Teachers Association Endorses Pittman for Anne Arundel County Executive

Steuart Pittman is proud to announce that the Teachers Association of Anne Arundel County (TAAAC) has endorsed him for Anne Arundel County executive. The Teachers Association represents the more than 6,000 educators in the Anne Arundel County Public School system.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 14, 2018

Contacts:
Rhonda Ellis, Communications Director
410-280-1932; rhondaellis1@aol.com

Scott Travers, Campaign Manager
240-818-7606; sftravers91@gmail.com  

“Our campaign is about the future of this county, and that future is in the hands of our teachers,” says Steuart Pittman, Democratic candidate for Anne Arundel County executive. “It’s time to stop putting teacher compensation on the back burner of politics. Neighboring counties have become magnets for good teachers who want better pay, and that hurts our children and their education.  An aggressive growth agenda under the current county administration has expanded our student population and left us with 400 fewer teachers than we need. That’s why some class sizes are as much as 30 percent higher than recommended levels.

“I’m thrilled that TAAAC has chosen to endorse my candidacy for Anne Arundel County executive,” says Pittman. “I look forward to campaigning alongside the teachers who will educate my twin boys, and then making a fresh start in 2019. With a new school board, a new county council, and a new county executive, we will restore the reputation of Anne Arundel County as a great district for teachers to work in.”

“We are excited that a candidate like Steuart Pittman stepped forward,” says Richard Brenfer, president of TAAAC. “His community approach to governing fits perfectly into TAAAC’s vision of Empowered Educators, Successful Students and Connected Communities.  With Steuart Pittman as an advocate for education, we will be one step closer to keeping the Anne Arundel Promise to provide a Great Public School for Every Child through responsible spending that meets the needs of our 21stcentury school system.”  h

Steuart Pittman is a non-profit executive, farm business owner, and nationally-recognized community leader and organizer who lives in Davidsonville with his wife, Erin, and twin boys Sam and Andy. He is running for Anne Arundel County executive to end the developer-funded politics that fuel fiscally irresponsible growth in our county. By implementing and enforcing a community-driven approach to planning, Pittman will transfer resources from development incentives to education, public safety and environmental protection. His campaign slogan reflects his life’s work: “Putting Communities First.”

By Authority Friends of Steuart Pittman, Virginia Clagett Treasurer
SteuartPittmanJr.com
440 Dodon Road, Davidsonville, MD 21035

 

Posted on 14 Feb 2018, 13:03 - Category: Campaign News



Raining Hellfire from Government

I woke up this morning to a news alert that the bipartisan deal to salvage the Children’s Health Insurance Program, protect our young Dreamers from deportation, give Trump some money for his wall, and keep our federal government open for business had failed to pass our United States Congress. Like most Americans I was disgusted by this news. Its economic impact could be devastating and that means vulnerable people get hurt…badly hurt.

All of us were told in school that government is of, by, and for the people, and we are a compassionate people. When government is used as a club to bully our neighbors we must come together and demand change. 

Yesterday I listened carefully and took notes as our County Executive briefed our delegation to the Maryland General Assembly on challenges facing county government. As he read the statistics about our skyrocketing median income and commercial growth I thought about the teachers with 40 kids in a classroom and the county corrections officers working sixteen hour shifts. I wondered if he would mention that developers had built so many luxury homes that their values were declining, and that maybe that bill he supported to ban workforce housing from most zoning districts was a mistake. Why didn’t he mention that we have a growing population of people with family incomes below $25,000?

County Executive Schuh did, however, share some views on undocumented workers, gangs, and homeless people.

Undocumented workers in our county, he said, “Should return to their country of origin.” That is a stark departure from the position taken by Ronald Reagan, George Bush, John McCain and what we now consider the compassionate conservative wing of the Republican Party. They all supported a path to citizenship.

Rather than presenting a plan to increase opportunities for young people to engage constructively in our communities, Mr. Schuh promised us that he would be “raining hellfire” down on gangs. I trust that our police officers will continue their outstanding community policing efforts rather than following Mr. Schuh’s advice.

Rent and housing prices both increased by 100% in our county in the last decade, so it’s not surprising that we have people living in shelters and on the streets. Mr. Schuh described efforts to get “treatment” for homeless people, as though it were a disease rather than an absence of affordable housing options, and pledged that those who remained homeless would be shown “tough love.” He said that county government would “give them bus fare to return to their families or their place of origin.” I don’t think I need to comment on the potential effectiveness of that strategy to end homelessness.

There is a new group of politicians, at both the federal and local levels, that are behaving like bullies.  They are using the tools of government against the most vulnerable people among us. They need to be replaced, and 2018 is a good year to start.

Posted on 20 Jan 2018, 01:03 - Category: Campaign News



Strong First Fundraising Report for Pittman Campaign

The Democratic challenger to Anne Arundel County Executive Steve Schuh announced today that his campaign met its goal of raising $100,000 by yesterday’s close of the reporting period. Active fundraising for the campaign began less than four weeks ago with a 300-person campaign launch at Pittman’s farm in Davidsonville, and today’s total represents over 250 donations.

“The first month of our campaign has inspired all of us. Three hundred supporters got us started in a cold barn in mid-December, and now 250 donors are sending a very strong signal that we are not happy with the direction our county leadership has taken us. This is not development interests buying influence. It is citizens, many of whom have never donated to a political campaign, saying that we want to be heard.”

Steuart Pittman has never run for office and thought he never would. He is a rare mix of farmer and community organizer whose family has called the county home for eight generations.

“In my world, it’s the people who live here and the land we will pass on to future generations that matter. When given the choice between lowering costs for developers and investing in schools, police, fire, and transportation, developers won’t come first. Communities will. I think that’s what’s been missing at the Arundel Center, and that’s why our campaign will exceed all expectations.”

Anne Arundel County is being closely watched by political analysts. The County Council is chaired by Michael Peroutka, a Republican who served on the board of the secessionist League of the South. County Executive Steve Schuh is a graduate of Peroutka’s  Institute on the Constitution and is a contributor to Roy Moore’s campaign for the United States Senate. Steuart Pittman is one of a large contingent of energized candidates who have filed in local elections to take government back from these far-right influences. Like Pittman, most of these candidates are new faces on the political scene.

For more information on the Pittman campaign go to www.PittmanForPeople.com, Pittman For County Executive on Facebook, and Steuart Pittman on Twitter.

Added January 12

After hearing news that incumbent Steve Schuh had reported $1 million on hand in his campaign fund, Anne Arundel Community College pollster and politics professor Dan Nataf told the Capital, "The county executive race will likely come down to spirit over spending."

See Capital Article here.

Posted on 11 Jan 2018, 01:22 - Category: Campaign News



Christmas Eve Check-In

For me, Christmas eve is a good time to check in with myself. Did I shop for everyone I should have? Am I ready for the gathering of family? Have I practiced generosity and compassion? 

I made a decision this year to devote the remainder of my working life to community, or what some would call politics. Does that count as generosity and Christmas spirit? I suppose it depends on what you stand for and how deep you feel it. I feel like it counts this year.

When my siblings were gathered here on the farm for Thanksgiving we watched a video interview that my cousin had done of my father a few years before he died. Dad recalled as a boy listening to his father at a party talking politics with his friends. The topic was Franklin D. Roosevelt and his campaign for president. Pops’s friends were business leaders, and they were convinced that FDR’s New Deal programs would sink the country further into debt and make doing business in America impossible. Pops disagreed with his friends, and my father’s proud recollection was that his dad’s arguments in support of FDR’s positions were morally responsible and smart.

Steuart PIttman, Sr. with grandson Andy

One night my brother and I got Dad talking about his years as a Marine in China during World War II, and then his work on the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe after the war. The fear that communism would spread across the world was real, and influential people in government were arguing that we should attack the Soviet Union. Dad’s argument against that strategy struck me. He said that we had just fought a war against intolerance. Attacking the Soviets would be taking up where Hitler had left off, and that’s what he told his friends. Hearing that made me proud.

Dad was an independent thinker. He challenged the theories of anyone who wore a label. He preferred questions to answers. He very much lives on in my five sisters, my brother, and myself. We try to ask questions, listen, and think before we act.

I love seeing my siblings and their offspring at Christmas. None of us voted for Trump, and we talk politics a lot. This year we will talk about a tax bill that deliberately widens the gap between rich and poor. We will talk about an assault on working Americans by a minority whose wealth is already staggering. We will speculate about whether the Trump administration and Congress will succeed in paying for their forty percent cut in the corporate tax rate by dismantling the safety net created by the leaders that our grandparents and parents put in office.

My twelve nieces and my adult daughter Jesse are all fighting back, and they expect no less from their parents. This year I can proudly say to them that I am doing my part. Anne Arundel County is a microcosm of America, and by devoting 100% of my time to this election I can help my community to demonstrate that we are a compassionate, responsible people.

In this county we have 33,000 people living under the poverty level. During the economic recovery years of 2010 to 2013 we had a 5% increase in families making under $25,000 per year, but an 11% increase in families making over $200,000. Housing costs have doubled in fifteen years, but our Republican county leadership voted in 2015 to ban workforce housing from all zoning districts except R10 and R15. Our county executive pledges to lower property taxes for the benefit of those with large land holdings, and to reduce fees paid by developers, but has no plans to reduce the burden for working families of childcare, transportation, housing, or health care. Our county plays hardball in negotiations with the underpaid teachers, firefighters, and police officers, but gives away millions in negotiations with developers while citizens ask for slower growth.

I feel good about taking on the political machine here in our county. Our campaign aligns with the spirit of Christmas, with my family’s values, and with the legacy left by my father and grandfather. I am ready for Christmas, and for 2018. I hope you are ready for your holidays and 2018 as well.

Posted on 24 Dec 2017, 12:17 - Category: Campaign News



Take Back Our County 2018 - The Launch

I want to thank the 300 people from every corner of Anne Arundel County who ventured to rural South County, parked in a field, road a hay wagon to a barn, and stood for two hours with nothing but hot cider, music from Weems Creek Jammers, and a vision of a better future to warm them. It happened on December 16, and we're sorry if you missed it.
 
The barn we stood in is a place where young Thoroughbred ex-racehorses learn skills that will land them jobs to secure their futures. We built it as a job training center for at-risk equine youth. Now it is the birthplace of Take Back Our County 2018.

The crowd gathers

The event was organized to launch my campaign for Anne Arundel County Executive, but I was just one person in that crowd. I was surrounded at one point by fifteen candidates for office, most of whom are new to politics. All of us were surrounded by all of you, and you were an impressive group.
 
We had the leaders of our local firefighters’, police officers’, and teachers’ unions. We had leadership from the County Democratic Central Committee and all of the local Democratic clubs. We had people from the Growth Action Network and the Alliance for Livable Communities. We had the groups that formed after the Women’s March and refused to stand down in the face of Trump’s assault on our values. We had farmers. We had riverkeepers. We had the newly elected mayor of Annapolis, two candidates for governor, and a sitting Congressman. We had the chair of our county’s Caucus of African-American Leaders. But most importantly, we had individual people who love this county and care about its future, and those people were Democrats, Independents, Republicans, and Greens, and plenty who prefer to have no label attached to their names, ever.

The 2018 Candidates
The 2018 Candidates

For those of us in the barn, it was hardly necessary to discuss what we meant by “Take Back Our County.” We all knew. But for the average county resident, the first question is “What is it we are taking the county back from?” Here is a start:

  • Elected officials who are funded primarily by development interests. We are tired of having our permitting rules bent to fast-track projects that add to our traffic, push our kids into mobile classrooms, pave over our land, and require expensive infrastructure.
  • Elected officials who hide from public input. We shouldn’t have needed a charter amendment on the ballot to require the county executive to hold public budget hearings, and we shouldn’t still be without community notice when a county council member attempts to upzone parcels for development.
  • A county council majority who elects as its chair a man who actively seeks to dismantle government institutions, including schools, because he thinks that they restrict his personal freedom. 
  • A county executive whose approach to governing rewards donors but keeps residents in the dark. Ask the Crownsville residents and Fair Board members who were shocked last month to learn of an unwanted $100 million stadium and sports complex at the county fairgrounds that, according to the developer, was a fulfillment of the county executive's vision.

I and the 300 people in our barn Saturday are tired of talking about what is wrong. We’d rather have a conversation about where we are going.

  • Putting Communities First means going to the eighteen neighborhoods of our county that wrote Small Area Plans during the Janet Owens administration. We will ask them to review those plans and tell us what they want to be in the future. Developers will be told that they need community support for their projects to move forward.
  • The new people coming into office view local government with respect. We believe that government can help community leaders and the private sector to solve problems, so we are passionate about making it efficient and effective. Our candidates have track records of removing burdensome regulations on local businesses, finding and removing wasteful government spending, and improving educational outcomes.
  • Home prices and rent have doubled in our county since 2000, public transportation is scarce, child care costs have exploded, and we all know where we stand on health care costs. These conditions are a burden on our people and a threat to local businesses that must hire and maintain employees. Our county’s desirability as a place to live and do business is putting us on the path of west coast cities where people move for jobs and live on the street or in shelters. Our incoming leaders aren't afraid to confront these issues.     

Take Back Our County 2018 is underway. Now it needs resources.

My opponent spent $2 million to get elected last time and will have more in 2018. We know we can beat him with $1 million, but we must raise our first $100,000 by January 10. That’s when the numbers go public and we show future donors that we are viable. Anything you can afford now will make that statement.
 
Please mail checks or donate online at this link.

DONATE HERE


Our candidates in attendance were:
 
County Council: Andrew Pruski (District 4), Allison M. Pickard (District 2), Debbie Ritchie (District 3), Dawn Gough Myers (District 5), Scott MacMullan (District 6), Lisa Rodvien (District 6), and James Kitchin (District 7). Pete Smith (District 1) was with us in spirit, but better occupied in his work for Toys for Tots.
 
Maryland General Assembly: Sarah Elfreth (Senate 30), Eve Hurwitz (Senate 33), Chrissy Holt (Senate 30), Sandy Bartlett (Delegate 32), Carmen Skarlupka (Delegate 30B), Pamela Luby (Delegate 33), and Tracie Hovermale (Delegate 33).
 
Anne Arundel County Sheriff: James Williams
 
Our distinguished speakers were:
Erin Pittman (Dodon Farm), Ross Peddicord (Maryland Horse Industry Board), Carl Snowden (Chair of Anne Arundel County Caucus of African-American Leaders), Gavin Buckley (Mayor of Annapolis), The Honorable Virginia Clagett (Past Delegate and County Council, and Treasurer of Friends of Steuart Pittman), Steuart Pittman (Candidate for Anne Arundel County Executive), Scott Travers (Pittman Campaign Manager), and The Honorable John Sarbanes (United States Congress, Maryland Third District).

Posted on 19 Dec 2017, 01:43 - Category: Campaign News



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