Andrew Duck, candidate for Maryland House District 4 – Baltimore Sun
Knoxville, Frederick County
Retired U.S. Army Officer, Chief Operating Officer, Avertica, Inc. – A green energy research company with conductive polymer patents, Enterprise Architect – integrating a new constellation of DoD satellites
Graduated from Middletown High School, Middletown MD Bachelor of Public Administration, Texas State University, Graduate Studies in Economics, University of Oklahoma
Has never held elected office. Former Democratic Candidate for U.S. Congress, MD Sixth District
What is the most pressing issue in your district?
Balance Frederick County’s rapid population growth to preserve our agricultural heritage while building a welcoming community. These include addressing infrastructure needs such as additional schools, instead of relying on temporary classrooms, and improving transportation infrastructure. Our goal should include building strong, supportive and resilient communities that welcome all of our neighbours. Our agricultural sector is vital to our economy and it makes our community more desirable. We must work to bring our community together, not to tear it apart. We need leadership in Annapolis that will work to solve problems, not try to create problems by trying to impeach the governor for his mask policy.
How are you going to help your constituents deal with inflation?
At the state level, we can take steps to reduce the causes of inflation and to reduce the impact of inflation. To reduce the causes of inflation, we must compete, build more resilient supply chains and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. Examples of this might be supporting a co-op to provide a meat processing facility so that farmers in Frederick County can get a higher price for their cattle while consumers in Maryland pay a lower price for beef, expand the Port of Baltimore to avoid supply chain bottlenecks, and support research and development at our universities for green energy solutions. To reduce the impact of inflation, I support a temporary state gas tax cut, tax relief for retirees on fixed incomes, and increased support for affordable housing.
What do you see as the top transportation priority in your district and how would you address it?
The biggest transportation problem is improving I-270, where delays are costing our residents countless hours every month. I oppose the proposed toll-based plan, which imposes an additional tax on residents of Frederick County. Instead, I support the addition of two reversible HOV lanes to Frederick funded by federal infrastructure funds. The reversible lanes will significantly reduce the cost of the project, while solving the problem of traffic peaks. We also need to improve MARC, improve ramps on Rt. 340, and address traffic on the Rt. 75 and Rt. 355 intersection, among multiple other projects. We should start planning now to expand subway access in Frederick.
What should schools be doing differently in the next pandemic to help students, families, and teachers?
The pandemic response must be based on sound medical evidence and public health approaches, with an emphasis on preventing the spread of disease. We are still dealing with the ongoing impact of the current pandemic. The coronavirus pandemic has had a traumatic impact on our students. We must ensure that we provide a supportive environment for our students with access to mental health services when needed. We need to close the learning gap that has resulted from the disruptions associated with the pandemic. The use of virtual teaching can provide opportunities for different teaching techniques. Different students may have different learning styles, and effective learning styles may vary depending on the subject. We should collect data on the impact of virtual teaching to identify the most effective approach for each student and give teachers the flexibility to apply the most effective techniques.
How fairly do the police treat people of color?
Our criminal justice system achieves different results based on race. We need to monitor these different outcomes at every stage of the criminal justice system, not just at the level of interaction with the police. Our police officers are overworked and tasked with handling a host of issues ranging from pet control to mental health intervention. Although our police forces are called upon to “protect and serve”, they are not staffed to perform the function of “protect”, much less the function of “serve”. We should associate mental health professionals with law enforcement. We must provide uniform training to all law enforcement officers, from small town police forces to county law enforcement, on de-escalation techniques, the use of force limits and the appropriate equipment for law enforcement officers. We need to demilitarize our law enforcement and restore community-based policing.
What would you do to ensure Maryland’s voting system is safe and accurate?
Let’s be clear. Maryland’s voting system is secure and accurate. Every vote has a paper trail and the paper cannot be hacked. We must do more to extend access to the vote to all eligible voters. I support same day registration. Since Maryland now allows same-day registration, we should eliminate the voter registration deadline that creates a period when voters are not allowed to register.
What are good targets and timelines for Maryland to reduce carbon emissions and expand renewable energy sources?
Maryland’s current goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030 and produce 100% clean electricity by 2040 are a good start, but we need an even bigger plan. comprehensive to ensure that we achieve these goals and do more. Climate change is costing us millions of dollars each year, and the costs of severe weather will continue to accelerate unless we address the excess carbon in our atmosphere with the added goal of reducing atmospheric carbon below. of 350ppm. To make clean electricity viable, we will need to develop the technology to store this clean energy during times of limited sunlight and low winds. We need to build the resilience of our communities, including restoring wetlands and reducing runoff to reduce flooding. I am currently COO of a research company that holds patents on semiconducting polymers that may have applications in the field of green energy.
What is Maryland’s best use of federal COVID relief money?
We should be spending federal COVID aid money on COVID aid. There are multiple impacts of COVID that have not been sufficiently considered. We need to train more mental health professionals. COVID has imposed trauma on our state, and that trauma will continue to impact mental health. As a veteran, I saw the importance of dealing with post-traumatic stress. We need to research and provide treatment for long COVID. COVID has also revealed the need to improve school facilities, with a focus on air handling systems. We also need to improve the resilience of our supply chains, especially medical supply chains. We should not depend on importing medical supplies in times of crisis.