Michael Arrington (Democrat)
David S. Bernstein (Republican)
Ulysses Currie (Democrat)
Katharine Garnett (Republican)
Beatrice Tignor (Democrat)
Michael Arrington (D)
642 Mt. Lubentia Ct. East, Largo
Executive director, Maryland Minority Contractors Association; member, Prince George's County advisory board to the National Conference of Christians and Jews; vice president, Maryland 100 Inc.; former chairman, NAACP Police and Community Relations Committee; executive board member, Citizens Concerned about Collegiate Athletics; member, Council of Black Economic Development; member, Largo Civic Association; BA in government and politics, University of Maryland, 1978; member, University of Maryland football team, 1974-78; assistant football coach, DeMatha High School, 1982.
A: I envision my role in the General Assembly as being a legislator who promotes and supports the law and budgetary needs from the perspective of the citizens within Maryland's 25th legislative district. However, I recognize that I'm obligated to serve in the best interest of all the citizens in the state of Maryland. And, to the extent I can make everyone happy, I will; unfortunately that is not always possible. Therefore, my primary concern and interest would be the legislative needs of the citizens of my particular district. These are the people who can elect me, and these are the people I must be accountable to. I will never purposely act in any manner to the detriment of citizens who reside outside of the 25th district, but I'm certainly delighted to know that the balance of power in the General Assembly provides them their specific representatives as well.
David S. Bernstein (R)
11109 Mt. Lubentia Way, Largo
Program assistant, researching higher education for minorities, Madison Center for Educational Affairs; member-elect, Republican Central Committee; Price Waterhouse Office of Government Service, 1990; project coordinator, the Jefferson Educational Foundation, 1988-89; Dole for president campaign, 1988; director, Empowerment Partnership student anti-apartheid movement; parliamentarian, NAACP-College Park; vice chairman, Maryland Federation of College Republicans, 1989-90; candidate for BA, University of Maryland; Golden Key National Honor Society; resident of Largo since 1985, area since 1977.
A: In a representative democracy, every elected official bears a primary, direct responsibility to his constituents. Legislatures work best when each member pursues the interests of his or her constituents actively and aggressively, but with a sense of fairness and balance with the needs of others. Compromise will necessarily result from responsible behavior of legislators, and it will likely be a compromise that works to the benefit of the majority of citizens. When legislators say they are working in the "best interests of the whole state," as many in the General Assembly claim, they are often just pawns of special interest groups with goals opposed to the needs of their constituents. The one-party government we have in Maryland makes this behavior cost-free and inevitable. As a member of the House of Delegates, I would represent my constituents and others truly in need, not the special interest lobbyists in Annapolis.
Ulysses Currie (D)
7315 Calder Dr., Capitol Heights
Director, Prince George's County Headstart; elected to House of Delegates, 1986; member, House Ways and Means Committee, Appropriations Committee; vice chairman, subcommittee on Education and Human Resources; voted by peers as one of the 10 most effective legislators in the House of Delegates; graduate, North Carolina A&T, American University; served in U.S. Army, Germany, 1960-63; married to Shirley A. Gravely-Currie.
A: My constituent focus is on education, the preservation of African American males, crime and safe streets and drugs. Fortunately, the state is concerned with those same issues. I would push for continued increases in the budget for education and focus on accountability in education at elementary and secondary levels. As a member of the Commission on Black Males, I will be examining and making recommendations to improve the lot of black males. With regard to crime and drugs, I will continue sponsoring laws to make the community safer and make it more difficult for people who traffic in the drug trade.
Katharine Garnett (R)
4914 Park Lane South, Suitland
Retired writer, editor, publisher, political consultant; member, Republican Central Committee, 1975-present; Maryland Republican Woman of the Year, 1979; Yost Award as most valuable non-elected county Republican, 1974; Prince George's campaign coordinator, 1978, 1980, 1982 and 1984 for Rep. Marjorie Holt; editor, The Elephant's Trumpet, bi-monthly tabloid for county Republicans, 1980-84, Overseas Weekly, 1948-50, Nipa News, 1958-59; chairman, county precinct organization, 1976-78; past president, Suitland Elementary PTA, Henson Valley Republican Women, Southern Prince George's Republican Club; Republican nominee, House of Delegates, 1974, County Council, 1986; BA, College of Notre Dame of Maryland; public school teacher.
A: I believe the first obligation of a member of the House of Delegates is to serve the best interests of the state of Maryland. The second obligation, and a very close second, is to serve the interests of constituents in the 25th legislative district. However, if Maryland does not prosper, in the long run, the district will not prosper, and the individual constituents will not prosper. Certainly, if there are pieces of a pie to be divided, I would try to get the largest slice reasonable for my district. However, I am a fiscal conservative and am always aware that if taxes are to be kept down, services cannot be unlimited. We also must consider conservation of resources for future Maryland residents. I support the agenda of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, while being intensely aware of the importance of not trampling individual rights.
Beatrice Tignor (D)
11411 Lake Arbor Way, Mitchelville
Professor and chairman of educational development department, Prince George's Community College; Prince Georgian of the Year; Educator of the Year; Alumnus of the Year; president and past national president, Bowie State University Alumni Chapter; vice president, National Council of Negro Women, Prince George's section; member, Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority; board of directors, Prince George's Association for Retarded Citizens, American Red Cross, Benjamin Mays National Education Research Center; graduate, Bowie State University, George Washington University; advisory faculty member, Maryland Board of Higher Education; involved in Kettering and Largo civic associations.
A: In order to balance the statewide interests with the specific needs of the constituents, it is imperative to assess the needs of the constituents that are congruent with the statewide interests. After assessment, the balance would have to occur by first prioritizing the constituent needs and exploring the hierarchy of needs in terms of those that are already available through legislation that needs to be enforced; next, one has to look at the County Council's goals and legislation to arrive at those needs that are already deemed for legislation; and finally, one has to consider the state of economy at the state level in relationship to the needs that must occur within the constituents' districts. It is imperative that we remind constituents that needs are sometimes slow in becoming recognized; therefore, they have an active role to play in bringing to the elected officials their needs and suggestions for solutions.