Dan Rupli is a candidate for the state Senate in District 4. The primary is June 24.
Why are you running for state senator?
I was taught to live my life in a way that would help create a “place at the political table” for all of our people, including the least powerful. The rights of middle-class families are evaporating in the face of exploding wealth and income inequity between the upper 1 percent and everyone else and fast-growing corporate political power. The release of vast amounts of unaccounted money by corporations and billionaires into our elections is threatening democracy itself by turning leadership selection into a bidding process. I completely reject the idea that “corporations are people” or that “money is speech.” Partisan hatred and division in our national government has rendered the Congress unable to deal with pressing issues such as pay equity for women, so we must look to state and local government for whatever solutions we can provide. I am seeking the office of state senator to find those solutions.
What’s the biggest issue your district is facing?
We must protect our green and beautiful district from overdevelopment and embrace “smart growth” policies that will protect the agricultural activities that make our area so spectacular.
We must strengthen public education so that our students can compete in a world economy, particularly in mathematics and the sciences.
We must make our community colleges accessible to state residents by providing them with free tuition for the first two years of college, following the Tennessee model.
We must explore the creation of a Metro-style rail system utilizing the I-270 median strip connecting Frederick to Shady Grove station in Gaithersburg.
What is one idea you have for how to make your district a better place?
I must establish a mutual bond of trust between me and the voters. I am establishing a group of Democratic, Republican and independent leaders to advise me regularly throughout the campaign.
What previous offices, appointed or elected, have you held?
I have not held elective office. I have held several appointed positions over the years which have included the following:
Appointed attorney to the Presidential Clemency Board by President Gerald Ford; former special assistant to the Governor of Maryland; former member, board of directors, Common Cause of Maryland; member, Maryland Trade Delegation to China; former counsel, Maryland Southern Christian Leadership Counsel; former member, board of directors, On Our Own of Frederick; board of directors, East Frederick Rising; Board of Governors, Woman’s National Democratic Club, Washington.