Bringing It Home
East Baltimore is alive with with new development, new jobs, new high school graduates and new opportunity. But we continue to face new challenges and added complexity to old problems.
I believe at the end of the day, people in our neighborhoods want what they’ve always wanted: a good education for their kids, well-paying jobs, safe streets and access to quality health care. Every day, I go to work to protect these fundamental needs and drive policy that promotes expanded opportunity for every man, woman and child in the 45th District.
Improving Public Education
I know firsthand that a strong education empowers people and strengthens communities. It’s why I’ve committed my career to improving Baltimore City’s education system and why I won’t rest until every child in the city has an opportunity to graduate with a great education.
As a leader on the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee, I make sure that Baltimore City’s needs are prioritized in the state’s annual budget. Every year, I work to enable critical construction, replacements and other needed maintenance to schools throughout the 45th District. And I won’t rest until all of our kids across Baltimore City have access to the same technologies and advancements in schools.
I will continue to be a champion for access and affordability in higher education and opportunity for those who choose a path other than college. Nobody should be unable to attend college because they can’t afford it and our students who follow a different path should have access to vocational training. I have worked to freeze tuition at Maryland colleges and universities and to keep our community colleges affordable. In addition, I have supported increased funding for need-based scholarships and have championed policies that expand and improve career technology offerings.
- Advocate and help identify funding for the second phase of 21st Century Schools Building Program.
- Support the findings of the Kirwan and Knot Commission reports that devote more funding for operating and capital expenditures for our public schools.
- Urge Baltimore City Public Schools to have a more rigorous course offering and expand advanced placement (AP) in more high schools.
- Expand and greatly enhance community schools to provide opportunities for young adults and their parents to improve their lives.
- Expand and improve career technology offerings, formerly known as vocational education.
Bringing It Home
- Helped to secure $1 billion for the construction of over 20 new schools in Baltimore City, the first of which opened in the Berea neighborhood of the 45th District in 2017: Fort Worthington Elementary/Middle School.
- Co-sponsored legislation that established the Maryland Education Development Collaborative to modernize curricula in schools, reduce the achievement gap and improve school climate.
- Strengthened early childhood education with legislation that favors restorative justice practices over suspension and expulsion.
- Worked to expand and improve career technology education and advanced placement classes.
- Identified funding for the first phase of the 21st Century Schools Building Program.
Providing Healthcare to All Marylanders
Our communities can’t move forward if our families aren’t healthy.
While President Trump and Republicans remain focused on destroying President Obama’s legacy and dismantling Obamacare, I remain committed to protecting universal access to care for all Marylanders, while finding ways to improve and provide more affordable care. As President Pro Tem, I led the charge in passing a Resolution against the repeal of Obamacare.
In addition to my efforts around universal access to health care, I have worked to make our current health care system more accessible for those who need it and have supported policies that hold health insurance companies accountable.
- Protect my constituents from the recent Trump/Republican tax plan that impacts Obama Care.
- Devote additional funding to fight the growing opioid crisis.
- Identify additional resources for community health centers that are not funded in the Trump/Republican tax plan.
- Work to get large drug treatment facilities like Turning Point out of residential communities.
Bringing It Home
- Expanded health care coverage to over 100,000 more Marylanders through Medicaid and small businesses subsidies.
- Ensured that our seniors will not suddenly fall into debt because they can’t pay for prescriptions by closing the Medicare Part D “Donut Hole.”
- Worked to keep insurers accountable for billing practices and coverage.
Making Our Streets Safer
No one should have to worry about their personal safety or their family’s safety. We are losing far too many of our neighbors to violent crime and incarceration. Just as important as keeping violent offenders off the streets is ensuring that these men and women receive the help they need and have a path back into society. Access to jobs and education are key to reducing the violence that plagues our city. We must also work to re-build the trust between our communities and law enforcement. Residents must have faith in and relationships with the police who protect and serve their neighborhoods. This trust has been broken far too often.
I have been a strong proponent of increasing the amount of crimes available for expungement because people’s ability to get jobs and education after incarceration is key to reducing the violence that plagues our communities.
- Continue to expand and improve the Safe Streets Program.
- Target repeat violent offenders, especially those convicted of gun crimes.
- Encourage the police department to bring back Police Athletic League (PAL) centers.
- Emphasize community policing.
- Bring back and expand Baltimore City’s Police Cadet Program.
Bringing It Home
- Led efforts to pass the Justice Reinvestment Act to treat drug addiction as a mental illness and reduce incarceration and recidivism.
- Sponsored legislation to crack down on child pornography.
- Worked to ensure that our Judiciary provides fair trials and swift justice.
- Championed efforts to crack down on guns and gangs.
Investing in Job Creation
Our workforce is our greatest asset, yet too many of our community members are out of work, underpaid or commuting long distances. I will continue my work to bring well-paying jobs to the 45th district.
- Develop regional workforce training centers in each quadrant of Baltimore City, in partnership with businesses and trade unions, emphasizing apprenticeship training.
- Continue to push for a $15 per hour minimum wage, statewide.
- Secure additional funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HCBUs).
Bringing It Home
- Secured funding for various community service providers and job creators like the expansion of Roberta’s House and the Hippodrome, the renovation of the long-vacant Hoen Lithograph Building and the redevelopment and expansion of the Mary Harvin Transformation Center.
- Helped to bring the Baltimore Food Enterprise Center (BFEC) to East Baltimore, a $4 million project created to provide workforce development and employment opportunities for local residents.
- Successfully working to bring development, entrepreneurship and jobs back to Ashland Avenue and the neighborhoods surrounding it – revitalizing East Baltimore.