Star Democrat: Mizeur: 'I have always been a doer'

EASTON — “Some people run for governor because they want the job. Others run for governor because they want to do the job, and I have always been a doer.”

Gubernatorial candidate Del. Heather Mizeur, D-20-Montgomery, said that during the Democratic Women’s Club of Talbot County meeting at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 10, at Denny’s Restaurant.

Accompanied by her Chief of Staff Dan Badalamente, Mizeur spoke to a full house about her reasons for running for the position of Maryland governor, what she has accomplished in Annapolis, what her goals are if elected and answering any questions the audience has for her.

First, she provided a little bit of background on how she got her start in politics by talking about her father, a United Auto Worker for 32 years and how he would take her to the picket lines after going on strike. “I got to see firsthand, what it meant to have the courage of your convictions ... and how when we make each other’s common struggle one united purpose, we’re always going to be stronger,” she said, touching upon lessons that experience had left her.

After that, she talked about some of her achievements in the House of Delegates, such as the Kids First Act, which resulted “in the last three years, 50,000 more children have received health care.” She also talked about her work with Del. Mike Smigel, R-36-Cecil, on lowering the abortion rate in the state of Maryland, saying they “put the partisanship on a shelf in the name of progress.”

“We can all agree that when we empower women to have babies when it makes sense to them, we break cycles of poverty and we improve maternal and child health outcomes,” Mizeur said. “As a result of the Family Planning Works Act, 35,000 more women now have access to free family planning in our state.”

Next, Mizeur moved on to the topic of the environment. She opposes the practice of fracking, citing its negative impact in other states and said “Maryland needs to take a different approach.”

“Gas has been underground for hundreds and thousands, maybe even millions of years. We don’t have to rush to do this, second chances are really expensive when we’re talking about our clean air and water. We have to get this right the first time,” she said. She touched upon her approach that advocated for extensive scientific research and tests before a drill even touched the ground.

After that, she spoke about the income inequality gap in the state of Maryland. She mentioned how the middle-class and seniors on fixed income were suffering because of this.

“I have a plan to turn the minimum wage into a living wage,” Mizeur said. Part of her approach calls for asking the millionaires and some of the big companies in Maryland to “pay their fair share and close that loophole.” According to her, this would generate enough revenue to give tax relief to 90 percent of all Maryland families and all small businesses.

On the subject of education, she talked about the importance of doing away with the “achievement gap” mentality; that a child’s success in school hinges on their social, racial, income level and other factors. She believes that every child should have an equal opportunity to learn and not let any of said factors affect their education.

Mizeur has three initiatives laid out: universal pre-kindergarten, expanding the Child Care subsidy to middle-class families and repairing its inner workings and putting a lot more resources into after school and summer initiatives.

“We shouldn’t just invest in our children until the school bell rings,” she said.

Her final talk was on the decriminalization of marijuana in the state of Maryland. Calling previous efforts to contain it “the failed war on drugs in our state,” Mizeur also mentioned how marijuana prohibition laws have been flawed from the start and are seeped in racial bias.

“When we legalize, tax and regulate marijuana, we bring an underground economy into the light of day,” she said. She also talked about how this would help keep it out of the hands of children, saying “Young people already have access to marijuana. By doing this, we improve our chances of keeping it away from them and in a state-run facility, with regulations “ She also talks about her educational campaign to show youth the effects of marijuana on a developing mind.

As for adults, Mizeur says that the death, toxicity and addiction rates for alcohol and tobacco far exceed those of marijuana.

“CDC doesn’t even have a category of death caused by marijuana,” she said.

“If you take a look at the science, it shows that for adults, who want to make the decision in the privacy of their own home ... it should be up to you. When we do this, we generate $160 million of new annual revenue that goes towards paying for these early childhood education services,” Mizeur said.

With that, she opened the floor for the audience to ask questions. In regards to one, Mizeur mentioned that she and her wife own a 34-acre farm in Chestertown and that “bridging the environmental and agricultural communities together” was vital, because the two are closely related and can be stronger as an united front.

Before she ended her presentation, she told the audience that “it’s your campaign. Delman Coates and Heather Mizeur are head of the ticket, but we’re just the head of a movement that’s about making sure our state lives up to it’s potential.”

Mizeur’s final words to those gathered were, “I am the candidate this state is ready for. I have the experience, the record of accomplishments and the best vision to lead this state. I lead from my heart, I have the courage of my convictions and I will never let us settle for less than what we deserve.”

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