Primary Endorsements from African-Americans In Howard County

If you haven’t been tipped off already by all the signs plastered across the streets of Howard County, it’s primary election season. I will admit that these election seasons wear my senses out. There are so many races going on that I cannot keep up and sometimes I just tune them all out. Shhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!  Not a good or responsible idea I will admit but I am a busy lady. My personal life is a series of election seasons with no final voting day in sight. I am also a registered Independent so I can safely clock out for a little while.

Nevertheless, I am eternally grateful for endorsement lists like the one listed below. It keeps busy people like me in the loop and adds some depth the Crayola box of signs I see daily. Also, I pay special attention to endorsements from African-American  groups and female centered groups because they make the time to examine the very same issues that I would be interested in like the low number of African-Americans in management in the Sheriff’s Department (read below).

Side note: Later on this week, or maybe next week, I would like to post a personal endorsement of a candidate I strongly support. Stay tuned.

So without further babbling from me, I am posting the official list of endorsements from The African-Americans In Howard County (AAIHC) for your consideration.  (Yes they know I’m posting this here. I asked for permission to repost it. I’m not that busy.)

African Americans in Howard County Primary Endorsements

June 4, 2014

Primary Election June 24

Early Voting June 12-19 at:

Ridgely’s Run Community Center — Jessup

Miller Branch Library – Ellicott City

Florence Bain Senior Center — Columbia

 

Howard County Board of Education

–       Butler, Olga

–       Evans, Arthur Maureen

–       French, Sandra H.

–       Smith, Mike

Closing the achievement gap is a major challenge for the Howard County Community. Despite that challenge, this nation, nevertheless, must be a leader of the world, the latter being primarily governed by a global based education.  

Within this context, it is the opinion of the African Americans in Howard County (AAIHC) that the Maryland College and Career-Ready standards, (aligned to Common Core State Standards), gets us there—closing the achievement gap between African American and other students in the Howard County Public System.

As best described by the National Education Association (NEA) Common Core State Standards (CCSS) were “developed by a coalition of teachers, parents, education experts, and business leaders.” CCSS, says NEA, provides a path for what students must learn in math and English language arts at each grade in order to be prepared for college, training and a career.”

Cultural competence is a salient issue in American public education today. “It’s a key factor in enabling educators to be effective with students from cultures other than their own,” say many education experts.   NEA sees cultural competence as “understanding the within-group differences that make each student unique, while celebrating the between-group variations that make our country a tapestry.”

While all 13 candidates running for the School Board have something to contribute toward the education of our kids, it’s the above four that appear comfortable, better geared and committed toward moving:

–        Common Core State Standards;

–        Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers;

–        teacher evaluation;

–        early childhood education;

–        addressing the negative spin-offs of socio-economic factors; and

–        maintaining a balance between music and the arts and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics); and

–        cultural competence;

so as to advance the quality of education toward improving life circumstances.

 

Howard County Council

–       Royalty, Wendy (D), (District 1)

–       Schmidt, Kevin Forest (R), (District 1)

–        Avery, Reg (R), (District 2)

Historically for the most part, County Council District 1 has required moderate political leadership. The community and all candidates running in the District know and understand this. Wendy Royalty clearly appears to understand this. But, (from AAHIC’S perspective), needed also is a progressive leader or someone whose focus it is to ensure that government power is used to make large institutions play by a “fair set of rules” which is where Mrs. Royalty comes in.

Wendy graduated from UM College Park and from UM Baltimore where, upon receiving a MS Degree in Social Work, became associated with blighted Sandtown-Winchester, a community that “served as a test bed for Rouse’s ideas on targeting poverty with affordable housing and other social programs.” Wendy strongly supports a living wage, which she prefer to call: “respectable wage.” She, like a growing number of Americans, is concerned about the declining significance of “union.”   Wendy Royalty is clearly progressive and AAIHC’s choice for the Maryland June 24th Election Primary.

No better choice than Kevin Schmidt could have surfaced for the Republicans for District 1. He describes his experience working for former Congressman Henry J. Hyde: “I supported Congressman Hyde on Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Health issues, developing a reputation for finding common ground on controversial subjects. . . . After several years with Congressman Hyde, I went to work for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence in the US House of Representatives. I joined the committee in August of 2001, supporting the Speakers Working Group on Terrorism and Homeland Security.”

Schmidt’s down side, however, is that he’s clearly “straight party line,” opting for a platform of resolving problems primarily through cutting taxes, not tax reform–tax reform being that all Americans (individuals, and corporations that harbors money abroad) obeying one basic rule: pay our fair share of taxes. The latter would broadening the tax base, creating greater revenues to address, for example, the nation’s growing infrastructure needs. Nevertheless, Kevin Schmidt is a good choice for the Republicans in the upcoming June 24th Election Primary.

Affordable housing throughout the county is certainly a need we can agree on with Mr. Reg Avery, candidate for District 2. Same as to the issue of Pre-k, where he sees the closing of the achievement gap between the “haves” and the haves-nots to be of great need.” Or on prioritizing funds within the existing County budget to come up with funding of Pre-k. We also agree with him on living wage and the need to explore a “single-payer” health-care system.

Where Mr. Avery and the African Americans in Howard County (AAIHC) consensus deviate is on Common Core State Standards, testing and teacher evaluation. The African American Coalition of Howard County(AACHC) has researched CCSS and, as the Maryland State Department of Education says: “the standards were well-researched” by MSDE and very reliable for use.

Mr. Avery also needs to be clear on where he stands on closing the achievement gap, not just between ”haves” and “have nots” but also between “White” students and “people-of-color” students. But the Republicans have a solid candidate in Mr. Avery for District 2 in the upcoming June 24th Primary.

 

Maryland Governor

–       Brown, Anthony (D)

–       Hogan, Larry (R)

Maryland is a strong state, both in terms of education and wealth. There, however, must be, as a Schott Foundation for Public Education Report says regarding education, “a fair and substantive opportunity to learn and fully participate in our democratic society—through being well educated.”

The Schott Report goes on to say: “we cannot become so affixed on the spotlights that we constructively ignore the larger headlights from the train wreck facing our country by the 1.2 million we are losing each year,”—i.e., Maryland having the best education system in the nation with many still failing.   The Schott Report sees the solution as: “ensuring access to high quality early education, access to highly effective teachers, college preparatory curricula, and equitable instructional resources.”

Both Brown and Hogan’s running mates live in Columbia, Maryland. Howard County Executive Ken Ulman is Brown’s running mate and Boyd Rutherford is Hogan’s running mate. We’ve known both for some time. Boyd, as stated in his Bio, has “extensive legal and business experience” including service in the fields of information technology sales, law, and small & minority business development. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in economic and political science from Howard University, as well as a law degree and Master’s Degree in communications management from the University of Southern California.” County Executive Ulman is simple one of the most effective and extraordinary leader of almost all times—period.

Anthony Brown is banking his win on his belief of “creating a brighter future for all Marylanders,” including: jobs; women; Pre-k; domestic violence; foster care; college affordability; achievement gap; minority business enterprise; public safety; environmental values; career and tech education; and The Dream Fund( a low-interest fund aided at making “college accessible and affordable for all of Maryland’s students).

Doug Gansler is correct: “Maryland pride also demands that we acknowledge our biggest moral stain: Maryland shamefully has the second largest minority achievement gap in the country for K-12 education.”

He is also correct on the issue of jobs: “Although we have the nation’s most educated workforce, a large segment of our workers are still either underemployed or unemployed, and over a third of our unemployed have been looking for work for at least six months.”

Brown though has a pretty much perfect platform. Can he carry it out? AAIHC is confident that he can because of the sheer stretch of Brown’s offerings.   His platform is more than enough to get broad Maryland support on his running of the State government. But Brown must first make it through the Primary and that is where Maryland voters come into play.

Anthony Brown deserves Democrats support in the Primary.

Hogan stresses his team’s executive branch experience (both team members were in former Maryland Governors Bob Ehrlich’s cabinet) vs. elected experience. Neither have held elected office. The Team’s “diverse private sector experience” is also emphasized by Hogan.

Hogan, appearing on “State Circle” sees: “a must change in the way the state is run; more jobs; middle-class family progress; turning the economy around; tax policy; regulatory policy; spending.” Cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay is also a priority of the Hogan Team.

Forty-percent, according to Hogan, of the sediment flowing over the Conowingo Dam (Susquehanna River) comes from Pennsylvania and New York. Hogan doesn’t want the Maryland tax payer to be burdened with that clean up. Of course, Change Maryland, founded by Hogan, opposes Maryland’s “rain tax/Storm Water Management Fee,” which also seeks revenue to clean up the Chesapeake Bay. Says Change Maryland: “The rain tax is just one of forty consecutive tax hikes that have been levied by the O’Malley-Brown Administration since 2007 that have taken over $9.5 billion out of the Maryland economy and are projected to cost taxpayers $20 billion by 2018,”—somewhat of a contradiction, it appears.   To explain more clearly, Pennsylvania and New York City tax payers must be held accountable for environmental clean-up, but not Maryland Tax payers. Storm Water Management, incidentally, happens to be a key issue of AACHC.

Yet, the Larry Hogan’s Team experience does warrant Republicans supporting the Team over other candidates running in the Republican Primary for Governor.

 

Maryland Attorney General

–       Frosh, Brian (D)

Many extended conversations could be held regarding the competency of Brian Frosh. Suffice it is to say, follow the lead of the Washington Post on Brian Frosh. Says the Post: “ON THE merits, the three-way race in the Democratic primary for attorney general in Maryland is a slam-dunk. State Sen. Brian E. Frosh of Montgomery County, who is among the most admired, intelligent, civil and hardworking lawmakers in Annapolis, should win the nomination in a walk.”

AAIHC thus says Democrats should vote for Brian Frosh in the June 24th Maryland Democratic Primary—simply on the “merits” of his accomplishments—and they are extensive.

 

U. S. Congressional Race

            –           Ruppersberger, C. A. Dutch (D), Congressional District 2

Congressman C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger seems to be on top of many major issues:

–        “”flooding of unlimited and unaccountable money into elections;

–        supporting energy legislation that decreases greenhouse gas emissions;

–        reducing our dependence on foreign oil;

–        expanding the development of alternative fuels; creating American jobs in the clean energy industry;

–        a staunch supporter of protecting and preserving the environment; (as AAIHC views it: “in essence, if you clean up the Bay to standard, many jobs would be created);

–        supporting the health care reform legislation–which will save $100 billion over the next ten years;

–        creating jobs; strengthening the Maryland economy, including supporting legislation that gives businesses incentives to hire workers and purchase equipment; and

–        fighting to close the so called “donut hole” since the Medicare Part D legislation was enacted several years ago, where seniors face a massive gap in coverage when it comes to paying for their prescription drugs.””

On immigration, we agree that borders should be made more secure. However, with a PEW poll saying “three-quarters of American adults saying that immigrants living in the United States illegally should be able to stay,” perhaps the Congressman should provide greater leadership in resolving the immigration issue. For it’s not enough to say: “I support comprehensive immigration reform and not an amnesty program.”

C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger, nevertheless, is someone Democrats should support in the June 24th Maryland Primary.

            –           Sarbanes, John (D)

Over the year, John Sarbanes has carried out proven significant leadership on behalf of his constituents on a number of key issues. Most important nowadays is his focus on one of the most important issue of the day–campaign-finance reform. Efforts of this initiative are contained within his Bill, “Government By the People Act.” With strong support from many in Congress and elsewhere, the Bill “promotes citizen-led, grassroots-funded campaigns and empowers average Americans to fight back against the influence of big money in politics.” Better yet, as the Huffington Post describes it: “a new campaign-finance reform bill to help lessen the influence of big money in politics,” the Koch brothers, one could say.   The Bill, through its ability to empower small donors, gives hope to poor and grass root Americans that the avenue of gaining access to this nation’s promise of opportunity can be a reality.

Other focuses of John include:

  1. “We can get our economy moving again by literally rebuilding America – schools, parks, roads and public transportation are in desperate need of repair. We can spark a resurgence in manufacturing – we can “make it in America” once more – if we rebuild here at home and invest in innovation and technology.”

Health Care. “We must follow through on implementation of the new health reform law so that all Americans have the opportunity to see a doctor when they need one.”

Secure Retirement. “We owe it to our seniors and future retirees to keep Social Security and Medicare strong. They are among the most successful government programs in history and have provided dignity in retirement for millions of Americans.”

AAIHC strongly support John Sarbanes in the June 24th Maryland Primary.

            –           Cummings, Elijah (D)

Congressman Elijah Cummings of Maryland best describes himself: “It’s all for the purpose of helping Americans live the very best lives they can.”

One of the most progressive leaders of the United States Congress, Cummings, (top Democrat on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Committee) is distinguishing himself as one of the hardest working members of Congress, with commanding respect on many major domestic and national issues. The Congressman appears regularly on CNBC and C-Span. One of the pluses of the latter for his district, and many areas throughout the country as well, is his ability to summon strong attention to issues vital to his constituents. The latter assures rank and file Americans that while they themselves can’t get the required attention of the political power base on their issues, it is being gotten for them and in a firm and impressive manner.

AAIHC highly recommends support for Elijah Cummings in the June 24th Maryland Primary.

 

 

General Assembly/State Legislative Districts

 

–       District 9

o   Frederic, Ryan Democrat (for Senate)

 

–       District 9A

o   Carson, Walter E. Democrat (for Delegate)

 

–       District 9B

o   Coale, Tom, Democrat (for (Delegate)

 

–       District 9B

o   Loveless, Carol, Republican (for Delegate)

 

–       District 12

o   Kasemeyer, Edward, Democrat, ( for Senate)

 

–       District 12

o   Pippy, Jesse Tyler, Republican, (for Senate)

–       District 12

o   Hill, Terri L.,                                   Democrat, (for Delegate)

o   Lam, Clarence K.,                        “

o   McGuirk-Spence, Renee          “               

 

–       District 13

o   Guzzone, Guy J.                            Democrat, (for Senate)

 

o   Atterbeary, Vanessa   Democrat, (for Delegate)

o   Pendergrass, Shane                                   “

o   Turner, Frank S.                            “

 

 

AAIHC is looking to the above endorsed Maryland Delegation Team to understand that education must come first. This mean early childhood education, closing the achievement gap between Black and other students; families no longer struggling to pay college tuition; advance learning beyond a HS diploma; strong economy; strong small business environment; jobs paying enough wages to raise a family.

 

–       State’s Attorney

o   Broccolino, Dario Joseph, Democrat

             “Widespread societal and economic damage caused by America’s now-40-year experiment in locking up vast numbers of its citizens,” as the New York Time puts it, is on the community’s mind when it come to the States Attorney. The Times, in an article “End Mass Incarceration Now,” go on to say: “If there is any remaining disagreement about the destructiveness of this experiment, it mirrors the so-called debate over climate change.” AAIHC see Mr. Broccolino deeply concerned about crime but not so consumed by it to allow a loss of sensitivity with regard to the social injustice of mass incarceration.

 

 

                         –     Clerk of the Court

o   Robey, Wayne, (Democrat)

According to the Clerk of the Court— “Every resident in Howard County is a potential recipient of the many services provided by the Clerk of the Court”– non-trivial matters indeed. Each year, according to the Clerk, the Clerk’s office:

–                 “files, processes, and maintains civil, criminal and juvenile actions

–                 manages land deeds, mortgages, plats, conveyances and other documents;

–               issues business licenses and marriage licenses in addition to performing civil marriage ceremonies; and

–               administers oaths to notary publics, county officials, judges and appointees commissioned by the Governor.”

 

AAIHC cannot think of anyone that can do a better job in carrying out these functions that Wayne Robey.

 

                         –       Register of Wills

o   Macfarlane, Byron (Democrat)

 

Listed as the importance of wills and estate planning (function of the Register of Wills) are:

–       Appointment of trusted fiduciaries (personal representatives, trustees and guardians)

–       Achieve maximum savings of administrative costs and death taxes

–       Dispose of your estate according to your wishes

–       Avoid possible family disputes

 

Byron Macfarlane, the incumbent for this office, has done a fine job in his first term running the Register of Wills and carrying out these functions. He is also young and energetic easily convincing one that he will continue during a good job in this position.

Judge of the Orphans’ Court

o   Dodd, Anne L. (Democrat)

o   Turner, Leslie Smith (Democrat)

 

Both Anne Dodd and Leslie Smith Turner are current members of the Judge of the Orphans’ Court. Both are very knowledgeable and run the Court in a professions manner given the sensitivity of the personal matters of the position.

–       Sheriff

                                    o Fitzgerald, James (Dem)

 

As to this position, the African Americans in Howard County May 17th Political Forum’s question was on more Blacks in management positions in the Howard County Sheriff Department. The below report clearly justifies the question. Though AAICH’S here is tilted toward Fitzgerald, it’s clear that AAIHC and the community have a lot of work to do to bring the Sheriff Department into conformance with the racial and demographic make-up of the community.

 

(Racial and Demographic Make-up Howard County Sheriff Department)

–        Total Staff Members of County Sheriff’s Office                                 67

–        Percentage of Staff African American                                               (22%)

–        Number of Sworn Member of Staff                                                      48

–        Total Number of African American Sworn Members                       (8)

–        Total Number of Security Officers on Staff                                        8

–        Total Number of Security Officers African American                       (2)

–        Total number of Sergeants                                                                   3

o   Total Number of African American Sergeants                    (2)

–        Total Number of Corporals                                                                    1

–        Total Civilians                                                                                          10

o   Total Civilians African American                                           (4)

–        Total Vacancies:                                                                                      4

–        Total number of person bringing in to fill vacancies                         4

o   African American women being brought in                          (2)

o   Asian American women being brought in                             (1)

o   Hispanic being brought in                                                        (1)

 

–        Promotion Board (persons brought in as needed)                                3

o   African American Male                                                            (1)

o   African American Female                                                       (1)

o   White Male  

 

–        Organization of Department:

o   Sheriff            

o   Major               (No Blacks)

o   Lieutenant       (No Blacks)

o   Sergeants         (2 Blacks)

o   Corporal           (No Blacks)

o   Officer             (10 Blacks)

Note:   Data taken by phone, May 21, 2014. . . . . . . .

                  Democratic Central Committee (Choose 12)

–       Branch, Jonathan K.

–       Dodson-Reed, Candace

–       Gay, Willis E.

–       Hendrix, Abby

–       Higgins, Melody J.

–       Hill, Ethel B.

–       Jennings, Gregory

–       McPherson, Michael C. A.

–       Peel, Deanna

–       Pruim, Kimberly

–       Siddiqui, Nayab

–       Thomas, Patricia C.

 

Rev. Robert A. F. Turner, Head of this Organization and Pastor of St. John Baptist Church is fairly steeped in politics. He and the other members of AAIHC are clearly convinced of the importance of having “educated voters” not just voters. Which brings us, AAIHC, to the concern of Central committees “not feeling obligated to advocate for affordable housing, early childhood education, health-care, jobs, the economy—or, in summary, “just plain old crucial main street” issues.” This is not to say that they should (not) follow the dictates of their State Party. Quite the contrary. Rather it’s to say that we need advocacy from as many Democrats or Republicans as we can get in Howard County. Just think about the issues that needs to be advocated on/addressed here in Howard County. Moreover, how is the public to know that in electing people to these Committees that they are knowledgeable enough on issue affecting the people, to be involved at the State level in building their respective parties?   Even more, according to the Turners doctrine, how can they aid in “educating the voter.” AAIHC hopes to see more speaking out on issues by the Democratic and Republican Committees in Howard County—while at the same time working hard in building their respective parties. Over the coming years we will be increasing monitoring the activities and statement of the parties of the Central Committees to evaluate whether they see themselves acting in ceremonial roles as opposed to taking an active leadership role.

 

AAIHC do, however, conclude that those whom we are endorsing for the Democratic and Republican Committees are more than worthy of your support. So take the time, put them on your list and vote for them!!!!

 

Republican Central Committee (Choose 9)

 

–       Bates, David Lee

–       Cornick, Janet Moye

–       Dobbs, Dave

–       Drielak, Joanne

–       Myers, Dave

–       Robinson, Jeff

–       Shields, Loretta H.

–       Smith, Frank Alden

–       Wissing, David

 

By Authority of:                                     Anthony Cunningham, Treasurer

Share this post my friends! Keep your community informed. Good luck on June 24th!!

#hocoblogs

#HoCoPolitics

 

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2 thoughts on “Primary Endorsements from African-Americans In Howard County

  1. I’m Independent too. I received a call about May’s election and I told the screener that Donald Duck and his three nephews are looking pretty good for this coming election. They work hard and know how to multitask. Bugs Bunny is no nonsense
    as well.

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