Meet & Greet Rich Madaleno, Democratic Candidate for Governor

Share

Come and meet the Candidate

State Sen. Rich Madaleno

Saturday, August 26

11 a.m. -12 Noon at the Chestertown Farmer’s Market

12 Noon -2 p.m. at the Democratic Club of Kent County Headquarters, 357 High St. Chestertown

Senator Rich Madaleno has succeeded in passing vital legislation to expand economic opportunities, make college more affordable, improve transportation, protect the environment, enhance government transparency and improve services for people with disabilities.

As a leader on budget issues in Maryland, Rich is a leading advocate for sustainable investments in education, health care and transportation. He is vocal critic of Governor Hogan’s continued attempts to finance tax cuts for the wealthy by cutting needed funding for schools and environmental programs.

In 2012, Rich was a leader in the fight to pass marriage equality in Maryland, which became the first state in the country to legalize same-sex marriage by ballot.

Come Meet Alec Ross, Candidate for Governor of Maryland

Share

Alec Ross, Democratic candidate for Governor of Maryland

Come meet Alec Ross, Democratic candidate for governor of Maryland on Saturday, August 12.  Ross will be at the Chestertown Farmers Market at the Democrats’ booth for an hour from 11 a.m. to noon.  Following that, he will be at the nearby Democratic Club Headquarters at 357 High Street from noon to 2 p.m. This is the latest in the Candidate Meet & Greet Series sponsored by the Democratic Club of Kent County.

Ross’s background includes experience in government, education, and private business.  He has focused on technology.  Recognizing the inequities that made it nearly impossible for low-income families to get ahead, Alec co-founded a non-profit startup called One Economy, which helped deliver high-speed Internet access, educational content and education to low-income communities. One Economy started in a basement and grew into a global organization serving millions of low-income families. After serving on the Obama-Biden Transition Team, Alec was appointed Senior Advisor for Innovation to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. In that role, he developed new and creative ways to use technology and innovation to serve America’s diplomatic agenda around the world and was the diplomatic lead on a range of issues including Internet Freedom and the use of network technologies in conflict zones. Alec currently serves as a Senior Fellow at Johns Hopkins University, resides in Baltimore City with his wife, Felicity, and their three children who all proudly attend Baltimore City public schools.

Candidate Meet & Greet Series: Alec Ross, Democratic Candidate for Maryland Governor,  Saturday, August 12, 11 a.m. – Noon at the Chestertown Farmers Market, and Noon – 2 p.m. at the Democratic Club of Kent County Headquarters, 357 High St. Chestertown.

A Mile In Our Shoes: An Artistic Demonstration Against the Senate Healthcare Bill By Marita Wilson

Share

As seen from above, Fountain Park in Chestertown with a display of over 1,000 shoes in an artistic and symbolic protest of the proposed TrumpCare which would result in over 900 people in Kent County losing healthcare coverage.

On Thursday, July 13, over 1,00 pairs of shoes stood empty in Chestertown’s Fountain Park, representing the number of individuals in Kent County who would lose their health insurance under the Better Care Reconciliation Act. Kent and Queen Anne’s County Indivisible, a local chapter of the nation-wide Indivisible grassroots movement, organized the event as a local expression of the national concern surrounding changes to health care legislation.

 According to the Congressional Budget Office’s analysis of the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BRCA), 15 million people, or more than 4.5% of the total US population, would lose their healthcare coverage by next year. That translates to 930 people in Kent County losing their healthcare coverage. By 2026, the CBO estimates that 22 million Americans would lose healthcare coverage, which would translate to over 1300 individuals in Kent County. This number is nearly equal to the total enrollment of Chestertown’s Washington College, or over half of all students enrolled in Kent County Public Schools.

 The group titled the event “A Mile In Our Shoes” as a nod to the saying, “To really know a man, walk a mile in his shoes”.

 “We are hoping that when people who attend the event see what 930 people in their community really ‘looks like’ (represented by shoes), they will understand that the decisions made in Washington, DC, really have an impact here on a local level,” says Raven Bishop, a local artist and KQA Indivisible member who advised on the artistic aspects of the project.

 “A Mile In Our Shoes” was spearheaded by KQA Indivisible leaders Raven Bishop, Erin Anderson, Kitty Maynard, and Linda Cades. The group began organizing the event in March, just after the American Health Care Act was introduced. The event quickly gained momentum, with several community members contributing to planning and execution. Shoes were collected by the Kent County Democratic Club, other Indivisible groups from around the state, and several local individuals, businesses, and community organizations.

 The event kicked off at 7:00 pm with shoes surrounding the fountain in the park, although attendees were relocated to the breezeway on High Street when rain, thunder, and lightning rolled in.  Several speakers, including representatives from Senators Cardin and Van Hollen’s offices, Jeananne Sciabarra of Consumer Health First, Kathy Appel of the Kuhmerker Consulting Group, and Matt Celentano of the Maryland Citizen’s Health Initiative, provided information on the current and potential future state of healthcare in the U.S. Areas of critical concern emphasized by the speakers were healthcare coverage for children, the elderly, and the disabled, the impacts of pre-existing conditions, lack of insurance coverage for preventative care, and the possible return of lifetime limits on insurance coverage.  Mr. Cenlentano shared that one of his children spent more than two weeks in neo-natal intensive care after she was born prematurely.  Without the protections of the Affordable Care Act he said, “She would have [reached] her lifetime limit before she left the hospital.”

 Ms. Appel, the former director of Medicaid in New York state, drew attention to the necessity of the Medicaid program: 50% of kids in the United States rely on Medicaid during their first year of life and 60% of people in nursing homes require the support of Medicaid coverage.  Although both the AHCA and BCRA recommend turning over more responsibility for Medicaid to the states, the audience was reminded that Governor Larry Hogan has not publicly shared a position on the efforts to repeal and replace the ACA despite the fact that it is expected to cost Maryland $2 billion.

 Cades shared a personal story about her son, who became disabled when he was 5 months old due to a seizure disorder. Cades’s son is 38 years old and is unable to live on his own, but the waitlist for a group home in the area is 4,000 families long.  Group homes get 50% of their funding from Medicaid. She expressed doubt that the state could come in and cover those costs if the AHCA passes and funding to Medicaid is cut.“We don’t dare die,” she said of her and her husband, for fear her son would have nowhere to go without them. The oldest caregiver in Maryland is 101 years old.“That’s my story,” she said in conclusion. “If I walked around this group with this microphone, everyone would have a story, too.”

 Allison Galbraith, a Maryland native who is challenging Andy Harris for his congressional seat in 2018, is one of those people with a story.  Due to gender rate spikes and her pregnancy-related pre-existing conditions, Galbraith was unable to afford private insurance after giving birth to her son. But because of the ACA, she can now afford insurance and is able to run her own small business.

 Kimberly Kratovil, the Eastern Shore Field Representative from Sen. Ben Cardin’s office, told the audience “Keep Calling. Keep letting your voice be heard.” Both she and Melissa Kelly, a representative from Sen. Chris Van Hollen’s office, passed on their appreciation for KQA Indivisible’s efforts to fight against the inadequate House and Senate versions of an ACA replacement bill.

 “A Mile in Our Shoes” came to a close with a candlelight vigil.  Shoulder to shoulder, the crowd stood together in a last demonstration of their commitment to speak out and protect the most vulnerable amongst them.

KQA Indivisible hopes to hold additional informative demonstrations, especially on issues of paramount importance in this area: education and environmental policy surrounding the Chesapeake Bay.

###

 

Democrats to Introduce Candidates at Club Meeting July 20

Share

The Democratic Club of Kent County invites residents to Cassinelli Distillery, 323 High St., Chestertown on July 20 to meet 2018 candidates Allison Galbraith, Democratic Candidate for U.S. Congress District 1, and Michael Welker, Democratic Candidate for the Maryland House of Delegates,  District 36.

Residents can also meet Democratic candidate for Governor Alec Ross in Chestertown on Saturday, August 12 at the Democrats booth in the park, 11 a.m. to noon during farmers market, and at Democratic headquarters, at 357 High Street (just south of Mill), from noon to 2 p.m.  Light refreshments will be provided.

Allison Galbraith

Allison Galbraith is a native of Maryland’s First Congressional District, raised in historic Bel Air. She is a small business owner specializing in federal contracting and acquisition streamlining. She has extensive experience working in the day-to-day operation of the federal government: information systems, military medical products, multi-billion-dollar rapid development programs. She has completed professional certifications in FDA Regulatory Affairs, FDA current Good Manufacturing Processes, Program Management, Business Financial Management, Contracting, Information Technology, Life Cycle Logistics, Test & Evaluation, and more. Allison is a daughter of two college professors, and a graduate of a public high school and university. She is a working single mom and was married to an Army Veteran for more than a decade.

Michael Welker

Michael Welker is a Cecil County native. Working as a real estate agent, Michael came to know the housing market and aimed to help his clients find affordable homes, guiding them through the process carefully to ensure that they wouldn’t face the same pitfalls his family had met back in 2007. In 2016, Michael joined the Cecil County Democrat Club and was elected President. He continues to work at growing their membership while supporting progressive, common sense policy in his local community. He has worked with local non-profit organizations and understands the importance of community involvement and civic service. As an Eagle Scout, he understands the importance of leadership, dedication, and old-fashioned hard work.

Doors will open 5:30 pm for meals, drinks and social time. There will be a brief Democratic Club business meeting at 6:45 , with the main program starting at 7:00 pm. All are welcome.

State Official Resigns from Trump Election Panel

Share

Luis Borunda, Maryland’s deputy Secretary of State, has resigned from a panel appointed by President Donald Trump to look into possible voter fraud in the 2016 presidential election.

According to a story in The Hill Monday, Borunda told Gov. Larry Hogan that he has resigned from the Trump administration’s Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. Trump created the panel in an executive order in May, after claiming that millions of people cast illegal votes for Hillary Clinton, his opponent in the election. 

The Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity sent letters last week to the 50 secretaries of state across the country requesting information about voters. A number of the states, including Maryland, have already said they will not provide the information, which includes every registered voter’s name, address, party affiliation and the last four digits of their social security numbers.

Kent Democrats to Hear Watermen’s Role in the Chesapeake Environment

Share

The Democratic Club of Kent County invites residents to its monthly meeting, Thursday, June 15, in a new location — Waterman’s Restaurant, 21055 E. Sharp St. in Rock Hall.

According to a news release, attendees will hear from a representative of the Maryland Waterman’s Association about the group’s work in Annapolis to balance environmental responsibility with the needs of Maryland’s watermen.

Ron Fithian, Rock Hall Town Manager and Kent County Commissioner, will make opening remarks on this important and historic Maryland profession.

Doors open 5:30 p.m. for a meal, with a brief business meeting at 6:45 and the main program starting at 7 p.m.

League of Women Voters of Maryland to hold 2017 Convention in Chestertown

Share

The League of Women Voters of Kent County will host the 2017 League of Women Voters of Maryland Annual State Convention at Washington College June 9th -June 11th 2017. League members will participate in a variety of workshops and meetings designed to help local Leagues provide services to their communities and to set the agenda and goals for the coming year.  William Pickrum, President of the Kent County Commission, will welcome convention participants.  Shelia Bair, President of Washington College, will present the Keynote Address “Ban the Debt: Rebuild the Middle Class; Winning at the Game of Loans” for the Saturday evening banquet.  Convention attendees will also have the opportunity to go on a Sunset Cruise on the Chester River Packet, enjoy a waterside picnic on the bay and sample the many offerings of the National Music Festival.

League of Women Voters – Making Democracy Work

For more information, see The League of Women Voters of Kent County website  and FaceBook page.   The League of Women Voters of Maryland website

Allison Galbraith Announces for Congress

Share

Allison Galbraith is running for Congress.

Allison Galbraith

A small business owner and single mother from Harford County, Galbraith threw her hat into the ring on May 12 as a Democratic challenger for Rep. Andy Harris’s First District seat. Following the official campaign kickoff in Bel Air, she traveled to Chestertown and Salisbury to begin building a base of supporters on the Eastern Shore.

Galbraith’s Chestertown stop was at the Book Plate bookstore. About 20 attended, and the candidate, instead of giving a stump speech, engaged in a lively 40-minute question-and-answer session.

Tom Martin, owner of the store, opened the session by asking Galbraith about her background.

Galbraith said she is the daughter of two college professors. A University of Maryland graduate, she is “amicably separated” from her husband, a military veteran, and has a nine-year-old son and a stepson. She said her business specializes in program management and streamlining projects for the Department of Defense and in consulting with industries bidding on federal contracts involving medical technology that often ends up in civilian applications.

Asked why she is seeking the congressional seat, Galbraith said, “I think we need the perspective of the people in Congress.” The money it takes to run, and the sacrifices it takes to run are a deterrent to “everyday people” who might seek office, she said. “Right now, everything in our lives is under attack; we don’t know what’s going to be taken from us.”

She said her business was made possible by her ability to purchase private health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Gender-based criteria such as having had a C-section were considered pre-existing conditions, making the rates unaffordable for her before the ACA. “If they’re going to take my health insurance and they’re going to take my business, I’m going down fighting,” she said. “And it’s not just for me, it’s for every one of us who isn’t adequately represented in Congress. Our voices are not heard, especially with Andy Harris,” who she said votes for the interests of his financial supporters “on the backs of working Americans.”

“I’m one of the working Americans,” Galbraith said. “Aren’t you sick of being trampled on by the  Republicans in government?”

Galbraith said she had spent considerable time traveling throughout the First District even before launching her campaign, “and I don’t intend to stop.” She said candidates from both parts of the district, the Eastern Shore and the Western Shore, tend to neglect the other half of the district, “and it’s not doing any of us any good.” She said she planned to visit each county “at least quarterly,” and that she would be available through social media and texting. “I have a lot of energy, I can run around the district and put 20,000 miles on my car. We deserve that from our reps, right?”

In terms of strategy, she said the Democrats need to flip about 45,000 votes to take back the district. To do so, she said she would probably fight for progressive values using “more conservative framing” of the issues. “If there were a party of critical thinking, that’s what I’d run as,” she said, but she places great importance of issues of personal rights and individual freedoms.

Other questions went into specifics including gun control (“responsible gun ownership is not a threat”), health care (“the health care system will never work out for us as long as they’re profiting by denying us care”), infrastructure (“we’re one of the richest states in the country, and there are parts of this district that don’t even have reliable internet access”), and public education (“if we care about the future, we need to care about education and preparing people for their future.”) Her answers were detailed and energetic, often drawing on personal experience.

A telling moment came when an audience member challenged her to respond to what he said would be the Republican characterization of her as “a tax-and-spend liberal” who doesn’t care about fiscal responsibility. “I have a proven record of saving millions of dollars a year for the federal government,” she said. “In terms of fiscal responsibility, I have a one-up on (Harris) because I actually save the government money.”

At the end of the visit, Galbraith’s campaign manager said her website, allisonforcongress.com, gives her positions on a range of issues. Also, anyone interested can sign up on the site for notifications of events near them, he said. He said she plans to have a series of small, informal meetings to allow people to meet her and discuss issues with her in a living-room type setting. If her appearance at the Book Plate is any sample, they would appear to be well worth attending.

Rep. Andy Harris Working to Defund NPR

Share

Current Magazine, a division of American University School of Communication, is reporting that Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.), who railed against public media content during a House subcommittee meeting in March, wants Congress to defund NPR and the Independent Television Service.

During CPB President Pat Harrison’s testimony on public media’s federal funding request, Harris accused CPB of pushing an “agenda” with ITVS films such as The New Black, a documentary about the African-American community’s debate over gay marriage. Admitting he had not seen the films, Harris also cited Kumu Hina, focusing on a Hawaiian transgender woman, and Baby Mama High, about a pregnant teenager. All of the films he mentioned were funded by ITVS and aired on Independent Lens, PBS’s documentary showcase.

Read the full story (warning paywall exists) here.