I got to know Lisa Rodvien while helping bring musical theater to our middle school. Her breadth of experience, tenacity and ability to work with others to create solutions and motivate excellence in others is impressive.
I came late to politics. I voted. I’d research candidates’ websites. But I assumed elected representatives did the right thing for the community. I stayed in my little bubble of ignorance.
That bubble burst when I realized that Anne Arundel County teachers were working to rule due to draconian budgeting. I started attending Board of Education meetings. I kept running into Lisa.
More often than not, she’d stay past general testimony to speak on many issues in support of our students. She had been doing this all along, advocating for many policies necessary and beneficial to county students, like keeping an important bus route.
I got to know my local representatives, and started showing up for County Council meetings. Again, I kept running into Lisa, testifying in support of sensible development, social justice, education and environmental issues impacting us. She would usually have several issues to speak on, and would stay after most had left.
Lisa doesn’t just talk the talk, she shows up and does the work. Even when it’s behind the scenes — nowhere near a camera, without influential people there to see her doing the work — she’s there slogging away, speaking truth to power, knocking on doors, listening and working to understand the issues facing her potential constituents based on their feedback.
She does this in addition to her full-time position as a public school teacher, and the long, inflexible hours that profession demands.
Lisa’s example of non-self-aggrandizing service and commitment to her community is inspiring. It certainly inspired me to stand behind her wholeheartedly.
Within the past decade we have been witnessing socialistic and communistic promises by political candidates: free education, free health plans, open borders, the emptying of our jails of violent criminals and the lessening of restrictions on who may vote or even enter our country.
Somebody, somewhere has to pay for the “free” stuff. Candidates are quick to point out that in some cases this will be the “very rich” and corporate America. Not true. Everyone, including those who hope to benefit from all the free stuff, will pay.
Amazingly, those who advocate open borders are also the ones complaining about the increase of costs to our fiscal structure. With Social Security and Medicare taking hits from these socialists and communists, the end of both plans is nearer that ever before. Crime is rampant in Maryland and the USA, due to the gangs, including MS-13, invading our borders, towns and cities.
These same folks are fighting religion in our schools and the morality of our nation is suffering. Children no longer know right from wrong. As a result crime — including violence, rapes, murders and mass murders — is seriously rising nationwide.
No, it is not guns. They are tools used by good and bad alike, and are necessary now more than ever to help citizens protect their own.
Voters should be citizens who understand the issues, not folks who are noncitizens, don’t know the issues or even speak our language or who can be bought off with promises of free stuff. English should be our national language.
As we go to the polls, be aware of who you are voting for. Go beyond the free stuff and all the other promises. Think of what is good for the entire country and what is constitutional, and vote accordingly.
In my 20-year career as project manager in the Executive Office in the Environment and Natural Resources Division, one of six litigating divisions in the U.S. Department of Justice, I learned the meaning of equal justice under law and that having justice for all requires justice by all.
This last truth is not operating in Anne Arundel County. In its 367 years of existence, the Anne Arundel County Circuit Court has had no women judges of color. This fact speaks to the justice dispensed in this county and needs to be rectified. The election of the distinguished African-American jurist Claudia Barber will help correct this historical injustice and will create a better balanced and more aware Circuit Court.
I am endorsing Claudia Barber based on her qualifications and experience. Barber holds a bachelor’s degree from Goucher College, a master’s from Johns Hopkins University and a law degree from the University of Baltimore School of Law. From 2005 to 2016, she served as an administrative law judge in the District of Columbia Office of Administrative Hearings and authored over 5,000 decisions.
Barber has been endorsed by, among others, former Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Del. Jocelyn Pena-Melnyk, County Councilman Andrew Pruski and Annapolis Alderwomen Sheila Finlayson and Elly Tierney.
The “Keep Judge Crooks” lawn signs should not be read to imply that we have vested in him or elected him, for we have not. He was appointed. A newbie to Anne Arundel County, Mark Crooks has only been a judge for 1 1/2 years compared to Barber’s 10 years. Also, she ran her own law firm for 16 years.
Claudia Barber’s election would bring a new voice and a wealth of experience to the Circuit Court bench.
The story by Phil Davis on the candidates running for Circuit Court judge (The Capital, June 13) leads us to believe, in a nutshell, that the system is broken and we need to fix it by electing a black judge to the bench.
Davis focuses on the Judicial Nominating Committee as being — in the words of a group of Democratic candidates — guilty of “racism, bigotry, biased political appointments and cronyism.” These are all buzzwords tossed around by those who failed to make the cut and their supporters, with no substantiation.
Robert Burton wants to be a judge to make administrative changes. Rickey Nelson Jones and Claudia Barber feel they should be judges because of the color of their skin. Kathleen Elmore feels she should be a judge because the system is political. Never mind that for eight years the governor of Maryland was of the same political party as her: a Democrat.
This same Democratic governor had eight years to appoint a black judge to our Circuit Court. I hope what that says about Martin O’Malley is that he, too, was going to follow the recommendations of a nominating commission that is nonpartisan and reviews the candidates’ qualifications only after they’ve been vetted by bar associations throughout Maryland, a two-year process.
It’s more important to have a judge who knows the rule of law and how to apply it. The only one found to be qualified among those running is Judge Mark Crooks.
If there is anything flawed in the way our Circuit Court judges are approved, it’s the requirement of having to be on a ballot to be retained for the next 15 years.
For the fourth year of Michael Peroutka’s term on the County Council, he has failed to support the county budget, initially proposed by our county executive and ultimately approved by the County Council.
His vote against the budget is not surprising and is not the basis for this letter. He has a consistent history of claiming constitutional violations as a motivating factor in not approving a single county budget in the four years he has served. We could argue his constitutional interpretations here, but, again, that is not the reason for this letter.
If contents of the budget were unconstitutional in his opinion, I could respect that. Though I may not agree, I try to respect.
The issue I take with our councilman is the attempt to deceive voters in an election year about what he has said, and what he has actually done.
Mr. Peroutka has sent multiple mailers to his voters in recent weeks. He claims to support property tax cuts, income tax cuts, school resource officers, bike paths, school safety additions and increased spending on school infrastructure. The problem with his statements is that all of these cost money or are included in the annual county budget.
Mr. Peroutka has never voted for the county budget.
Words are meaningless if they aren’t supported by actions. Voters need to be aware that everything Mr. Peroutka claims to support is a contradiction of his voting record. Does he assume voters will not do their research? Shameful. We can do better.
Editor’s note: The writer is a Republican candidate for County Council in District 5.
It’s the year of the woman in politics. Yet, as a woman, I intend to vote for a man. In some races I’m still undecided, but one race where I have no doubt is for delegate in District 30A. I’ll be voting for Aron Axe.
I’ve been asked by multiple women why I’d campaign and vote for a man this year. I fully support women feeling empowered to run for office. I also believe we need more diversity in politics — diversity of thought, race, age, gender, sexuality.
However, I do not support voting for diversity for the sake of diversity. Every person I vote for must earn my vote. I will never vote for a woman just because we’re both women.
The year of the woman is not only about empowering more women to run for office; it’s about empowering all women to cast informed votes and influence the election of qualified individuals to represent us.
Why will I vote for Aron? I agree with his views: building our community, protecting the environment, creating affordable health care, supporting public schools. But what impresses me most is how he leads. Aron intentionally surrounds himself with people who have a variety of knowledge, experiences and ideas. At our weekly meetings, everyone provides their perspective. Aron listens, then makes decisions.
Regarding the column by Miya Hunter-Willis discussing our sheriff’s race (The Sunday Capital, June 10):
Her concern that candidate Damon Ostis would somehow not be interested enough to “dedicate” himself to the work of the Sheriff’s Office because he is a highly decorated retired Homeland Security special agent is absolutely wrong.
I have known Damon for over 17 of the 20 years he has lived in our county. He has coached and mentored my son and countless other youths, assisted in both local and national missions work and is a long-standing community leader. Anything I have ever seen Damon pursue, he has done so with excellence.
Damon doesn’t need this job. He has applied to the voters because he wants this job, as it has always been his calling to serve. There is a huge difference, which Hunter-Willis, unfortunately, missed. Damon lives and breathes safety and concern for others.
Even when he was visiting my church one Sunday morning, he had me move my seat so I was in a safer place in case of an emergency. My son can call Damon anytime for any reason, and I know he will drop what he was doing and be there for him. He’s a candidate who will keep our children safe.
Hunter-Willis’ comment has done Damon and the voters a disservice. I encourage all who read this to consider supporting Damon in his effort to become the next sheriff of Anne Arundel County.
The only thing in Valerie Pringle’s letter to the editor on Alice Cain (The Capital, June 8) I agree with is that actions do speak louder than words.
Cain is a proven champion for public education. Her actions over her 30-year career show someone dedicated to improving public education for all students, with a focus on those most in need. To find any basis to suggest otherwise reflects cherry-picking the facts to paint a false narrative — exactly what many of us hate about politics.
To suggest that Cain somehow supports a right-wing education agenda is laughable. She worked for decades for Democratic icons and public education champions like Marian Wright Edelman, George Miller and Paul Simon. She currently leads a nonprofit organization that partners with public school teachers in high-poverty schools to improve results for students.
On the Annapolis Education Commission, Cain has been a strong advocate for our local public schools, testifying multiple times before the school board, City Council and County Council.
This kind of misrepresentation is not just unfair to Cain. It is unfair to us all as we sort through the information presented to us and decide for whom to vote.
Alice Cain’s commitment to public education is clear, as is her overall competence, poise and civility. I trust her to represent me on the many issues that come before the House of Delegates and will vote for her.
Working as an election official this year, I see how early voting has allowed Maryland voters to cast their primary election votes in a low-key, less crowded manner. In the nonpartisan election for Anne Arundel County school board for Districts 1, 4, 5 and 7, all voters may cast their ballots this year, including the more than 21.6 percent of county voters who are unaffiliated with one of the two leading parties.
On the negative side, I was appalled to realize that these same voters are completely prohibited from voting in a highly significant nonpartisan election: the election in which Anne Arundel Circuit Court Judge Mark Crooks seeks to maintain his appointment. Fortunately, I was able to re-register with a party in time to participate in this primary and vote to retain Judge Crooks.
Given that well over 80,000 of our county voters are neither Democrats nor Republicans, it is disturbing that this election could easily be determined in a primary election in which so many are excluded from participating.
If Circuit Court judges are going to be subject to facing retention elections, then such elections should truly be nonpartisan and all voters must be permitted to cast their ballots in the primaries.
ELISABETH S. RUBIN
When Broadneck Park was being developed, Terry Gilleland was in the House of Delegates and he tried to stop it.
He was using a local Republican Party issue to try and embarrass the Democrats in power at the time. Why did he think a Linthicum and Glen Burnie delegate should be the hatchetman for party politics in Broadneck?
It is the same self-serving reason he thinks he should be on the Board of Education. He has a job in a peripheral education field and he is looking to scratch out assistance for his own personal gain by pursuing political office. This was his reasoning for trying to block a public park in an area 20 miles outside his area of representation then; he is a political stooge now.
Find somebody who cares about your children and not somebody gaming the system for himself.
I have been following the District 30 state Senate race with interest and was surprised to read about Chrissy Holt talking about the lessons learned in 2016.
One can only assume she was referring to the bitterly contested primary race between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. It is disappointing to hear a candidate for local office attempt to use past party divisions as a ploy to gain political advantage.
We did indeed learn a lesson in 2016: When Democrats don’t vote, Republicans like Donald Trump and Larry Hogan win. What I’d like Mrs. Holt to explain is why she chose not to vote in the 2014 general election, the 2016 primary and general 2016 general elections and the 2017 primary election. All of this information is publicly available through the Board of Elections.