Candidates for state Senate and House of Delegates were asked the following questions by The Washington Post:
Industry: What plans do you have to attract new industry to the state and to help those now unemployed?
Reaganomics: What parts of the Reagan economic program do you support or oppose?
Amend: Should the state amend its constitution to limit taxes or spending?
Crime: What proposals would you support to address the crime problem?
Nathaniel Exum (D), (Incumbent) 42, of 6702 Arlene Dr., Seat Pleasant, has been a member of the House of Delegates since 1975. He is president of a heavy construction firm and vice chairman of the legislative Black Caucus. He attended Howard University, and is active in church and civic groups.
Industry: To be able to attract new industry and to help those who are unemployed, I believe that there should be a close working relationship between government and industry. There should be incentives and other supporting amenities to attract new industry to the state, training programs should be directed toward those industries that the state wants to attract. There should also be programs to retrain the unemployed workers with other job skills.
Reaganomics: I oppose the tax cut because its impact is on the higher income people and not equitable across the board. The tax cut also creates higher deficits. I oppose any cutback in the Social Security system and oppose unnecessary reductions in forc to cut government in order to increase defense spending.
Amend: No, I don't believe that the state should amend its constitution to limit taxes or spending because the control to limit taxes and spending is already in place with the legislature through the budget process. In order to manage the government or any business, you need flexibility.
Crime: I believe that in order to address the crime problem, you need a total program of a) additional capacity, b) mandatory sentencing, c) more judges, and d) a meaningful job training program to insure that when people leave the penal institutions, they can obtain a job and become productive members of society.
Ernest M. Gray (D), 47, of 7619 Oxman Rd., Palmer Park, is a commissioner of human relations for Prince George's County. The president of the Palmer Park Citizens' Association, and chairman of the county's community development advisory committee, he is an Army retiree and active in veterans groups.
Industry: I intend to work to get tax credits for businesses locating in Prince George's County, and to continue the good work in this area now in progress. Further tax incentives are to be given to these businesses to specifically train undereducated residents of the area who are willing to work so that these people can be a strong labor pool. To this end we should make use of underused school facilities with the business paying only for the overhead costs.
Reaganomics: Reagan's economic plan is an unholy mixture of trickle-down economics with a philosophical opposition to large government that acts to further exacerbate the serious unemployment that his brand of economics tends to create. It makes no sense to cut government job-training programs when a shortage of work skills is a main employer problem. Encouraging tight money and high interest rates can only serve to hurt the construction industry, causing high unemployment there. And it further makes no sense to cut taxes, and run up huge deficits which in turn force up interest rates.
Amend: Such an amendment is purely a political expedient to force the onus of lesser services back on the electorate, and away from those elected officials who should have the courage to make these decisions themselves, but are afraid to do so because of the serious reelection consequences thereof. Although this may be required on the legislative level on the short run to get immediate financial difficulties resolved, it may be unwise in the long run to bind ourselves so rigidly.
Crime: In view of the fact that only a small proportion of the population commits the vast proportion of the crimes, we must set our sights on dealing severly with those persons to keep them off the streets. The vast majority of offenders are good people who have done something wrong, and can be rehabilitated. To that end, work release projects and halfway houses should be set up to get these people in the mainstream of life. This way, potentially productive persons do not become a charge on society.
Lillian Lewis (D), of 7311 Sheriff Rd., Landover, is making her second campaign bid for a House of Delegates seat. She is a job development specialist for the Prince George's Corrections Department and a former Junior high school counseler. She is active in the county Women's Political Caucus.
Industry: I will utilize the benefits of the Maryland Department of Economics and Community Development in procuring job opportunities for the residents of the state. I will see to it that MDECD has sufficient money allocated to it in order to be successful. I will organize regularly job fairs/task forces to bring together both public and private employers. I will improve the transportation system to enable able bodied, the handicapped and senior citizens to participate inthe world of work. I will maximize every opportunity for the unemployed to get the benefits of modern technology by retraining in other areas of marketable skills.
Reaganomics: I oppose those that have generated RIFs in government, increased unemployment in private and public sectors, increased military expenditures, such as expense of social programs that assist people on marginal incomes, such as Social Security, Medicare, welfare and other programs that affect the poor, handicapped etc.
Amend: It all depends on the situation. However, as far as taxes are concerned, I will answer in the negative.
Crime: 1) Proposals that back up the judiciary with stronger laws against repeat offenders. 2) Improve training of the police force and adequate penal facilities. 3) Rehabilitate offenders through education and suitable job placement.
Fred Price Jr. (D), 42, of 1709 62nd Ave., Cheverly, is the director of public safety at Bowie State College and a former police officer wtih the Federal Protection Office and the town of Glenarden. He has been legislative chairman for several civic groups and the state NAACP and an officer in several PTA groups.
Industry: I would seek to prevent further inflation by maintaining a proper balance between the environmental, energy and economic development needs of the state, while maintaining a healthy state economy by promoting the state's varied resources and fiscal stability and assisting existing businesses and attracting new ones, thereby creating new jobs for the unemployed.
Reaganomics: Senior citizens are the cornerstone of our communities. I am opposed to the Reagan programs that cut services to senior citizens, the poor and others on fixed incomes. I support recent funding to black medical schools. There should have been more and it should have been done long ago.
Amend: No. But we may want to look at limiting state budget increases to not more than the annual rate of increase in state- wide personal income, without a constitutional amendment.
Crime: Some problems are nationwide, crime and unemployment. As much as 60 percent of our crime problem may be related to unemployment. I would support efforts to create meaningful job opportunities using community-based programs with proven track records such as the O.I.C. and the NAACP's Fair Share Program. Hideous and high-level crimes have become lucrative and big business. The sale of interviews and rights to books, papers, TV, radio and movies has become commonplace. I would seek legislation which would bar and ban any profit-making by those who commit crimes directly or indirectly. We must make the statement "crime does not pay" mean just that and stop ,alomg heroes out of criminals and misdirecting our youth. I support a greater increase in crime prevention programs such as Operation I.D. If we make it hard to sell stolen items, criminals will not steal them.
Francis J. Santangelo St. (D), (Incumbent) 63, of 7009 East Chesapeake St., Landover, is service his third term in the House. An insurance broker, he is the founder and president of PACA Italian-American Club of Prince George's County, and has held office in several fraternal, civic and PTA groups.
Industry: I will support or sponsor legislation to increase funding for the Maryland Department of Economic Development to enable them to conduct a ntaionwide search to induce new industry to invest in our state. I would support incentives that would attract industries. Now, more than ever, government and the private sector need to form a partnership to develop training and retraining of citizens who are unemployed, thus enabling them to reenter the job market. The private sector would be a prime beneficiary of the retraining of the unemployed, since many persons have high ability to be retrained in other skills; e.g., the nursing profession suffers from a severe shortage.
Reaganomics: 1) I am opposed to any changes in the Social Security System that would further reduce the meager income to senior citizens and those disabled who are hard- pressed to exist. 2) I am opposed to unnecessary reductions-in-force to reduce government spending in order to increase defense spending. 3) I am opposed to tax cuts that unfairly burden low-and middle-income citizens. Also, tax cuts are contributing to the ongoing deficits. 4) A stronger effort must be made to reduce interest rates to stimulate the present economy, especially as it relates to the housing industry, which affects other industries and makes it difficult to buy or sell homes, particularly for our younger citizens. I find little that I can support in Reagan's economic program. Small businesses have been severly impacted by present policies despite the fact that they are the largest employer of people in our country.
Amend: I am opposed to amending the state Constitution to limit taxes or expenditures, primarily because we posses the means to control spending in the budget process; which, I believe, has been done in a prudent and humane manner, so that necessary and important services to our citizens have not been eliminated to any great extent. Just as any business, government must have the flexibility necessary to manage its affairs.
Crime: 1) I have long believed that punishment should fit the crime, and necessarily, legislation that would be tough on crimes of violence committed with guns must be a part of any effort to address the crime problem. 2) Mandatory sentencing. 3) Additional judges to handle the increasing workload.
Sylvania W. Woods Jr. (D), (Incumbent) 28, of 7816 Fiske Ave., Glenarden, was elected to the House in 1978, and earned the Maryland Municipal League's Distinguished Legislative Service Award this year. An insurance salesman, he was a member of the Glenarden Town Council, and is active in scouting.
Industry: I would support legislation to give tax advantages to major industries in the hope that they will relocate in the state of Maryland to provide jobs for our unemployed. Also I would support legislation to retrain those who are unemployed because their present skills are not in the various areas that industry now desires.
Reaganomics: I don't support any of the Reagan economic programs. HOw could I support an economic program that is based on the premise that the more people that are unemployed the better the nation's economy? How can I support a program that is not sensitive to the fact that the elderly, young and poor of this nation cannot have a respectable life without help from our government? How can I support a program that cuts funds for college students when I know that the future of our nation depends on the knowledge that they do or do not receive? How can I support an economic program that guarantees the failure of our nation's small businesses when I know that 70 percent of the work force is employed by small businesses.
Amend: No I do not think that the state should amend its constitution. If we don't watn to see the same thing happen all over the state as we just witnessed in Prince George's County under TRIM, with massive cuts in county services and the eventual death of the school system, no such measure should be supported statewide.
Crime: I feel that in order to adequately address the crime problem, we must have a total program of 1) legilsation that would be tough on crimes of violence, especially those that are committed through the use of handguns; 2) more judges; 3) additional capacity in our prisons; 4) job training programs that will train individuals before they leave prison; 5) alternative sentencing and 6) job training programs that will keep individuals from having to commit crimes in order to survive.