Mark Chang, the Democratic District 32 representative in the Maryland House of Delegates, is running for a third term.
Chang, a lifelong Glen Burnie resident, said he feels he and his colleagues on the House Appropriations Committee, of which he is vice chair, have been able to help the state spend more wisely and better stabilize the state financially, even through a nationwide pandemic-driven recession.
“There’s a lot more work that needs to be done. I feel I’ve been able to help the district and Anne Arundel County and Maryland in many ways, and I’d like to continue to do that specifically through the budget — whether it be COVID relief and helping families through difficult times and also through the investments that we’ve made,” Chang said.
District 32 covers western Anne Arundel County.
The state is in a unique financial position right now, he said. It’s predicted to have a budget surplus during the next three fiscal years, and he and the House Appropriations Committee have projects planned that he is eager to help see through to the end.
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“We’ve started many projects that deal with infrastructure investments in the district, whether it be at BWI Airport or North County High School, Lindale Middle School, Glen Burnie High School,” he said. “We’ve made specific strategic investments in their infrastructure and their recreational facilities and athletic facilities.”
Chang said he’s also proud of the way the committee has prioritized during this time.
“We specifically made investments in our local hospitals — University of Maryland Baltimore Washington Medical Center received several million dollars in funds and that’s helped our local health care,” Chang said. “We’ve also made investments in education like with the blueprint that is going to help put Maryland back on having a world-class education system.”
Another priority for Chang is supporting legislation around social justice. In 2019, after a series of hateful symbols including nooses were discovered across the county and state, Chang sponsored House Bill 4 classifying depicting symbols of hate on property without express consent from the property owner as a criminal offense. The bill, which passed into law with landslide votes of 133-4 in the House and 45-0 in the Senate, included some pretty harsh penalties. Those found guilty would be charged with a misdemeanor and, on conviction, could receive up to three years of prison time or a fine up to $5,000, or both.
“The hope was that it would eradicate hate and symbols of hate in our community and send a message,” he said. “I really feel like we accomplished a lot through that. But I think we still have so much more to do. There are still divides. There are still inequities.”
Chang said, if reelected, he would continue to stay in touch with the issues of constituents and remain a champion for wisely investing in the counties and fighting hate.
“I think people should look at my record of making sound fiscal decisions on the Appropriations Committee. Right now the state of the economy and the state of our budget is strong in the state of Maryland,” Chang said. “Also from a social standpoint, look at my record in the legislation that I sponsored and was passed to address hate and injustice in our communities. I’m still going to be proactive and very attuned to the needs of the district.”