Alice Cain (D) |
Maryland State Delegate - District 30a
Primary Challenger to Incumbent Speaker Mike Busch (D), and candidates Aron Axe (D) and Mary Reese (D)
Why are you qualified to represent the people in your jurisdiction?
I know how to get things done in the legislative arena – including translating good ideas into legislation, building coalitions to get laws passed, and securing funding through the budgeting process – after 11 years working in the federal legislature for two Democratic statesmen (Sen. Paul Simon and Rep. George Miller), and I was recruited by the Obama campaign in 2008 to serve on the committee that advised then-Senator Obama on his education platform. I have been an advocate and activist for decades for social justice issues, including improving equity in education, protecting the environment, and preventing gun violence. I serve on the Annapolis Education Commission in my capacity as a public school parent, and I co-lead a national nonprofit that partners with teachers to improve results for students with a staff of over 50 people and an annual budget of nearly $10 million.
What are three goals you want to accomplish in the next four years to advance the rights of women and minorities in Maryland?
I got in this race after becoming a face of the #MeToo movement, after being one of the first truth-tellers who spoke out about misconduct on Capitol Hill and my story was featured in both the New York Times and on MSNBC. It is important to me to continue to make workplaces, including the legislature, more friendly to women. Second, we must close the pay gap between men and women, given that women make only 80 cents for what men in comparable jobs earn – and women of color earn even less. Third, we must ensure continued affordable health insurance for all, including women and children of all races. The Trump administration has put health care for some children at risk, including over 140,000 children in MD, many of whom are children of color. We must ensure they have the coverage they need at a reasonable cost, even if they have pre-existing conditions.
What are the three most important issues on which you want to effect change? What will be your strategy for achieving these changes?
First is making sure that the new education law expected to be enacted next year does right by all students – including students of color and that it closes our opportunity gap and our achievement gap in MD Public Schools. I will use my 30 years of experience in education policy and advocacy to be a voice for students. Second is ensuring Maryland continues to be a leader on the environment, including updating the Forest Conservation Act and preventing over-development in Annapolis – an issue that affects us all. Third is doing more to prevent gun violence (including that associated with domestic violence against women) through common-sense legislation that builds on the progress from this legislative session.
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 believe – in my bones – Michelle Obama’s directive that “when they go low, we go high.” It feels amazing to run a positive, issues-based campaign about my experience and my vision for the future. I had a very hard time, initially, when other I learned of misinformation that was being spread about me – but I learned that I am tough enough to withstand it and that doing the right thing is always the best choice. I also learned that I love making new friends by knocking on doors and listening to people’s interests and concerns.
Specifically, how will you keep your constituents informed about the issues facing the county and the state?
I receive newsletters and regular updates from key leaders, including Speaker Mike Busch, Senator Chris Van Hollen, Reps. John Sarbanes, Steny Hoyer and Jamie Raskin, state senator Bill Ferguson, Aldermen Marc Rodriguez and Rob Savidge, and others. I will create a similar regular way, modeled on this, to let constituents know what is happening in the legislature and, most importantly, how they can weigh in with their views and help us create the best policies possible for our community.