Antonio believes one of the most powerful tools a Baltimore resident can have is a family-supporting job that allows him or her to work with dignity. No one who works a 40-hour week should be at risk of living in poverty. That’s why Antonio is proud to have supported $15/hour minimum wage legislation in the past, and will continue to in the days ahead.
Antonio understands that creating local jobs mean training for local skills, and that apprenticeship programs can turn skills training into a path to employment. That’s why Antonio is a firm supporter of apprenticeship programs that help Baltimore men and women learn skilled trades in growing industries that will drive our economy for years to come.
As Assistant Deputy Mayor for Baltimore City, Antonio managed the City’s public safety programs. Under his tenure, Baltimore consistently drove down crime year-after-year, while still reducing the rate of incarceration for its most vulnerable populations. This success led Antonio to be a vocal advocate for results-driven public safety policies.
Antonio authored a letter to Governor Hogan laying out a comprehensive vision for improved policing in Baltimore that secured support from many of his colleagues in the General Assembly. His vision calls for:
- Increased home visits to violent offenders released on parole and probation
- Expanding Safe Streets into the Mayor’s Transformation Zones, and providing the program with increased funding
- The State of Maryland staffing Baltimore’s Juvenile Booking facility so that Baltimore police officers assigned to the facility can be reassigned to patrols
- Extending the patrol and crash investigations for State Police further into Baltimore’s main traffic corridors, so Baltimore police can be reassigned to patrols in our neighborhoods
- Utilizing State Police, Parole and Probation, and the Department of Juvenile Services on warrant task forces directed at violent offenses
- Increasing the number of police and frequency of patrols for MTA Police at transportation hubs like Mondawmin Mall, State Center, and Lexington Market
Antonio is also a strong supporter of including civilians on police hearing boards, and creating civilian oversight for community policing in Baltimore, having advocated for each measure in the General Assembly.
Thousands of 40th District residents depend on public transportation for their everyday needs, but live in communities designed for car-first commuting. Antonio believes that a fair City means a City with equal access to opportunity, whether you get there by bus, by bike, by light rail, or by car.
40th District neighborhoods should be consulted whenever changes are made to MTA bus routes, and the commute times for the new BaltimoreLink program should be measured to see whether they improve travel for our residents. Access to new infrastructure like BikeShare or transportation essentials like properly paved roads should not be limited to a handful of neighborhoods- all of Baltimore deserves to move freely and easily around our City.
Much of the transportation infrastructure in Baltimore is funded and controlled by the State of Maryland, which makes strong leadership in the General Assembly crucial to the future of transportation in Baltimore. Whether exploring signal priority for buses at intersections or adopting Bus Rapid Transit on our main corridors, each requires coordination between City and State agencies. Antonio’s record of leadership at home and in Annapolis positions him to coordinate between those bodies for years to come.
When it comes to Baltimore’s future, our children will always be the most valuable investment we can make. Of course, that investment is made up in large part by properly funding Baltimore City Schools, which the City relies heavily on the State of Maryland for. Antonio will fight to get City Schools its fair share of funding, and to make sure the Kirwin Commission creates a funding formula that accounts for the higher cost of education the City faces because so many of its students come from underserved communities.
Spending our funding properly means looking at proven programs that get results. Expanding pre-k education to more Baltimore children can significantly reduce long-term achievement gaps between students. Embracing the community school model leads to two-fold benefits, because the model leverages community participation in the school to expand the resources at students’ disposal, while using the school as an anchor for community organizing in the surrounding neighborhoods. As students age, it is important to offer programing for building professional skills that will translate into the job market, which makes youth-emplyment programs extremely valuable.
Beyond advocating for funding, Antonio will use the office of State Senator to organize anchor institutions around nearby schools that can benefit from the resources they provide. Baltimore is filled with points of strength; we need leaders who will leverage our strengths to support the next generation.
Our seniors have led and supported our neighborhoods for decades, which means it’s our turn to give back to them for their years of service. The first step to defending our seniors is combating threats to their quality of life, like tax sales of their homes over unpaid water bills, sky-rocketing prices for pharmaceuticals, and quality senior housing that allows our elders to live in dignity.
Of course, Antonio has been a leading advocate for Baltimore’s seniors throughout his time in the General Assembly, which includes giving the Attorney General authority to sue drug-companies that price gouge their customers. He has also been a leading advocate for ensuring that Medicaid keeps up with inflation, so that outdated medical payouts don’t jeopardize quality treatment. Antonio’s commitment to seniors also includes improving regulations for the cooperative housing complexes that many seniors rely on.