Prince George's County unemployment rate is currently at 4% with poverty at 9% slightly higher than surrounding counties within the DC-Metropolitan area. These figures do not take into account those who are underemployed, and Maryland Workforce predicts that there will be a 1% decrease in employment over the next year.
Sherman Hardy intends on creating an influx of new careers by ushering Prince George's into a new era, Prince George's has been thriving in the hospitality industry but we must do more. We need higher paying jobs, union labor jobs, and jobs of the future. Technology is the new gold rush and we must capitalize on it.
Sherman Hardy is also concerned about the lack of higher-end retail, restaurants and other hospitality venues within Prince George's. He is going to work to bring more excitement to the various parts of the County that feel left out of the economic development and those who feel they need to exit the County or travel a great distance for entertainment.
Amongst other things when deciding to move to an area or remain there, public safety is highest of the order. When residents don't feel safe, they relocate.
Sherman Hardy believes that we must strike a delicate balance between policing and protecting citizens rights. Community Policing is an intricate part of protecting our community while getting to know them better. Sherman believes we need a diverse police force that looks like its community. Prince George's has done a tremendously greay job at fostering a relationship with the community and we must do more to keep that going.
It is no secret that Prince George's County education system is facing an extreme hardship. The overall condition of the school's infrastructure and readiness of its scholars is dire. There are far too many reports of fraud, waste, and abuse on various levels and it's something we can not; will not stand for in our school system. The County approved a 2 Billion Dollar budget for 2018, we need to take stock at where our focal point should be.
Sherman Hardy believes that Prince George's County School system is in a state of emergency and needs a long overdue overhaul. We need to end the cycles of teaching to a test, increase STEM classes and rethink the curriculum. We must bring back our vocational schools and remove the stigma. The County must partner with our businesses and Unions to begin trade training, it is time we end the school to prison pipeline and create a school to jobs pipeline. We spend more money incarcerating our black and brown children than educating them. Sherman also believes that we need to get back to being an all elected school board. We should not continue doing things just because it's the way it has always been. If we believe that children are our future, we must act like it because our lives do depend on it.
Hundreds of families in Prince George's County are struggling economically. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, Many renters in Maryland are extremely low-income households with income less than the poverty guideline. Far too many Prince George's County residents are unable to locate affordable housing and face significant housing cost burdens. Change must happen.
Sherman Hardy will fight for an increased livable wage, reevaluate current housing voucher programs and demand more affordable housing developments across the County.
Once the national symbol of the American Dream for African Americans. Families moved into Prince George's County and flourished, building wealth that their elders could not imagine. But after the Housing Crisis, the county was hit hard and has not fully recovered. Home prices have slightly risen but still remains slower than the surrounding communities. Even with much lower values, many Prince George's County residents are still unable to obtain the dream of homeownership.
Sherman Hardy will fight for better down payment assistance, loan guarantees and direct loan programs for the county. Sherman also believes more assistance should be given to those whose home had been foreclosed on, or short-sold because of the housing crisis. We need to protect our seniors who are homeowners and change the way we extend property tax credits to our most vulnerable citizens.
Communities of color experience a daily assault on their health and environment. The county is predominantly African American, nearly 60% and they are all increasingly becoming victims of environmental racism. While Maryland just banned fracking, Brandywine, MD was just approved for two additional power plants bringing the total to five. According to the Energy Justice Network, the two existing power plants in Prince George’s County have more unused capacity than the two additional proposed power plants in Brandywine would provide.
We do not need another power plant, I would be committed to clean renewable energy and decrease our dependence on fossil fuel and generate green-jobs.
No one in the County should have to determine if they'll be able to pay their rent or pay their utility bill, buy school supplies for their children or feed them later that evening. The people of Prince George's County Deserve a livable wage. I support a $15 minimum wage and equal pay for women.
In Prince George's County, all of our families should have livable wages, paid sick leave, and affordable state of the art healthcare. The County has been a food desert for far too long and the issue must be addressed.
By Authority of Friends of Sherman Hardy. LeeAnn Rodriguez, Treasurer