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PRIORITIES

What I Will Accomplish

Our District and people remain among the hardest working members of this great State. With your trust and vote I will make it my priority to renew partnerships with industry and reestablish sound and trustworthy communications between our District, our State, and our Nation. I will tirelessly seek funding pipelines for our District’s infrastructures and communities. Hire me, and I’ll be so much more than just an elected official! I’ll be your voice and force in the Capital.

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COVID-19 Protocols/Mandates

As we approach major decision points for our District’s COVID/Mask Mandates, I would like to impart my belief, vision and goals for the Seventh District, while (currently) dealing with this Pandemic and its future.

First, let me say that I believe statewide mandates and safeguards will be lifted here soon (no later than summer, I believe), and we will be getting back to “normal” or as close to it as we can. 

 

The reasoning behind my beliefs...

Vaccines: Across the Country, COVID positivity/hospitalization rates are down-trending. Much of this is due to our successful vaccination program, but it’s also due to the increased availability of in-home test kits/testing. Put another way, people aren’t showing up to (trackable) testing sites as much as before. So, the numbers are declining. By now, about 65% of the Country (73% percent of all Marylanders) are either fully Vaccinated or have had the opportunity. 

 

I am fully vaccinated (and boosted). And while I encourage all (who can) to do the same, I will NOT stand in judgement of anyone who chooses not to be. And encourage all of you to (also) reserve your judgments. People have their reasons. And they are reasons, NOT excuses. We’ve had years to debunk the rumors, misconceptions, and (flat out) lies about COVID by now…and we still don’t know what we still don't know about it!

 

Sadly, our various political parties and media (mainstream or otherwise) outlets have chosen their sides in this, while our social media sites have added their disclaimers for their own protection. But the truth is, the decision to vaccinate remains ours! And I encourage all to make the best decision for themselves and their families. 

Employment: We have seen (both) large and small businesses shutter their sites, over the past two years, during COVID. Our local businesses provide (both) much needed jobs and revenue to our communities. And we need to bring them back to a full operational status as soon as possible, before the damage to our District's communities is irreparable.

 

Now that said…there will remain companies and workplaces that will have to enforce masks and vaccine mandates, for health and/or proximity requirements. I beseech you to honor their decisions! We must never forget how many we've lost, in our healthcare, food-prep and retail industries...to mention a few. The sacrifice of our "essential" workers must never be forgotten, and the companies that still employ have every right and responsibility to keep them safe!

Future: With your vote, I fully intend to pursue and implement policies that will provide and secure continued funding and treatment for our COVID "long-haulers" as well as our youth, who've been psychologically affected by this terrible virus! 
 

Veterans

Since its inception, great Men and Women have answered the call when it came time to fight for this Nation, its ideals, and its freedoms. And as a Veteran, fighting for those who have fought for the Country will remain a top priority for me.  

Every day, this country sees hundreds of service members detach from active duty and reattach themselves to our workforces and communities. And for most, the transition is rife with challenges. I know and have experienced these challenges firsthand. We must not forget those who put our Nation first and we must remember the assets they can be in the workplace! We must assist them, with greater detail and attention, as they transition out of service.

VA Programs that emphasize the education, housing, and work-placement of our Veterans would be my focus and I would lend myself to any Committee, bipartisan or otherwise, that works towards these causes. Moreover, an increased focus and diligence, when looking after the families of those who have paid the ultimate price for our Country would be prioritized, additionally.

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Health Care

It remains a travesty that, in the wealthiest and most technologically advanced country in the world, Health Care is the leading cause of financial distress. 

Everyone deserves access to quality and affordable health care.

The Affordable Care Act was a step in the right direction. However, it is still a work in progress. And moreover, it remains under constant threat of those who would seek its repeal and undoing. It is our duty, as lawmakers and custodians of American tax dollars to ensure that every American has access to the quality and affordable health care they deserve. If elected, I will continue the fight against those who would seek to take affordable health care away from Americans and their families. I will keep a sharp focus on lowering prescription drug prices and making concessions for those companies that provide generic, less expensive drugs to American consumers. 

Increased pressure is needed on U.S. healthcare providers to cover patients with pre-existing conditions, with greater emphasis on the inclusion of mental health as a Preexisting Condition. This is a tasking I am prepared to undertake and see to resolution. 

Economy

The COVID Pandemic almost wrecked our economy. Moreover, countless businesses, large and small, were forced to alter their business models and paradigms to weather the crisis. Sadly, many did not make it. 2020 and 2021 saw 1 in 4 small businesses, in this Country, shuttering their fronts, with no plans for re-opening or re-hiring. With continued and feared estimates, (approximately) another 9 million will shut their doors before year’s end. If elected, I will not only devote myself to the resurgence of small businesses in the 7th District, but to the return of large businesses as well. Baltimoreans are an amazingly resilient people and are capable of providing a sound and revenue-generating workforce. Hire me as your Representative and be assured that I will seek these solutions tirelessly.

I will vote to increase the federal minimum wage, which will give about 100,000 (1 in 4) Baltimorean workers the pay-raise they deserve, as well as helping provide a livable wage for the people. I will continue to champion the Paycheck Fairness Act, to ensure equal pay for our District’s and Nation’s Women workforces. 

Through the Higher Baltimore Initiative, I will seek funding to re-establish partnerships with the community and business leaders, for the filling of (well paying) positions that require particular and relevant skillsets. Together, we will institute apprenticeship programs, focus on technical education requirements, and viable career paths to assist guide our worker’s advancement. 

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Environment

We have long been in need of an increased focus and diligence towards Environmental preservation and betterment. These past years have seen an increase in catastrophic weather events, communities dealing with unclean water and air, and an overall environmental degradation. And for those of us, who reside on and draw from the Chesapeake Bay, we are (sadly) finding life to be no different. We can no longer ignore these inconvenient truths! For centuries now, the Port of Baltimore, the branches that feed it, and our Inner Harbor tourist centers have provided our District with much-needed revenue and benefits.

 

But the years and usage have not been kind. 

If hired, I will align myself with any legislation (bipartisan or otherwise) geared towards the cleanliness and perseveration of the Bay. Moreover, I will fight to reinstate the ($100M) funding initiatives that have been zeroed out by the previous administration. The Chesapeake Bay generates $33 billion annually and provides more than a trillion dollars in worth to our region. It is one of the Nation’s natural treasures and it, and its coastlines, MUST be protected!

National Security

As a former forward-deployed service member, I understand well the importance of our forces fighting abroad. Their fight is not just a projection of our Nation’s power, but a required deterrent to those who would call us enemy and seek to harm our people and way of life. I am familiar with the criticality of providing the proper support and equipment to our defenders, as I currently do so. But I also see the negligence and the (sometimes) wasteful manner in which we spend our tax dollars on Defense. Sadly, several high-visibility defense programs have come to our Nation’s attention. Our lack of knowledge, due diligence, and oversight has created a chasm between those that would appropriate the funds, those who would properly execute the funds, and the warfighters who desperately require the products of said funding. 

As a 9 year Navy veteran and current Navy Program Manager, I will take my knowledge of Defense spending and budgeting to Washington. I would immediately volunteer my services as a member of the House Armed Services Committee, as well as other oversight committees that are geared towards the betterment of the American Servicemember and the reduction of wasteful spending.  

But, we can’t stop there. If our history has taught us nothing (more), it’s taught us that having strong allies, in the field only makes our warfighters jobs easier and safer. I am a proponent of continued diplomacy and support of our allies in their efforts, as they often align with ours.

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Seniors

Baltimore is home to roughly eighty-three thousand (83K) Seniors. Most of whom have spent much of their lives paying into the Social Security and Medicare system. A system that, too often, requires Legal Aid or another form of assistance, for a return of their (invested) benefits. Moreover, with only 13 senior centers (citywide) to offer programs and services for our city’s golden-aged, many of them are left in need of the resources that would add necessary comfort to their lives. It remains a tragic truth that our Social Security and Medicare systems are in need of much overhaul and restructuring. And every Senior, that has paid into Social Security and Medicare, deserves the benefits they’ve earned.

If hired, I will make this one of my top priorities. This District will see an increase in amenities and medical assistance for our golden-aged. I will lend myself to any effort or fight purposed to keeping healthcare and prescription-drug costs down for our Seniors. 

The Elders of our villages are a treasure and need to be protected!

Education

Once again, the state of Maryland ranks 2nd, in the Nation, in education. However, once again our District fails to place a public High School in the top 10 (statewide) and in the top 600 (nationally). Even with a steady population decline through the decades, Baltimore remains the largest city in the state of Maryland. So we should not be finding ourselves on the outside, looking in, when it comes to top-tier education. 

The COVID Pandemic, not only exposed our weaknesses in our (overall) general health, welfare, and healthcare industries, it also exposed the unmitigated flaws in our education system as well. Sadly, many of our Educators lacked the training and ability to counterman the COVID crisis, and the lasting effects of the past two years will reverberate through the many that will follow. 

If hired, I will lend myself to any effort that involves better education for our Children and increased pay for our Educators. Efforts, such as universal Pre-K and the Rebuild America’s Schools Act will see my tireless efforts for their success.  I will seek and support increased Federal spending for District’s Public-School modernizations, renovations, and repairs. Moreover, with the Higher Baltimore Initiative, I will seek private partnerships to promote increased Trade and Technical study opportunities for our youth.

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Energy

Recent years have shown the importance of reducing our Nation’s dependence on, not just foreign oil, but environmentally degrading energy practices. We can no longer afford to seek energy resources at the expense of our environment. Our recent weather catastrophes only serve to remind us that climate change is not only a threat to our Nation’s coastlines and interior, but to our overall security and wellbeing, as well.   

If hired, I assist any effort to return our Nation to its status and prominence as a global leader in clean energy. Our District sits on the Chesapeake Bay and can ill afford to push this problem off any longer! For our District, this is not a problem of tomorrow, it’s a threat today. I have laid out a bold vision for cutting greenhouse gas emissions while investing in the jobs and infrastructure of the future.

Infrastructure

I have always felt that one of our greatest flaws, as a country, was a lack of continued focus when it came to our infrastructure. It’s as if we’ve forgotten that it was our strong and vast infrastructure that helped propel us to the forefront as a world power. Whether it was the resources afforded to our public education system, our Police departments, or even Logistic pathways and conduits, our Nation’s focus on infrastructure was vital to boosting, not only our district’s economy, but the global economy as well.

Fortunately, our President has remembered this and reestablished the focus on our Country’s infrastructure. Moreover, if hired for the job, I would do whatever was in my power to support this. 

The Seventh District, which is home to one of the largest ports on the East Coast, depends on improving our Maritime Infrastructure. 

However, we shouldn’t stop there! The needs of Baltimore far exceed those of just our Maritime Infrastructure. Our city’s neighborhoods, including the streets and roadways that lead to them need sound investing and (in many cases) overhauling. We can no longer ignore that businesses, large and small, base much of their “start-up” decision-making on the strength of an area’s infrastructure. Business will not come to (or back to) our City and District if they feel the infrastructure is too weak to provide a viable workforce and safe working conditions.

If hired, I will focus on the reinvestment in our District’s infrastructure and the provision of the necessary tools required to build it up.

Remember, a stronger Baltimore and District will also yield a stronger and more competitive Maryland.

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Gun Violence

Sadly, about 12 out of every 100K Marylanders die due to gun violence annually, with our city being on track to surpass 230 shooting deaths for the year of 2021.  Moreover, with there being more guns than people in our Nation, the belief that we can bring a quick or easy end to gun violence is naïve (at best). However, we can still pursue commonsense measures to keep our communities safe from gun violence, while still protecting the Second Amendment rights of our law-abiding citizens. 

As a Navy Veteran, I swore an oath to protect this nation and its people. And as a gun owner, I am prepared to do so with arms. However, also as a gun owner, I (and we) have to be more honest when addressing the relationship between the number of guns in our Nation and the tragically high level of gun violence.

 

If hired, I will lend myself to gun-reform efforts like the requisite of Universal Background checks and other Red Flag laws that prevent an individual from purchasing or retaining their firearm if they are determined to be a danger to themselves or others.