Campaign News Category

Pittman pulls off upset, beats Schuh for Anne Arundel executive

 

"Democratic county executive candidate Steuart Pittman upset incumbent Steve Schuh Tuesday night in a surprise victory.

Pittman received 51.8 percent of the vote. Schuh received 48.1 percent. The County Council flipped to a 4-3 Democratic majority.

At Pittman’s party at Michael’s Eighth Avenue in Glen Burnie, he gave a speech thanking his supporters, including police, teachers and fire unions. He said creating a more transparent government is his priority."

https://www.capitalgazette.com/news/elections/ac-cn-exec-council-1107-story.html

 

Posted on 23 Nov 2018, 11:25 - Category: Campaign News

Poll Shows Race Deadlocked

New poll shows Anne Arundel County Executive race deadlocked

MSEA and SEIU Launch Ad Campaign to put Steuart Pittman over the top

A new poll conducted by Change Research[1] shows Steuart Pittman building momentum in his effort to unseat Anne Arundel County Executive Steve Schuh, who is locked in a statistical tie, 46% to 45.3%. Promisingly, Pittman holds a seven-point advantage among voters deciding late, with 31.3% saying they will vote for Pittman and 24.3% for Schuh. 

The last three publicly released polls show undecided voters breaking much more decisively for Pittman than Schuh, who is yet to break the 50% threshold despite a very high number of county voters knowing the incumbent.

  Pittman Schuh Margin
October 22-24 (Change Research) 45.3 46 Schuh +0.7
October 5-12, 2018 (Center for the Study of Local Issues) 33 38 Schuh +5
March 26-29, 2018 (Center for the Study of Local Issues) 23 38 Schuh +15

“Steuart Pittman is well-positioned to win the Anne Arundel County Executive race,” said MSEA Political Director Sean Johnson. “Voters making up their minds late in this race will decide the outcome, and Pittman is winning those late deciders by a significant margin. Educators are committed to working hard to knock every door and contact every voter possible until the polls close on November 6.”

The poll also found that education is the top issue for Anne Arundel County residents, with 14.6% naming it as their top issue.

In an effort to break the dead heat and build on Pittman’s momentum, the Maryland State Education Association (MSEA) and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Maryland DC State Council have launched a $75,000 campaign of digital video and display ads targeting likely voters throughout the county. Two video ads, which can be viewed here and here, highlight Pittman’s plans to increase teacher pay, reduce class sizes, and address overcrowding. Another video ad, which can be viewed here, focuses on the importance of protecting healthcare for Anne Arundel County residents.

[1] Poll conducted October 21-25, 2018 by Change Research. Online panel of 334 registered voters in Anne Arundel County with a margin of error of +/- 5.4%.

Posted on 30 Oct 2018, 01:50 - Category: Campaign News

We Can Restore Trust in Anne Arundel County Government - Capital Opinion

I was surprised that this newspaper endorsed Steve Schuh for County Executive, but not angry.

The endorsement came the morning after a very bad day for our country, a day when letter bombs were sent to critics of the president. One of my sisters had called me at the end of that day sounding worried and suggesting that we do something unusual after this election, regardless of who wins. Something like a county-wide bipartisan unity gathering. I agreed.

That conversation was still on my mind the next morning when I read the Capital endorsement in my race. I put myself in the shoes of the editor, Rick Hutzell. I like Rick a lot. I like the Capital a lot. I thought about the inevitable criticism Rick would hear, and I felt the need to reach out to him and to tell him I’d have his back. I did that.

Then I posted a notice on our campaign Facebook page. I asked my supporters to take a deep breath. I reminded them that this newspaper told our stories, and that’s why we are tied in this race and are surging.

But I also welcomed them to speak out about why I am the better choice, about why it is better to bring people together around a common vision than to divide. Politics in these times can cause harm, and we must think carefully before we speak or act.

I have campaigned with a slogan of Putting Communities First. To me that means governing with a genuine effort to engage residents in decision-making. It also means campaigning a bit differently from what people are used to.

Our campaign hosted seventeen Communities First Forums in recent weeks. They were in each of the Small Areas that did twenty-year plans during the Janet Owens administration. I asked questions and I listened at these forums, and our team recorded every idea and every comment. You can read our forum reports at PittmanForPeople.com/Reports.

I heard a consistent message about what people expect from county government. People want transparency and they want accountability. They are outraged that their community plans were ignored by this administration, and that development projects were approved in places where land was to be preserved with inadequate planning for traffic, schools, and public safety. They don’t want to let Steve Schuh’s developer-dominated Citizens Advisory Committee write a county-wide General Development Plan without a status update on the Small Area Plan recommendations.

As county executive I will review the status of all Small Area Plans and have updates posted for public review, but I will audit the impacts of the developments that we have approved in recent years. This county needs an honest debate about the fiscal and environmental effects of growth, and we need to decide where and how it should take place in the future.

I will also finish what Laura Neuman began before Steve Schuh brought back the Leopold team. Neuman cleaned up corruption and began moving toward transparency. Open government, participatory budgeting, and county stat programs are thriving across this state and country, but the Schuh administration has failed to even publish the required annual Development Impact on School Facilities report. Our county auditor had to propose a charter amendment to get access to the data she needed to do her job. That is not the transparency our citizens deserve.

My new team will use the technology that exists today to put government data in the public domain, and present it in ways that encourage data-driven, non-political decision-making, and strict accountability government-wide. Developers’ subdivision applications will be accessible from user-friendly community maps. So will pending public works projects, status of 311 call requests, and loads of other county data that impacts communities.

We can bring the people of this county together. We can provide them with the tools they need to have informed, passionate debates about how to spend our limited tax dollars. We can address our housing affordability problem, preserve our open space, reduce traffic with public transportation and road improvements, and climb our way back up the school quality rankings that we dropped in the last four years. We can recognize and reward our teachers, our firefighters and our police in this county. They are county government, and they are our heroes.

But most importantly, we can restore the trust that people once had in their local government. That will be my job and my responsibility if you elect me on November 6.

Posted on 28 Oct 2018, 01:55 - Category: Campaign News

Statement to Recovery Anne Arundel Candidate Forum - October 1

I want to express my regret at being unable to attend Recovery Anne Arundel’s forum tonight.

As a candidate for county executive it is my obligation to understand the challenges facing the thousands of good people, be they neighbors or family, who are suffering from addiction. It is also my obligation to understand the challenges facing the organizations that are working to put these people on the path to recovery.

Like many of you, my family has suffered from the loss of a promising young life to heroin overdose. This has to stop.

There is a temptation by politicians and candidates for office to pretend that they have all the answers. I learned through my many years of work as a community organizer and as a businessperson that listening is where progress begins.

I want to share with you some of what I’ve heard, and what I believe.

Addiction is a disease.

The medical community is seeking to eradicate this disease.

Effective treatment includes medication, counseling, and love.

Buprenorphine, methadone, and naltrexone are widely acknowledged to be effective treatments, but are difficult to obtain for addicts who are not enrolled in treatment programs. Efforts to expand access to these drugs are underway across the country, and if we are to save lives in our county, we must be at the forefront of this movement.

The NIH estimates that only ten percent of Americans who suffer from a substance use disorder receive treatment. I suspect that the treatment gap in our county is no better. We must close the gap, but we must also ensure that people can access medication from doctors, even when they are not enrolled in a program. Without that medication too many turn to fentanyl-laced heroin and die.

Doctors avoid treating addiction for many reasons, but one is intimidation from politicians and attorneys seeking to assign blame. Doctors are cutting back on opioid prescriptions not because politicians demand it, but because they are sworn to a Hippocratic Oath.

If I am elected I will direct our Department of Health to work with addiction treatment providers on a plan to engage more of the medical community in expanding access to medication and treatment.

I have visited three addiction treatment centers in our county and intend to get to the rest. All have expressed a desire to expand their services, and all have said that their primary obstacle is location. Two of the three that I visited are on the state’s Crownsville Hospital Center property.

Tonight I am meeting with residents of the Crownsville area to discuss acquiring the hospital center property from the state. We would do this to protect the organizations operating there and to create a park. I am working with the Generals Highway Council of Civic Organizations on a plan that would be financed in part by transforming wastewater spray fields there to community solar farms. This may be the only community in our county that is actively supporting addiction treatment in their own backyard, and we should embrace them.

I have also explored with some of you the idea of transforming the dormitory-style wing of the low security Ordnance Detention Center from a federal holding facility for immigrants awaiting their hearings to an addiction treatment facility in partnership with local treatment providers. While nobody likes the optics of going to a detention center for addiction treatment, it has been argued to me that separate branding and site improvements could make this a viable project.

I am proud of the work that our county agencies have done to date. Not My Child, Safe Stations, and our Crisis Response and Intervention Teams show that this community is mobilized to combat this epidemic. I would take it a step further.

An important part of my plan for county government in general is to join with jurisdictions across the country who practice open government and data-driven policy development.

We know, for instance, that 1000 people have come to our Safe Stations, but the county has been unwilling to share statistics about where those people have been sent for treatment, whether they have been accepted into treatment programs, and how they have fared.

I believe that statistics such as these must be collected and shared publicly. Opening the window of government programs to the public and to stakeholders involved in this work is essential to progress. It encourages accountability, and it broadens the networks involved in problem-solving.

I do not have information on the state’s process to apply for the $66 million in SAMHSA funding, or how much we can expect to come to our county. I can promise, however, that Anne Arundel County under my leadership will aggressively pursue every federal, state, and private dollar that exists to combat this epidemic. We will do this in collaboration with those of you who are eligible to receive these funds.

My pledge to all of you is that if I am elected, we will set politics aside, bring together the best minds in the field, pursue every financial resource available, and pursue a robust program of prevention and treatment of substance use disorders.

We are in this together, all of us.

Posted on 01 Oct 2018, 01:16 - Category: Campaign News

Magothy Health Center Facts

 

Posted on 31 Aug 2018, 14:00 - Category: Campaign News

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By Authority of Friends of Steuart Pittman, VIrginia Clagett Treasurer
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