August 29, 2012 Chair 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 the MCDCC and its Sample Ballot Committee to support marriage equality and the DREAM Act, and to oppose the rollback of police collective bargaining rights. Marriage equality is the most important civil rights issue of our time. Marriage provides hundreds of state-level protections and responsibilities and is essential to strengthening families and providing children the support and protections they deserve. Further, our state has no business continuing to condone legal discrimination. I’m proud our Governor and most of our Democratic lawmakers found the courage to recognize that this issue is about ending discrimination, plain and simple. 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 Party leadership 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 the most educated workforce in America. To keep our economy strong in the future, we must train as many college graduates as we can. And as Democrats, we should be opening 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, while Republicans 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. Democrats need 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 by opposing the referendum and the recent bill. The right to collective bargaining is not just a core Democratic Party principle; it is enshrined in the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Our police risk their lives everyday to protect us and our communities, and they deserve to be allowed to continue having a say on how management decisions will affect their schedules, their work conditions, their lives, and families. The system we have has worked for decades. And in the current climate, the erosion of collective bargaining rights -- in Montgomery County,

Maryland, no less – sets a dangerous precedent and will be held up as an example by opponents of collective bargaining nationally. Our Party stands to lose very much if we cave to the pressure to roll back worker rights. I urge members of the Ballot Committee to stand up for our ideals, as well as our men and women in uniform. Please vote in favor of supporting collective bargaining and oppose Question B on the MCDCC Sample Ballot. Thank you for all your hard work on behalf of our Party, and for your attention to these critical issues. Sincerely,

Tom Hucker Delegate D-20

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