs, Medicaid and Medicare. She wants to make sure that her Mom is able to get her medication. I want to make sure that Sara's Mom, my Mom and anyone else who receives Medicaid and Medicare continue to do so. I also want to make sure that anyone who needs Medicaid and Medicare can always enroll. This commitment includes protecting the Children's Health Insurance Program. With a growing population of retirees and elders, we must work to secure adequate health care, free or reduced prescriptions, and significant discounts to support all incomes.
Safe Site Drug Use & Recovery Centers In Maryland, if we legalize marijuana with a TAX, we can then use some of that revenue to open Safe Use Drug Sites with Recovery Centers to combat the heroin and opioid epidemic. These centers will be employed by skilled interventionist, medical staff and dedicated police officers who will work to provide an environment that safely guides drug abusers and drug addicts towards their recovery. We will include lifestyle, employment and healthcare resources for folks who commit to their recovery efforts and fully recover. We will also provide care to support those during any- and to prevent their relapses.
ECONOMY & COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
Clean Energy Jobs Economy In a clean energy jobs economy we can thrive and survive while also protecting our planet from harsh climate changes. I believe in increasing our renewable energy goal to 50% by 2030. We will work towards taxing beyond Carbon meaning any business that emits pollutants into our atmosphere will have to pay a tax on each pollutant while working to increase their dependability on clean energy. The revenue from these taxes will be used to support our clean energy jobs economy and best practices.
Secure Job Growth and Investments Renewable energy jobs will help support a thriving economy. I believe that we have to increase investment in clean-energy job-training. We must work to ensure a sustainable agriculture industry. Work to ensure that college education can be realized by every student beyond high school; and that skill-building jobs are available for each student to earn while they learn. Retailers must began to invest in livings and savings wages that measure up to job demands. We should continue to invest in technology but we cannot allow automation to replace working Americans.
Retail & Fast-food Workers Corporate America is full of company executives that make billion dollar revenue then bonus up to millions of dollars off the hard work of American workers who already make disparaging low wages. Retail and Fast Food jobs are the skill-building professions of customer service. These workers care about their jobs and often carry the company on their backs daily. From struggling to get to work while navigating their way through their own lives, these workers remain the most disparaged. I will work tirelessly to develop comprehensive legislation that establishes essential uniformity in the terms and conditions of employment. In doing so, we will deliver on: living and savings wages; sufficient sick leave; and essential regulations that are needed in all retail and fast food employment practices to protect jobs; protect whistle blowers; prevent reprisal and other unfair labor practices.
Welfare Reforms and Reduced Dependency Across the state of Maryland, many residents find themselves in circumstances that require additional assistance from the government. I want to make sure that any family, single person or elderly person can apply for and receive assistance to aid them during their time of hardship. However, I want to make sure that we are providing adequate assistance; and we develop a checkpoint based-system that reduces dependency. We want to aid persons but essentially provide them with the tools to gradually decrease their dependency on needed programs. I want to work with the labor force to ensure jobs are readily available for those persons in need.
Educator Pay As the son of an educator, I believe it is important to make sure our educators are well-paid. Educators put the needs of their students first; and I was proud to learn that Howard County educators do just that! In August 2016 educators taught classes through difficult circumstances, even while dealing with some very adverse situations. Educators experienced a five-day difference in their first paychecks due to changes in the school year scheduling. This led to financial strain on educators, the 10-month employees who elected for their paychecks to be stretched over a 12-month period so that they can continue to make rent and mortgage payments. Across the state, I want to make sure any future changes in school year scheduling doesn't affect those very difficult situations.
Affordable Homes & Community Development The Howard County APFO controlled-growth mandate continues to fail us on affordable housing and has shifted focus from growth and revitalization areas to established communities - which largely disadvantages low-income areas. I will not only increase awareness of this but I will end the politics standing between the people and home affordability.
Tax Plan & Budget We all deserve better. We have to protect our middle-class, the working Americans driving our economy. We need a tax plan & budget that allows for investments that produce livings and savings wages; and real life benefits that support children and their families. We need to make sure that no tax plan or budget cuts Medicare, Medicaid or the C.H.I.P. I do not support tax cuts for the wealthy -while the working middle-class disappears because of unfair circumstances.
Tax and Legalization of the Sale of Marijuana Legalizing and taxing the sale of Marijuana for recreational use will create a sustainability of economic growth for people of color and disadvantaged low-income communities that have long been criminalized. The marijuana supplied to our dispensaries should be grown in low-income communities so that those areas begin to see a sustainability of economic growth.
Automation Tax I support an automation tax to combat against the replacement of human beings by automation. Our economy works better and so does our society when men and women get up to go to work. Each job that is lost to automation impacts a person, a child and families. The revenue from this tax will help provide assistance to people who lose a job to automation and help them re-gain employment.
We must work to protect secured funding for Project Open Space.
Ensure that all farmers practice Best Management Practices to protect Chesapeake Bay and the Agriculture Industry.
With the bias politics of redundant testing eliminated, we can use our classrooms to increase the dependability of renewable energy and clean energy practices for the next generation.
Tax beyond Carbon. Any and every pollutant should be separately taxed and not scored together.
Promote the purchase of Electric cars; and work to ensure more charging stations throughout the state.
Climate Change and Clean-Energy Future Climate change is one of our nation’s greatest challenges and an urgent threat to our nation. In the recent years, we made some great progress towards a clean-energy future by using renewable energy resources and investing in alternative systems for energy. I will fight to protect the Paris Agreement and protect our planet for future generations. The science that has developed automobiles, airplanes, technology, medication and surgical procedures will soon be needed to ensure our planet thrives in coming generations. It is proven that our weather and climate is impacted by the exhaust fumes, gases and pollution that enters the atmosphere. I support renewable energy and would like to help realize a massive increase of renewable energy in Maryland.
Ensuring Sustainable Agriculture Agriculture is our biggest industry in Maryland. It can be our healthiest and doing the right things will even help clean up Chesapeake Bay. I would engage initiatives that work to keep nutrients with their crops, producing healthy natural food. We have to support farmers by making sure they have the resources to plant natural buffers between their fields and streams, thus, keeping their fertilizers on their fields and not in the bay. We have to restore floodplains by making sure that rivers can reach the floodplains to help prevent erosion; to improve water quality; and to support the perfect conditions to ensure sustainable Agriculture.
Climate Change Policies When the United States withdrew from the Paris Climate Agreement, I was very disappointed. I truly believed in our position as a Leader in conservation on such a global stage, we could conquer climate change. I want to see increasingly growing support for policies that set aside land for recreation and nature. We need trees and plants around to do what they are designed to do, most importantly to help us breath clean air and to support the cycle of life for all living things. Climate change is a reality that we face, and we have time now to take control before its too late.
The Clean Energy Jobs Act and RPS Targets My perspective is if we get to 25% of renewable energy production by 2020, we can get to 50% and beyond. We would begin to rely on our renewable energy sources. So 50% is not only attainable, but it would be an awesome target. I would support and advocate for strengthening the RPS to reach 50% by 2030, a target that makes perfect sense. Passionately, I would support a phase-out of waste incineration as a qualifying source under the RPS because this is a process that results in harmful pollutants being emitted into the air, in our water and our land which I believe, has a harmful influence on living things and our environment. We must invest in clean-energy job training, as a priority, to ensure that we reach our RPS target by 2020 and beyond. Renewable energy jobs will help support a thriving economy.
State Renewable & Green Energy Power Company To ensure best practices and to make sure renewable and green energy power are affordable for our households we must began to work towards a state power company so that no private business develops a monopoly on our state progress as we have been leaders in the work to protect our planet from climate change.
Financing for Out-of-Pocket Cost for Solar Energy Panels Solar Panels are energy investment vehicles and we need regulations that make it possible for homeowners to get financing for the out-of-pocket costs for installing solar energy panels on their homes and property. The cost energy savings could be used to repay the loans.
Secure Funding for Project Open Space I am committed to working to make sure that funding for Project Open Space is a secured budget priority.
New Green Energy Home Developments & Communities Building a new development in Maryland - we have to make it a requirement that new home developments and communities are built to adapt to dependability on renewable and green energy.
Comprehensive Immigration Reform I support comprehensive immigration reform that will move our nation’s broken immigration system forward. We must improve border security and establish a clear path to citizenship so that everyone in America is contributing to our tax system and making documented wages. Our goal is to keep families together but we have to make sure that every household in America is a household of legal citizens. It is our duty to have all persons represented before deporting any family member. We should provide an opportunity to gain citizenship.
Term Limits I'm a strong supporter of term-limits in public office. I believe that every four years voters should be have the opportunity to elect new representatives in the House and Senate; including county councils and school boards. I also believe that every eight years voters should be guaranteed that opportunity. No party or incumbent should ever have a guaranteed hold on our public seats or government. Incumbents who become termed-out should aspire to run for other offices if he or she believes their service has been great for the people of their state or county.