For 10 years, I have been a strong voice advocating for resources that will support student achievement. Through my work in the classrooms providing academic support, I have seen first-hand the many challenges with which our families deal that hinder student success. Our educational institutions have a diverse student population with varied needs. Success of many families is rooted in quality childcare and education. We must make sure that all our families have access to resources that will allow students to have opportunities to succeed.
Equity and Social Justice
Local government can play a crucial role in creating equal opportunities for those who are at a disadvantage because of their color or economic circumstance. Working for equity benefits the greater community. We need to provide resources and tools to individuals in different situations that will give them access to better opportunities. Often, we talk about economic inequality but find ourselves uncomfortable in a conversation about racial inequity. To develop effective strategies or policies, we need to include diverse perspectives.
Transportation and Environment
When I came to this country 18 years ago, I first had to learn how to navigate the transportation system. No matter how experienced you are, you will, however, find yourself stuck in traffic while commuting for work or driving kids to extracurricular activities. We need to ease the congestion on I-270 and I-495 by offering accessible and affordable alternatives. The Purple Line will connect commuters with areas that are currently not easily accessible, but we must also ensure steady investment in infrastructure and have public transit options for all our communities, including safe routes for our bike riders. Making public transit easily accessible to all our communities not only provides better alternatives for travel, especially for seniors, but it also relieves traffic congestion and is better for the environment, leading to a positive impact on the quality of life for all our residents.
Affordable Housing and Healthcare
Affordable housing is a challenge. This issue has been a part of the work I have been doing for the past few years, helping to resettle families with limited resources. Through partnerships with community leaders we have found creative solutions and succeeded in securing affordable housing for some families. Creating affordable housing opportunities for all families is important to sustain a diverse community in our county.
Affordable health care is essential to the well-being of all families. As the commissioner of Montgomery County Commission of Children and Youth, I led the work on substance drug abuse, and I am currently focused on mental health issues. As an immigrant, I understand how important and challenging affordable health care can be for families new to the country, along with those who are struggling with monthly bills. We need to ensure residents have as many health care options as possible.
Creating job opportunities for people with all skill sets and supporting local business growth is essential to ensure economic growth. I will strive to address the concerns of our local businesses while ensuring that, no matter what your job is, you are paid a minimum wage that sustains your needs and allows you to make financial progress in your life.