Investing in Baltimore
From schools to roads, from public transportation to sidewalks to public health crises, we are facing a century-long lack of investment in the only big city in Maryland.
Baltimore has lagged behind other large cities in public transportation for decades, and suffered immensely following the 2015 cancellation of the Red Line. We need to restore and expand the Red Line plans, and invest in local rail, bike paths, and safe roads and sidewalks for pedestrians.
- A robust public education that prepares kids for whatever path they choose – whether that’s college, trade school, or going straight to work – is crucial for Baltimore’s future.
- Every Maryland school must have a nurse, a psychologist, and social worker in addition to teachers, administrators, and guidance counselors.
- The Kirwan Commission/blueprint for MD’s future was a huge step forward, and we need to make sure teachers are supported and provisions are amended as needed to achieve the results we need.
- Eliminate the drop-out age for students under 18, and make school attendance until the age of majority a legal requirement. Additionally, we will provide additional resources and parental communication for students struggling with their attendance. High school drop-outs are the most vulnerable population for violent crimes, especially homicide. Keeping these kids in school gives them a much greater opportunity for success and safety as adults.
- Free Community College —
I am a proud community college alum who transferred to a four-year school. While attending community college, I learned that the vast majority of community college students are older, non-traditional students who have jobs and families, and can’t attend school full-time.
In 2018, Maryland instituted a sweeping free community college initiative – but required that students be full-time and enroll within 2 years of graduating high school to qualify. By design, this disqualifies the average community college student who needs this aid the most.
Accountable police: Our criminal justice system has been blighted by corruption, a six-year police work slowdown, and broken trust between police and the communities we serve. We must address these problems to keep communities safe.
- Restore control of the BPD to the city government
- Establish use of force standards
- Increase community liaison and victim services programs, as well as requiring an increase in “beat cops” who patrol neighborhoods on foot.
- De-escalate interactions between police and citizens, as well as de-militarize our local police forces.
- The BPD’s closure rate for all crimes has been plummeting in recent years. We need new training standards, community engagement, and dedicated new officers to truly serve our neighborhoods.
Criminal justice reform: Youth
- Require parental notification of interrogation
- No life sentences/mandatory minimums for juveniles
- Increase social services and diversion programs to keep juvenile offenders in school and contributing to their communities instead of sitting in a jail cell.
Investing in traditionally underserved communities
Expanding access to health care (including mental health care)
- Baltimore City’s vaccine response has been wildly successful, and demonstrates how health outcomes improve with sustained public outreach. Investing in public outreach when it comes to mental health, chronic illness, and addiction will have similarly positive effects.
- We need universal paid sick leave and paid maternity leave to ensure the health, safety, and economic security of all Marylanders.
- Addiction —
We must create standards for rehabilitation centers, including medical treatment beyond abstinence programs.
We are still in the midst of an opioid epidemic that is claiming thousands of lives here in Maryland every year. I know firsthand the pain of losing a loved one to addiction, and we must fight to prevent other families from experiencing this loss.
Addiction is a public health crisis, and we must stop treating it as a criminal issue. With supervised injection sites, decriminalization, and regulation of these dangerous substances, addiction does not need to be a fatal illness but a recoverable one.
Property tax rebate
Baltimore City’s budget relies heavily on property taxes (more than half of revenue comes from property taxes). But because more than 30% of our property here in Baltimore is tax exempt, this burden falls disproportionately on Baltimore City residents. Let’s have a state-level rebate to reimburse our city for the world-class hospitals, universities, museums, and non-profits from which the rest of the state benefits.
A skilled workforce for emerging industries
Supporting Baltimore small businesses
A Brighter Future
Growing our population
- Young professionals and families —
Invest in the things that will attract more residents to Baltimore – public transportation, public schools, the arts, and local businesses.
We need free, universal child care and pre-K, both to give our children the best possible outcomes and to support working parents. We also need paid parental leave and free and accessible parenting and child development classes.
- Refugees and immigrants —
We know that when refugees settle in an area, that region thrives both economically and culturally. Refugees are educators, engineers, and small business owners, and their skills greatly benefit communities and generally do not require the level of training that most new members of the workforce require. Unfortunately, the conflicts in Afghanistan and Syria have resulted in an influx of refugees in need, and climate change will continue this trend. We should embrace refugees with open arms, and ask the federal government to settle refugees here in Baltimore.
As we face an unprecedented labor shortage, one obvious answer is to increase immigration. By making Baltimore a desirable place for immigrants, we can begin to solve this labor crisis while growing our communities.
Safety and Accountability
- An accountable BPD
- Trauma-informed community care
- Investing in community violence de-escalation
Climate change and improving our environment
- We need to continue the work of making our harbor cleaner, and creating a sustainable new Inner Harbor.
- Link to public transportation
- We need statewide recycling programs and requirements, and to invest more heavily in reducing pollution.
- We need to invest in our green spaces, not just the harbor but also Druid Hill Park, the Middle Branch waterfront, the Hanover St. waterfront, and all of the parks in the South Baltimore peninsula.
Expanding our social safety net
- Constituent services are the most important responsibility of any elected official. I will be a responsive, present representative who will not rest when it comes to helping solve your problems and connect you with the services you need.
- I want to help bring about a new era of proactive government that engages in sustained outreach to individuals and communities about the programs and services they are eligible to receive. From Head Start to security camera rebates in vulnerable areas, we need to bring government services directly to the people who need them the most.
An Equitable Future
- Establish more mixed-income housing, with special incentives for preserving the aesthetic of Maryland’s historic neighborhoods in new development.
- Encourage sustainable, environmental, and affordable development in our neighborhoods.
- Invest in HBCUs and minority-owned small businesses.
- Establish an agency to monitor and respond to instances of hate crimes, vandalism, and threats against Black, Latino, Asian, and Jewish Marylanders.
Equal access and opportunity
- Invest in education K-12, community college, and job training programs.
- Every child deserves a quality education, regardless of their zip code.
Codifying reproductive rights
Codifying LGBTQ rights
- Abolish the gay and trans panic defense as a valid legal strategy.
- Reaffirm Maryland’s ERA by codifying abortion as a right, closing the wage gap, establishing universal pre-k, and passing paid parental leave.