Leaving the Maryland Senatorial Debate held at the Idlewylde Community Hall Wednesday evening, I was dismayed at the arguments made by the challengers on both sides of the political spectrum trying to unseat Sen. Jim Brochin.

Dr. Tim Robinson, the Republican candidate, argued that we should loosen the many bills that have created economic and environmental regulations and yet criticized Senator Brochin for not passing enough legislation during his career.

This year, Senator Brochin was instrumental in steering the hybrid school board bill through the Senate and securing its passage by the General Assembly. Furthermore, the legislation Senator Brochin introduces is carefully crafted and often has bipartisan support. His hybrid school board bill passed through the Baltimore County Senate Delegation with a near unanimous vote. His legislation agenda comes from the needs of his constituents, not political ideology.

Democratic candidate Connie DeJuliis upset education advocates in the audience when she said that it was the county executive that needed to be thanked for additions to schools in the Towson area and not the efforts of Senator Brochin. Ms. DeJuliis should know that many people are to be thanked for the progress that has been made toward relieving overcrowding in the Towson area. The solutions found were the result of community advocacy at school board meetings, County Council budget hearings and community wide protests, all of which Senator Brochin ardently supported and often attended. In addition, almost one third of the funding for both the additions to Hampton and Stoneleigh elementary schools came from state school construction funds.

Along with other state elected officials, Senator Brochin has ardently advocated for state school construction funds for BCPS throughout the past eight years to help build West Towson Elementary, additions and renovations to Stoneleigh Elementary, Hampton Elementary and Hereford High School and to find state funds to help air condition more schools. Solutions for our overcrowded schools should be credited to our school system, community advocates, our current county executive and our state elected officials, including Senator Jim Brochin.

Senator Brochin doesn't get caught up arguing for small government or large government, but rather for good government that serves the needs of his constituency. His opponents should take notice.

Yara Cheikh

The writer is a Baltimore County education advocate and mother of four children in the Baltimore County School System.

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