I have spent many years working in areas of land use and economic development on the County Council, as a staff member and community activist. I have proposed and/or sponsored nearly 800 pieces of legislation that have expanded the capacity of Prince George’s County including several sector plans and sectional map amendments; development districts to include the Woodmore Towne Centers at Glenarden; increased minimum wage; and several tax credit programs which provided resources for senior housing developments. I will utilize that experience and knowledge of county operations, as well as knowledge of the development process, to leverage State economic development resources in partnership with the County to increase development opportunities. This increases our commercial tax base to alleviate some of the residential tax burdens on our residents.
During my tenure on the County Council, I have served on the Health, Education and Human Services committee, as well as the representative to the Dimensions Healthcare System. I have sponsored legislation in support of affordable prescription drugs; patient protection and the Affordable Care Act; healthy vending in public buildings; permitting the use mental health and behavior services programs in private schools. Most importantly, I was intimately involved in the transition of the Dimensions Healthcare System to the University of Maryland Medical System and the building of a new Regional Medical Center in Prince George’s County - now titled University of Maryland Capital Region Health.
In these uncertain times, we must do everything we can to protect access to affordable health care and prescription coverage. For too many citizens, affordable healthcare is a challenge-- whether they are employed, unemployed or underemployed. Sometimes good healthcare is out of reach and, if a crisis occurs, the cost of service often financially breaks a home. Further, the continued increase of prescription drugs often makes it more difficult to recover simply because the cost of medication is prohibitive. I will work with my colleagues in the legislature and insurance providers to develop common sense policies.
Schools are the lifeline in any community, and our children certainly deserve the best. Further, sixty-five percent of the County’s budget goes to our public school system, with over $1 billion of those dollars coming from the State. While there is always a need to increase the funding to our public school system, from 2010-2018 we have increased the school system budget by more than $150 million. However, we must ensure accountability of our teachers, administrators, school leadership and, most importantly, our tax dollars. We (State leadership, County Government and all school system employees) must all work in partnership to provide the best educational opportunities for our children and local education system. I will work in partnership with all parties involved to lift our system.
Early voting is June 14-21. General election is June 26, 2018.