Voter guide: Jay Jalisi, Congress, District 7

Jay Jalisi

Democratic candidate for Congress, D7

Age 54

Residence Reisterstown, MD

Occupation Medical Doctor, State Legislator

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Previous political experience

Delegate LD-10; Member of Democratic State Central Committee

Why are you running for office?

To serve the public and help improve the lives of the people of Baltimore City, Baltimore County and Howard County.


How do you assess the Trump administration so far? Name at least one positive and one negative.

I do not think Trump administration has made a major impact in the lives of common people in Maryland. However, the Criminal Justice Reform bill was a good first step. I think the racial disharmony caused by his tweets and statements is a big problem for our nation.


What effect do you believe the federal tax cuts of 2017 have had on the economy thus far or will have in the future and why? Do you support the cuts?

The tax cuts have benefited the super rich people and corporations. The immediate effects may have been positive but they are not sustainable in the long run. I do not support any tax cuts that are made on the backs of common people and cause reduction in social services.


Is the level of economic inequality in the United States a problem, and why or why not? What, if anything, should the federal government do to address it?

Yes, the vast amount of wealth being in the hands of less then 1% of the population is a bad thing. We need to help the middle class in our nation and the federal government needs to address their issues.


Should federal gun laws be changed, and if so, how and why?

I believe in stricter gun laws, ban on assault rifles and all types of military grade weapons. I also believe in stricter background check on all those who buy weapons.


What should Congress do with respect to the Affordable Care Act, how and why? If you believe it should be scrapped, what, if anything, should replace it?

The ACA should be maintained and improved. I believe that we need to make improvements to allow more employer participation, and more coverage for mental health treatment.


What role should the federal government play in helping cities? What, if anything, would you do for Baltimore, specifically?

Federal Government should help our urban population centers by providing grants and low interest loans for public health, public transportation and infrastructure renovation and construction.


Do you back Elijah Cummings’ bill -- which Republicans say is too expensive -- to provide $100 billion over 10 years to fight the opioid epidemic? Why or why not?

Yes, I think Opioid abuse has risen to the level of epidemic proportions and is taking a big toll on our nation, especially the youth. The growing crisis of Opioid abuse, and the resulting death rate, is a blight on our community and for our state. The easy availability of not only heroin, but of prescription drugs like fentanyl, oxycodone, codeine, and methadone is the root cause of this crisis and has caused over 1,000 people to die premature deaths in Maryland. We need to spend as much as is needed to control it.


What changes, if any, should Congress make to our immigration and deportation laws and policies? Should the DACA program be preserved? Why or why not?

As an immigrant to the United States, I know that America is a nation of immigrants and also a nation of laws. I understands that our current immigration policy is flawed and must be changed to meet the needs of the 21st century. As a Congressman, I will work for a full and comprehensive overhaul of our immigration policy that protects our homeland, secures our borders, and also offers a clear path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who have lived peacefully in this country, and have agreed to pay penalties and fines, pay their taxes, learn English, and are generally proven to be productive members of our American society.


How would you rate the Trump administration’s trade stance with China and why?

I do not believe in having trade issues being dealt with in an adversarial manner without any regard to the impact on our nation’s economy. I think Trump administration’s trade war with China is counter-productive, and hence has had no positive impact on our economy.


Do you support the president’s decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal? Why or why not?

I do not agree with Trump administration’s unilateral termination of an agreement which President Obama took years to negotiate, which was guaranteed by our European friends, supported by Israel, and which caused nuclear disarmament of Iran.


How should the United States address the rise of North Korea’s nuclear program?

I think North Korea should be brought back on to the negotiation table by economic incentives and relaxation of the trade restrictions, so there is a positive change in the lives of common North Koreans. It is very important for the future safety of all nations that North Korea uses its nuclear expertise only for civilian power generation and does not have nuclear weapons.


How should the United States address climate change?

We need to:

  1. reduce our carbon footprint in every sector of our economy, including electricity and transportation.
  2. stop giving huge tax breaks to the big oil and gas companies.
  3. move away from coal, one of our nation’s biggest polluters.
  4. fund more green energy research.
  5. use tax credits to incentivize the private sector to create new green technology jobs in hard-hit urban areas. These companies could then produce made clean, renewable, emission-free energy products for use by both the public and private sectors.
  6. raise taxes on billionaires and use those funds to help the private sector transition to clean and renewable electricity, zero emission vehicles, and green products for commercial and residential buildings.
  7. insist on stronger CAFE standards, with significant fines for any company selling vehicles that fail to meet those standards, and use those funds to provide additional incentives to automakers to build new plants in hard-hit urban areas.
  8. tax the exportation of crude oil and use those funds to encourage clean energy job creation in our nation’s urban cores.


Do you support the Green New Deal? Why or why not?

Yes, I do support it.

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