Education is so critical because it’s how we ensure that opportunity is available to all. Maryland must invest in our schools, including our K-12 education, community college and apprenticeship programs, to maximize opportunities for everyone. Natalie will help to address the budget shortfalls in our public school systems and foster career pathways for everyone. She will work hard to implement the landmark education legislation known as the Blueprint for Maryland's Future, including the critical provision for early childhood education, focusing on ensuring both adequate funding into the future, and accountability for results.
Our environment is an irreplaceable treasure and asset to our state. We must protect our environment by ensuring clean water, clean air and a sustainable future for our state and its 3000 miles of coastline. Given the number of Maryland communities at risk of continuous flooding, we can and should be a leader and model for other states. This past session, the Maryland General Assembly passed the Climate Solutions Now Act of 2022, which calls for reducing carbon emissions by 60% by 2031, and reaching net zero by 2045. Natalie believes this is exactly the kind of bold legislation we need, and will work to ensure we reach those goals.
As a farmer whose land is in Howard County’s Agricultural Land Preservation Program, Natalie understands how critical it is to support our farms and farmers. Protecting farmland and supporting the farmers who work that land not only grows our district’s economy, it also helps to maintain the beauty and rural character of our district.
PRIVACY & WOMEN'S RIGHTS
We must manage health care costs while ensuring access to high-quality care for everyone. Natalie will focus on lowering the cost of prescription drugs and ensuring access to quality, affordable health care and mental health care, particularly in less well-served rural areas and for racial and ethnic minorities.
Disparities in health care access and outcomes are not only morally unacceptable, but extremely costly. Diabetes, hypertension and stroke are among the largely preventable diseases that disproportionately affect the African American and Latino communities and cost our healthcare system billions of dollars annually. Addressing these disparities will require action on a variety of issues we don't normally think of as healthcare, including environmental justice, crime, housing and access to fresh nutritious food.
Natalie believes firmly in a women's right to make her own decisions regarding her body, and access to abortion is far from the only right at stake now that Roe v. Wade has been overturned. The rights to the most intimate decisions between couples - birth control, same-sex marriage, emergency contraception, and in vitro fertilization, could be decided by state law. If Roe falls, as seems likely, it will fall to state legislatures to protect our right to privacy and reproductive freedom, and Natalie will fight to ensure that freedom and access in Maryland.
Growing our economy here in Maryland and in our district is the priority on which so many others are based, and should be a part of the mission of every government agency. We must grow and attract a skilled workforce, which means investing in education, apprenticeships, and other traditional and non-traditional pathways that enable everyone to build a career or a business. Investments in transportation, the environment, housing, public safety and amenities such as parks and recreational opportunities all serve to attract businesses to our state.
Among the many opportunities we have to grow our economy, the recently passed Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will provide billions of dollars to expand broadband access, build bridges and roads, and improve the Port of Baltimore, investments which will further attract business to our state in the future.
We must actively find opportunities to bridge the partisan divide and bring people with differing political beliefs together. Our government works best when everyone feels empowered to participate in a productive civic process. If we listen to each other with open minds, we have a much better chance of thinking creatively and working together to solve our problems to keep improving our district. And when we work together, we ensure that our government is one by and for the people, not the special interests.