This year’s election is incredibly important – for Maryland, and for Anne Arundel County.
We have an opportunity to change the shape of our government, to bring in much greater diversity and innovation, and to dramatically enhance the voice of our citizens in the policies and legislation that affects them.
Just as importantly, our votes can show Trump and the Republicans who meekly go along with him, including our own Governor, that this behavior is unacceptable. We have a much better alternative to government that ignores the will of the people in favor of the wealthy.
The State level is where the contrast is greatest. The incumbent is a life-long politician and businessman who vetoed the earned sick leave bill and needed school construction funds while Maryland’s education rating has slipped and economic activity is eroding, and who – while distancing himself from Trump – will not overtly criticize him.
His challenger, Ben Jealous, is a renowned civil rights leader who reinvigorated the NAACP, who has successfully invested in start-up businesses that increase access and economic opportunity, who supports progressive plans to improve education and health care, and whose election would send a strong message to Trump that Marylanders reject him.
Leaving aside the State race, here in Anne Arundel County our election decisions will not only direct County growth, but its whole political culture.
Election of Steuart Pittman as our County Executive, along with a sympathetic County Council, will ensure that county growth is based on what its communities want, that infrastructure keeps pace with development, and that our educators and first responders receive the compensation they deserve.
The most important signal of a changing political culture is the number of Democratic women running for office. Of the county and state positions to represent Anne Arundel County, more than half of Democratic candidates (18 of 34) are women, many of whom are newcomers to the political scene. They come from a variety of personal backgrounds but all are motivated by their passion for government reform.
Their election would change the face of local government. The all-male county council would now have a majority of women. Three of our five State Senators would be women. (Currently all are men). And we would gain four additional female Delegates.
The key to making this happen is getting out the vote from Democrats, from independents who favor a progressive agenda, and from Republicans who are disgruntled with Trump and his cronies. But Democrats are notoriously lazy voters. Many who vote in Presidential elections don’t bother to vote in the mid-terms, especially if they are disgusted with government, as so many people now are.
But we know from 2016 what you get if you don’t bother to vote. This election is our first opportunity to send a clear message to Trump and the Republicans that complaisancy with the terrible direction our Country is headed is unacceptable to Maryland voters. A strong turn-out is essential.
You can help! There are so many things you can personally do to help get out the vote. One way to find out how is to join the County-wide volunteer rally and training this Thursday, Sept. 20, sponsored by the Anne Arundel Democrats and the progressive Blue Wave Coalition. This free event will take place at the Unity By the Bay Church near the Bay Bridge. Eat (free) and socialize beginning at 5:30. Rally begins at 6:30. Sign up at https://www.facebook.com/events/2155490894664058/
The author is a Democratic activist and member of the Arundel Patriot Board.