Candidate for Howard County Council – District 1
Indivisible Howard County/Immigration Action Team Candidate Questions
- The Liberty Act (CB63-2020) was signed into law in 2020. A referendum to repeal this law is on the ballot for the November 2022 election. Do you support the Liberty Act? If so, will you publicly speak out in favor of it?
Of course! Yes! I have and do! Additionally, I have shared my dismay with many fellow Democrats—including in response to D1 candidate questioning from the Ellicott City & Western Howard County Democratic Club—that our party as a whole is not doing more to (a) demonstrate why such a law is good for all of us and (b) counter what is plainly base strategic device and rhetoric employed by local Republican candidates to scare voters to the polls in November. I hope you’re asking this same question of those currently running for Democratic Central Committee. In this primary, I’m supporting independent DCC candidates and unwavering immigration advocates Kathy Howell, Kathleen Uy and Francis Uy.
- Hate crimes have been increasing in Maryland and nationwide against all minorities and most recently against people of Asian origin. As a County Council member, what would you do to address this issue and prevent hate crimes in Howard County?
As elected representatives of our own relatively small constituencies, we each have a role and obligation to play in building community here, individually and as a whole. We must recognize and respond to the needs of those most vulnerable, even if legislative fixes are not immediately evident. And even when we cannot legislate love and empathy and compassion for every single one of our neighbors, we can emulate it. I certainly do and will continue to try to.
- What specific steps would you take to help both documented and undocumented immigrants, specifically students and young adults, succeed in Howard County?
I still worry about how those persons are treated by even our own public and quasi-public institutions. I hear (or read in newspapers) stories of our County’s Police, Corrections and, Public Works facilities targeting and discriminating against Latinos, particularly. And no question the pandemic laid bare how unwilling those most vulnerable populations of ours are to seek government-provided services due to long-standing distrust, or worse.
First, what we already did: we ended Howard County’s contract with ICE to house for profit federal civil immigration detainees. I voted in support of and will continue to advocate for the success in referendum of the so-called Liberty Act, to prohibit our local government from being party to discriminatory immigration policies and practices that persist to this date at the federal level. In-County tuition for undocumented students at Howard Community College remains a top aim of mine, as does getting closer to a livable minimum wage and fair work conditions (like my D1 office attempted in our right-to-recall bill, CB10-2022). And housing discrimination, particularly with regard to rents assessed, increased and enforced by a handful of potentially predatory private-equity landlords newly operating within the County, will have my full attention in the next term.