My interests focus on several areas: women, education, health care, safe neighborhoods and communities, welfare reform, date violence and domestic violence, senior issues, and economic development to include jobs.
I am an advocate for the right of privacy and choice as prescribed by law. I support legislature that provides women the right to choose what happens to their own body. Also, I support laws to protect women businesses, women from gender discrimination and promote equal pay rights.
Public education is the cornerstone of our society. As a graduate of public schools, I know it's important to fight for full and equal funding for Baltimore City's schools. I am for reduction in class sizes and an increase in funding to improve the quality of supplies with which educators have to work to prepare our future leaders to lead. I will fight for additional funding for our youth group homes so the youths can have access to computers so when they transition from the group homes to take their place in a technological world to independent living they will have a chance to improve the quality of their lives.
No family should be without health care. Seniors should not have to choose between buying food or paying for medicine. After an individual has worked for fifty years or more building a life, taking care of families, they should not have to give up the house they struggled to pay for just to be able to qualify for long-term health care.
Entrepreneurship should be taught in grade schools and high schools. We should be teaching our children how to become excellent employers rather than good employees. Small business development is the only way our economy can grow and our people can have a chance, as I have, to live the American dream. Small business development should be taught by those individuals who have been successful at building and operating a business rather than those who learned of business development through education, only. One is successful through experience rather than degrees. We are building homes in our neighborhoods starting at $300,000. We should be preparing our children to be able to afford those homes rather than lowering our expectations of their abilities by providing lower-income homes that they can afford. I am from the welfare and the projects. I have been homeless. I have been physically and sexually abused. I understand the meaning of dealing with a painful past. However, I also understand the meaning of "pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps."
Safe Neighborhoods and Communities
I am for drug intervention but I am more for prevention. I am for providing a better way for our children to live than in gangs. I am also for providing jobs for individuals who are within one year of being released from the penal institutions. If we don't provide jobs that meet the 21st century criteria and allow individuals to earn enough money to take care of their families, we will be the target of criminal activity because those individuals who are being released into society are our neighbors.
I believe in helping those individuals and families who really need help. However, I am concerned that individuals who are healthy enough to work often use welfare as a way of life and unemployment as a vacation. I think there should be stricter provisions for enforcing the rules for people finding jobs and keeping them longer than enough time to build up employment benefits and quit their jobs to draw those benefits and seek employment only after their unemployment benefits are exhausted.
Date Violence and Domestic Violence
I am concerned about domestic violence. I grew up in a household where domestic violence occurred every weekend, with my step father beating my mother. Then the violence escalated to him beating her during the week also. Abusers don't become abusers overnight. This is a learned process. Children often witness this violence in their homes and it is played out in relationships between our young adults. I want to focus on the lack of respect between our young adults and the elevating level of abuse in the young such as bullies and the dating population. According to a report from the Commission for Women, One out of 10 high school students experience abuse in their relationships including but not limited to, threats, isolation to create fear, attacking a partner's self-worth, name calling, hitting, pushing, beatings, and unwanted acts of a sexual nature. We need to make these behaviors unacceptable in our society.
Seniors or Our "Wisdom" Group
I would like to see more training programs for people over 60. Because seniors aren't appreciated in the workplace, more and more of them are choosing to leave corporate America and start a second career. The traditional idea of retirement is rapidly disappearing. Retirement is not an ending, for many it is a new beginning, a chance to reinvent oneself by going into another career, volunteering, starting a new business, working full time on a totally different job, becoming an author, pursuing the dream they never had time to pursue when their children were young and turning their hobbies into businesses. Many seniors are widows and widowers, trying new things to give back to the community or to leave a legacy for their families.
According to the American Association of Retired People (AARP) demographic trends show that the highest growth in the U.S. workforce was among those between 55 and 64 years old. At the same time the number of workers 25 to 44 is decreasing. By 2015 nearly one-fifth of our entire workforce will be 55 and older.
AARP research shows that 80 percent of baby boomers expect to continue working past the age of 65. Many will start their own businesses, others will work part time, still others will reinvent themselves and begin new careers. As Patti Labelle says in her song, "It's a New Day."