Where I Stand: John Astle, District 30 Senate candidate

Written by: John Astle

As a longtime resident of Annapolis and southern Anne Arundel County, it has been my honor to represent our area in the Maryland General Assembly. During my years of service, I have seen families grow, businesses prosper and good men and women work hard, play hard and contribute to the growth of our community.

As I have watched these families grow, I listen to their concerns, wishes and hopes, and I know it makes me a better legislator. I have heard families tell of schools falling apart, or students learning in trailers. We have worked together to make sure that we can repair the infrastructure and provide our students with the modern environment they need to succeed. Families and teachers have been concerned about funding for schools, wanting to make sure that we continue to invest in our classrooms. It’s why I have supported record funding for education, and will continue to make sure that our teachers have the resources to succeed. I am proud of my record on education, and am proud that the teachers of Anne Arundel County have endorsed my re-election.

As I listen to these small-business owners, I have heard complaints about the sometimes-difficult environment in this state. They ask for tax relief and respite from regulations. As senator, I have consistently voted against higher taxes and stood up against onerous regulations to make certain that we do everything we can to help businesses succeed.

Helping businesses succeed goes beyond what occurs during the 90-day session. Job creation must continue to be the No. 1 focus of the General Assembly. I am proud of my partnership with our family farmers, small businesses and overall business community. But don’t take my word for it — it’s why the Maryland Farm Bureau and the National Federation of Independent Businesses have endorsed my re-election bid.

When I speak to constituents, the concerns I hear go beyond education and the business environment. They are concerned about the environment — the effects of global climate change, the need for alternate energy and the need for clean air to breathe and clean water to drink. It’s why it wasn’t a question for me to support offshore wind when the General Assembly debated the issue. Annapolis will be strongly affected by climate change unless we take action, and I will continue to take the necessary action, whether it is supporting alternate energy, reducing our stormwater runoff or funding increased cleanup in the Chesapeake Bay.

While many of the issues we debate are continuing issues, new challenges will arise and we must be ready to deal with them. With the growth of technology and the ease of identity theft, one population has been overlooked — children. According to the Carnegie Mellon Institute, over 10 percent of children are victims of identity theft, compared with 1 percent of all adults. The reason for this is simple. Parents don’t realize that they might need to keep an eye on their children’s credit reports, which makes them an easy target for identity thieves. Many victims discover this crime only when they try to open up bank accounts or credit cards as adults and are suddenly faced with bad credit and false debt. To address this issue, I sponsored, and the General Assembly passed, a law to allow parents to freeze their children’s credit report. This law was the first of its kind and will help protect children’s identity and security throughout their childhood, helping to protect their futures.

Over the last four years, we have accomplished much — but we have more work to do. We must build better schools, protect our veterans, grow our economy, protect a woman’s right to choose, and find ways to stimulate job growth. I ask you for your vote and pledge to continue to be an independent voice for our district and to work with all citizens to get the job done.

Read the original article here.


(This article was written by John Astle and published by the Capital Gazette on October 2, 2014.)