August 29, 2012Chair Harold Diamond & Members of the Committee:Civil Rights. Public Education. Collective Bargaining.
I can’t think of any other issues that better exemplify the core beliefs of the
Democratic Party. Our consistent support for these values, and our willingness to
fight for them, is one reason I’m proud to be a Democrat. In that spirit,
I urge theMCDCC and its Sample Ballot Committee to support marriage equality and theDREAM Act, and to oppose the rollback of police collective bargaining rights.Marriage equality is the most important civil rights issue of our time. Marriageprovides hundreds of state-level protections and responsibilities and is essential tostrengthening families and providing children the support and protections theydeserve. Further, our state has no business continuing to condone legaldiscrimination
. I’m proud our Governor and most o
f our Democratic lawmakers foundthe courage to recognize that this issue is about ending discrimination, plain andsimple. Many of us have worked to pass this bill for many years. Now that the Assembly has finally done its job to pass marriage equality, I hope our Partyleadership will do its part to signal to Democratic voters that you support our actions.
In the same vein, I hope you’ll also support the Maryland DREAM Act, which will put
higher education within reach of well-qualified non-resident students in Maryland.
This bill is all about what type of future we want to create for our state. Maryland’s
economy is currently stronger than most of the nation partly because we have themost educated workforce in America. To keep our economy strong in the future, wemust train as many college graduates as we can. And as Democrats, we should beopening access to our terrific public higher education system to every Marylander who wants to study hard. Many of us fought for this legislation for years, whileRepublicans have long worked to throw up barriers to higher education. Gov. Ehrlich
vetoed this bill in 2006 after the Assembly first passed it, and Del. Parrott’s signature
drive this year proves that the GOP remains as mean-spirited as ever. Democratsneed to counter their efforts by adding this critical reform to our sample ballot.Last, I would strongly urge the MCDCC to support collective bargaining rights byopposing the referendum and the recent bill. The right to collective bargaining is not just a cor
e Democratic Party principle; it is enshrined in the United Nations’ Universal
Declaration of Human Rights. Our police risk their lives everyday to protect us andour communities, and they deserve to be allowed to continue having a say on howmanagement decisions will affect their schedules, their work conditions, their lives,and families. The system we have has worked for decades. And in the currentclimate, the erosion of collective bargaining rights -- in Montgomery County,