Aron Axe (D) |
Maryland State Delegate - District 30a
Primary Challenger to Incumbent Speaker Mike Busch (D) and Candidates Mary Reese (D) and Alice Cain (D)
Why are you qualified to represent the people in your jurisdiction?
I have been a public servant for 25 years, retiring from the Marine Corps in 2016 after completing 10 operational deployments overseas. I have devoted a significant amount of academic study to addressing some of the most difficult issues affecting our community, including completing a Master in Public Administration at the Harvard Kennedy School in 2017. I believe that government exists to regulate public spaces and goods, should regulate only to the point that it is needed, and must provide a voice to those who need it most. I am coming to government from outside the establishment and from a background of getting things done in complex environments with diverse interests at stake. I bring a significant amount of leadership experience with me, as well as an objective perspective to our local issues and a willingness and ability to work with anyone who has our community’s best interest at heart.
What are three goals you want to accomplish in the next four years to advance the rights of women and minorities in Maryland?
Annapolis is a beautiful place to live, but many in our community can barely afford to live here and most are reliant on our public schools. I want to achieve a $15 living wage for all of our workers. I also want to change the metric used to define success in our affordable housing from a focus on buildings to a focus on assisting third and fourth generation families in coming off of subsidized living. I want to keep money in our public school system, pay our teachers a competitive wage, and resist programs that create white flight from our public schools and divert money and resources from our schools that need it most.
We need to create a more level playing field that will eliminate our “pay to play” reputation across the state for small businesses and that will foster growth and innovation that benefits our entire community, not just those in power. I want to double the percentage of women and minority-owned businesses in Maryland by creating programs to enable more young entrepreneurs to start new businesses.
30 percent of our community is black and 10 percent is Hispanic, yet these demographics turn out at 8 and 2 percent of the polls. respectively. I want to inspire young leaders in our minority communities to lead those communities in turning out to vote in proportions that will ensure their voices are heard by our elected officials.
What are the three most important issues on which you want to effect change? What will be your strategy for achieving these changes?
We have been captured by special interests at all levels of our government for too long. I want to get big money out of our politics through mandating a public finance option for our elections. I want to reduce the polarized climate in our politics by eliminating safe electoral districts (gerrymandering), which will force candidates to compete for the middle of our electorate, instead of the extreme end of our parties. I want to bring integrity and authenticity back to our political processes by increasing the transparency of our government functions through the use of data and other innovation techniques.
What have you learned about yourself or the political process since you became a candidate or have been an elected official?
I have learned that I have a unique ability to bring people together from different backgrounds and interests to achieve a common purpose - this takes real leadership, where opposing views are heard and trust is developed to grow the pie for everyone, not just those who backed the elected official. It has become apparent to me that our political processes have become so entrenched in establishment politics that they have been co-opted to serve the interests of those in power at the expense of our most vulnerable, often using divisive politics to distract us from the issues that should matter to us most. I have also learned that we can accomplish a great deal if we can move back to a political environment of questioning each other’s judgement, rather than each other’s motives.
Specifically, how will you keep your constituents informed about the issues facing the county and the state?
I will use my leadership position to organize regular meetings and forums with constituents across the district, to ensure that voices are heard from minority groups, small businesses, environmental advocates, senior citizens, and our youth.I will continue to be responsive to constituent needs on both sides of the aisle, representing everyone in our community.I will create programs that will inspire our youth to become interested and involved in our governmental processes and to take an active ownership of their outcomes from an early age.I will develop innovate open data tools to create more transparency in government.I will continue to use the most important communication tool I have as a candidate, which is knocking doors in my community to talk about the issues that matter most to all of us.