A Progressive Vision for a Better Anne Arundel County
Top Public Schools
The children of Anne Arundel County deserve the best public schools we can offer. Their futures and the future of our county depend on it. Modern facilities, appropriate class sizes, competitive salaries, and engaging and challenging curricula that reflect the diversity of our county are critical to the success our schools. The strength of Anne Arundel County Public Schools is closely tied to the economic success of our county. With neighboring counties frequently topping national lists of excellent public schools, we need to redouble our efforts to strengthen our schools.
We are fortunate in Anne Arundel County and Annapolis to have several institutions (the U.S. Naval Academy, state and local government, and St. John's College to name a few) that provide our area with economic stability. Our community's importance in American history, its location on the Chesapeake Bay, and Annapolis's world prominence in sailing and boating provide additional engines for economic activity. To expand economic activity, we need to encourage entrepreneurs and the creation of new businesses. Similar regions have found success when accomplished entrepreneurs mentor and support new startups. Recruiting and supporting professionals in high-need fields is another way to expand economic activity and meet community needs.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
In recent years, county residents have observed an increase in racially-motivated incidents and hate crimes. I pledge to listen to and work alongside impacted communities to ensure their needs for safety and inclusion are met. Whenever possible, our county should take opportunities to address racism and bias head-on.
Sustainable, Inclusive Transit
As we look toward the future of our County, we need to approach our transportation policy with an increasing emphasis on options beyond single occupancy, gas-powered vehicles. Our heavy reliance on single driver cars is not sustainable for many reasons. Traffic, fossil fuel use, and pollution will eventually require a shift to other modes of transportation. Designated bike lanes, more sidewalks, ride-sharing, bike-sharing, and targeted bus routes must all be a part of our transportation future. These alternate modes can help alleviate traffic, reduce our carbon footprint, and help our residents save time and money. Furthermore, thoughtfully designed, reliable transportation can help increase financial stability among struggling families. Less money spent on getting around is more money in our pockets that is ultimately spent in our local economy.
Support for Immigrants
We can't allow the undocumented immigrants who are living peacefully in our communities to become the victims of our nation's inability to fix our broken immigration system. Like U.S.-born citizens, the vast majority of immigrants simply want a good life for themselves and their families. Many have fled unimaginable terror and violence in their home countries in order to search for that safer and better life. Fear of unnecessary and unexpected deportations have no place in our county.
The Chesapeake Watershed
The Chesapeake Bay as described 400 years ago is quite different from today. Early descriptions are important as a standard for complete restoration of the Bay.
We must ensure that our waterways are protected from runoff and discharge. We must support endeavors to restore underwater and shoreline habitats.
Smart, Sustainable Development
When the county council revises the General Development Plan and examines land use throughout the county, we need to ensure that development projects do not exchange the long-term health of our environment for a short-term gain that mainly benefits a few developers. When and where development does occur, we need to ensure that developers are making contributions commensurate with their projects' impact on schools, infrastructure, public services and surrounding lands and communities.
Our county's safe stations at county police and fire stations are an excellent step toward connecting people facing addiction with needed services. Nonetheless, we need to introduce additional treatment options and expand our prevention efforts among people of all ages.
County employees and first responders such a police and fire fighters deserve our respect for their work as public servants. We must ensure that salaries offered to first responders and other county employees are competitive and commensurate with their training, education, and experience. We also need to ensure that first responders and county employees have the resources and tools they need to successfully complete their duties.
Expanding LGBTQ+ Protections
Despite strong state-level protections for the LGBTQ+ community in Maryland, there is still a need to improve protections at the county level. Anti-discrimination laws need to cover both sexual orientation and gender identity. We also need to ensure that LGBTQ+ students can attend school without fear of bullying and harassment. Similarly, we need to ensure that efforts to combat homelessness address the unique issues facing homeless LGBTQ+ youth and adults.