As an elected official, what will you specifically do to support Maryland’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities?
The type of work that will be required in the future is undergoing a fundamental shift. New technologies, including artificial intelligence, enhanced communications, robotics, 3-D printing, and autonomous vehicles and other machines, among other capabilities will change the nature of work for which the future workforce needs to be prepared. All education will have to adjust to this reality, including that education performed by the HBCU institutions. Specifically, education will need to include not only the fundamentals currently taught at all levels but the consistent re-training and re-education that will be required due to the pace of innovation. HBCU institutions, among others, will be fundamental participants in the educational revolution that will consist of the provision of the lifelong learning that will be the new normal.
In my role as Deputy Under Secretary of the U.S. Army I specifically encouraged the participation of HBCU institutions in the performance of the wide variety of research and development efforts sponsored by the U.S. Army through both encouraging their competing for contracts but also through the provision of specific contract set-asides. I will continue to support the participation of all educational institutions in the coming educational revolution and will continue, as appropriate, the consideration of set-aside funding for traditionally less competitive institutions. Key to accomplishing this goal will be to ensure that lines of communication are open between myself and the HBCU educational community. I will maintain an open-door policy and ensure that I learn of HBCU concerns and needs and address those to the benefit of the Congressional District as well as the involved institutions.
Given the limited resources of government, what are your top three funding priorities if elected and why?
My top three funding priorities are transportation infrastructure, attacking the opioid addiction epidemic and supporting job and business growth. A fourth key priority is safety and national security.
- TRANSPORTATION – I will work with Governor Hogan as a federal partner to obtain federal funds to improve the transportation infrastructure throughout CD-6. I support Governor Hogan’s Public Private Partnership approach and I will work to see that federal infrastructure monies flow through to local governments throughout the District to address their individual infrastructure needs. My experience in the Federal Government has given me an in-depth knowledge of how federal funds can be allocated to local concerns.
- HEROIN & OPIOID EPIDEMIC– I will continue to work with state and local officials to defeat the heroin and opioid epidemic – and the growing use of other addictive drugs such as “spice.” I’ve learned the horrors of addiction in our District during ride-alongs with our police departments and conversations with many at Town Halls. I will support imposing requirements for “big pharma” to pay for solutions to the problem which they have helped create. I will work to get the federal government out of the way and to provide Block Grants to local jurisdictions, so that communities can tailor specific efforts such as work programs and after-school activities to address this epidemic, meeting local needs rather than bloating federal bureaucracy. I will pursue enforcing laws and regulations to reduce the availability of illegal drugs, although I understand that we cannot just arrest our way out of this epidemic. I will treat the flow of drugs across our borders as the national security issue that it is. And, importantly, I will work hard to ensure an increase in the successful rehab and reentry options in CD-6. My personal experience in addressing the addiction recovery needs of a family member has given me a clear understanding of effective rehab programs.
- JOBS AND BUSINESSES– I will fight to ensure that more and better jobs come to CD-6, an effort that I have continuously pursued. Today new developments in artificial intelligence, automation, information technology, 3-D printing and other areas of innovation are reshaping traditional jobs and have the potential to further change the workplace. We need to better anticipate the work of the future and enable individuals, institutions, private sector participants and governments to maximize the potential capabilities of the workforce. I will specifically encourage small businesses – the source of nearly two out of every three new jobs – to open throughout our District by reducing the time it takes to transform new ideas into companies – a key factor in economic development. This time reduction effort is supported by the new Business Express website just established by the Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation. This website is specifically geared to make it easier for Maryland’s small business owners and entrepreneurs to plan, start, manage and grow their businesses. I will also support increasing the reach of small business incubators. I started a small business of my own some twenty-five years ago and helped open a new small business incubator in Montgomery County just recently. I understand the processes to start and grow such businesses.
- SAFETY AND SECURITY– I will assist state and local police to combat the growing threat of the MS-13 gang and other threats to our personal safety and security. I will stand with Governor Hogan to fight the efforts to make Maryland a Sanctuary State. I will support measures to secure schools and other public gathering spots against shooters, including technical protection measures. I will also support common sense gun restrictions, stronger enforcement of current laws and better federal background checks for purchasers to ensure we keep guns out of the hands of people with mental illness. And I will use my national security expertise to help prepare us to address the threats to our country.
Share any additional comments you have about your candidacy or issues.
I will focus on addressing all issues with a spirit of EMPATHY AND COOPERATION. I will work with anyone on either side of the aisle, with warmth and compassion, as I have proven is my approach, to bring people together again and find common ground so that we can GET THINGS DONE.
I have precisely the right combination of experience that uniquely allows me to address effectively both national and District issues. I am the only candidate for this office with Federal management experience, as U.S. Army Deputy Under Secretary. As a result, I understand the Federal processes for allocating resources and will use this understanding to GET THINGS DONE for our District.
Also, as a prior candidate for this position, I have a deep understanding of the needs of the entire District and I will focus on GETTING THINGS DONE for the whole District.
Finally, I am also my own person. My loyalties are to the people of my District – I do not take a knee-jerk partisan approach. I will support measures that help the District and oppose policies and programs that do not. Finally, I care about helping us all get past the current political deep divide and, as your next Member of Congress, I commit to a SPIRIT OF COMMUNITY and a sense that we are all in this together.