Baltimore County Council Stands Against the Dream Act (Well, Mostly)

On Wednesday, five of the seven Baltimore Council members not only pledged their support for the movement to bring the Dream Act (aka In-state Tuition for Illegal Immigrants) to referendum, but they also signed a letter urging county residents to sign the petition.  Republicans David Marks & Todd Huff, along with Democrats Bevins, Amman, and Olzewski committed their support in ink.

Sadly, missing from the mix was our very own Tom Quirk and our northern neighbor, Ken Oliver.  Does anyone want to garner a guess as to why Quirk would choose to remain in the minority and go against the rest of the council to stand by such an unlawful piece of legislation?

It’s curious to me that UMBC and CCBC just happen to reside in the 1st district.  We know from testimony in Annapolis that many colleges and universities from around the state were in favor of such legislation.  I’m not saying that UMBC and CCBC have in fact come out in support of the law, but I am saying that it’s a bit of a red herring.

Here’s my question though, and this isn’t just to Tom (because I wouldn’t want to pick on him).  No, this question goes to all the elected officials who have stood in support of this outrageous law.  Why would you spit in the face of federal law just to get votes from people who aren’t supposed to vote anyways?

It’s true that the hispanic population in Baltimore County is on the rise, but not all hispanics stand in support of illegal immigration.  Most of them fought hard to come here under legal pretenses.  Why support those who want a free ride?

I will say this, nearly 40% of the total support for the referendum movement has come from Baltimore County.  At this point, the petition signers almost outnumber the latino population.  And those numbers are only going to grow.  So even if Tom is choosing the road less traveled to garner votes, I’m thinking, in the end, it might backfire.

Now, supporters will come up with all kinds of sob stories in support of this legislation.  I know, I’ve heard them at the State House.  It’s a human rights issue and these poor innocent immigrants (who are here illegally) are suffering at the hand of Big Brother.

Yes, it’s sad.  But let’s just say we give them this subsidized education.  Then what?  What will they do with their citizen paid degree?  They can’t legally work here, so what kind of career can they possibly esteem too?

No worries, I’m sure the Maryland General Assembly will answer those questions sooner or later in the form of another piece of law breaking legislation.

Friends, if you don’t do another thing this year politically, sign the petition.  We need 56,000 signatures by June 30.  We’ve made it through the first hurdle at the end of May, but we need to keep up the pace.

It’s imperative that this bill go before the people because we’re confident that it will be overturned.  It’s up to us to send the message.

This is not a Republican issue.  Many Democrats across the state have joined in the efforts, including three of our County Council members.  I have to say that I’m proud of my council.  It takes guts to stand up against the mainstream of your own party.

To sign the petition, go to www.mdpetitions.com.

join the purple elephants

relay for life team

relay

Betsy and I have decided it’s time to stomp out cancer and we’re using our feet to do so. On June 11, starting at 6 pm, we’ll be gathering with several hundred people from around the region, to walk in Catonsville’s annual Relay for Life.
We’d love for you to join the purple elephants. Not only do we plan on raising bu-kudos of money for cancer research and patient assistance but we also intend to have a blast doing it.
If you’re a client or potential client, we plan to promote everyone at our tent, so this dadmight not only be an investment in the future, but also in your company.
So join our team and help us reach our goal of $1500. If you can’t walk, we completely understand, so we’ll certainly take any and all donations.
You can also purchase a luminaria in honor of someone touched by cancer. They’re only $10 and they’ll line the track and light the night.
Why we relay: Hillary lost her dad, David Crawford Foster, to renal cell cancer in April of 2008. This is a way she can give back and help continue the fight her dad couldn’t quite win.

Appointed School Boards Aren’t Politicized?

Last night the Baltimore County Board of Education voted to oppose SB 141 that would make at least some positions on the school board elected.  The proposal is for a hybrid board made of both appointed and elected positions.  According to a Catonsville Patch article by Penny Riordan, they approved a document that stated:

“creating a board structure composed mostly of elected members would unnecessarily politicize an efficient process that must remain focused on ensuring sound education policy for all Baltimore County students, avoiding the potential for narrow geographic focus and special interest groups’ agendas.”

Let’s explore this for a moment.  They’re afraid of politicizing the school board.  Um, hello, you’re appointed by the most partisan person in the state, the Governor.  We’ve heard of backroom deals using positions on the board for political gain, so let’s just throw that theory out the window right off the bat.  These people don’t want elections because they don’t want to lose their jobs or their power to negotiate positions for their “friends.”

Here’s my thing with the school board, and it actually has nothing to do with politics per say.  I’m not sure what the criteria is, but I’m thinking you must be old and out of touch to even be considered.  As a parent with a kindergartner, I wonder what goes through their heads when they plan out the school year or deciding snow days and delays.  Within the first two weeks of school, my son had three days off.  The argument is that it helps ease them into school.  Sure, that’s great for a 7th grader, but a newbie?  Not so much.

How about the fact that they only allowed for one week and a day for Christmas break, and the kids didn’t get out until Christmas Eve?  So when are you supposed to travel?  Earth to the Board: this is a very transient community.  Many people don’t have family around at all.  We didn’t go home at all this year.  There just wasn’t enough time.

So what do you think?  Should the school board be elected or continue to be appointed?

Baltimore County Night in Annapolis

Every year our legislators invite county Republicans down to the state capital for a chance to meet and chat with the who’s who of conservative Annapolis politics. 

This year’s reception will occur this coming Monday night from 6-8 pm in Rm 170 of the State House of Representatives building. 

This is a great opportunity to see how your government works.  You can tour the State House, see where sessions take place, meet with delegates and senators, and enjoy some very yummy food.  It’s well worth the trip.

For those of you wishing to carpool, contact Augie.  He has space for five and will be leaving the Catonsville area around 5:00 pm.

If you’re looking to drive on your own, you can either park at the Navy Stadium and take the shuttle over to the House building or you can park in a garage and walk over.  We hear Gotts Court garage is by far the cheapest.

We hope to see you there.  Seriously, don’t miss this great opportunity.

For Baltimore County Republican Central Committee members, a meeting will follow the reception. 

Get Involved: Birthright Fundraiser Tomorrow Night

Don’t you love the types of fundraisers where all you have to do is eat dinner with family and friends and it benefits deserving organizations?  What a great way to get involved in our communities and lend a hand at the same time.

Birthright Pregnancy Care Center is hosting a fundraiser at Squisito Too tomorrow night from 5-9 pm.  The restaurant has generously agreed to donate 10% of their proceeds for the entire evening, so all you have to do is eat.  It’s that simple.

Here’s a recap of the deets:

What?  A fundraiser for Birthright Pregnancy Care Center of Glen Burnie

When?  Wednesday, February 2, 2011 from 5-9 pm

Where? Squisito Too, 417 S, Camp Meade Rd, Linthicum Heights, MD

Hillary and Betsy Go Viral

Okay, maybe we haven’t hit the big time quite yet, but this article in the Catonsville/Arbutus Times is a good start.  Lauren Fullbright, a journalist for Patuxent Publishing came out and interviewed us in early December, wanting to tell the story of how we went from political activists to business owners.  We were super excited to see it published in today’s paper. 

Betsy and I have been continuously involved in every aspect of the grassroots movement in Baltimore County for the past 18 or so months.  Last July, we started Strategic Victory Consulting in which we offer marketing and event solutions for small businesses and political organizations. 

At the core we’re writers.  Through the Whisler Campaign and efforts within the PVRC, we’ve learned to take our skill sets to the next level by using free media and email marketing to not only promote political candidates but also small businesses and nonprofit organizations. 

We love what we do and feel extremely blessed to be able to assist people and businesses that we’ve come to respect.  We just want to see us all succeed. 

Photo courtesy of Phil Grout.

Legislative Wrap Up: Top Issues in Annapolis

Every week Library and Information Services publishes a Legislative Wrap Up where they cover the major issues on the table in Annapolis.  The first one for the 2011 Session is out and there are some interesting points to note. 

First, guess who was elected President of the Maryland Senate?  Wow, we can’t pull the wool over your eyes, now can we?  Senator Mike Miller began his 25th year as President.  Seriously?  25 years?  And people wonder why we keep finding ourselves in the these budget crisis’.  If you’re never willing to change, how can you possibly expect different results?  Let’s hope Maryland wakes up in 2012 and 2014.  Hey, a girl can dream, right?

Second, let’s take a look at some of the major issues we’re facing this session. 

 civil unions and same sex marriages;
 federal health care reform implementation;
 in-state college tuition for immigrants;
 renewable energy requirements for utility companies;
 slots expansion;
 alcohol and gas tax increases, and
 pension reform.

Does anyone else see a pattern here?  It’s like they just copied the liberal platform and adopted it for the agenda.  You know what frustrates me even more?  There isn’t much we can do about it.  We just don’t have enough votes to make a difference.  As part of the grassroots movement in SW Baltimore County, I’m getting a first hand look at how incredibly important it is to get out there and educate the general population.  We can’t give up.  Now, who’s with me?

Now it’s not just the list that gets to me, it’s what’s lacking from the list as well, redistricting.  We’re not stupid; we knew that they would push off congressional redistricting to a special session in late August or September, but it’s interesting to note that they’re simply choosing the ignore it.  Instead of coming right out and at least warning us that we’re about to get screwed, our elected officials have decided to just pretend the issue doesn’t exist. 

I, for one, don’t think they should get away with this.  We need to call them out at public meetings, make them go on record with a  firm stance.  Use voice recorders and get videos.  If you see an elected official, whether they are from the General Assembly or the County Council, ask them what their plan is for redistricting.  Ask them if they plan to divide neighborhoods and communities.  Ask them why there are 5 congressional districts that come into Baltimore County and City. 

Don’t give up peeps.  There is much work to be done.  Come hang out with us tonight at our monthly Happy Hour.  We’re meeting at Dimitri’s on Frederick Rd in Catonsville between 5 and 8 pm.  Be there or be square.  (Yep, I just wrote that…deal with it).