Less Crime – Making our Communities Safer
Making our Communities Safer
Dealing with crime begins with providing opportunity to underserved communities so that people don’t see criminal activity as their only choice. The best way to combat crime is to prevent it in the first place. Police need to build relationships with the communities they serve. We need to fund social services so that help can reach the people who need it the most. To lessen crime in our communities we need to consider all approaches, not just tougher enforcement of existing laws.
Gun control and addressing mental health are both part of the solution to reducing mass shootings. We must end the mentality that says it is one or the other, so I will look for ways to not only keep guns out of the hands of those with mental illness, but provide resources for people who need treatment. Mental health issues can be as dangerous as heart disease or other serious illnesses. Health insurance must cover mental illness. We have to provide public health resources for those who do not have access to providers. We also must make sure that identified mental illness information is part of the background checks for buying guns without compromising patient privacy.
The opioid epidemic is growing exponentially in Maryland with people dying every day from overdose. Families in our own community live with grief of a lost loved ones or the fear that they may be next. Democrats and Republicans have come together to take steps to address the problem and there is more to come. Bringing this crisis under control requires all hands-on deck including law enforcement, our healthcare system and social services. We must find ways to get help to those who need it most. Addiction is an illness and we must make sure that our system of justice doesn’t simply punish people who are ill, but connects them with resources to recover. We need to enforce responsible regulation of these dangerous drugs and prevent addiction in the first place. There are no easy answers and I promise to listen carefully to the experts and leave politics at the door when considering the best policy to end this scourge.
Time to get even Tougher on Guns
I want tougher laws on the “wearing, carrying and transporting guns” in Maryland. We are not immune from the political influence of the NRA. Even their members disagree with their reckless policies concerning gun safety. While Maryland’s laws are stronger than many states in the nation, there were two recently considered bills in the General Assembly that we need to watch in 2018:
- A Republican Senator in Maryland introduced a bill that resembles the Florida stand your ground law that resulted in the death of Trayvon Martin. I oppose a bill that creates an unnecessarily dangerous situation where a simple misunderstanding can result in tragedy.
- Another bill failed that would have prohibited suspended sentences for those who violate Maryland’s gun laws. I will support this as a Delegate in General Assembly because people convicted of illegally possession of fire arms should not walk free.
Better Community Policing
Effective public safety depends on trust between police and the communities they serve. Incidents, including some in Maryland between police and the African American community have eroded that trust. African Americans face a higher arrest rate and are dying in police custody with alarming frequency. There are currently community liaisons and community involvement groups that are working with the police to address these issues. I pledge to listen to what they say we need to do to help solve this issue so that I can introduce meaningful legislation in the General Assembly. We need to make significant progress on this issue to ensure all our communities are safe.