My Story

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I grew up in Crofton in the house next door to Town Hall, where my parents still live.  As a youth I played Crofton sports, and enjoyed all of the other activities that make Crofton such a good place to spend your childhood: riding my bike around the Parkway to play at Swan Park, picking strawberries with my Mom and siblings at one of the old U-pick farms off of Davidsonville Road, all of the parades, and of course seeing Santa on the Firetruck each year.

After graduating from Arundel High School, I moved to the west coast to attend Point Loma Nazarene University. While there, I met my beautiful wife, Lauren.

Lauren was a year behind me in school and so while she finished her degree I moved to Beijing, China and volunteered with a non-profit that worked with street kids in the lead up to the Beijing Olympic Games. When Lauren graduated we moved abroad to Mexico City where she and I spent most of our time working as teachers at The American School Foundation, the premier international school that served all of the children of the U.S. Embassy. Lauren was a third-grade teacher and I taught history and government to 11th and 12th graders.

While living abroad, we welcomed our two wonderful children into our lives, Isabela (“Isa”, age 7) and Morgan (age 5). Wanting to be closer to family and having had such a good experience growing up locally, we moved back to Anne Arundel County once Isa was getting ready to start school and settled into our life back home in Crofton.

More About James

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Family

My family is by far the most important part of my life! As a work-from-home dad (most of the time), I get to eat breakfast with my kids and then walk them to school everyday. I then pick them up from school and spend time playing with them and the other neighborhood kids in the afternoon. I am married to my best-friend who is a phenomenal school teacher and an absolutely amazing mother. My parents live here in Crofton, about a mile down the road, and it’s awesome to see my kids have such a close relationship with them. I thoroughly enjoy this phase of life.

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Community

As the father of two young children, I am mostly involved in the community in ways that double as family time. I attend Renovate Life Church and volunteer in their children’s program, coach my daughter’s soccer team for A3 Soccer, am a member of the PTA at Crofton Woods Elementary School, and am an active volunteer in my kids’ classrooms.

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Work

While I really enjoyed my time as a High School teacher, a few years ago I left the classroom to continue my own education. I currently do research in the fields of Education Policy and Immigration Policy at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). I am also about half-way done with a PhD in Public Policy from UMBC. I am the treasurer of the Public Policy Graduate Student Organization at UMBC, a member of The Association for Education Finance and Policy as well as The Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management.

My Approach to Policy

I have a passion for social justice issues and for making sure that our system of government is as transparent and equitable as possible. Together these will inform my approach to policy. For every vote I cast I will consider what the economic and social consequences of that vote will be, and how they will differ by stakeholder groups. How will each of my votes affect our various minority communities? How will it affect the LGBTQ community, our immigrant community? How about women, working moms, stay-at-home moms, the elderly, college educated individuals, high school educated individuals, farmers, the working class, and small business owners, our labor unions? How will each of my votes affect our districts’ different geographical communities? The impacts will not always be the same for Crofton as for Mayo, Galesville, Shady Side, or Deal. Now, I am very willing to admit that on my own I can’t relate to the experiences of each of these groups. But I do understand that their input is invaluable and I am fully committed to seeking it out as I make policy decisions. We are all interconnected and my approach to policy will be one that works to ensure that one group doesn’t disproportionally benefit at the expense of others and that groups which have been systematically disadvantaged in our society don’t continue to get overlooked.

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