I never planned on becoming a politician. Instead, for the last two decades I’ve been an entrepreneur and a business builder. However, the unprecedented economic crisis of the last half-decade has prompted me to run for Congress. Our current financial downturn is now being measured in years, not months. We can see the hardship across the country, throughout Maryland, and right here in Montgomery County. The suffering has been on a scale many of us have never seen in our lifetimes: millions of Americans are out of work, millions more are just barely getting by, long-trusted financial institutions have failed our people, and homes across the country lie empty as mortgages have collapsed. Not surprisingly, old solutions and the old political dialogue have not helped the American people.
We don’t have to settle for this level of unemployment. We don’t have to accept a dysfunctional Congress. We can do better. In solving our problems there’s a role for the private sector to play and there’s a role for government to play. I believe we need a proactive progressive government that will work with the private sector to grow the economy.
Before the age of forty I had founded two successful businesses right here in Montgomery County. From first-hand experience I know what businesses need to grow. In my work as an entrepreneur, I’ve focused on finding solutions to the problems facing new companies. I focused on the local community, on the unmet needs of small and medium-sized businesses, on the entrepreneur who needs help. This is the innovative part of the economy that needs assistance. When the economy went south and the big banks turned their backs on average Americans and small businesses we kept lending.
I saw that relying on Wall Street wasn’t working for the country. That’s why, in my most recent work, I’ve worked to bring together smaller, local and regional banks and provide them with the expertise and market power to compete with big banks. This has helped local communities across Maryland and the rest of the country.
I am running for Congress as a way of continuing my work as a job creator. I know how to grow businesses, create jobs, and spur innovation. A Congress filled with too many career politicians and insiders has gotten us into this current mess. It’s time we tried a different approach. They’ve done a wonderful job looking out for their jobs, but they haven’t done much to look out for your job.
Our fundamental challenge at the moment is to create an economy that works for the middle class, which has been the great engine of our economy and center of our way of life for over a century. My dad was a union electrician, so I understand how important good wages and stable employment are to our families. I know that we can’t solve our economic problems by gutting key programs or by serving special interest groups either. Here in Maryland we’ve long realized that top-flight schools are the key to competing in a high-tech economy, and it’s time we took that commitment to Washington.
Public service isn’t about doing what a donor or a buddy wants, it’s about doing what makes sense for neighborhoods, communities, and families. I’m not cynical, because I haven’t been part of the system. I’m hopeful. I know the solutions are out there, because I’ve been implementing them in the private sector for years.
We can do better, and together, we will do better.