I am running as a Green Party candidate because of the values I share with the Green Party. The Four Pillars are a set of ethical guidelines that the Green Party stands by across the country. As a community leader, and as your delegate if I am elected, I will stand by these values when I am making decisions that affect the people of our district. Here are some of the ways I think that Green values are reflected in the changes we need to see here in Baltimore.
True grassroots democracy is the idea that every human being deserves a say in the decisions that affect their lives, from the global scale down to our own neighborhoods in Baltimore. For too long, democracy in Baltimore has been about political games and not about giving a genuine voice to the people. Our representatives get elected, go to Annapolis, pursue their private ambitions, and forget about who they're supposed to be serving in Baltimore. My first job is to increase public participation in government and ensure that as your delegate I will represent you and be accountable only to you, the people, and not any other power or influence. I will bring the process of participatory democracy to our neighborhoods by creating Stakeholders' Coalitions, a new group of community organizations that breaks the disconnect between citizens and their government by directly including citizens in the decision-making process and by helping citizens to connect to existing resources.
Social Justice & Equal Opportunity
Everyone should have the right and opportunity to benefit equally from the resources created by our society and environment. I will reject and confront any barrier such as racism and class oppression, sexism and homophobia, ageism and disability, which act to deny fair treatment and equal justice under the law. We must actively engage in every aspect of our policies and our lives to dismantle the enormous barriers that exist in Baltimore and which allow our neighbors to live under oppression, in poverty, or in personal struggle. I will pursue justice and reparations for neighborhoods that have endured countless years of deliberate neglect by seeking community control of the police force, pushing for the Maryland Higher Education Equity Act to provide free Kindergarten-to-College education, and more.
Human societies must operate with the understanding that we are part of nature, not separate from nature. The environment is not just pretty mountains and trees in the countryside; it is the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the soil beneath our feet. While we must do our part to protect the ecological balance of our planet and create a sustainable society that preserves our world for future generations, we must also address the environmental challenges on our doorstep. Baltimore has some of the worst environmental disparities in the country, from toxic waste dumped in our communities, pollution in the air creating crisis-level rates of asthma and other sicknesses, to simply having hazardous piles of garbage uncollected outside our homes. We need to fix these problems now and respect the integrity and health of our people and our environment. I want the state of Maryland to fund a Civilian Conservation Corps that will put Baltimoreans and people across Maryland to work healing the decay and degradation that has been allowed to happen, while training them for the green jobs of the future.
It is essential that we develop effective alternatives to our society's patterns of violence at every level. I recognize the need for self-defense and the defense of others who are in hopeless situations. I do not recognize the need for profit-driven wars on the other side of the world or the need for the ongoing war against our own people here at home. I will not accept a political system that thinks the way to end the violence on our streets is to permit the police to commit violence of their own. I promote non-violent methods to oppose practices and policies with which we disagree, and will guide our actions toward lasting personal, community and global peace. I will support grassroots efforts with state funding to address the patterns of violence in Baltimore through methods such as ending the "War on Drugs" in favor of community-based conflict mediation, an end to mass incarceration and cash bail in favor of harm reduction and programs to reintroduce convicts to civilian life, and by breaking down the barriers of economics and education which have allowed this violence to surround so many of us.