Happy birthday to the ADA!

On July 26, 2015, in Blog, by MDDems

How lucky can one guy get?

I enjoy the advantages that come with living in a free society, and feel truly blessed to be an American.  As a Marylander, I have the confidence in our elected officials that only comes from knowing they legislate with integrity and act in the best interest of their constituents. Today, as a Marylander and a person with a disability, I am especially proud of and thankful for the leadership of Congressman Steny Hoyer from Maryland’s fifth district.

Why today? Twenty-five years ago, on July 26, 1990, the President signed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and described it as “the world’s first comprehensive declaration of equality for people with disabilities.”

Why Congressman Hoyer? Because when the disabilities community needed a champion, Mr. Hoyer was – and still is – that champion. In the first session of the 101 Congress, he secured agreements between the business and disabilities communities and shepherded the ADA through the House.

Today, most Americans take sidewalk curb cutouts, ramps, buses with wheelchair access, and Braille signs for granted. That wasn’t the case 25 years ago. In 1990, the world was introduced to an animated family called the Simpsons, the Hubble telescope was launched, and the first web client and server were written. Just as these moments revolutionized pop culture, scientific exploration, and communication, the ADA revolutionized the lives of millions of Americans by providing equal access and opportunity for all.

Following the passage of the ADA, several Supreme Court decisions limited its scope. Eight years ago, Congressman Hoyer again championed disabled Americans by leading a bipartisan effort to strengthen the ADA. On July 26, 2007, Mr. Hoyer said: “As we note the 17th anniversary of this landmark law, its promise remains unfulfilled, but it’s still within our reach. Passage of this legislation is critical to helping us achieve the ADA’s full promise and creating a society in which Americans with disabilities can and will realize their potential.”

As with the ADA in 1990, Congressman Hoyer found consensus in the House which resulted in the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 that was signed into law on September 25, 2008.

Congressman Hoyer has said that the signing of the ADA was one his proudest days in public service. I am proud to know that Maryland has a leader that believes in the capacities of people with disabilities and works to break the physical and social barriers to improve education, increase employment opportunities, and protect civil rights.

On behalf of Marylanders with disabilities, Americans with disabilities, and people with disabilities around the world, Congressman Hoyer, I thank you!

John Paré

Mr. Paré serves as Director of the People with Disabilities Diversity Leadership Council of the Maryland Democratic Party. He can be reached at johngpare@gmail.com


Friday round-up 7/24/15

On July 24, 2015, in Blog, by MDDems

Message from the Chair

And then there were sixteen! John Kasich, who was a managing director at the Wall Street firm Lehman Brothers during the financial crisis and is currently the Governor of Ohio, joined the crowded Republican field this week. Kasich gave the wealthy a tax break while taking nearly $2 billion away from schools. He is in step with Wall Street and out of step with middle class families.

As part of its plan to implement a 2% across-the-board cut to state agencies, the Hogan administration is preparing to lay off state workers. Surprised? So was everyone who read the administration’s January 22 press release which bragged that the budget was balanced “without eliminating agencies or introducing furloughs or layoffs.” On Wednesday, Maryland Democrats joined AFSCME in rallying against layoffs.

In Annapolis, Hogan administration transportation officials were in the hot seat, as Democrats asked tough questions about improper fare increases and elimination of funding for mass transit in Baltimore. Administration officials were clear on one thing – they are committed to disinvesting in transportation solutions in metropolitan areas to pave roads in the far corners of our state.

Thank you for the work that you do to make our Party great.

Until next week,

D. Bruce Poole




Maryland Loses 6,200 Jobs in June. The Hogan administration loves to say Maryland is open for business. It’s a catchy slogan, but it isn’t creating jobs. This month, Maryland ranked at the bottom of the pack in job creation, right to Chris Christie’s New Jersey and Bruce Rauner’s Illinois.

General Assembly analysts say state wrongly increased transit fares. Republicans love to pat themselves on the back for lowering tolls for vacationers heading to the Eastern Shore, but they hate to acknowledge that they raised the cost of commuting for workers who depend on mass transit. This week, non-partisan analysts dinged them for raising those fares improperly.

Frosh, Cummings press for reduced price on heroin overdose drug. Maryland is dealing with a serious public health crisis, and Democrats are leading the way on solutions. This week, Attorney General Brian Frosh and Congressman Elijah Cummings fought back against price gouging by pharmaceutical companies.

Jeb Bush Says We Should Phase Out Medicare. Sometimes headlines speak for themselves. To think – Bush is what passes for moderate in today’s Republican Party.

GOP’s Favorability Rating Takes a Negative Turn. With Donald Trump leading the GOP presidential contest, this shouldn’t surprise anyone: “The Democratic Party has often held an edge over the GOP in favorability in recent years, but its advantage had narrowed following the Republicans’ midterm victory last fall. Today, the gap is as wide as it has been in more than two years.”


Upcoming Events 

7/26/15 – Carroll County Democratic Club Annual Picnic at the Lion’s Club Park in Union Mills. More information here

7/26/15 – D14 Democratic Club Garden Party

7/27/15 – Queen Anne’s County Democratic Central Committee Meeting in Centreville

7/30/15 – MCYD Happy Hour with NARAL Pro-Choice MD. More information here

7/30/15 to 8/2/15 – Harford County Farm Fair. More information here



On Wednesday, Maryland Democratic Party Chairman Bruce Poole announced the promotion of Jamiere Folmar from Deputy Finance Director to Finance Director.

“Jamiere was instrumental in making this year’s Gala a resounding success,” said Chairman Poole. “He is a rising star in our Party, and he is well-qualified to lead our finance team into the 2016 elections.”

Mr. Folmar has served on the Party’s finance team since December 2013, and he previously served on the North Carolina field team of Organizing for America. Jamiere earned his B.A. in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Also Wednesday, the Party’s Executive Committee elected new leaders to its Diversity Leadership Councils. Mary Yates will serve as Program Director, Mariana Cordier will serve as Latino DLC Director, and Jonathan Jayes-Green will serve as Latino DLC Co-Director.

“Our diversity is one of our greatest strengths, and Maryland Democrats are committed to building an inclusive party,” said Chairman Poole. “The GOP’s problem with Latino voters gets worse every time Donald Trump opens his mouth. Mariana and Jonathan will play a vital role in making Maryland Latinos a vibrant part of our winning coalition in 2016 and beyond.”

Ms. Yates has spent her career working for environmentally and fiscally sustainable communities. She currently works with municipal governments to promote energy efficiency and renewables. She is Chair of the Kent County Democratic Central Committee and resides in Chestertown. She earned her degree from Loyola University Maryland.

A native of Argentina, Ms. Cordier is the founder of Cordier Law Offices, LLC. She represents individuals and families in criminal law, family law, civil law, and general litigation. She is a member of the Executive Committee of the Montgomery County Hispanic Democratic Club and past-president of the Maryland Hispanic Bar Association. She was Fellow of the Maryland Bar Foundation and served two terms on the Governor’s Commission on Hispanic Affairs.

A native of Panama, Mr. Jayes-Green has lived in Maryland with his family since the age of 13. He proudly identifies as Afro-Latino and is a recipient of President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status. He worked extensively on passing the Maryland Dream Act and defending it during the 2012 referendum. He served on the Governor’s Commission on Hispanic Affairs and has been recognized by Telemundo, the Hispanic Heritage Foundation, the Hispanic College Fund, and the American Immigration Council.


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