As a candidate and your State Delegate, I commit to fighting every day for:
- Equity and inclusion
- The people’s interest over special interest
- Dignity in the work place and the right of every worker to organize
- Reinvesting in our communities and ending mass incarceration
- Healthcare as a human right
- Environmental protection
- Responsive government
- Ending mass incarceration and reinvesting in our communities.
Quality Education for All Our Kids
I’m a firm believer in the promise of a good public education; as your Delegate, I’ll prioritize our public schools and ensure that our educators and support staff have the resources they need to meet the needs of every child. Further, I’ll work with stakeholders to close the achievement and opportunity gaps and keep Maryland schools among the best in the nation. As your advocate in Annapolis, I’ll work to ensure that every child has access to high-quality preschool, regardless of zip code.
The total student loan debt in our country is $1.3 trillion and growing. In order for Maryland to continue being competitive, we must build a 21st century economy as well as educate and prepare our children to lead it. Every student in our state should have the opportunity to attend a public college or university and graduate without debt. As your State Delegate, I will work to make public colleges and universities tuition free and ensure we’re making the right investments in our state’s economic future.
Enhancing Public Transportation
Providing better transit options is one of the keys to greater investment for our district, county, and state. We must invest in smart transit solutions that alleviates traffic, creates jobs while also ensuring cleaner air and healthier communities. Cars generate significantly more greenhouse gas pollution on a per passenger-mile basis than transit systems. By developing an infrastructure program that focuses on expanding innovative transit while using existing roads more efficiently could effectively help reduce transportation pollution while improving traffic congestion.
Health care costs are too high, even for those with insurance. Too many hard working families are saddled with medical debt; Dr. King once said that “of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.” I believe healthcare is a universal right, not a privilege and every Marylander should be guaranteed access to quality healthcare. As your State Delegate, I’ll support implementing a statewide single-payer system to ensure that every Marylander has coverage and aren’t saddled with debt at a time when they’re most vulnerable.
Supporting Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs
Small businesses are engines of opportunity and among the best job creators in our district, county, and state. Our economic development strategy should be focused on creating quality jobs and building a strong tax base. Small businesses and entrepreneurs play a vital role in our state’s economy; my focus will be on making it easier to start and grow a business and work to provide entrepreneurs with the necessary access to credit. As your State Delegate, I’ll fight for targeted funding in underserved communities and greater support for small businesses so Montgomery County remains an attractive region to live and invest in.
Taking Care of Our Seniors
Our seniors deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. The way we treat our seniors is a reflection upon our society. As your Delegate, I’m committed to developing and implementing comprehensive plans that provide for the well-being of our seniors today and in the future. Seniors shouldn’t have to choose between keeping a roof over their heads or purchasing the medication they need. As your State Delegate, I’ll ensure we’re funding critical programs to assist seniors in maintaining the quality of life they deserve. As your State Delegate I will make sure seniors have a voice in Annapolis.
Protecting Immigrant Communities
In 2012 I was an organizer for the Dream Act here in Maryland, and I believed then what I believe now, immigrants and immigrant families make our economy and our society stronger. Immigrants play a vital role in Maryland’s economy and workforce from laborers to tech workers to business owners and entrepreneurs; but also account for billions in tax revenue and consumer purchasing power. As an immigrant from Trinidad, I was proud to support the Maryland Trust Act that protects immigrant communities from profiling and harassment. At a time when hostility towards immigrants is prevalent, I’ll continue to advocate for and defend immigrant communities here in Maryland and represent the voices of immigrant families when elected.
Expanding Affordable Housing
I’m proud to live in a diverse and vibrant neighborhood, but we can’t ignore the fact that it is becoming increasingly expensive to live in Montgomery County. As your State Delegate, I’ll continue to advocate for preserving and increasing the supply of affordable rental housing as well as work with stakeholders to ease local barriers to building new affordable housing developments. I believe in people-focused community development and when elected, I’ll continue to be a vocal advocate for the people struggling most with unaffordable housing: low-income families, people with disabilities, veterans, and the elderly.
Fighting Climate Change
We cannot leave the next generation a planet that is damaged. Climate change is a real and urgent threat. Maintaining clean water sources, building a clean energy economy, protecting and restoring precious natural resources such as the Chesapeake Bay will be among my priorities as your voice in Annapolis. By reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing investments in renewable energy, green jobs, as well as other energy efficiency initiatives, we can position Maryland to be a leader in the nation. As your State Delegate, I’m committed to fighting for our environment, clean air, and a sustainable future.
Reforming Our Justice System
I believe we can end mass incarceration and divert critical funds from overcrowded jails to underfunded schools. I believe we can address the disparities in arrest and incarceration rates and help those who have served their time reenter society. As an activist, I’ve advocated for reform, and as your State Delegate, I’ll work to:
- End mass incarceration and reinvest in our communities
- End money bail and the exploitation of the poor
- Earmark funds for anti-recidivism initiatives.
- Sentencing reform.
The level of economic inequality in the United States is alarming. Workers’ wages have stagnated for years and the right of workers to organize and collectively bargain have been under attack. In light of the national debate about how to address growing economic inequality, it’s important for us to look at what we know works: labor unions built our middle class and continue to fight for economic justice for working families. Forming a union and addressing wages through the collective bargaining process is one of the best ways to raise workers’ pay.
Too many Marylanders are working for poverty wages and struggling to put food on the table, or pay for a child’s education. No one who works full-time should live in poverty and as your State Delegate, I’ll support raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour to give hard working families the relief they need. Further, I’ll work to expand the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), one of the most effective anti-poverty programs to ensure that Marylanders struggling to make ends meet get the hand up they need.
We must have courageous, uncomfortable but important conversations about equal justice, policing and the use of force. For law enforcement officers to effectively do their jobs and for our communities to be safe, there must be accountability and a restoration of trust between police departments and the broader communities they serve. As your State Delegate, I’ll advocate every day for:
- Improving departmental diversity and promoting community-based law enforcement.
- Ensuring our schools and communities have the tools needed to reduce youth violence and gang activity.
- Mandatory data collection for every use of force case involving law enforcement officers.
- Implicit bias training for law enforcement officers and expanding the adoption of body cameras.