I'm running for Congress because the people of Maryland’s 1st District deserve a representative who cares and works for them. Donald Trump and Rep. Andy Harris do not understand the real problems of the people they supposedly represent, nor how to help. Rep. Harris is completely out of touch while the rest of us struggle with healthcare costs, stagnating wages, and rising seas. Voters in the 1st District deserve a representative who listens to them, fights for them, and makes government work for them. With your help, I can do that for you in Congress.
Our society is one that indefensibly creates double standards for men and women. Women are objectified, harassed, and face gender-based violence on a daily basis. Make no mistake, this is a societal problem that must be addressed head-on at a national level.
The Federal government has a duty to ensure that all citizens, regardless of gender, are treated equally. Yet under the current administration, the rights of women to self-autonomy have faced unprecedented attack. From Congress’s proposed ban on funding for Planned Parenthood, to State legislatures attempting to unconstitutionally roll back pro-choice protections, Republican ideology is clearly getting in the way of protecting women’s health and furthering gender equality.
Governor Harry Hughes, a great Marylander, said that the Chesapeake Bay defines our central character. The Bay is a national treasure that is important not only for us but for all Americans. In Congress, Michael will work in partnership with our farmers and civic leaders to speed the Bay’s recovery from decades of pollution and protect it from the anti-environmental policies of this administration.
Global climate change and sea-level rise also threaten the 1st District’s coastal communities and our farmers and watermen. Michael stands squarely for prompt responses to climate change, to slow it and to help our vulnerable coastal communities and our farming and fishing industries adapt. This includes renewable energy projects like Maryland’s offshore wind proposal, which would create almost 9,700 new jobs in Maryland and add over $1.8 billion of in-state spending to our economy. It would add $74 million in state tax revenues over 20 years, eliminate 19,000 tons of carbon emissions every year for 20 years, and generate enough clean energy to power 500,000 homes.
The United States is the richest nation in the history of the world. Yet, we are the only industrialized nation that does not provide universal healthcare to its citizens as a right. And yet, Americans pay more for health care than any other country in the world – even though we do not use more services than other countries.
Simply put, private health insurance costs more but provides less. We can’t afford to continue to pay more for less while private insurance and pharmaceutical companies continue to reap huge profits at our expense. We can and must do better, but it requires taking on the insurance and the pharmaceutical lobbies. This will not be easy but it is the right thing to do for the American people.
1 The health of our nation comes from the health of our people. While Medicare For All is a clear moral right, it also strengthens our people and our nation. It makes good sense, plain and simple. By strengthening our families and our children we protect our future by keeping America strong. Keeping families and children strong makes our workforce, our military, and our economy strong. It helps new generations enjoy the freedom that America offers.
Education is more important today than ever before. Yet, for far too many, attending a trade school or a 2 or 4-year college is out of reach. Talented and hard-working folks are being denied the opportunity to better themselves and build a better life for their families because they cannot afford the high cost of education. Investing in higher education builds strong families, a skilled 21st century workforce, a strong military, a strong economy, and helps all of us. It is an investment in our people and our Country.
Attending a trade school or 2 or 4-year college can be affordable - we have already done it. In 1971-72, a student could earn enough to pay tuition and fees at a 4-year public university by working minimum wage for roughly 6 weeks. In 2016-17, a student would have to work almost 28 weeks, roughly 6 1/2 months for the same education.
We promote our common interest when we fund higher education. It’s a forward-thinking investment in ourselves and each other. Today’s students become the parents, skilled workers, innovators, entrepreneurs and leaders of tomorrow. Each generation owes it to the next to pay it forward, to provide the same educational opportunities and build a strong, stable, and lasting foundation for opportunity in an ever-changing world.
Government can only be as good as the people we elect to serve in high office. To insure lasting reform that brings back representative government, Michael supports a robust good government agenda:
REDISTRICTING REFORM is necessary to restore a functioning democracy and end the extreme partisanship and dysfunction in Washington, D.C.. Gerrymandering allows incumbent politicians to choose their voters -- not the other way around. Michael supports establishment of independent, nonpartisan, redistricting commissions, full transparency of draft maps and public hearings, exclusion of party affiliation, voting history, or the residence of incumbents in drawing maps, and requirements that neighborhoods and communities with common interests be kept together as much as possible.
GET MONEY OUT OF POLITICS. Floodgates of money pour into federal elections. Like uncontrolled flooding, that money has a disastrous effect on our democracy. It almost always determines who wins elections. Super PACs and huge industry contributions to incumbents pave the way for armies of lobbyists to work the system to their advantage. The American people can’t compete in this system -- even though the very purpose of our government is to serve the American people. Campaign finance reform is an issue for all Americans because it makes democracy itself work for us. Getting money out of politics unites us in a common purpose -- to restore our government as it was created by the founders -- not a government purchased by wealth, by huge Super-PACs, by large corporations with swarming lobbyists, but instead, a government of, by and for the people.
TERM LIMITS. It's time for citizen-legislators to serve in Washington DC, not career politicians. An entrenched political class has no interest in changing the system -- the system has already changed them and they stick with business as usual. Giving new candidates new opportunities to serve keeps those in government service responsible to those they’re supposed to serve -- you.
Families make up the backbone of America, yet we fail as a nation to support those families who most need our help. It is unacceptable for our great nation to be one of a small handful of countries not to require paid parental leave. It is unfair that low income parents must spend such a high proportion of their income simply to pay for childcare. It is unconscionable that the current administration sees fit to rollback nutrional standards on the lunches we feed our children. Yet these are problems we can fix, if we send politicians to Washington who make the working class their priority.
PARENTAL LEAVE should be an expected right in a society that wants its families to thrive. Along with New Guinea, Suriname, and a couple of island nations, the United States has the distinction of being one of the few countries that do not have national paid parental leave protections. Paid parental leave has been proven to lead to healthier children and stronger families. Providing the right to paid parental leave is an immediate method Congress could undertake to help better the lives of those they represent. This right will be one of my priorities if I am elected to serve the 1st District.
CHILD CARE TAX CREDITS are a common sense solution to the problem faced by working families in securing safe and nurturing childcare during working hours. Currently, low-income families can qualify for a tax credit to offset 35% of childcare expenses, but this percentage drops to 20% if you make $43,000 or more. As the typical family spends almost $12,000 per year in center-based childcare, this tax credit leaves too wide of a gulf for too many families. By being more generous towards our hardest working families, we can strengthen our communities and our country.
"For 24 years I served my community as the Attorney for Talbot County. As the chief legal advisor and legislative draftsman for the County Council, I spent my career helping the government help the people."