Dun­dalk na­tive Davis gears up for Co. Coun­cil run

Fo­cus on youth, drug out­reach

The Dundalk Eagle - - FRONT PAGE - By NI­COLE RODMAN nrod­man@ches­pub.com

Dun­dalk na­tive Richard Davis re­cently lost his girl­friend of five years af­ter her bat­tle with cancer. Though dev­as­tated, he has chan­neled his grief into help­ing oth­ers over­come their own strug­gles.

Now, he is hop­ing to make

an ever big­ger im­pact as the next Bal­ti­more County coun­cil­man.

Davis has filed to run for the Demo­cratic nom­i­na­tion for Bal­ti­more County Coun­cil in the 2018 elec­tion. If he wins the June 26, 2018, pri­mary, he would face in­cum­bent Repub­li­can Coun­cil­man Todd Cran­dell in the Nov. 6, 2018, elec­tion.

A long­time Dun­dalkian, Davis at­tended Dun­dalk El­e­men­tary, North Point Ju­nior High and Pat­ap­sco Se­nior High schools and took cour­ses at Bal­ti­more City Com­mu­nity Col­lege.

He worked for Am­track for 14 years be­fore be­com­ing di­rec­tor of se­cu­rity for Days Inn at the har­bor for four years. For the last 20 years he has worked at the se­cu­rity of­fice at Johns Hop­kins Hos­pi­tal.

For Davis, his path to po­lit­i­cal can­di­date be­gan af­ter his long­time girl­friend suc­cumbed to cancer.

“I was a mess, so I joined a group at St. Rita,” he ex­plained.

The grief sup­port group helped him be­gin to heal and he, in turn, be­came a coun­selor. Now, he works to help oth­ers over­come their own strug­gles.

“I took my pain and en­ergy and hurt and put it into some­thing pos­i­tive to help other peo­ple,” he ex­plained.

Davis hopes to bring his ef­forts to a wider au­di­ence through his run for county coun­cil.

“That’s why I de­cided to run this cam­paign,” he said, “To help oth­ers.”

One of Davis’ main fo­cuses is on sup­port­ing young peo­ple across the com­mu­nity, es­pe­cially those ad­dicted to drugs.

“I’ve seen a lot of youth have lost their way,” he said.

Davis of­fers a lis­ten­ing ear and a shoul­der to cry on. He hopes to be an ad­vo­cate, es­pe­cially in the wake of an ever-grow­ing opi­oid epi­demic that is proving es­pe­cially fa­tal.

“We’re los­ing a young gen­er­a­tion,” he said. “They’re dy­ing ev­ery­day.”

Davis is calling for longer, more in­volved drug re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion pro­grams, not­ing that “30-day re­hab pro­grams of­ten don’t work.”

He is also calling for a re­turn to val­ues in the com­mu­nity, some­thing he would em­pha­size as coun­cil­man.

“We’ve lost the val­ues in our com­mu­nity,” he said, not­ing that “com­mu­ni­ties have lost their way.”

Speak­ing more specif­i­cally, Davis cited the North Point Govern­ment Cen­ter saga, which has been on­go­ing since County Ex­ec­u­tive Kevin Kamenetz an­nounced his in­ten­tions to sell park of the site for pri­vate de­vel­op­ment in 2012.

Davis is calling for greater com­mu­nity in­volve­ment in the process.

“The peo­ple in the com­mu­nity should gave a voice in that,” he noted.

“I think it should be used for some­thing that would ben­e­fit the com­mu­nity,” Davis said of the cen­ter, He sup­ports recre­ational and pub­lic use space at the site, as op­posed to pri­vate de­vel­op­ment.

He fa­vors re­mod­el­ing the ex­ist­ing build­ing, though notes that the fi­nances must be ex­am­ined to de­ter­mine the best course of ac­tion.”

“I think it’s a big her­itage thing, I think it should stay there,” he said of the com­mu­nity build­ing.

On the is­sue of the econ­omy and jobs, Davis is calling for more fam­ily-sup­port­ing jobs that pay a liv­ing wage.

“We need to cre­ate jobs peo­ple can live off of,” he noted.

He is calling to more job train­ing pro­grams, es­pe­cially for those re­cov­er­ing from drug ad­dic­tion.

“We need a pro­gram to get them back in the work­force,” he said. “Show them some­one cares.”

Davis is run­ning for county coun­cil in the hopes of bring­ing these is­sues to the ta­ble and pro­vid­ing a voice for the com­mu­nity, es­pe­cially the youth.

“These young peo­ple are lost,” he said. “Moe young peo­ple are get­ting lost ev­ery day.”

He added, “The coun­cil looks in one di­rec­tion and not at ev­ery­thing we need in these com­mu­ni­ties.”

Re­gard­ing his po­ten­tial ri­val in the gen­eral elec­tion, in­cum­bent Coun­cil­man Cran­dell, he said, “I think his per­for­mance as far as job cre­ation was very great, but the jobs we did get were low-pay­ing jobs.”

“He didn’t have a pro­gram to talk about the kids we’re los­ing ev­ery­day and about drugs,” he con­tin­ued, adding, “Some peo­ple in North Point Vil­lage told me they’re afraid to walk in their own com­mu­nity.”

He also spoke out against Cran­dell’s bill man­dat­ing law en­force­ment of­fi­cials be trained to screen for il­le­gal im­mi­grants. The bill was later tabled.

“I didn’t feel that cor­rec­tional of­fi­cers should have to do that train­ing,” Davis said.

Re­gard­ing the con­tro­versy sur­round­ing County Ex­ec­u­tive Kamenetz’s ex­ec­u­tive or­der mak­ing Bal­ti­more County a so-called “sanc­tu­ary county”, he said, “You have to make sure peo­ple are here legally.”

“You have to screen peo­ple bet­ter,” he noted. “You have to check back­grounds, what­ever it takes to make sure those peo­ple are le­gal.”

Asked about other is­sues he feels strongly about, Davis pointed to Meals on Wheels, say­ing, “I want to make sure Meals on Wheels for se­niors that have al­ready qual­i­fied is in­tact.”

He also cited a de­sire to en­sure park land is not de­vel­oped or sold, say­ing, “We don’t need de­vel­op­ment to take them away.”

For Davis, his main goal is to help oth­ers and serve as a voice for the com­mu­nity.

“I think I can re­ally make a dif­fer­ence,” he said. “This is my calling — to help oth­ers.

COUR­TESY PHOTO--

Richard Davis has filed to run as a Democrat for the Bal­ti­more County Coun­cil.

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