State Senate District 19 | Bethesda Magazine

State Senate District 19

 

Democrat

 

Ben Kramer

Where you live: Derwood/Rockville

Date of birth: March 5, 1957

Current occupation and employer (may also list up to two other jobs you’ve held); if retired, list your last job and employer: Self-employed

Political experience (public offices held and when, as well as unsuccessful campaigns for office and which years: State delegate for 12 years

Campaign information:

1 – Why are you running for this office? (75 words max)

I am a candidate for the state Senate to continue the outstanding constituent service that residents of my district have come to expect from me.

I want to continue pursuing legislation to assist our elderly residents and our residents with differing abilities.

Consumer protection, economic development, transparency in government, education, transportation and animal welfare are all areas in which I will continue to work, to improve the lives of our residents.

2 – What is the most important issue in this race and what specific plans do you have to address it? (100 words max)

There are many important issues that our state and local government need to address. Much of the important work of governing that has historically occurred at the federal level is no longer happening. It is necessary for the state to take on this responsibility and pursue through legislation: economic and racial justice, public safety, healthcare, pay equity and job fairness regardless of gender. These are all issues that I have worked on during my tenure in the state legislature, and I will continue to do so should I be elected to serve in the Senate.

3 – What is one major issue the current Senate has handled poorly and what would you have done differently? (100 words max)

I am not aware of a particular issue that the Senate has handled poorly. As a member of the Senate, I will ensure that the concerns of the residents of Montgomery County are heard and addressed.

Serving in the House of Delegates, I have been a fierce advocate for our County and I will continue that advocacy for financial resources that our County needs, and should receive, to remain the economic engine of Maryland.

4 – What experience (work, political or other) has prepared you to hold this office? (100 words max)

I was born and raised in Montgomery County, and this is where I raised my family. I have been a small business owner/operator in the County for forty years. During that same time, I have been active in many community, nonprofit and civic organizations that serve our County’s residents.

I know our County and the needs of my legislative district. For the past twelve years, I have served our residents in the House of Delegates. Working with my colleagues in Annapolis has been a formula for success. As a consequence, I have passed many important bills.

 

 

Green

 

David Jeang

Where you live: Rockville

Date of birth: Sept. 10, 1989

Current occupation and employer (may also list up to two other jobs you’ve held); if retired, list your last job and employer: Pet service provider at Montgomery Pet Sitters

Political experience (public offices held and when, as well as unsuccessful campaigns for office and which years: First-time candidate

Campaign information:

1 – Why are you running for this office? (75 words max)

I’m running for office because I wish to enact positive change and reform for the state of Maryland. Whether that involves pushing other candidates to adopt my ideas on policy or enacting those ideas myself should I win, it’s my goal to bring issues not discussed or debated about to both those who have the ability to implement them and as many members of the populace who would benefit from said policy.

2 – What is the most important issue in this race and what specific plans do you have to address it? (100 words max)

Health, education, and housing are all underfunded and unevenly distributed both in my county and the state. To address the issue, I have a multi-layered plan that will build autonomy and economic resilience in the communities, making the aforementioned necessities more available and affordable to all. The plans include, but are not limited to, equity programs to allow poorer and less densely populated needed funding, a public banking system to allow direct and more efficient access of state taxpayer dollars to state funded institutions and cut overhead, and neighborhood co-operatives to localize resources and promote inclusion in communities.

3 – What is one major issue the current Senate has handled poorly and what would you have done differently? (100 words max)

The state Senate has very poorly handled managing their committees, allowing power to become centralized among a select few in legislation appointed to chairman positions by the Senate president and the governorship. Three I would have done at least is reform the committee process to require members to elect their chairman instead of having the senate president appoint them, amend the state constitution to reduce the governor’s powers to match those in other states, and legalize the ballot initiative to give more options for direct democracy by the Maryland voters.

4 – What experience (work, political or other) has prepared you to hold this office? (100 words max)

Being a first time candidate, my experience is limited, but not zero. I have trained and gone to Annapolis as a policy advocate for citizen lobbyist groups like Common Cause, and know the ins and outs of legislation better than most as a result. My connection and membership with my local civic groups has kept me in step with issues shared by the majority of my community, and giving me committee voting experience as well. I’m also an alumni to the Democracy Summer internship program, having learned directly from Congressman Jamie Raskin how to be an effective policymaker.

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