Our civic and political institutions are the bedrock of our society and we must do all we can to protect them from dangerous interference, both foreign and domestic.

Strengthening Democracy


Our civic and political institutions are the bedrock of our society and we must do all we can to protect them from dangerous interference, both foreign and domestic.

Joel's campaign meets the criteria to be certified as a Small Money Candidate by Represent Maryland.

Click here to read his answers to their survey.

 

Joel favors the public financing of state elections. He believes the public financing of the Montgomery County Council elections has succeeded in bringing significant diversity and openness to the process. The result is that we have more competitive candidates who reflect the broad array of communities that make up the County. Joel believes the same should be done at the state level, as currently the individuals competing for state office are limited in both their economic and community diversity.

  

One shouldn’t have to be rich to compete for public office, but that is what the current system is biased towards. In addition, corporations and large individual donors have too much influence over who can effectively compete for office, as their ability to provide significant sums to candidates makes their support irreplaceable in the current system. We need to create a state finance system that maximizes the value of small donors beyond just the dollar amount that they contribute. As Delegate, Joel would explore policies that make their contributions go further. This would drive a public financing program that provides unparalleled government transparency, shifts power away from entrenched wealth, and encourages candidates who are as diverse as the people of Maryland.

  

Regarding voting, Joel believes that automatic voter registration, particularly through drivers licenses and other analogous mechanisms is a must. As Delegate, Joel will review threshold requirements for qualifying for victory to state office. For instance, rather than the top three vote getters receiving the nomination during a primary, a threshold where each candidate receives one-third of the votes, and that subsequent runoffs are used to achieve this, should be considered. This would ensure that new entrants have a better chance to defeat unpopular incumbents, who may not always achieve such a threshold. Joel also supports an initiative to have the Maryland Board of Elections change the way it communicates voting by mail. Currently, this is referred to as "Absentee Voting," but Joel believes that calling it "Voting by Mail" would lead to greater participation in elections by providing voters with a clearer picture of their voting options. 

 

Joel will also advocate for the implementation of the recommendations of the independent citizen commission to transparently draw districts using objective and nonpartisan criteria. He is an enthusiastic supporter of the work of his 9-year old daughter and wife who co-wrote The United Shapes of America, an anti-gerrymandering coloring book. Joel believes we need to abolish gerrymandering nationwide, and to do that, the Maryland House of Delegates must act in concert with other state legislatures. If elected, Joel will advocate that Maryland take the lead on this nonpartisan solution to a very partisan problem.