Mark Kennedy Shriver, a current Maryland State Delegate who is running for a seat in the US House of Representatives in the upcoming election, spoke at Blair on Monday afternoon before an audience of approximately 80 students and staff.
Shriver was invited to speak by Blair's Student Democrats Association (SDA) as the second in a series of a three speakers running for the House in the Eighth Congressional District, which includes the Blair community. SDA co-presidents Julia Kay and Matt Yalowitz and member Nora Toiv introduced him.
Shriver started his speech with some background information about himself, promoting his ties to this community, and then moved on to issues that concerned him, including gun control, the environment and energy. He also spoke about issues that concerned Blair, such as overcrowding in schools and saving money for college, and finished with a question-and-answer session.
Sympathizing with the Blair community, Shriver said, "I think the Republicans have not put a whole lot of effort into reducing overcrowding." He also took notes of his own about issues raised during his speech and the Q-and-A session.
Near the end of his speech, Shriver told a story about his efforts in building a playground for disabled children. Working with community members and legislators, he constructed the first handicapped-accessible playground in the state; 12 more such playgrounds are now being built in Maryland and five other states have similar plans. "That's politics at its best," said Shriver. "Politics is all about helping people."
Shriver invited students with free time to work on his campaign, saying that it would be "a lot of fun" and promoting himself as a "grassroots" candidate.
During the question-and-answer session, students asked Shriver about his position on standardized testing and his own opinion of his chances in the election. "I'm in favor of accountability," he said, but "we shouldn't be consumed by testing." He also expressed concern about educator salaries, noting that some people "make more flipping burgers" than at teaching. "People are not paid well in K-12 education," he said, and "we ought to be doing more to help our childcare workers and K-12 too."
Asked about the issue of statehood for Washington, DC, Shriver had several students debate each other and then said, "this is what we do in Annapolis all the time, debate issues back and forth."
One of Shriver's opponents, fellow state senator Chris Van Hollen, spoke at Blair earlier this year. Ira Shapiro, his other opponent, will speak on March 12. For more information, contact Matt Yalowitz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kevin Chang. Kevin Chang was born on April 28, 1985. This makes him a bull, and coincidentally, a Taurus. Somehow, he ended up in the Magnet program at Montgomery Blair High School, where he is now a SENIOR! 03! Yes, he is a geek. He is often … More »