Education: For the past three years, the State of Maryland has ranked fourth among the best public school systems in America. However, our Baltimore City Public Schools continue to experience significant challenges. The overall State cannot continue to succeed while we struggle to provide the necessary funding and credible resources that our children, teachers, academic administrators, support staff, and parents need to thrive. While increased funding is coming into Baltimore City Public Schools, we need to ensure accountability metrics are being transparently established and all involved stakeholders have a seat at the table.
As Delegate, I will continue to fight for full funding for BCPS schools and accountability in how we allocate those funds. It is also important that we see expanded programs for our youth, such as after-school programs, year-round family engagement activities, better support and compensation for our school administrators, teachers, and support staff.
Our Pre-K through 12 programs should consistently be seeking the most desired outcome: college-ready students, with the skills to compete nationally for higher education opportunities.
Strong Neighborhoods and Community Engagement: It is important that real leadership in District 43A comes from within our communities.As Delegate for District 43A, I am an ardent supporter of community and neighborhood associations. Residents taking an active role in their communities is the nucleus of the American Dream. I support State resources being provided to community and neighborhood associations so citizens can feel secure, proud, and want to reinvest in their communities.
We also need to enhance our productive relationships with Public Safety partners to foster a continued sense of togetherness, unity, and collaboration. We are all on the same team, and the goal is the same: we want safe communities, we want clean communities, we want thriving communities. We support our local law enforcement and need to continue investing in that important relationship.
In order for our communities to thrive, we need to invest in more fresh food options for our residents. I want to bring more grocery stores into our District and expand our farmers markets. We do this by inviting more nationally known grocery stores into our district and providing grant opportunities to local vendors to bring more fresh food options into our communities. As Delegate, I will also be a strong supporter for small business awareness in our District.
Lastly, we need to continue to support our local infrastructure to build more parks, playgrounds, 21st century recreation centers for our residents. This will create a stronger sense of community, provide positive outlets for fun activities, and encourage the well-being of our aging members. It will also encourage residents to invest in their communities by purchasing homes, and we need to make established Maryland programs more accessible to District 43A for home-buying endeavors.
Transportation: We cannot invest in our communities without also taking care of our environment. With soaring gas prices, this is the time to invest in more public transportation – especially for our aging population. Less cars on the roads mean safer streets, less congestion, more jobs, and cleaner air.