Getting to know you:
I am T Dan Baker. I am a very very concerned District 7 citizen regarding race relations, corporate influence in government, US foreign policy, and especially climate change.
Son of a Baptist Minister and high school Math teacher.
One of the first graduates of the Virginia Military Institute to join the Peace Corps.
Huge fan of JFK’s ‘can do’ vision supporting the ‘moonshot’ and 'civil rights'.
A civilian veteran (US Foreign Service) of Afghanistan (2 tours), International Public Health professional, and recently returned Country Director of an infectious disease prevention and treatment program covering southern Turkey and northern Syria.
I’ve been fortunate over my career as an international health & development professional to have visited many countries of the world, and I have seen with my own eyes the changes which have befallen other countries suffering from poor governance, corruption, and lack of leadership to address climate change. We must fight to prevent this from happening to the United States!
Issue 1: I believe that there is serious denial in government - that needs to be called out and addressed at the federal level - regarding the realities of race relations and climate change.
Issue 2: I believe that there is serious corruption in government - that also needs to be called out, investigated, and addressed - regarding corporate influence in government and foreign policy.
Issue 3: I believe that most folks in District 7 want:
· to have the financial boot off their throats – even if a little bit – so that the income they are making today stretches a little bit further each month (perhaps by reducing the work week to 4 days);
· to feel safe and secure from violence – both domestically and internationally;
· to have access to decent health care, food, and education for their kids.
And I believe that the following policies can help achieve these wants!
· Equal Pay: Same salary for same job
· Minimum Wage: = A living wage!
· Drug Use Decriminalization: For non-violent offenders
· Education: Pay teachers their real worth! Ensure curriculum is preparing our children for their future
· Female Reproductive Rights: It is a woman's right to choose and have access to health care services!
· Universal Health Care (Plus Public Opt) : It is a Human Right! People should have the right to choose the kind of care they want.
· Gun Control: License and registration to own
· Immigration: Far enough back, aren’t we all immigrants?
· Legalization of marijuana: And new research into medical use
· Gay marriage & adoption: We all need love & loving parents!
· Improving Transportation and Infrastructure
As a trained member of Vice President Al Gore’s Climate Reality Leadership Corps, I’ve believed in the need for US leadership and an aggressive response to the Global Climate Crisis for many years now. The UNEP report that came out this week provided evidence and stated emphatically that the global community of countries is not effectively reducing its Green House Gas emissions to meet the pledges of the Paris Climate Agreement signed in 2015 to keep global temperature rise below 1.5 C. Though several states and cities across the US are working diligently to meet the Paris Agreement, including Maryland, clearly much more needs to be done. To this end in my website platform (VoteTDanBaker.com) I propose a “stretch goal” to begin Reversing Climate Change - while establishing new jobs – starting right here in District 7 by:
· Establishing the first all renewable energy municipality (including all residences and businesses) in the United States & by
· Training District 7’s unemployed and underemployed in solar and wind turbine manufacturing, grid conversion, and systems installation.
In establishing the first all renewable energy municipality in District 7, what is required first and foremost is citizen and distributor incentives to convert from fossil fuel based electric supply to renewables only supply. To be clear, several outside companies have attempted this in District 7 in the past, but households remain hesitant to switch their electricity supply for fear of a mishap in billing or getting stuck with an incorrect increase in cost. *As a point of fact, renewable energy costs per kilowatt hour are typically 3 to 5 cents less than that of fossil fuel-based supply.
As Representative for District 7, I would work with local communities and all levels of Maryland state and local government: first, to identify the economic and environmental benefits of conversion to ‘renewables only’ for municipal electric supply; second, to move such popular initiatives forward while overcoming key roadblocks to making such a conversion successful; and third, to entreat and lobby the US Congress to provide support for this cutting edge, first of its kind, state and locally run, initiative.
Developing a model for the “GREEN AMERICA” renewable energy employment initiative in District 7 will require integrated investment in both rural (solar array and wind turbine component manufacturing) and urban (grid conversion, electricity storage, and installation) development. To attract such investments will require incentives – for small and large businesses alike – in the form of favorable terms of land use and taxation so that existing and startup green manufacturing companies can in turn offer attractive and favorable terms to their newly recruited and trained District 7 employees.