Candidate Survey: Jordan Lysczek for House of Delegates, District 1C
Office Sought and District
House of Delegates D1C
J.D. Penn State Dickinson School of Law; B.A. Hood College
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Wash. Co. Rep. for Justice Reinvestment; testified on behalf of bills; Student Page to Gen. Assembly in 2005
Why are you running for office?
I’m a lifelong resident of the district & committed to bettering the community. We need successful youth to stay in the district & contribute to its economic growth. I’d like to end political apathy & prove that the system doesn’t have to be corrupt. I believe candidates need to be soft & strong simultaneously, so I bring a listening ear, compassion, and a can-do attitude to everything I do.
Who do you consider your political role model, and why?
I have quite a few actually, but to keep things brief I’ll say FDR. Although that’s not an entirely fair response given that he served more terms than any other President, so he had much more time to make an impact, but what an impact it was. He led our country out of the depression into one of our most prosperous times in history-with creative & innovative policy. He was an effective and respectable commander-in-chief while the entire world was at war. And he was a pioneer of international law & human rights-probably my favorite of his accomplishments. He recognized that the world was only becoming more globalized, that none of us can prosper in isolation, and there are basic rights which should be guaranteed regardless of where one’s born.
What is your favorite book about politics and policy, and why?
Profiles in Courage by JFK. He pretty much tackles the good, the bad, & the ugly when it comes to politicians in a way that isn’t egotistical or self-serving (he doesn’t tear down others to build himself up). He delves into the impossibility of universal popularity if one is genuine & held to a moral compass-by providing example after example of political ‘courage.’ I think the book should be a primer for any aspiring or existing politician.
What will be your top priority in the General Assembly?
I’m not a single-issue candidate. In general, my top priority would be bridging partisan gaps & the different areas within Maryland. Partisan posturing gets citizens nowhere. I would be willing to reach ‘across the aisle’ and work with urban districts when it’s in the best interest of my district. People over parties.
What is the biggest issue facing your district?
Economic depression and opioid abuse. I list 2 issues because there is a relationship between them which can’t be addressed by focusing on only one or the other.
What are the three biggest issues facing Maryland?
Referring to the state, as a whole: 1. Growing our economy sustainably 2. Reducing crime 3. Improving education for all
What is your position on life issues? (abortion, assisted suicide)
Broad question! In general, abortion cannot be banned (as many R’s would like) but it can and should be well-regulated. I have my own religious, personal opinions about abortion and assisted suicide-however I think the voices of constituents should be the guide (not my personal beliefs) for how the state responds. If, for interest, the majority of my district was in favor of permitting assisted suicide-I would not filibuster or block such a bill from passing. These are issues for the people to decide.
What is your position on taxes and spending?
I think our government should operate a little more like a non-profit than its current state of affairs. Examples abound of government over-spending (and it’s sickening as a taxpayer when you’re operating on a shoestring budget). There needs to be much more budget accountability. Nevertheless, I don’t believe in making empty/unrealistic promises that I’d be able to magically slash taxes if elected. What I can promise is transparency and the fighting-spirit to speak up when I see abuse of taxpayer dollars. I also believe tax money that is earmarked for certain causes should ONLY go toward the originally-intended causes. To shift funds around after publicly earmarking them for specified purposes is akin to lying to citizens.
What is your position on gun rights?
I’m a Western Maryland candidate and people love to hunt here. We also have enough wildlife that hunting is a necessity. My constituents feel their gun rights being infringed upon, largely as a result of gun violence in cities. Also, the gun legislation enacted during O’Malley’s tenure hasn’t yielded a significant decrease in gun violence in the state, so I’m skeptical that more legislation would have any net effect when it comes to reducing crime.
What is your position on education?
Wash. Co. recently ranked at/near the bottom of the state with respect to kindergarten readiness and I see this as one of our most pressing issue in the district. We need well-educated youth to create a well-rounded workforce. Only then will we really see economic growth & sustainability. Sadly, the effects of enhancing educational outcomes are often only seen 5, 10, 20 years after-the-fact, so education is rarely a real priority of legislators. Enhancing & expanding education (both public and non-public) for all ages: from pre-k to adulthood, even into the senior years is a key priority of mine.
What is your position on the legalization of marijuana?
Legalize it. If candidates are too scared to support a legalization bill, let it go to referendum and allow the people to decide.
What is your position on the current three-tiered system for the sale and distribution of alcohol?
We need to encourage both agriculture & entrepreneurship and shouldn’t be treating craft brewers from competing with larger corporations (e.g. Guinness). Our state should do everything it can to encourage agri-business, from craft breweries to vineyards, particularly in the more rural counties.
Legislators can receive $101 per day for lodging and $47 per day for meals during the 90-day General Assembly session. If elected, do you plan to accept these benefits? Why or why not?
I would likely have to make use of the lodging stipend as commuting is not entirely feasible from my district. I’m not certain I could consume $47 a day worth of food, however (that seems quite steep).
There is a culture of depravity and sexual harassment prevalent in the Maryland General Assembly. As a legislator, how will you work to end this culture of depravity and to ensure that those who commit these acts are removed from the General Assembly?
This culture exists outside the Assembly as well. It’s a tough nut to crack, but our legislators should be held to a higher standard. A diverse commission should exist to tackle the issues, composed of both genders, and citizens/politicians alike. Channels for reporting issues should be expanded and well-used.