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Why I am running for the State Senator

Jessica Douglass

(3/1) I am a Mt. Airy Mom, a teacher with Montgomery County Public Schools, and a candidate for Maryland State Senate (District 4).

I was born and raised in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, where I graduated from Central Bucks High School West. I went on to earn my bachelorís degree at The Pennsylvania State University in Secondary English and Communication Education, with a minor in International Studies.

I moved to Maryland in 2004 to teach in Montgomery County Public Schools. I earned my masterís degree in Education and Human Development from The University of Maryland in 2006.

My husband, David, and I settled in Mt. Airy in 2009 with our first son. David is an Assistant School Administrator at Colonel Zadok Magruder High School in Montgomery County.

I have worked as an English teacher at Poolesville High School and Clarksburg High School. Since the birth of my third son in 2015, I have taken a leave of absence from teaching and I now stay at home with my two youngest while my two oldest sons attend Kemptown Elementary School.

I felt compelled to file for candidacy for State Senate, Legislative District 4 as a Democrat so that my community could be represented with integrity. I want everyone in Frederick County to feel that they have a voice in their state government. I want to listen more than I talk so that people here know they are heard.

I still have so much to learn about what the people here want and need from their state legislatures, and I will spend this campaign season listening to as many constituents as will talk to me, but I have some ideas about where I would like to focus my energies, if elected: Economy, Ecology, and Education.
While Frederick County is experiencing housing growth in our small towns and suburbs, we need to pursue business growth as well. Residents of our district need to have reason to stay in our district for work and leisure. Also, this potential for a rapidly growing economy in our near future must not neglect residents in our most rural areas. Farmers, ranch owners, and livestock breeders need to be protected from monopoly buyers and given incentives to move their business to, or keep their business in Frederick County.

Growing responsibly requires an eye toward ecology. To meet the energy demands of this new growth, we need to invest in renewable energies like wind and solar power. We also need to continue vigilant protection of our watershed. There are, of course, sustainable and water-friendly ways to manage fertilizer needs and chicken waste, but we need to subsidize these practices instead of simply mandating them. We need to provide education to farmers, ranchers, and breeders on ecologically responsible means to keeping their farms and making a profit. Our future relies on the success of all businesses to operate cleanly and sustainably.
Finally, as a teacher and a mother, I have many concerns about the success of our public schools in Frederick County. Teachersí salaries in FCPS are considerably lower than what they could earn in neighboring counties and class sizes are only growing. We need to reinvest in our teachers and support staff so that the best educators stay here, educating our kids.

As I move forward in my candidacy, I hope to meet many of you. I hope you will take the time to talk to me and tell me about your concerns. If elected, I promise to listen to, work for, and represent all of the residents in District 4 earnestly.