Planning for the Future of Maryland’s 7th Congressional District
“We are called to be architects of the future, not its victims. [The challenge is] to make the world work for 100% of humanity in the shortest possible time, with spontaneous cooperation and without ecological damage or disadvantage of anyone.” –R. Buckminster Fuller
Candidates often share a long list of issues they plan to tackle while in Congress. That may appeal to some voters who believe in quick fixes. However, that can be a delusional approach. In a two-year session, significant changes are often unrealistic and highly unlikely, when confronted by the partisan politics that can stand in the way of moving legislation along on its merits. I plan to introduce and support bipartisan legislation that will give the economy the ability to change the future of families, work, and communities.
If elected, I will work to introduce and support comprehensive legislation that ensures:
FUTURE OF FAMILIES
Our families have access to healthcare, childcare, eldercare, and other benefits that exist outside of a traditional job. I will introduce legislation that funds pilots, which allow a real-world test of new policies. Pilots will give us the data and models we need to eventually push us away from an economy where healthcare and benefits are attached to a job. More and more people have jobs that are not traditional, and we need to make sure we are adjusting for this change. Moreover, I am a strong advocate of evaluations and measurements to ensure the new efforts provide sufficient benefits to justify their work.
FUTURE OF WORK
Our workforce (businesses, employees, and students) has access to the training and education necessary to compete in an economy where up to 38 percent of current full-time positions will not exist in ten years due to automation (Source: PwC). Also, I favor legislation that ensures data and technology do not threaten security and civil liberties. Passing legislation that prepares us for the future workforce is realistic and is one of the areas for which a two-year session may be a reasonable time span. Bills have been introduced in the past but did not move. I want to present/support legislation that will focus on the future of work and do the following:
- Evaluate the jobs and skills that will be obsolete in the next ten to thirty years to shift public funds away from training individuals in these industries.
- Fund pilots to test how we can re-engineer our current education system from segmented learning to training individuals from the cradle to the grave.
- Fund the development of apprenticeship and internship programs focused on tomorrow’s jobs and skills and those for which applicants are currently in short supply.
- Incentivize public-private partnerships that strengthen career and job readiness in states, including funding internship requirements in the high school curriculum.
- Provide tax incentives for businesses and individuals to offer and receive the necessary skills and training to remain competitive in a changing economy.
With technologies like artificial intelligence and quantum computing, the need for individual skills will shift at a faster speed. The House created a caucus on the future of work in January, and the Senate is considering a similar group. Focusing on the future workforce is a bipartisan issue that we can move on quickly. We also need legislation that will protect the data of individuals. I want to introduce legislation similar to the GDPR in the European Union. At a bare minimum, companies should have someone’s expressed consent to use and sell their data. Companies have intruded into our private lives, and we need to ensure that our citizens’ rights and information are protected. Technology is coming into our homes and opening our mail, and most people have no idea the extent that this is occurring.
FUTURE OF COMMUNITIES
Our communities have funding for physical (such as transit, roads, and bridges) and technological (such as high-speed internet, digital tools, and smart grids) infrastructure to remain connected and competitive. Congress and the President are thinking about putting more funding into infrastructure. Still, it stops shy of investing in the future infrastructure we need by focusing heavily on what we did in the Eisenhower years. We need to pass legislation that puts funding into place for the infrastructures of the future. Broadband access is necessary, but we have to go a step further and think about the investments we need to make into smart grids, 5g, etc. The private sector drives these investments, and we need to make sure we don’t end up with the same digital gaps we see with the lack of high-speed internet in certain places in the country.
The citizens of Maryland’s 7th Congressional District may live in the same voting block, but they face very different issues. Let’s focus on our common ground and work together to improve the Future of Families, the Future of Work, and the Future of Connected Communities. Sign the petition to get Amber on the November ballot.