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The Issues

The Economy
Working Families
Safe Communities
Health Care

Working to Improve the Economy

We have all experienced the effects of the economic downturn. Many jobs have been scaled back or completely eliminated. Throughout District 14, many local businesses have boarded up and closed for good. Though times are tough, there is no doubt that the economy will rebound. However, it will take patience, responsible spending and steady hands at the wheel. Craig’s experience in the Comptroller’s office working on economic issues has prepared him to tackle these tough times.

This past February, Craig Zucker testified before the Senate Budget & Taxation Committee on behalf of the Maryland Comptroller in support of the administration’s job creation tax credit, which provides tax incentives for businesses that hire the unemployed. As a Delegate, Craig will continue to support initiatives that reward companies and businesses that hire new workers.

Craig’s grandfather, a second-generation immigrant, was a small business owner in New York. He opened a number of novelty stores that were eventually passed down to his father’s generation. Keeping his family history in mind, Craig will continue to advocate on behalf of small businesses. If small businesses succeed, people remain employed, new jobs are created and our tax base stays strong. To ensure they remain competitive, he will work to increase loan opportunities to small businesses and close tax loopholes for corporations that take advantage of the system. He will also work to increase opportunities for minority- and women-owned small businesses. He intends to advocate for a fairer bid process that unbundles contracts and increases the financial cap on what is considered a small business.

However, Craig also knows that we’ve all had to tighten our belts lately and believes it should be no different when it comes to our state’s finances. As Delegate, Craig will lead the charge to go line-by-line through the budget to identify and eliminate wasteful spending.

Standing Up for Working Families

Craig believes that the best way to improve our economy is to have a thriving middle class. He is a longtime advocate for working families. As Director of Homecare for SEIU, he assisted underpaid in-home healthcare workers receive their first raise in nearly two decades.

As a legislator, he will fight hard to ensure that individuals earn a fair and competitive wage by supporting efforts to crack down on corporations that are intentionally breaking the law by misclassifying employees for tax purposes. He is proud to serve on a joint task force to enforce laws against workplace fraud. Craig will continue to speak up for working families and support projects that engage in fair labor practices.

Craig also knows that we cannot tax our way out of the national recession. He will ensure that the middle class is not weighed down by an unfair tax burden.

Investing in Public Education

All parents dream about a better future for their children.  In Montgomery County, many families realize these dreams thanks, in large part, to the dedicated teachers and administrators of the Montgomery County Public Schools. However, there is still much work to be done to ensure every child receives a world-class education.

As a father, a former board member for a special needs school, and a product of the public school system, Craig is keenly aware of the importance of providing a quality education to each child.

Over the last 9 years Craig has visited schools throughout District 14 to talk with parents, principals and teachers about their needs and concerns.  He is proud to have met with parents and administrators at Sherwood Elementary School in Sandy Spring to discuss school expansion opportunities and was honored to have taken part in the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Paint Branch High School, which uses green geothermal technology to heat and cool the building.

As the Maryland Comptroller’s Deputy Chief of Staff, Craig has worked directly with the Comptroller in his capacity as a member of the Board of Public Works on school construction issues. It has given Craig firsthand knowledge of the magnitude of Montgomery County’s unmet school construction needs. As Delegate Craig will take what he has learned from teachers and parents and use his extensive experience in public service to make sure that Montgomery County Public Schools have the resources they need to hire and retain quality teachers, modernize facilities and give every child the opportunity to succeed.

To achieve these goals, Craig is committed to a full implementation of the Thornton Commission’s recommendations for school funding.  This includes preventing any unnecessary layoffs and protecting vital school construction dollars.  Additionally, Craig believes it is essential to protect teachers’ pensions by preventing the state from shifting the cost to Montgomery County.  By doing so, we will keep quality teachers here in our community.

Protecting Our Natural Resources

It is our responsibility to be stewards of the earth and leave future generations with a better environment that which our generation inherited.

Recently Craig submitted testimony to the Maryland House of Ways & Means Committee in support of the Maryland Clean Energy Incentive Act of 2010.  This act provides tax credits for Maryland facilities that produce clean energy and electricity.

As Delegate, Craig will continue to support projects that use clean energy and energy saving technologies like the geothermal system that will power the new Paint Branch High School in Burtonsville, Maryland. He will also strive to protect our waterways like the Chesapeake Bay, will work to limit the use of pollutants in the air by supporting stricter emissions standards.  Additionally, Craig will fight to preserve vital open space dollars in the budget which have made Maryland a national model for land and natural resource conservation.

Keeping Our Neighborhoods Safe

As a parent, Craig understands how important public safety is. Our district is filled with strong communities and Craig wants to make sure it stays that way. No one should ever have to feel unsafe in their own neighborhood.

To make sure that our neighborhoods stay safe, Craig will support legislation to crack down on criminal gangs, domestic violence and Internet predators. He will also work to make sure that our first responders such as police, firefighters and paramedics receive the funding they deserve.

Craig has been endorsed by Attorney General Doug Gansler, State’s Attorney John McCarthy, the Firefighters and the Fraternal Order of Police because they know he’ll be a partner with them in Annapolis to make sure that all Marylanders can feel safe in their homes.

Creating Transportation Solutions

Often in Montgomery County we find ourselves being reactive instead of proactive with our transportation infrastructure.  Craig supports adopting a smart growth strategy which includes the Inner-Purple Line, a proposed light-rail line which would connect the region’s core communities near the Capital Beltway, reduce traffic and help curb greenhouse gas emissions.  He also strongly supports improving current roads, the Brookeville Bypass and the Bus Rapid Transit system which would increase access to Metro services.

Craig will also work to ensure that transportation-dedicated stimulus funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 go towards projects that will stabilize infrastructure and in turn create jobs for our fellow citizens.

Providing Accessible Health Care

Every day many residents in District 14 wake up and wonder what they will do if they get sick.  More than 1.4 million Marylanders were without health insurance in 2008, forcing them to take on piles of debt for medical expenses, or worse, not being able to seek medical treatment at all.

Craig understands the value of having access to health care.  He will never forget how his grandfather relied on a home health care provider shortly before his passing.  Like many, his grandfather preferred to be at home rather than a nursing home or hospital.  His grandfather was fortunate that he was in a position to have a full-time home health care aide. Many do not have such an opportunity.

From 2004-2006, Craig worked closely with home care providers throughout Maryland helping to provide them the resources they needed to offer the best care possible to our most vulnerable citizens. He is proud to have stood by 5,000 home care providers seeing them win their first wage increase in 20 years.

As your legislator Craig will do everything he can to support plans to allow all Marylanders access to affordable health care.