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An open letter to Bob Culver
It has come to my attention that permits are being drafted for the installation of a 3-million gallon open storage tank for chicken by-products for the company Valley Proteins, Inc. As a resident of the Hebron area, this has raised enormous concerns for us and our neighbors for a number of reasons, and we strongly urge you to reconsider the location of this storage tank.
My husband and I purchased our home almost four years ago at the ages of 25 and 26. We were first-time homebuyers, found an adorable property that we loved, in an area that we were thrilled with, and we couldn’t wait to get settled and begin enjoying our small acreage that would eventually become our home. The installation of this tank will drastically change the way of life that we have created for ourselves, as well as for the entire Hebron/Mardela Springs area.
-The roads leading to the site are not suitable for the increase in heavy tractor-trailer truck traffic that this project will require. Porter Mill Rd has not been redone in a number of years and has multiple locations where repairs are necessary every year. Riggin Rd is even worse. We currently see very few cars on Porter Mill and Riggin Roads, making them safe areas for myself as well as my neighbors to walk our dogs, ride bikes, or jog. The increase in traffic to this area will make it significantly more dangerous for us to enjoy our small, quiet country roads, as well as deteriorating the already unstable road conditions.
-The installation of this tank will create a far-reaching stench that will permeate much of the air for the surrounding area. This tank will contain chicken by-products including chicken blood, chicken feathers, chicken entrails, etc. Dozens if not hundreds of your local residents will be negatively affected for an extended period of time, so long as this tank and any future additional tanks are utilized. A similar tank is located at the sod farm immediately off of Route 50 on Porter Mill Road, and residents in the town of Hebron, located 2.5-3 miles away are affected by the smells. My husband and I live less than one-quarter of a mile from the site of this proposed tank. We will never be able to spend evenings on our screened-in porch, play with our dogs in our dog run, or work out in our yard with the stench that will emanate from this tank. One of the primary reasons that we purchased our property was the land and outdoor spaces; this will be taken away from us should this plan be approved.
-This area is already prone to high insect and vermin traffic, especially mosquitos and flies. The installation of this tank will highly exacerbate this traffic, disturbing local wildlife and affecting local residents’ quality of life. I keep horses on my property and can say that we already have enough of a battle-keeping flies down. I utilize several fly traps around my paddocks and run-ins, feed-through supplements that prohibit the exoskeletons of fly larvae to form, thus limiting the number of new flys, daily applications of fly spray on my horses’ legs, sides, and belly, and a full ensemble of a fly mask, fly boots, and a fly sheet even on the warmest summer days in an effort to combat the flies that we already have in the area. The smells and contents of this tank will draw more insects, causing physical harm to my animals and a significant nuisance to those of us who live in the affected area.
-Every resident in the area affected uses well water. I cannot stress enough that an overflow of this tank may ruin our source of water and affect numerous dwellings. I am extremely worried about this due to Valley Protein, Inc’s history of waste management. In late 2018 and early 2019, there were numerous reports of their excessive, yet somehow legal, dumping of wastewater into the Transquaking River. We are worried the installation of this one tank will set chilling precedence and over time turn the property and surrounding areas at Porter Mill Rd and Riggin Rd into a barren, waste-filled cesspool of by-product tanks and mismanaged waste products.
-The installation of this tank will plummet our property values. Most of us own our homes here, and the installation of a 3 million gallon chicken by-product tank in our backyards will cost most of us much of our hard-earned equity. The installation of this tank will, in effect, rob us of much of our net worth. This tank should be installed either where the traffic and effect to surrounding areas are mitigated by a buffer of sheer distance from the installation or where this type of installation is expected, i.e. a commercial neighborhood. Wicomico County is a big place; a more suitable location for this installation can be found; a more suitable location for this installation should be found.
Please help us, Mr. Culver. Please do not approve this project. Please do not approve Valley Protein, Inc’s request to destroy this beautiful part of Wicomico County. I would love to have the opportunity to speak with you regarding this proposed abomination in our peaceful little corner of the Shore. Please consider the lives of the residents that you will be overturning should you approve this request.
Because you don't know until you know
Someone needs to do something. To borrow from a now-popular meme: Me. I am someone. I’ve always thought of myself to be a “good” citizen. What does that even mean? I voted in nearly every local, state, and national election since I was 18 years old, so I’ve always felt as if I’ve done my civic duty. What else is there? As it turns out, there is more!
I don’t particularly care for labels, but those labels may help others understand my journey so I’ll start with them. To start: I am a wife, a mother, and an educator. I am also the product of a privileged white middle-class background. I was a child of divorce at a time and place where this wasn’t the norm. I was the victim of a date rape before it was widely discussed. I was a single mother in a highly conservative rural area 30 years ago. I dated interracially which caused a greater reaction 35 years ago than it should have. I suffered from undiagnosed depression for a couple of decades before seeking help. I am the parent of a child with a pre-existing condition. I have been the victim of a violent mugging. All of this happened to me, but this is not all of who I am.
And now I add the labels “Progressive” and “activist” to the list. What does that mean? Hindsight tells me that it’s logical that I would come to believe in freedom with opportunity for all, responsibility to all, and cooperation among all. It’s rarely that simple and my political self developed as follows. My father was a staunch Republican. We had so much in common that I must surely be a Republican too so I registered as a Republican when I was 18 years old and never gave it a thought. I went dutifully to the polls where I often voted for the “lesser of two evils” rather than out of conviction. But conscience is a funny thing. It grows and evolves and has a life of its own.
At some relatively recent point, I started to pay attention to the news. I spoke with friends regarding pivotal social issues. My son--who is likely alive today because of ACA--patiently explained to me why it was necessary. Many times! He also explained why raising the minimum wage was essential for him and many other Americans. Again, many times. It’s embarrassing to admit my ignorance. You don’t know until you know, do you?
Fast forward to the unprecedented reporting of shooting deaths of African American males by police officers. The formation of Black Lives Matter. The understanding that I finally came to (thanks to patient conversations with a dear friend) is that when I am speeding past a police car I only have to worry about a fine. The understanding that I’ve never had “that” conversation with my children. You don’t know until you know, do you?
Then came the primaries preceding the 2016 presidential election. This challenged my thoughts on nearly everything. I began to listen with the intent to political chatter. I’ve had the privilege of being able to ignore it most of my adult life. I’ve come to realize that it is this sort of laissez-faire attitude that in part led us to our current political situation. This won’t be an anti-Trump rant, but I can assure you that I probably wouldn’t have changed very much in my life without his entry into national politics. Two days after he got the Republican nomination, I changed my political affiliation to Democrat.
It felt momentous, but truly it didn’t change much. I mean, what were the chances that he would become President? And then, of all things, he won. I was stunned. And even then I didn’t know. I assumed that things would continue much as they had because that’s pretty much how it had always been during my lifetime. Because you don’t know until you know. At this point, this is a sad lament.
Finally, everything changed -- if only for me. I read about this protest in DC, the Women’s March. I signed up, not knowing what it would be, what it would become for me. This was one of those rare moments in life when you can say, this changed my life forever. I was energized and excited afterward. I became even more likely to share my thoughts on political matters on social media, but that didn’t accomplish much. I didn’t want to be merely a keyboard warrior. There were a few semi-secretive resistance movements that formed locally, but I didn’t see that as an option.
And to come around full circle, someone has to do something. Because I wanted to recapture that excitement and momentum, I looked for another protest. I wasn’t able to attend two that I wanted to in DC so I was a bit frustrated. Again, social media made me aware of two things: a protest against a local jail that was housing ICE detainees and a semi-interesting Congressional race. I researched both, and ultimately ended up at the protest and on another occasion spoke to a candidate who encouraged me to volunteer, even if it wasn’t for him. These two events put me in touch with others who had some of the same concerns and fears that plague me daily. I attended a meeting of the Lower Shore Progressive Caucus where I found out that the person I was becoming was not so alone here on the Lower Shore. While my volunteering for that Congressional race was ultimately frustrating in many ways, it was enlightening as well. Both of these events helped me to conclude that if anything is going to change in my community, I cannot wait for others to make it happen.
This isn’t the end of my political becoming, simply a few of those happenstances which started me on my current path. Life, after all, is political. I felt and continue to feel a bit hopeless at times. There’s a lot to be angry about these days: social injustices, erosion of democratic principles that once seemed sacrosanct, healthcare, women’s rights, the environment, public land use, climate change, education, the national debt, and the list continues. My political education is continuing, and I am evolving. With Progressives, I have found many like-minded individuals who have encouraged me to act locally. Thus I found myself going to local meetings, talking with political figures who hoped to shape local and state policies and refining my political interests further. I’m still redefining my priorities as a politically cognizant individual who wants to keep democracy alive in our political system. While I still pay attention to national politics, I realize any true influence I may have will come about through local actions.
Because you don’t know until you know.
Shore groups speak out about hate
Letter to the Editor
April 11, 2019
The members of the undersigned organizations condemn the dispersal of white supremacist flyers on the Eastern Shore on March 31. In addition to being found in the Rio Vista neighborhood of St. Michaels, as reported in the Star Democrat, flyers with different text – though equally hateful and containing the same organizational name and contact information – were found on Tilghman Island.
Similar flyers have also been found over the last year in both Eastern Shore counties of Virginia; and in Maryland, in Ann Arundel, Charles, Queen Anne’s, Somerset and Worcester Counties; and the towns of Gaithersburg, Germantown, Eldersburg, Ellicott City, Glen Burnie, La Plata, Lothian, South Baltimore, Sykesville, Upper Marlboro and Waldorf.
Unanswered questions remain. Was this a coordinated action as it seems? Who dispersed this bigoted literature? Are they our neighbors? Have they succeeded in their recruitment campaign?
Just like nooses and swastikas, these acts are not pranks to be taken lightly, but symbols designed to spread fear of violence against African Americans and Latinos and Jewish people. We will not tolerate the spread of racial and religious terror with its potential to incite violence in our community. Though the President has fanned the flames of hate, we must fight this wildfire with all we’ve got. We cannot remain silent and allow bigotry to take root in our communities.
We raise our voices against hate and prejudice. We call on all people of moral conscience to speak out to provide a bulwark against bigotry. We also call on our elected officials – our Midshore Delegation to the Maryland legislature – and Congressman Andy Harris to publicly denounce these acts immediately.
Please participate in creating a public presence of love and tolerance and against all forms of hatred by printing a sign from this website and putting it in your window. https://hatehasnohomehere.org/
Bay Hundred Citizens for a Just Society (The Hedgehogs)
Indivisible Worcester Maryland
Kent and Queen Anne’s Indivisible
Lower Shore Progressive Caucus
Salisbury University College Democrats
Social Action Committee for Racial Justice – Kent County, MD
Lower Shore Progressive Caucus creates coalition of local officials and organizations across the Eastern Shore to urge delegates to vote for CEJA
Dear Lower Shore Delegates,
It has been brought to our attention that the Maryland Clean Energy Jobs Act is heading to a vote in the House of Delegates. That is why the following Eastern Shore organizations that make up large sums of your constituency are writing to you asking that you vote in favor of the bill. This bill address two major issues currently affecting the Eastern Shore: climate change and bringing good-paying jobs to our region. There is no debate; science has overwhelmingly shown that climate change is real and poses a serious threat to our way of life. We are already seeing the effects of this crisis now with stronger storms, more days with extreme heat, and our communities are already facing tidal flooding in Dorchester, Somerset, Ocean City, and other places across our region. The time to address this growing issue is now, and this is the bill that will help transform our energy systems away from fossil fuels to cleaner and more affordable forms of energy.
It is also important to note that this is not just an environmental bill. This bill will save Maryland roughly $240 million dollars in federal tax credits in just one year. It will also triple offshore wind investment and bring other forms of green energy projects to our region creating thousands of good-paying jobs both on the Shore and across the state.
Voting against this bill is signaling both the Shore and the rest of the state that our delegation isn't serious about addressing climate change or bring good-paying jobs back to our region. We, as voters across the Shore, strongly urge you to vote YES to the Maryland Clean Energy Jobs Act.
Chair, Lower Shore Progressive Caucus
Admin leader, Kent and Queen Anne’s Indivisible
Susan Byer and Toby Perkins
Co-Chairs, Indivisible Worcester
Chair, Indivisible Dorchester
Chair, Talbot Rising
Wicomico Councilman District 4 and Citizen
Mayor of Salisbury
Chair, Wicomico Democratic Club
LSPC has its second "birthday"
On February 3, 2019, the Lower Shore Progressive Caucus turned two years old. When we first began, there were some in the community who laughed and said we would be lucky to last two months.
Since our inception, I am proud to say that today there are 6 elected progressives on the Lower Shore, both within the Democratic Party and at the county level. We have also successfully helped get several pieces of legislation passed in the General Assembly and successfully moved some of our legislators to support certain bills like paid sick leave.
In my twenty years of life, it has been my proudest achievement to serve as chair of this great organization. It has helped shaped me as a person, introduced me to many great friends, and brought me closer to the community I have lived in and loved my whole life. I know that political organizing is a long and hard road filled with ups and downs and filled with major victories and crushing defeats. But the future of the Eastern Shore of Maryland rests in our hands, and I am more confident than ever that our future is bright and that we will continue to build a movement that protects our values and way of life and works to create better opportunities for generations of Shore residents long after we are gone.
To all our members and volunteers, I thank you for all your hard work and sacrifices to advance the progressive movement on the Shore. If you are not a member, yet agree with a lot of what we do or want to help better our region, I personally invite you to join us and become involved. Together we can build a better Eastern Shore for all.
Green energy means economic growth and health for the Shore
As I traveled through Southern Germany today (3.9.19) I was taken away by how many wind turbines and other forms of green energy I saw in the countryside. Not only has Germany’s investment in green energy started to address the growing crisis that is climate change, but it has also created good-paying jobs and economic development in rural areas.
With this in mind, I am calling on all Lower Shore delegates and senators to put politics aside and support the Clean Energy Jobs Act to help bring that same investment and growth to our region.
The Lower Eastern Shore stands to see the most immediate impact from rising sea levels caused by climate change. It is already happening in Dorchester and Somerset counties and poses a serious threat to our coastal communities and way of life. Also having the state invest in more green energy opens the Shore up to having more green energy projects come to our area, creating jobs and economic growth. Now more than ever, we need our delegation to have vision and lead on this issue.
Call your reps to voice your support for the Clean Energy Jobs Act.
Mary Beth Carozza – 38 – Somerset, Worcester, Wicomico 410-841-3645 | 301-858-3645
Adelaide C. Eckardt – 37 – Caroline, Dorchester, Talbot, Wicomico 410-841-3590 | 301-858-3590
Christopher T. Adams – 37B – Caroline, Dorchester, Talbot, Wicomico 410-841-3343 | 301-858-3343
Carl Anderton, Jr. – 38B – Wicomico 410-841-3431 | 301-858-3431
Wayne A. Hartman – 38C – Wicomico, Worcester 410-841-3356 | 301-858-3356
Johnny Mautz – 37B – Caroline, Dorchester, Talbot, Wicomico 410-841-3429 | 301-858-3429
Charles J. Otto – 38A – Somerset, Worcester 410-841-3433 | 301-858-3433
Sheree Sample-Hughes – 37A – Dorchester, Wicomico 410-841-3427 | 301-858-3427
There has been a lot of discussion in the political world about reparations recently. Many opponents of the idea point out that “They didn’t own slaves” or “Slavery was a long time ago.” The problem with these statements is that it fails to understand the major effects of enslavement and other forms of systemic oppression that have drastically affected the African American community in America for generations. Slavery in America started in 1619 when a Dutch ship brought 20 African slaves ashore in the British colony of Jamestown, Virginia, and lasted until the passing of the 13th amendment in 1865. These 246 years not only put the African American community through the most inhumane and brutal conditions imaginable but also created multiple generations of people who worked for free. Not only were there physical and mental wounds left by this practice, but it also left those who did live to gain freedom at a disadvantage because no wealth was gained from their labor. Meanwhile, white plantation owners--and white families in general--were gaining wealth and passing it down from generation to generation.
Enslavement wasn’t the only thing that put artificial barriers up and kept African Americans at a disadvantage. Following the end of slavery, violence and discrimination towards African Americans continued. Towards the end of the Civil War, General William T. Sherman issued Special Field Order Number 15, which granted each freed family 40 acres of land on the islands and the coastal region of Georgia. This order would give freed families land and the opportunity to build wealth and build a life after the horrors of slavery based on the premise that owning land is the key to economic independence and autonomy. However, after the death of Abraham Lincoln, one of the first acts of Reconstruction under President Andrew Johnson was to order all land under federal control to be returned to its previous owners in the summer of 1865. This left millions of freedmen and women with a choice that they could either sign labor contracts with planters and become sharecroppers or be evicted from the land they were originally given. Those who refused or resisted were eventually forced out by army troops. It wasn’t just after the Civil War either; after the Reconstruction era and around 1877, Jim Crow laws were put into effect in the South. These laws mandated the segregation of public schools, public places, and public transportation; the segregation of restrooms, restaurants, and drinking fountains for whites and blacks and were in effect until 1965. That is almost a 100 hundred year period.
One of the most impactful policies on the economic growth of African American communities is Redlining. Recent studies show racial discrimination in mortgage lending in the 1930s shaped the demographic and wealth patterns of American communities today and 3 out of 4 neighborhoods “redlined” on government maps 80 years ago continue to struggle economically. During the New Deal, the federal government created a program to give loans to help refinance African American homes. However, the program was filled with racial discrimination that openly encouraged developers to institute racist policies that prevented minorities from buying houses and saw 98% of home loans go to white families. This program allowed white families to buy property and build wealth. This new wealth attracted new businesses to white communities increasing their property values more and by the time redlining and other discriminatory practices were made illegal, most minority communities didn’t have the money or economic resources to move out of the “Red areas” and were then stuck in poverty.
On top of dealing with the effects of past discriminatory practices, today there are still many more forms of systemic racism that drastically affect the African American community today including mass incarceration where African Americans make up 13% of the total population yet represent 40% of the prison population. It has gotten to the point where “if a black person and a white person each commit a crime, the black person has a better chance of being arrested. It’s also true that once arrested, black people are convicted more often than white people. And for many years, laws assigned much harsher sentences for using or possessing crack, for example, compared to cocaine. Finally, when black people are convicted, they are about 20% more likely to be sentenced to jail time, and typically see sentences 20% longer than those for whites who were convicted of similar crimes. And as we know, a felony conviction means, in many states, that you lose your right to vote. Right now in America, more than 7.4% of the adult African American population is disenfranchised (compared to 1.8% of the non-African American population).” (Source: https://www.benjerry.com/home/whats-new/2016/systemic-racism-is-real)
Even today wealth is disproportionally held by white families. Current statistics show that white families hold 90% of the national wealth, Latino families hold 2.3%, and African American families hold 2.6%. To put that into a clearer perspective, for every $100 white families earn in income, black families earn just $57.30. African Americans are also more likely to face higher suspension rates in school and over the past 60 years have had unemployment rates twice that of whites. A National Bureau of Economic Research study found that job applicants with white-sounding names get called back approximately 50% more of the time than applicants with black-sounding names, even when they have identical resumes. This seems to be a widespread problem: even guests with distinctively black names get less positive reviews from property owners on Airbnb.
So although it is true that we didn’t directly take part in the enslavement of past racist policies towards African Americans, it is important to understand the privilege we have from having white skin. Equally important is understanding that the best way to continue to overcome the wounds of the past is to have a serious conversation about implementing reparations and a national apology about the horrors of slavery and decades of systematic racism in our government. Reparations would show dignity and respect to a community that had to face decades of unthinkable discrimination and hardship re-enforce by a system of oppression. Also, perhaps more than anything else, reparations are an active effort to interrupt and reverse the continuous pattern of economic, educational, social, and political legacies of enslavement that still exist in our society today.
Why Progressives must focus on local elections in 2019
Whether you have been on social media or watching any form of news, you have probably seen that a majority of the conversation is about the 2020 election. While it is important to find a good candidate to take on President Donald Trump and reverse several of his destructive policies, there are important events happening in small towns and cities across the Lower Shore in 2019 that are being overlooked. The 2019 Municipal elections are where we will be electing many of our town council representatives and mayors, depending on the area you live in. From cities like Salisbury to small towns like Brookview in Dorchester County, these elections are the simplest way to have a major impact in order to build the best possible future for our region.
One major reason you should be involved is it’s necessary to keep you informed about what is going on right outside your door. It doesn’t matter if you live in a city like Salisbury or a small town like Pittsville, there are many things going on in your community that you might not think about on a regular basis. By becoming involved in local politics in your town, you not only get a chance to meet your neighbors, but you acquire an understanding of the issues facing your area. Knowing the needs of your community helps you to become an active member in finding solutions to those issues, therefore improving both the community and your personal life. The old saying is true that if you want to change the world you should start locally!
Another major reason you should be involved is it gives the Progressive Movement on the Shore a unique opportunity to build a bench for future races. In 2018, we were able to get some progressives elected into office. However, we still have a long way to go in order to build a government on the Shore that works for the many. One of the biggest problems we faced in 2018 was our candidates didn’t have name recognition and that played a role in some of the close defeats we had. By having progressives start at the local level, candidates gain the experience and the name recognition needed to run for higher offices on the county or state level in the future. This will not only help our movement in the future but also improves our local governments now, providing an opportunity to have a greater impact in our communities sooner rather than later.
Finally, local governments have the biggest direct effect on our lives. In our political system local governments are in charge of many services like parks and recreation services, police and fire departments, housing services, emergency medical services, municipal courts, transportation services (including public transportation), and public works (streets, sewers, snow removal, signage, and more). For years people really haven’t paid attention to their local governments across the Shore and it has had a pretty serious effect on events in our community. A perfect example is when Pittsville Town Commission President Denver Moore hired his daughter Carla Moore as town bookkeeper. She went on to embezzle more than $170,000 from the town and was sentenced to jail time for her actions. This isn’t the only time local governments on the Shore have done shady things behind the backs of the public. If you have been paying attention to the local news you have probably heard about the tragic death of Anton Black. Despite knowing of Thomas Webster IV past use of excessive force and protests from the president of the Central Delaware NAACP chapter warning the town of his history of violence, the town council still decided to hire Webster and put him in a position of power in the community. This decision is a clear failure on the part of elected officials of the Greensboro town council and a tragic reminder of the need to make sure we elect local leaders who listen to the public and don’t put people with questionable pasts in positions of power within our community.
Even though most towns haven’t had a major negative news story like Pittsville or Greensboro, there are still other major issues with our local Governments across the Lower Shore. Other than the great work being done Mayor Jake Day in Salisbury, many towns on the Lower Shore struggle to find enough people to fully run their town governments. This forces towns to fill their seats with folks who don’t know what they are doing. This lack of experience means that even when full, a majority of the major issues facing our local communities are often not addressed. This is one of the biggest reasons why Progressives should focus on local races in 2019. Not only can we get progressive leaders elected, but we can look to address the corruption and ineffectiveness that plagues our smaller communities. Paying attention to local elections and looking at elected leaders who will actually put forth ideas backed up by hard work to improve our towns and cities will help all citizens build a brighter future for our region--brick by brick.
Andy Harris needs to represent all of District 1: why his vote on the Farm Bill was wrong
Dear Governor Hogan,
Since your re-election, one of the major issues that you have sought to address is Gerrymandering in the State of Maryland, even going as far as to create a commission to redraw the 6th congressional district. In order to fully and fairly committed to non-partisan redistricting, it is crucial you speak out and get serious about ending Gerrymandering in District one. A majority of the district is the Eastern Shore, yet year after year our representative in Congress doesn’t live anywhere near the Shore or understand our way of life. That severely limits the Eastern Shore’s power and ability to represent itself in order to better meet the needs at the Federal level. This is illustrated as our current Representative Andy Harris from Cockeysville in Baltimore County voted against the Farm Bill despite the Shore’s economy being overwhelmingly based on farming. This isn’t the only time Representative Harris has voted against the interests of the Shore in Congress. His commitment to anti-immigration policies and inability to compromise left crab houses across the Shore without visa workers during the busy season. Despite having a record of voting against the needs of the majority of his district, Dr. Harris has felt no impact from these decisions because he lives nowhere near the significantly impacted areas and has little skin in the game when it comes to making sure the Eastern Shore gets what it needs to thrive. That leads into the second major issue with how District One is currently drawn. The City of Cockeysville is over three and a half hours away from areas like Crisfield and has completely different ways of life and needs within the community than the Shore. Having a representative from Cockeysville doesn’t accurately portray the needs and views of the majority of the district and creates a district in which Dr. Harris cannot be held accountable for decisions that hurt our region due to how unfairly the map is drawn.
One of the biggest campaign promises you made in 2014 and again in 2018 is “Giving an open ear and a seat at the table” to the Eastern Shore. In order to fully do that, you must do the right thing in the situation--not the easy thing--and fairly redraw Maryland’s Congressional District One so the Shore can have a representative that will vote for our interests and has vested interests when it comes to the success or failure of the Shore. I am fully aware of the political blowback you may receive from your party for drawing a district that cuts out the only incumbent Republican Congressperson in the state, but it is important to remember by fairly redrawing District One, the odds are that another Republican will be elected to that seat. However, this Republican will actually represent and have a stake in our region giving us the representation we need. All eyes are watching you, Governor Hogan; please do the right thing and give the Shore the voice it desperately needs.
Pittsville (Wicomico County)
State Senator Mary Beth Carozza is wrong on FF15
In an interview this week with 47 ABC, Senator Mary Beth Carozza said raising the minimum wage would be harmful for job creation on the Shore. After carefully listening to her interview and viewing her and her colleague's arguments on social media, here are the flaws with her argument against the Fight For 15:
Myth 1: Raising the minimum wage will just result in all minimum wage jobs becoming automated.
Automation is going to happen whether the minimum wage is 15 or there is no minimum wage. The labor market is constantly changing due to improvements in technology, which is a good thing. While it is true some jobs are going to be replaced by automation, eventually, new jobs will spring up from the advancement in technology. For example, fixing the machines or programming.
Myth 2: Raising the wage will just result in higher prices.
A $15/hour minimum is unlikely to result in higher prices because most businesses directly affected by it are in intense competition for consumers and will take the raise out of profits rather than raise their prices. When prices go up people substitute cheaper versions of the product to save money. For example, if Pepsi goes up in price and Coke doesn’t, many people will switch to drinking Coke to save money.
Myth 3: Raising the wage would result in massive job loss.
They say this every time there is a proposed wage increase or workers right bill. The truth is A $15/hour minimum won’t result in major job losses because it would put money in the pockets of millions of low-wage workers who will spend it, thereby giving working families and the overall economy a boost and creating jobs. But because the higher minimum will also attract more workers into the job market, employers will have more choice of who to hire, and thereby have more reliable employees which result in lower turnover costs and higher productivity.
In 1996 when the minimum wage was raised, businesses predicted millions of job losses. The result was we had more job gains over the next four years than in any comparable period in American history.
The truth of the matter is that a $15 / hour minimum wage will boost Maryland’s economy by $2.6 billion annually and help business owners have more customers and lower turnover in employees, both key ingredients in helping businesses thrive.