Every day that passes with Republicans refusing to extend economic relief to people who have lost their jobs because of the pandemic reinforces a sad truth: Andy Harris and his Republican colleagues just don’t care about you.
Sure, they care about corporations who want tax breaks. They care about industries who want bailouts. They care about employers who want immunity from lawsuits by workers who get sick from going back to work. They care about their contributors, their cronies, their VIP insiders – you know, the ones from “The Swamp” they said they’d clean out. Republicans care about them – a lot.
But they don’t care about you. They don’t care about working people who, through no fault of their own, have lost their jobs and need help. They don’t care about curtailing the pandemic and slowing its spread, now into rural areas like our district. They don’t care about the hardships on health care and other frontline workers who are exposed to the virus every day. They don’t care about making sure people who need health care have affordable insurance and can avoid catastrophic expenses, even when health care needs now are so great.
This makes me mad, because I care. I served for 20 years in the military because I care for this country, my fellow service members, and my fellow Americans. I provided relief to victims of Hurricane Katrina and received a Humanitarian Award. I have fought for people who deserve equality. I want to serve in Congress because, now more than ever, Congress needs people who care.
I care that government provides the resources necessary to beat this pandemic and to lead the recovery so that we can all get back to our lives as soon as possible. I want to help workers and small business owners who are hurting now and make sure they can survive financially until they can get back to work – safely. I care that everyone has a chance to receive the basic necessities in life, including health care and education. I care that rules apply to everyone equally, and no individuals or groups receive special treatment or are left out.
I care about providing high-quality, affordable health care for everyone. That’s why I support Medicare for All. Andy Harris voted against an act that requires states to comply with, and not opt out of, the ACA’s mandate that insurance companies cover people with pre-existing conditions. I believe that pre-existing conditions should be covered by insurance companies with no exclusions. I am committed to ensuring that the health care system works for all Marylanders, and that nobody goes bankrupt because of a medical bill.
I want to speed the recovery from the pandemic by rebuilding our infrastructure, which would create good jobs that provide living wages. Rebuilding our infrastructure would replace old, worn-out roads, bridges, and other transportation and utility systems and help us transition to a more sustainable and eco-friendly world. Not only is clean energy good for the planet, it also makes good business sense. We can be the world’s leader in climate-friendly products and create better economic opportunities for everyone.
I care about protecting the Chesapeake Bay and our environment. The Bay and its tributaries are part of our district’s heritage, livelihood, and culture. Working and playing on the water are part of our way of life. Republicans have made it easier for industries to pollute our waterways, land, and air. That has to stop. We must act to protect and preserve the bay and its shores before it’s too late.
I care about students. I will fight for more education funding for schools so that all of our children receive equal and high-quality education. I care about young adults having low-cost student loans for college or vocational training to prepare them to earn a good living.
I care about everyone, no matter who they are or what they believe. I’ve been discriminated against and I know the pain. No one should face discrimination in key areas of life, including employment, housing, credit, education, public spaces and services, federally funded programs, and jury service.
I will never put political interests ahead of people I believe service to others is the highest calling. I think government should be fair and even-handed to everyone and not just to a privileged few.
I want to work for you in Congress for the same reason I have spent most of my adult life serving in our armed forces: I care.
Mia Mason is the democratic nominee running in Maryland’s first congressional district against incumbent Andy Harris.