We asked local candidates in contested primary elections to write a sub-750 word essay describing why residents should vote for them on June 24.
Next is District 18 State Senate candidate Rich Madaleno, who is running in the Democratic primary. Below is Madaleno’s unedited response:
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
It has been my honor to represent this community in the State Senate for the past eight years. During that time, I have risen in the ranks of the Senate to serve as chairman of the budget subcommittee on education and business. In just my first term, I was elected by my county colleagues to serve as chairman of the county’s eight-member Senate delegation.
I have always called this community my home, having grown up in Silver Spring. I am now raising my children in Kensington with my husband, Mark. I know the value of our good public schools first hand as a former student and now as a parent. My family and this community made sure I had the foundation to succeed in life. I am committed to ensuring future generations have the same opportunity I did.
As your Senator, I have pushed hard to advance the progressive principles we value. Over the past four years, I have led successful efforts to support the nation’s best public school system, improve access to and affordability of our public colleges and universities, increase the minimum wage, provide gay and lesbian couples the freedom to marry, protect a woman’s right to chose, eliminate the death penalty, enact the nation’s most stringent firearm safety law, expand renewable energy production, reduce polluted runoff, expand small business development programs, and create a fair and stable tax system.
My priorities for the next term are improving education, fixing our infrastructure, and crafting a balanced fiscal plan for our state.
In order to thrive in a challenging economy, our young people will need to be creative, collaborative, strong communicators, and critical thinkers. We need to work to build an education system from early childhood to graduate school that imparts these skills. To make this a reality, we will need to invest in quality educators and provide them with the on-going professional development necessary to meet this challenge.
Rebuilding and repairing our aging infrastructure to meet the needs of a 21st Century economy and the demands of today’s residents including improved and expanded school facilities to address our school system’s growing enrollment. I fought hard to pass the state’s landmark transportation funding plan and will get a greatly enhanced state investment in our over-crowded schools next year.
In representing you, I have always tried to let common sense guide my decision-making. I have looked for practical solutions to our problems. I believe in a politics that builds individuals and communities up. I reject tea party politics that submit every elected official to a purity test. I oppose political tactics that tear people down and drive us apart. I know compromise is the only way to make our democracy work. It may not be a satisfying as rhetoric, but it is essential to governing for long-term progress.
I ask for your vote once again and pledge to you that I will continue to work to improve our community and to vigorously advance our shared progressive values.