Name: Shawn Demetrious Perry
Political party: Democrat
Where you live: Hagerstown
Current occupation and employers (may also list up to two previous jobs you’ve held); if retired, list your last job and employer: Current position: elder abuse victim advocate, Washington County Commission on Aging. Prior positions: retired, police commander, Frederick Police Department, 1994-2013. U.S. Army veteran, 1989-1993
Political experience (public offices held and when; as well as unsuccessful campaigns for office and which years; do not include political party positions): I have never held or run for a public office.
1 – Why are you running for this office? (75 words max)
There are many reasons that motivate me for running, such as ensuring equitable services for the underserved members of our community, supporting small businesses with resources to help sustain their viability, transportation and infrastructure issues and ensuring that our students are ready and prepared after graduating. I want to ensure that the freedoms and opportunities that many before me who sacrificed, fought and died for are there for others. Progress requires maintenance.
2 – What is the most important issue for Frederick County in this race? How would you address it? (100 words max)
Access to affordable housing continues to plague many households. Supply is one issue. Another is that housing cost is outpacing wages. The solutions aren’t simple, and as elected officials, we will need to work to address the barriers that are causing the shortages, such as advocating for higher density development, and the resistance to the development of affordable housing (the "not in my backyard" mentality). We will also need to implement policy to help reduce the wealth gap and put more income into the hands of renters.
3 – What experience (work, political or other) has prepared you to hold this office? (100 words max)
My experience as an Army veteran, police commander, substitute teacher, behavioral specialist and victim advocate has allowed me to work with and serve many who are not able to speak for themselves, providing me the ability to foster relationships from many walks of life. The ability to compromise, negotiate and, most of all, listen to those who trust me to represent them provides the tools to being an effective leader.
4 – What is one major issue the current state Senate has handled poorly and what would have done differently? (100 words max)
Having not previously served in the Senate, I cannot choose one issue. I can say, as a whole, my priority as District 2 senator, a position encompassing parts of two different counties, would be to work with local, county and the other state representation to ensure that the citizens of the district are completely represented, while their unique needs are met. This will require a collaborative relationship between the senators of District 1, 2 and 3.
5 – What is the most pressing health care issue in the state? How would you address it? (100 words max)
In addition to chronic disease in our state, mental health, substance use and obesity are increasing. I support programs that educate and provide the necessary resources. These services have to be accessible for those seeking treatment. I support mobile and community clinics to provide such services.
6 – What is the most pressing public safety issue in the state? How would you address it? (100 words max)
The increasing gun violence is an issue throughout the state, as well as the country. As a candidate who believes in safe responsible gun ownership, we have to seek solutions on reducing this violence. I support common sense gun laws, to include comprehensive universal background checks, licensing and registration, red flag laws and enhanced penalties for gun violence crimes. Support for victims/survivors of gun violence should be in place and accessible. Conflict resolution for our youth should be taught at an early age.
7 – How well is the state addressing climate change? What would you do differently? (100 words max)
It's my belief that the 2022 Maryland General Assembly Climate Justice Resolution is a good start at addressing the issue of climate change. The one concern I would have is having hardline deadlines. I believe that the deadlines should be goals, as there are many unforeseen circumstances that could cause the plans (goals) to be hindered. This does not imply that we shouldn’t try to reach them during the periods established.
8 – Do you support widening interstates 270 and 495 and adding tolls? Why or why not? (100 words max)
I would support the widening of interstates 270 and 495 after comprehensive studies are concluded to show the environmental impact and if it would actually create less traffic congestion. I am a proponent of expanding mass transit to Western Maryland as an alternative. The addition of tolls is an added tax to the citizens and for many who are struggling to make ends meet, this creates a financial burden. With the continuing high prices of gas for the unforeseeable future, addition of tolls creates a system of inequity.