Progressive Democrat – Maryland’s 6th District
I understand the opportunities and challenges facing people in Maryland’s 6th Congressional District because I have lived them myself. I’m running for Congress because standing up for those who have been left behind has been a value I’ve held since I was a young boy.
I grew up in Washington, DC during the 1960s after my parents moved from the segregated south to help build President Johnson’s “Great Society.” My mom, Ruth, headed up the Migrant Workers Division of the Office of Economic Opportunity, often taking me with her across our country to understand firsthand the hardships and challenges of the more vulnerable among us. She later went on to become the first CEO of Reading is Fundamental (RIF), growing it to become the nation’s largest non-profit children’s literacy organization in the country. My father, Glenn, was a lawyer who hung a shingle down the street from the White House above the Old Ebbitt Grill. In addition to his usual clients for that time in our history, my dad represented the LGBTQ community and specifically, was a pioneer in the fight for transgender rights.
I was raised on the principles that everyone deserves a fair shake; that everyone can and should be lifted up to stand on their own two feet; and that wealth is not the true measure of a person’s worth, nor does it entitle anyone to more say in how our society works. I firmly believe that regardless of our differences, all of us are entitled to the same rights and freedoms — no matter where we started or the challenges we’ve faced along the way.
That’s why I am running for Congress. I believe that for too long, billionaires, corporate CEOs, Wall Street insiders, and the insurance and pharmaceutical conglomerates have bought and paid for Congress. They have used their extraordinary economic power to rig the system for their own gain, without regard for how it affects the rest of us.
I graduated from Yale, went on to earn my PhD in Economics from the University of Maryland. After graduation, I headed to Hong Kong with no money and no contacts to pursue the idea of creating an emerging markets mutual fund when mutual funds in the US were still in their infancy. Later, I recognized how electricity production and markets could be radically restructured to benefit consumers, instead of the big utility companies. Anticipating the flexibility and competitiveness virtual supply chains could bring to small business, I led a small start-up company that developed the basic tools for building supply chains online long before others could see the demand for such technology. And in 2006, I saw the value of renewable energy for consumers and our planet, and became a small business owner, founding one of the first residential and commercial solar companies in Maryland.
Now I see we are facing one of the biggest problems of our generation — a broken political system. This broken system lies at the heart of our increasingly divided society and an economy that only works for the wealthiest among us. In this new era, those with power — whether they are corporate profiteers or career politicians — simply do not prioritize the rest of us. They do not care if working folks have to choose between adequate health care and losing our homes; between taking a good-paying job and caring for our children; or between having a high-quality education for our children and having the transit and transportation solutions necessary to get to work.
I have a vision for our country where every child receives an education that fully prepares her to control her own destiny and where those who start out with less or are struggling are shielded from the risks that could derail them from achieving their dreams. I see a country truly governed by the people, where the rules genuinely favor all of us and where we extend a helping hand to our fellow citizens when they stumble.
I am running for Congress because I believe in our fellow Americans. Since our inception as an independent nation, we have aspired to great things. Unlike career politicians looking for their next stepping stone, my mission in Congress, will be to work ferociously to put our country back on course to be the country we want it to be.