As a proud product of Montgomery County Public Schools from kindergarten through community college, Amy wants to help improve and expand access to public education and reduce overcrowding in our schools. We need to ensure that young people are equipped with the knowledge they need to navigate the 21st century.
Ultimately, we need to improve our education system so that we can boast the top rated schools in the country once again. If elected, Amy would fight to reduce school overcrowding with more
state capital funding to build new schools. Additionally, expanding access to pre-K would help equal the playing field, as early education has proven to have lasting impacts. Maryland already competes with D.C., which provides free, high quality, full-day pre-K education to 3- and 4-year-olds.
It's also important as ever for young people to be financially literate–so they can start adopting good habits and make responsible choices–and media literate–so they understand how to navigate information overflow and differentiate fact from #fakenews in the world around them.
We should also invest in hiring more mental health staff for our schools. Kids and teens are faced with peer pressure, bullying, and the challenges that come with figuring out one's identity. Most of our school psychologists are stretched thin, bouncing between two or three schools.
Maryland must seriously address climate change as a state with many coastal cities. We need to protect our natural resources and water sources, as well as commit to transitioning to 100% renewable energy.
Maryland must protect our local parks and ecosystems, the species that make those ecosystems their habitat, and the natural resources that we too often take for granted. As someone who advocated for the Maryland fracking ban passed last year, Amy is dedicated to protecting our water supply and believes we should reject pipeline building under the Potomac River and C&O Canal.
Additionally, the state should further slow the impact of climate change by making a commitment to transition to 100% renewable energy, as Hawaii has committed.
Our state needs to enact policies that empower women to more effectively provide for their families and themselves, such as paid maternity/parental leave. Amy also supports a woman's right to choose.
Young families need to be able to afford to take time off to care for newborns, the inability of which has been a "motherhood penalty" for women in the workforce. Only 12% of American private sector workers have access to paid parental leave through their employer. After New Jersey enacted paid family leave benefits, most businesses there reported positive or neutral experiences and few negative effects.
Health care costs remain the number one reason why Americans declare bankruptcy. If elected, Amy will support all efforts to expand access to quality, affordable health care, until it is guaranteed for all in our country, as it is in all other industrialized countries.
We live in a metropolitan area that is notorious for traffic. We must improve our public transportation systems and fix our crumbling infrastructure.
Public transportation reduces our carbon footprint while also creating jobs, spurring investment, and making it easier for working people to reach the jobs that may otherwise be unreachable. As someone who has commuted using the RideOn and the Metro, Amy supports improving the reliability and overall service of our public transportation systems.
We also need to fix our crumbling public roads, 24% of which are in poor condition according to the American Society of Civil Engineers, as well as bridges and infrastructure for wastewater, drinking water, and renewable energy.
Amy supports keeping guns out of the hands of people who are dangerous. She also supports efforts to increase trust and accountability between law enforcement and the community.
The NRA's undue influence in politics has helped create a country with a unique culture in which guns, gun violence, and mass shootings are completely normalized. We need to face these challenges head-on, not just send "thoughts and prayers" each time a gun- and mental health-related tragedy occurs.
Policing reform is also a safety concern. Our state should ensure that police misconduct is monitored and independently investigated so that police aren't investigating themselves.
Last year, Amy supported the Maryland Trust Act, which would have disentangled our local law enforcement agencies from federal immigration enforcement efforts and banned any databases requiring registration based on religion, race, sexual orientation, ethnic origin, etc. She would support such a bill again.
As long as big-money interests have the ability to sway legislators by essentially sponsoring their campaigns, legislators can choose to represent corporate dollars over constituent callers. Amy supports campaign finance reform and redistricting reform–gerrymandering is harmful no matter which party is guilty of it.
If elected, Amy would push for a resolution in support of a constitutional convention to propose an amendment overturning Citizens United v. FEC, clarifying that First Amendment rights are the rights of natural persons and not artificial entities, and that spending money to influence elections is not speech. She would also push for a nonpartisan commission responsible for drawing district lines. Elected officials shouldn't be choosing their voters; voters should be choosing their elected officials.
Democracy is not a spectator sport–it is a representative government, a two-way street. If elected, Amy would ensure that she is representing District 15 in good faith by rejecting corporate donations, staying actively engaged in the community, disseminating issue surveys, and distributing a biweekly report throughout the legislative session to inform the community about actions in Annapolis and the rationale behind her votes.