B. Darren Burns (R) |
Maryland State Delegate - District 30a
Primary Challenger to candidates
Bob O'Shea (R), Chelsea Gill (R), and Doug Rathell (R)
Why are you qualified to represent the people in your jurisdiction?
I was born and grew up in Anne Arundel County, I am raising my own family here in Annapolis, and I have spent nearly all of my professional life in this area. I am well-versed in local and State issues and politics, and I know many of our current elected and appointed officials. As an attorney, especially one who has worked on legislative matters ranging from public education to construction, I am familiar with the law-making process. I have an understanding of the need to balance policy goals with constituents’ varying interests and, I believe, enough life experience to know when another law or regulation isn't necessary.My work with public schools here and across the state for the past 23 years has also prepared me to understand the complexities of how major government enterprises function and how they can be improved.
What are three goals you want to accomplish in the next four years to advance the rights of women and minorities in Maryland?
We need to continue strengthening the laws that protect women from domestic abuse and other forms of violence , as well as harassment, and that ensure women, minorities and all citizens enjoy equal rights and opportunities in our community and throughout our country. Consistent with this, we must double our efforts to embrace and promote the ability for woman-owned and minority-owned businesses to participate in government contracts, especially as we invest in renewing our public infrastructure. And consistent with the goal of keeping Annapolis & Anne Arundel County national leaders in quality of life, elected officials must do everything we can to promote programs that protect the health and wellbeing of all families.
What are the three most important issues on which you want to effect change? What will be your strategy for achieving these changes?
There are several important issues that are front and center now for many of the folks I speak with, including: addressing gun violence and school safety; enhancing resources for behavioral/mental health (including for addressing opioid abuse & addiction); and ensuring the continued economic well-being of our community. Our current representatives, led by Governor Hogan, have taken important legal and funding steps on all of these issues recently, and I would look to work with them and our newly elected colleagues to continue progress in all three areas. In addition, as elected officials we need to listen to those who work in these areas every day and include their ideas and energies in our solutions. Bigger government and greater spending are not a panacea, even on social issues; there are times when government needs to get out of the way and let our citizens' inherent dreams and abilities lead the way. At the same time, we must remember that a good government "of the people" can never lose sight of its obligation to reach out to the most vulnerable citizens, especially our children, our poor and disadvantaged, and the elderly.
What have you learned about yourself or the political process since you became a candidate or have been an elected official?
Although this is my first time as a candidate and the campaign is in its infancy, I have already learned a few things. One is that there are many details to become familiar with, from campaign structure and finance to marketing and strategy. It’s important to develop a team of trusted advisors and volunteers, both to teach you and to learn along with you; and it’s important to listen to the advice of others who been on this journey before. Another thing I have quickly come to realize is that people are genuinely interested in the political process, and they want to be involved in our democracy. They are willing to be very generous with their time and money, if they believe your success will be shared with them in the form of honest, thoughtful representation. I look forward to learning much more as we move ahead.
Specifically, how will you keep your constituents informed about the issues facing the county and the state?
If elected, I will make it a priority for our office to provide a regular communication to the citizens of District 30A, using both traditional and electronic mail as well as social media. A month before and during each General Assembly Session, we will increase the frequency of these communications, so constituents may stay current with important issues and pending legislation. We will provide a “wrap-up” report after session highlighting important accomplishments and new laws. As part of this communication plan, we will establish a means for our constituents to provide their input and participate actively in the legislative process. In addition to these initiatives, our team will host a number of “30Area” meetings at venues around the district in order to have informal discussion and share local concerns.