Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Moving On - My Next Project

Dear Friends and Neighbors:

                I want to wish everybody a happy holiday season.

                At the end of this month I will be ending my four-year term as a Maryland State Delegate.  While I was disappointed that I was not re-elected to another term, I am very proud of what I accomplished in the Maryland Legislature.

                In my four years as a legislator I was able to pass over fifteen pieces of legislation. Because I was on the Ways and Means Committee, I spent a lot of time working on tax policies.  One of the most significant bills saved Maryland over $60 million by making sure that sixty of the richest families did not each receive a $1 million tax break by removing almost all taxes on inherited estates.  I was also able to pass bills to increase tax credits for low-income renters and publicizing existing tax credits—which many people unfortunately do not utilize.

                I also worked with my colleagues to pass a lot of progressive legislation.  Some of the most significant bills we passed were:

  • A ban on fracking in Maryland
  • Restoring the right to vote to former prisoners after they get out of jail
  • Same day voter registration
  • Justice re-investment, which attempts to take people who are not dangerous out of our jails 
                I also spent my time getting to know all of the people in my District.   I knocked on over 15,000 doors  and talked to more than 7,000 people.  I think this might have been the most enjoyable part of my experience as a state delegate.  While it was a lot of work, I really enjoyed learning about all the neighborhoods in District 47 and hearing about everyone’s lives, concerns and hopes.  It was very fulfilling to see how I could help resolve problems that people discussed with me.
              While I will not be in elected office starting in 2019, I truly believe that one’s work in the community does not begin or end because you are elected or not elected to public office.  Many people in our community spend countless hours helping to improve our community.

              I have been thinking of how to make use of what I learned in Annapolis and the relationships I made with other legislators.  I have decided to continue my advocacy work and have started a new organization, the People’s Lobbying Group (, and will continue to advocate for our community in Annapolis on a pro-bono basis.  I have already received some good press for my initiative: 

               I will also continue to send out my newsletter (although maybe not as frequently as before) to let people know what is going on in Annapolis and what bills have become laws and when they are effective.

               I will always be an advocate for my neighbors and my community as long as I am able to do the work.  If you have any issues you feel should be addressed, please feel free to write me; though I will not be your elected representative, I will be happy to brainstorm with you about how to get problems resolved and who we should talk to in order to address your issues.

                As always, I remain an advocate for you as all of us together try to make our community a better place, move Maryland in a more progressive direction, and change the direction of our country from the nightmare that is going on in Washington.
              I hope to see you soon at a community event,  a civic association meeting, or maybe just knocking on your door.

                Wishing the best for all of us,