In the News: John Sarbanes: As our nation recovers we have an obligation to build a more just America

As our nation recovers we have an obligation to build a more just America
John Sarbanes(Op-Ed), The Capital Gazette

This November, I’m asking the residents of Maryland’s 3rd District to re-elect me to continue serving as their representative in Congress. I’m running because I believe that my experience and my committee assignments — in particular, serving as a senior member on the House Subcommittee on Health and as a member of the House Oversight and Reform Committee — position me well to assist Marylanders in this battle against the coronavirus.

Throughout the federal response to the coronavirus pandemic, I have worked closely and in a bipartisan fashion with my colleagues to deliver meaningful resources to the residents of our state. This includes securing more than $1 billion in dedicated relief funding to Maryland and authoring key response measures, like a provision in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to waive cost-sharing requirements for Medicare beneficiaries who visit their health care providers and get tested for coronavirus.

In this moment, the importance of telework is self-evident. As a long-time champion for telework and the author of the Telework Enhancement Act, I’ve worked to expand federal telework capabilities to ensure continuity of operations under extreme conditions. As a result, many of the key agencies across our government continue to carry out important work and deliver critical benefits to the American people during this global pandemic.

I have also made the ability to telework a key priority for my own staff, which has allowed me to maintain the same level of high-quality and effective constituent service that many Marylanders have come to expect.

At this critical time, I am well-positioned as a member of the House Oversight and Reform Committee to insist on accountability when it comes to the federal government’s implementation of the coronavirus response and the distribution of trillions of dollars in pandemic relief funds. In addition, my role on the House Subcommittee on Health enables me to advance sorely needed reforms to our health care system.

I’m also running to make sure that, on the other side of the crisis, we are not only better prepared to manage future epidemics but ready to embrace a fairer and more inclusive society. The coronavirus outbreak has laid bare the blistering inequities that exist in nearly every facet of American life — from economic inequality to the lack of high-quality and affordable health care, to the injustices in our education system, to the unequal distribution of political power.

As our nation recovers from this pandemic, we have an obligation to rectify these structural disparities and build a more just and equitable America.

A key piece of this reform agenda includes restoring the promise of our democracy. As many Marylanders know, I have long championed a bold and transformative agenda to clean up Washington. I led efforts to assemble H.R. 1 – a historic anti-corruption and clean elections bill that seeks to end the dominance of big money in politics, protect the right to vote and ensure that public officials work for the public interest.

I strongly believe that when our government puts the priorities of the American people first, we can make progress on a whole host of issues and build a more equitable country. This includes addressing the climate crisis, protecting the Chesapeake Bay, lowering prescription drug prices, reducing the cost of health care, boosting wages, making college more affordable, curbing gun violence, securing equal pay for equal work, protecting DREAMers and expanding civil rights for every American. With H.R. 1, we can rebalance power in our democracy and return to government of, by and for the people.

Even before coming to Congress, I was deeply committed to improving the quality of life for all Marylanders. For nearly 20 years, I represented health care providers, including hospitals, community health clinics, physicians and nurses who strive every day to support our communities; I spent time at the Maryland State Department of Education strengthening our public school system; and I volunteered for years with the Public Justice Center to protect Maryland consumers, workers and tenants.

I have drawn on all of those experiences and combined them with my committee assignments in Congress in order to provide the best possible representation to the people of Maryland and the 3 District.

Democrat John Sarbanes is the incumbent member of the House of Representatives from the 3rd District. The Capital offers all candidates for office in local elections a chance to say why they’re running. The primary is June 2.

See the entire article on The Capital Gazette.