Jesse Colvin hosts town hall in Denton
DENTON — Jesse Colvin, Democratic congressional candidate for Maryland’s 1st District, held a forum Sunday, Oct. 7, at the Chesapeake Culinary Center in Denton to further discuss his platform and stance on crucial issues to about 40 attendees.
“To be a successful representative, I think you have to listen in your district, build relationships in your district and build relationships in Congress,” Colvin said.
Topics of discussion included the opioid epidemic, taxes, legalization of marijuana, and Colvin’s reasoning in running for Congress.
“It turns out one in five of us in our district right now have a certifiable mental health challenge,” Colvin said. “There’s a college in our district where 43 percent of the freshman class self-reported for a mental health challenge.”
“The short answer to this question is Andy Harris voted against $34 million in mental health funding for our state, a lot of it would’ve gone to the Eastern Shore,” he said.
“If you hear a politician in 2018 talking about health care, you’re going to hear two words right off the bat: quality and affordable. In rural America, which is us, the third word needs to be accessibility,” Colvin said.
The candidate said bills specifically for mental health funding is the solu- tion to providing more psychiatrists and health care prescribers to the Eastern Shore.
In asking a question regarding taxes, one audience member said, “people have come to the conclusion that taxation is a penalty upon productivity. How do you convince them that taxes are an investment in the social fragment that will support their productivity in the long run?”
“I think we need more members of Congress on both sides of the aisle who know what a balance sheet (is), and who know that there’s two sides to a balance sheet, and who care about both sides,” Colvin said.
Colvin said there needs to be a new tax bill, and that “there is fat to be cut in the Department of Defense (DOD) budget.”
“There are a lot of weapon systems in the DOD budget and procurement pipeline that are 30 years over-scheduled and $50 billion over budget,” Colvin, an Army Ranger who served four tours in Afghanistan, said. “Those programs did not keep me or my Ranger buddies any safer in Afghanistan.”
“This new crop of veterans coming will share a similar attitude: we should stop judging politicians patriotism on the size of the DOD budget that they support.”
Colvin also mentioned that 37 percent of the district’s working families consist of ALICE families, meaning Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed families.
“It’s the family for whom the carburetor breaks... and the next month it’s the choice between rent and food, or rent and prescription drugs because you can’t do both,” he said.
According to the candidate, in Somerset County its more than 50 percent, and Caroline County is above the average. “Those folks need tax relief,” he said.
When a question regarding legalization of marijuana arose, Colvin said, “I would support medical marijuana, I would support decriminalization at the federal level, and let the states take it from there.”
One audience member questioned why Colvin wanted to run in the first place.
“My dad coached every one of my Little League teams and I hope to do the same for my son who is six months old. I served six years in the military, I served four combat deployments to Afghanistan, I joined the Army because of 9/11. It was never going to be a career for me, I see this in very similar terms,” he said.
After the event concluded, audience member Anne Highfield of Chestertown said, “By seeing Jesse speak, he is really good at building relationships. I think what happens when you take the time to build relationships, then that builds loyalty and he’s got this loyal following across the district.”
“I’m really excited about that, I see people knocking on doors that would’ve never thought about trying to do that ... people who have never been involved with politics,” Highfield said.
The voter registration deadline for the Maryland General Election is 9 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 16. The general election is Tuesday, Nov. 6, with early voting Oct. 25 through Nov. 1.
Jesse Colvin, the Democratic congressional candidate for Maryland’s 1st District, addresses a Denton crowd Sunday night.