The Calvert County League of Women Voters hosted their annual Legislative Evening tonight. This is an event which provides local organizations and citizens the opportunity to address their elected representatives to Annapolis directly. Several groups arrived to share with the Calvert Delegation their legislative priorities before the new General Assembly session begins in January. We were there to stress what is important to us as UUs. This is the statement we delivered to much enthusiasm from the audience:
We’d like to thank each of you for coming out this evening and hearing the concerns of your constituents.
As Unitarian Universalists, we have a long list of issues we care deeply about, including:
• Strengthening protections for our LGBTQ community
• Promoting environmental justice – including expanding our Renewable Energy Portfolio, and supporting the Maryland Clean Energy Jobs Act
• Upholding Maryland’s fracking ban and rejecting any new fossil fuel projects.
• Ensuring racial and economic equity
• Supporting affordable housing
• Creating safer schools and communities by supporting fully universal background checks
• Ensuring everyone has access to affordable healthcare
• Providing support for people with serious mental health illnesses – including a statute for assisted outpatient treatment, funding for psychiatric residencies at our teaching hospitals, and the reversal of the current trend of eliminating psychiatric beds across the state.
And we look forward over the coming months to speaking with you all directly in your offices about many of these concerns.
But today, we’d like to congratulate you on your election victories and talk a little about our expectations for our elected officials. “We the people” have entrusted you with the great task of representing us. We have different backgrounds and experiences, different perspectives and needs. But your job is to represent all of us here in Southern Maryland. Yours is a position of service. Each of us is depending on you to take our best interests to heart when making your decisions. And sometimes, you’re going to have to put the best interests of some constituents ahead of others. This is not a small task, but it is what we have chosen you do to. So, before we go into the 2019 General Assembly Session, we’d like to offer this meditation on your behalf:
As you enter into your term of service for the people of Southern Maryland, endeavoring to bestow equal and impartial justice for all citizens, may you be strong, but not inflexible. Be passionate, but not rude. Be kind, but not wavering. Be bold, but not bullying. Be thoughtful, but not indecisive. Be humble, but not timid. Be proud, but not arrogant. May you be a positive model of civility. May your work help to bridge the polarized divide spanning our community, state, and nation. And may you always be mindful of the gravity of your decisions and the people affected by them.