Korman for Delegate
Maryland House of Delegates, District 16 in MD http://www.marckorman.com
7104 Exeter Road
Public Phone Number: 240-447-1175
Public Email: [email protected]
Primary Election Date: 2014-06-24 General Election Date: 2014-11-04
Who am I?
I was born and raised in the community where I am running for the state legislature (the Maryland House of Delegates), Montgomery County, Maryland. I attended local public schools and went to California for college at the University of Southern California. Like many in my age range, an interest in politics turned into activist passion with the 2000 election. I began getting involved in the College Democrats and Young Democrats, volunteering for progressive campaigns, and learning a lot more about the issues. I volunteered on campaigns to try to bring about progressive policies at every level, from municipal races to presidential campaigns.
After college, I worked on Capitol Hill for two Democratic members of the House of Representatives while continuing to work for progressive causes and candidates in my community. In 2007, I won a seat on my local Democratic Party Central Committee (the governing body of the local Democratic Party). The post is on the primary ballot every four years and I was reelected by the voters of my district. As a Central Committee member, I have worked to ensure that my district has the best, most active group of Democratic volunteers in the state and helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for County Democrats. I have also been an active member of the Democratic Party’s Issues Committee, supporting reforms to Maryland’s election laws to make it easier to register to vote and promote early voting and to push the local party to endorse death penalty repeal. I previously served as president of the Montgomery County Young Democrats and National Committeeman for the Young Democrats of Maryland. I am an active member of several other local political clubs, including the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Democratic Breakfast Club and the District 16 Democratic Club.
In addition to political pursuits, I have also committed myself to the civic issues of my district. I am the current chairman of the Western Montgomery County Citizens Advisory Board, a government-chartered group which advises our County Executive and County Council on local issues including land use, transportation, education, public safety, and budgetary matters. I also serve on the Board of Directors of the Bethesda Urban Partnership, a non-profit organization which markets and manages downtown Bethesda. I have been a regular volunteer for the Action Committee for Transit to promote the Purple Line and other transit solutions to traffic.
I earned my Master's degree in Government from Johns Hopkins University at night and then left Capitol Hill to earn my law degree from the University of Maryland, where I was awarded the Public Service Award. I currently practice law at a firm in Washington, DC, where I have been the co-recipient of the firm's pro bono award for three consecutive years. I live with my wife, Rebecca, and son, Harrison, in Bethesda.
Why am I running?
I am running to bring about change on issues the state legislature is uniquely positioned to impact. In my community, two of the most important elements of our success and quality of life are our great schools and our struggling transportation network. The state has a major role to play in supporting both.
Schools: Montgomery County is known for its great schools, but that does not mean they are not without challenges. Shifting demographics mean 1/3 of the students (approx. 50,000) are on free and reduced meals. The school system is also growing quickly and there are major space constraints. More attention to both issues is needed at the state level, particularly school construction where there is already state funding but it is completely inadequate to support our area's growth.
Transportation: Metro (the trains and buses that serve the Washington area) is important not only for those who ride it but also those who drive (they don't want Metro riders switching to cars) and the broader community relying on Metro for our economic success. Unfortunately, Metro is not adequately serving the public. The state of Maryland sends hundreds of millions of dollars in funding to Metro each year and needs to use those dollars as leverage to improve Metro's management and communications. In the long run, Maryland must push for a dedicated funding source (such as a piggyback sales tax or transfer tax), which is how almost all transit systems in the country are funded.
Schools and transportation are two of the immediate issues I will try to have an impact on, but there is far more to do. Maryland must get up to speed in implementing Obamacare, where we have gone from being a leader to falling behind such states as Kentucky. We must continue to be a state that respects a woman's right to choose and GLBT rights, while expanding protections for our transgendered community members and privacy rights in this new digital age. We must continue to lead on environmental protection, including doing more to clean and restore the bay and shift to renewable energy. And we must raise the minimum wage and link it to inflation so all our workers can live with dignity.
There is much more information at http://www.marckorman.com/on_the_issues
1. Improve Metro: Metro is too important to the regional economy to continue failing. But it is an issue too often ignored by our state legislators even though they hold the purse strings. In the short run, I will work to increase oversight of Metro to force Metro's management to do better. Despite what happens in Congress, oversight can be a constructive and not destructive force. By asking probing questions and talking with Metro officials, Metro can improve. My previous experience on Capitol Hill and working as an attorney will be helpful in conducting oversight.
In the long run, I will fight for a dedicated funding source for Metro. Nationwide, transit systems use different types of funding for Metro including a piggyback sales tax or a special real estate transfer tax. No other major transit system has to beg local jurisdictions for funding in the manner Metro does. My work with the Action Committee for Transit and other smart growth groups will help to build a coalition for dedicated funding.
2. Increase School Construction: My county has approximately 17% of the state's public school students but only receives 11% of state school construction dollars, even as we have the largest and fastest growing school district in the state and almost every school in my district has more students than it has room for. In the short run, I will work hard to obtain for my county a deal similar to the one the state has given to other jurisdictions to jump start school construction through the use of special bond funding. In the long run, I will advocate for more school construction dollars being allocated by formula which will take into account school system size and growth. Thankfully, many legislators from my community have come to understand these needs and I will work to engage that coalition to achieve both the short and long term goals.
3. Raise the minimum wage: Maryland's minimum wage is the federal rate of $7.25/hour. A progressive state like Maryland can and must do better. In the short run, I will support an increase to the minimum wage. In the long run, we must link the minimum wage to inflation so that politicians cannot hold the wages of our neediest citizens hostage. Wages should grow with the economy. The law should be written so that if there is deflation, the wage cannot go down. Those earning the least never need a pay cut. I will achieve this by continuing to work with progressive leaders across the state who understand this need and have made it a priority.
My DFA Values
Community, Security, and Liberty should be at the heart of all progressive campaigns. But campaigns, in and of themselves, are merely a means to an end. That end, progressive policies, must also hold these values at their core. The issues I talk to voters about when I go door to door all involve the interrelated values of Community, Security, and Liberty. They are a guidepost both for political action, but also policy solutions.
My Campaign is People Powered!
As a Democratic activist, I have engaged other activists and progressives to help with the campaign's grassroots activities thus far. As of this writing, we have knocked on over 6,000 doors and attended numerous parades and festivals to get my message out. Continuing that approach is what will ultimately secure an election day victory.
I have also taken my grassroots approach a step further, having spent months individually meeting with community leaders over coffee, a beer, or a meal to discuss what issues matter in our community. Out of that process, I am pleased to have a long list of endorsements from progressive leaders in my district.