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“Kavanaugh is a conservative who could upend precedents on matters from abortion to gay rights and to the powers of the executive branch. But former Maryland attorney general Doug Gansler, Democrat and a friend of Kavanaugh's of nearly 35 years, believes Kavanaugh could play a similar role like Kennedy on some issues before the court. I don't see him, Brett Kavanaugh, as being the far, the Scalia, Thomas, Alito, far, far right. I think he'll probably be a swing vote on many, many issues going forward," Gansler said. (WBALTV 11 News, Baltimore)
As the Democratic gubernatorial primary for the state of Maryland begins to draw near, every candidate has shown their own, unique perspective and arguments as to why they’d be a good fit to be Maryland's next leader at the top. However, historically, one Democratic gubernatorial candidate always seems to throw himself into some sort of controversy that comes back to haunt not just this particular candidate, but the Democratic Party as a whole.
Whether it be Doug Gansler’s reckless behavior as the state's former attorney general. “Gansler once ran four red lights with sirens blaring, a trooper wrote. Another account said he “brags” about driving the vehicle unaccompanied on weekends with the sirens on. “This extremely irresponsible behavior is non-stop and occurs on a daily basis,” Lt. Charles Ardolini, commander of the state police executive protection section, wrote in a December 2011 memo that said the problem had existed for five years.” (Washington Post). Better yet, how about the time Mr. Gansler attended a teenage drinking party and made every excuse he could to dig himself out of taking any blame or attempting to stop the underage drinking gathering as the states top law official. “Assume for purposes of discussion that there was widespread drinking at this party," Gansler, who is running for governor in 2014, told the paper. "How is that relevant to me?” (NPR) What about years back when Mr. Gansler was accused of spending campaign funds from his failed gubernatorial attempt in 2014 on lavish dinners and outings... “On January 4, 2016, Doug Gansler's son posted a picture on Facebook of the family at the glitzy Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in Wyoming. This year (reference to 2016 at the time), when Gansler filed his campaign finance report this year, it listed a whole series of expensive meals in Jackson Hole. $356 dollars at the Teton Mountain Lodge. $299 at the Four Seasons Handle Bar. $283 at Cafe Genevieve. $242 at the Pioneer Saloon in Ketchum, Idaho near Sun Valley. All the expenses are billed as "Political Dinners." All the expenditure dates are reported as of May 6, 2016. And all were reimbursed to Gansler from the tens of thousands in donations that remain in his campaign coffers from his failed 2014 race for governor. Maryland election law says campaign funds -- even leftover campaign funds -- cannot be used for the candidate's personal expenses.” (WUSA9 News)
I don’t write this opinion piece or bring up past stories to go after Mr. Gansler as a person, but as a potential leader for one of the 50 most powerful, elected leadership positions in our country, we in the Democratic Party cannot, and should not come close to nominating a man, who is not only close friends with but has openly supported a Supreme Court Justice, who is willing to overturn The Roe vs. Wade decision. We cannot and should not nominate a man who has a list of problem-causing issues for the state's top position. Doug Gansler doesn’t seem to be a man of his word based on the sources that have covered him in years past. His arrogance and privilege should not carry him into the political limelight once more... If anything he should never consider a run at the office again. We as a party, as a state, and as a people should know better than to even come close to nominating a man with so little values and so little care for anyone, but himself and his namesake. There are eight other candidates in the primary besides Mr. Gansler. For the sake of all that is good Maryland, let’s make the right decision and nominate someone who has a proven character of grace and a humble attitude this election cycle and not someone who is willing to curb all of that to the side for intolerable behavior.
"When it comes to successful advocacy for Wicomico County, Amber Green is second to none. In her service to Wicomico County, Amber Green has led efforts to remove racist confederate markers from the courthouse lawn, fought to empower our youth, enshrined human rights into local law, and worked to reduce homelessness in our county. Amber Green is the new bold leadership that the Wicomico County Council and District One desperately needs."- Jared Schablein, LSPC Chair
“As a father with a kid in Maryland public school, and a lifelong educator who has improved the educational opportunities for millions of students across Maryland and our country, John King is the most qualified candidate to address our state’s educational needs and is committed to bettering the lives of all Maryland families. King’s broad coalition and common-sense platform are why he is so well-positioned to win the Democratic primary in the summer and the general election this fall. I have seen the enormous good John King has already done and plans to do for Maryland. I look forward to working with him to ensure he wins the July 19th primary and is elected our next Governor in November.”- Jared Schablein, LSPC Chair.
Dear John King: The Eastern Shore of Maryland is often used, forgotten, or completely ignored by politicians from both parties. I was born and raised here; it is nothing new.
It honestly wouldn’t surprise me if most Maryland politicians do not know the Eastern Shore is a part of Maryland, let alone be able to name the counties. The Lower Eastern Shore is home to many of the poorest counties in the state and faces a lack of economic growth, opportunity, and political engagement. Yet, it is common for gubernatorial candidates to ignore the Shore and our issues because it is not considered one of the four counties to make or break an election, even though cycle after cycle this is proven false.
I am happily surprised that, for one of the first times in my life, a candidate is running for governor who cares about the Eastern Shore and has plans and policies that will help us grow and develop. This candidate is you, John King, the former United States Secretary of Education.
Pay attention, Lower Shore. John King seeks to solve the economic, social, racial, and environmental injustices we face on the Eastern Shore and across the entire state of Maryland. John King supports creating a commission on Universal Healthcare that will study how we can make Maryland the first state to provide quality healthcare to all our residents and lead the nation in fixing our broken and immoral healthcare system. He also supports speeding up Maryland’s path to a minimum wage, a living wage, and indexing the minimum wage to inflation. He will support unions by working to ensure every Marylander has the right to collectively bargain in their workplace. Finally, he is committed to fighting the current climate crisis and ensuring that future high-paying green energy jobs come to the Eastern Shore.
As our next Governor, John King has the vision and experience needed to bridge the divides in our communities and make us stronger by working together to solve the issues we face on the Eastern Shore and throughout the state. Well, Mr. King, I hope you are reading this because the Lower Eastern Shore is with you, and we will win both the primary and general elections.
The writer, Jared Schablein, is chair of the Lower Shore Progressive Caucus.
“As a policy expert, a former elected official, gubernatorial candidate, a farmer, and the founder and CEO of a non-profit organization focused on social justice who has served the Eastern Shore through her Career Heather Mizeur is deeply rooted in our Eastern Shore community and way of life, committed to bettering the lives of Eastern Shore families. Mizeur’s work to reach across the aisle and build consensus with people of all stripes has allowed her to expand healthcare to young adults, lead efforts to decriminalize marijuana and work to protect our pristine environment. I have seen the enormous good Heather Mizeur has done for the Shore. I look forward to continuing our shared work on behalf of everyday families across the Shore and district.” – LSPC Chair Jared Schablein.
In less than a year, Heather Mizeur has already shown that she is the most qualified candidate to take on radical Andy Harris and represent the vital needs of the Eastern Shore in Congress. As a farmer, a wife, and a public servant with deep roots on the Eastern Shore, Heather Mizeur spent her career listening to and helping solve problems facing the Eastern Shore and our state. Now she is bringing that same dedication and understanding to her work as a candidate for Congress here in MD-01, holding town halls and meet & greets across the newly drawn district and championing legislation to boost economic growth through a living wage for workers, cutting taxes for the middle class and small businesses, making the wealthy pay their fair share by closing corporate tax loopholes for large corporations, and enhancing public safety policies including reforming the criminal justice system.
Heather Mizeur knows personally what it means to worry about the rising costs of health insurance and accessibility to the care you need. As a State Delegate, she authored the Kids First Act, a piece of legislation that served as a national model to find and enroll tens of thousands of qualified uninsured children into health plans. She also brought together a robust bipartisan coalition to pass the Family Planning Works Act. This transformational legislation improved pregnancy outcomes and lowered infant mortality rates, while also reducing abortions. Finally, her Family Coverage Expansion Act made Maryland one of the first states to allow young adults to stay on their family health plans until age 26. This policy would go national under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).
A heavily suburban base anchors the new Maryland’s 1st District outside of Annapolis. However, the district also stretches over the Bay and includes the entire Eastern Shore. That’s why Heather Mizeur understands that the beauty and wonder of the Eastern Shore must be protected for future generations while ensuring the Shore’s farmers and watermen remain part of the lifeblood of the Shore’s economy and bounty. That is why Mizeur has created her Agri-Climate plan. This plan aims to create a new project called the National Soil Health Initiative (NSHI) through the USDA that would address saltwater intrusion problems. Grow the carbon credit market to allow farmers to get paid for mitigating the effects of climate change through soil-based carbon sequestration. Finally, reform conservation programs to streamline the process.
There is no doubt that Heather’s policies and ability to build a broad coalition has caused panic among Andy Harris and his campaign.
However, Heather Mizeur has a proven ability to expand her political network and base beyond her natural political supporters, thanks to her unique ability to present common-sense ideas that some consider “progressive” in ways that are palatable to centrist and independent voters. In response to Heather’s popularity, Andy Harris’s campaign began sending out fundraising letters saying, “My Democrat opponent Heather Mizeur outraised me by $100,000 in the last quarter,” the outside of the envelope reads, “If I don’t do this, Maryland will lose its only Republican Congressman.”
Combine her prolific fundraising ability with her massive coalition of supporters, including federal, state, and local leaders, farmers, watermen, environmentalists, Progressives, Centrists, Conservatives, Democrats, Republicans, and third-party voters, it is clear that Andy Harris is facing the most significant challenge ever in his political career.
There is no doubt that defeating Andy Harris and protecting our democracy and institutions are the top priorities in the First District in 2022. We cannot afford to lose and Heather Mizeur is the only candidate who can beat Andy Harris in a tough year for Democrats in 2022. The Lower Shore Progressive Caucus is committed to doing everything in our power to make sure Heather wins.
What Would HB610/SB0493 Do?
HB610, introduced by Delegate Sheila Ruth (District 44B, Baltimore County), and SB0493 introduced by Senator Paul G. Pinksy (District 22, Prince George’s County), would establish the Commission on Universal Healthcare. This commission would develop a plan to implement a statewide universal healthcare program that would provide health benefits to all residents through a single-payer system.
Why Is HB610/SB0493 Necessary?
Since the expansion of Medicaid there has been a significant decrease in the rate of the uninsured and there are major gaps in health care access. Deductibles and out of pocket expenses create barriers for Marylanders who are insured from receiving the health care and treatment they need. Almost 6% of Marylanders are still uninsured, and Marylanders living in or near poverty are almost three times as likely to be uninsured.
Increasing access to health care will lower costs for the state and create better health outcomes for all Marylanders. Without routine access to primary and preventive care, the uninsured are often diagnosed at more advanced stages of disease and, even after being diagnosed, tend to receive less therapeutic care. This further perpetuates health disparities which disproportionately affect communities of color. Unfortunately, when uninsured Marylanders are forced to utilize emergency departments to access primary care services, there is a corresponding increase in costs to the state for uncompensated and undercompensated care.
A single-payer system would enable patients to receive the care they need in the most appropriate venue, control costs for everyone, and ultimately provide better health outcomes for Maryland residents.
What Should Happen Instead?
In order to improve the health outcomes of Maryland residents the General Assembly should set up a Kirwan-like commission for healthcare that would consider plans and analyses done in other states on how to:
1. ensure all Marylanders, regardless of income, assets, health status, citizenship or immigration status, or availability of other health care coverage will have access to quality affordable healthcare;
2. include a benefit package which covers primary & preventive care, chronic care, acute episodic care, reproductive care, including pregnancy, birth control, and abortion services, and hospital services;
3. centralize equity as a goal of the plan in order to reduce health care disparities; and
4. increase health care access in underserved urban and rural settings.
Recently, in Ocean City, video recordings of encounters between the Ocean City Police department and members of the public once again brought the important issue of criminal justice and police reform into the spotlight.
Unfortunately, every time one of these events occurs, the calls for police reform are met with the false narrative that reform is anti-police or an attack on our brave first responders. This faulty thinking could not be more detrimental to the safety of our community and our public servants.
The truth is that police reform is beneficial for both the community and our law enforcement officers. Our current policing structure is not working and in major need of reform. To combat crime, we need a complete toolbox, and that is what reform can give. Law enforcement is necessary to protect society, but they are tasked with too broad an undertaking with the tools provided.
The actions of a few representatives have resulted in brutality or tragic loss of life. These events have caused the fear and distrust of police in many communities and have made the job of our law enforcement officers much more difficult.
Police reform is good for the communities because it will help prevent these types of encounters from happening in the future, keep unprofessional officers from being hired again, continue the cycle, and rebuild trust in the community. The objective of police reform is that no matter what we look like or where we come from, we all want to know we can make it home to our families at the end of the day.
In the current debate over this issue, it is often overlooked or not discussed how police reform is also good for the police officers for several reasons.
There can be no doubt that the actions of a few bad actors have harmed the community's perception of the whole profession. These feelings of fear towards police and overall distrust make it, so our communities are less likely to cooperate with police and create an unsustainable tension between the community and our police departments. These effects make the already difficult job of our law enforcement even more complex and contribute to many of the issues we see in policing today.
Establishing accountability and providing access to new training and techniques to improve how we police our community. The majority of police officers are decent people who provide a valuable service. They risk their lives every day to serve our communities and keep us safe. These officers agree that those who don’t follow protocols or abuse the community are bad for the profession and need to be held accountable. Police reform would create the necessary mechanism to hold bad actors accountable and ensure that when they get in trouble for not upholding the standard of law enforcement, they cannot just move elsewhere and continue their mistreatment of the community.
Police reform would also provide additional education in de-escalation and implicit bias. The greater the variety of tools we provide for law enforcement, the more likely it becomes possible to create positive outcomes for situations like these.
Police reform would also help police officers by reducing the overwhelming burden we put on them. In our society today, we ask our police to investigate crime, address poverty, do traffic stops, solve mental health issues, work in schools, and pretty much every societal failure we face. We need a more holistic approach to our society, one in which we don’t task just one group with implementing.
We must also give police the tools to prove they followed the correct protocols and procedures. Introducing body cameras for on-duty officers is one such policy initially perceived as an attack on law enforcement. In actuality, it gave our officers the ability to defend themselves when they were accused of wrongdoing but had followed the proper protocols and procedures. In theory and practice, police reform isn’t “anti-police”; it is a tool to provide accountability, transparency, and allow police officers to show how they serve the community in a positive light.
In politics today, many of our elected leaders and special interests are resorting to catchy slogans and inflammatory rhetoric to mislead the public and create fear about police reform. Instead of implementing policies that address the issues raised by their constituents, they are focused on scoring political points with their base while dividing our community and blocking meaningful reform in the process. The problem with this approach is that slogans and inaction won’t address the issues nor help our police. At the end of the day, until we have serious conversations about police brutality and the need for reform, we will continue to exist in an endless cycle that is getting worse by the day. Both the community and our police can’t afford to stay in this cycle because our elected leaders refuse to put in the hard work required to create legislation, educate the community about the legislation, and then turn it into law. We need local leaders who are willing to address these issues and not “virtue signal” in an effort to be popular or pander. It’s time to expect more, to expect our elected officials to put in the hard work.
I am running for State Senate here in District 38 to overcome the hyper-partisan divides and address issues just like this. My plan includes diversifying our resources that will improve community interactions, ending "broken window" and for- profit policing, and creating community oversight. We can better support the police when we don't ask them to shoulder society's failures. We can do better for all of us.
Salisbury City Councilmember and Candidate for State Senate District 38
2021 has been a challenging year on many fronts for our movement and organization. However, because of you and your belief in our cause, we not only survived by thrived.
Here are 21 things the Lower Shore Progress Caucus accomplished in 2021:
1. Helped pass 27 pieces of Progressive legislation in Annapolis.
2. Successfully defended our first seat by helping re-elect Councilmember Todd Nock in Pocomoke.
3. Hosted an educational Town Hall on Off-Shore Wind.
4. Testified in support of the second round off-shore wind projects before the Maryland Public Service Commission. The new projects were approved.
5. Worked to get more competitive congressional and state maps giving us more chances to win seats in 2022.
6. Used our Political Action Committee to raise over $15,000 to help elect Progressives up and down the ballot in 2022.
7. Endorsed Heather Mizeur for Congress.
8. Helped overturn Governor Hogan’s veto on School funding, collective bargaining for community college staff, and closing the ICE detention center in Worcester county legislation.
9. Held our local state representatives accountable by launching our third year of legislative score cards.
10. Launched #MedicareForAllMondays, which has become a national trend.
11. Prevented the Mayor of Pocomoke from overturning the 2021 municipal election results.
12. Worked to help pass the American Rescue Plan providing Covid-19 relief to working families.
13. Hosted a town hall with Delegate Shelia Ruth on Universal Healthcare.
14. Helped override Governor Hogan’s veto on the Prescription Drug affordability board.
15. Helped to fight vaccine disinformation and get residents vaccinated.
16. Brought Gubernatorial and other statewide candidates down to the Shore for town halls.
17. Testified before the Salisbury City Council in support of new affordable housing plans to reduce homelessness.
18. Joined national progressives from across the country to help get Build Back Better passed in the House.
19. Represented the Eastern Shore in Our Revolution’s Green New Deal town hall.
20. Launched our education committee to help fight back against right-winged attacks on our school system.
21. Unveiled our brand new logo.
These achievements show the art of the possible when it comes to our movement here on the Lower Shore. However, heading into the important 2022 midterm election now is not the time to get complacent. We hope you will join us at our first monthly meeting of 2022 Thursday January 6th at 6:30 p.m. We will be discussing our priorities heading into the Maryland Legislative session starting the second week of January.
RSVP For Your Link To The Meeting Here:
When you saw Joe Manchin on the news yesterday proclaiming that he would not vote to pass the Build Back Better Act that we have been working on for so many months, I’m sure that you were as angry as I was. I am not going to sugarcoat this or insult your intelligence by telling you that you didn’t vote or work hard enough and that everything will be fine. At the very least, this was a major failure by both the Democratic Leadership in Congress and President Biden.
Speaker Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Schumer, and President Biden promised the Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal, the progressive movement, and the American people that if the Congressional Progressives ended their effort to keep Build Back Better and the Bi-partisan Infrastructure Bill linked together and passed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, they would get 50 votes in the Senate and pass Build Back Better too. In all likelihood, their political miscalculation of trusting Senator Joe Manchin, one of the most corrupt and greedy senators in United States history, has cost us the ability to pass Build Back Better as we know it.
I understand many might feel hopeless right now. However, I want to share with you two pieces of information that offer a ray of hope as we deal with this difficult news moving forward. Try to remember that while the current version of Build Back Better is dead, there will be a reconciliation bill in the coming weeks that will address several of our progressive legislative priorities.
Progressive Senator Ron Wyden has released a new framework for the Build Back Better Bill which focuses on the following progressive policies: expanding the Child Tax Credit, Prescription Drug Affordability, and provisions to fight Climate Change. In spite of the Democratic leadership’s failure to deliver on their promises, all signs point to some version of Build Back Better passing early next year. This revised bill is still being written; as soon as I have information, I will share it. Then we can begin lobbying for our priorities. As soon as I have it, I will share the information with you so we can lobby for and get as many of our priorities in the final bill as possible. Please remember the Congressional Progressive Caucus has been and still is fighting hard to deliver for working people.
I realize at this point we should be deeply concerned about future elections and the implications from the possible results of those elections. It's easy to feel hopeless after witnessing a supposedly Democratic Senator on Fox news. But the lesson here is that we must all focus on electing more Progressives to Washington D.C. Throughout this entire process, elected Progressives like Jaime Raskin, AOC, Bernie Sanders, Pramila Jayapal, and all the other Congressional Progressives have fought tooth and nail to deliver for working people and get the Build Back Better Act to President Biden’s desk. It is the Blue Dog Democrats (Conservative Democrats) and the Republican Party funded by Special Interests groups who have worked around the clock to kill the Build Back Better bill and obstruct our progress. Regardless of that, we members of the Lower Shore Progressive Caucus still have the power to change the system and return power to working families. By carefully vetting our endorsed candidates, the Lower Shore Progressive Caucus, with our endorsements from other political groups, can be instrumental in the election of progressive officials. Our Caucus isn’t a member of the “BlUe No MaTtEr WhO” group. Because every candidate we endorse will represent the movement as an elected Progressive, committed to progressive ideas, there will never be a Joe Manchin endorsed by us.
While there is much suffering in the world right now, we do have a golden opportunity in 2022. We are all tired of corrupt and greedy politicians selling out to billionaires and blocking progressive legislation. Let’s turn that anger and passion into action. The Lower Shore Progressive Caucus is the vehicle in which that action can be used to create the change we need. Have a wonderful holiday season with family and friends and hope you will consider signing up to be part of the change coming in 2022. I truly believe change will come by supporting Heather Mizuer and the other progressive candidates that we will endorse in March. Looking forward to seeing you in 2022!
Congressman Andy Harris has been representing us in Congress for well over 10 years. Throughout his time in office, Andy Harris has had a major problem with ties to White Nationalism and Anti-Semitism. In this letter I will discuss in detail Congressman Harris problematic ties to these extremist and hateful ideologies. Make this word plural?
On January 16th 2017, Congressman Andy Harris joined Congressman Phil Roe for a meeting with White Nationalist activist Chuck Johnson. Chuck Johnson is nationally known for his hateful and dangerous ideology including being a Holocaust denier, believing that Muslims are “genetically different in their propensity for violence or rape”, and linked to stories about how African-Americans “possessed a ‘violence’ gene.” These views have been proven to be debunked pseudoscience? from as far back as 1920. Yet our congressman took time out of his day to meet with such a radical extremist.
Read more about it here.
This is not the first time that Andy Harris has openly worked with someone with anti-Semitic and white nationalistic views. Since taking office Congressman Harris has been a major collaborator with Hungarian Dictator Viktor Orbán. Andy Harris has assisted Viktor Orbán in his efforts to erode democracy and seize power in Hungary. Prime Minister Orbán, during his power grab, was is famous for using anti-Semitic imagery around his nation, claiming that “powerful Jewish financiers are scheming to control the world.” He has also led smear campaigns that openly ran Jewish leaders, businesses, and institutions out of the country. Orban’s anti-semitic horror show doesn’t end there. Throughout his time in office, Orban has started efforts to revise history in order to “sanitize” the record of Hungarian participation in the ghettoization and deportation of the country’s Jews to concentration camps during WWII. During this period, Hungary was an ally of the Nazis. Despite these several authoritarian and openly anti-semitic actions, Congressman Harris still proudly promoted and supported anti-Semites in their effort to rewrite history, harass the Jewish community in the country, and seize power in the nation.
Read about Harris’ collaboration with Viktor Orbán here.
Read about Viktor Orbán’s anti-Semitic views here.
Andy Harris’s efforts to support foreign anti-Semites don’t stop in Hungary. In 2018, the congressman attempted to secretly meet with the leader of the Czech Nazi Party (Svoboda a přímá demokracie) Tomio Okamura in Prague. Not only was this meeting going to be paid for by U.S. taxpayers, this party is by far the most extreme that Czech Politics has to offer. You might be asking yourself why is this party so bad? The party has a long history of advocating for the violation of human rights and extremism like anti-Semitism. The Secretary of the Party Jaroslav Staník openly called for the gassing of “Jews, gays, and Roma”, which would be nothing short of a modern-day Holocaust. The party’s leader, Tomio Okamura, has called on the Czech people to walk pigs and dogs in Muslim neighborhoods and mosques (Muslim religious doctrines call for practicing Muslims to avoid interaction with these animals). To have people walk pigs and dogs in their community would be nothing short of harassment and open terrorism towards people just trying to live their lives like you and I. Tomio has also advocated for the end of religious freedoms and wants to ban Islam and other religions he views as undesirable. The fact that our congressman would set up a meeting with such an extremist that openly goes against American values of freedom and peace is disgusting and a clear sign he holds these beliefs himself.
Read about Andy Harris’s planned meeting with a political party calling for the mass murder of Jews, Romas, and members of the LGBTQ community here.
In the simplest terms, the situation with our sitting congressman is untenable. The first time Andy Harris met with or attempted to meet with an Anti-Semite and or White Nationalist leader or organization, there it was at least somewhat believable that maybe Andy Harris and his staff were incompetent and didn’t know how to vet people before setting up meetings. Not even Harris could be THIS incompetent. There is no reason not to believe that he holds these anti-American and anti-Eastern Shore views himself. There is a saying for people like Andy Harris: if there’s a Nazi at the table and ten other people sitting there talking to him, you got a table with eleven Nazis. We can’t afford to continue electing a congressman who holds sympathetic views towards White Nationalism and anti-Semitism.
Chair, Lower Shore Progressive Caucus