Problems we can solve

 

 

civic_pic_1.png

 

Darian speaking at the groundbreaking for the Silver Spring Civic Building  

 

 

Building sustainable communities

Darian's work in fire-rescue and emergency services helps protect the community today.  His environmental engineering work on sustainable development -- at MIT, at Howard University, in the Sierra Club, and leading community organizations -- focuses on ensuring that our community stays strong for generations and that we battle climate change intelligently and effectively. 

home_tree.png

A progressive future is one where residents, neighborhoods and businesses thrive, and can continue to thrive sustainably.  That means protecting the community we have -- from fire, from crime, from sprawl, and from environmental damage.   It also means building our neighborhoods in ways that will allow future generations to thrive.  

Sustainable development and environmental protection are Darian's top priorities.

Locally, our children cannot play in Sligo Creek because it is too polluted.  Globally, our children and grandchildren will inherit a hotter, more volatile world because of carbon dioxide from fossil fuel use.  We have a moral obligation to take stronger steps to sustain the world and its resources for future generations.  We can also set an example here in Maryland that can be duplicated around the country and the world. 

Darian's ongoing research at Howard University focuses on the development of environmental energy technologies.  His earlier work at the MIT Energy Laboratory explored the use of renewable energy for transportation.  He understands firsthand how innovation and market incentives can increase energy efficiency and spur the adoption of renewable energy technologies.

Maryland can and should lead the way in sustainable development policies.   Our best hope for progressive legislation lies with strong, liberal states like ours, where we can lead by example.  The federal government is moving entirely in the wrong direction.   But we can champion key environmental improvements in Maryland and serve as an example to other states and the naton. 

Darian has long favored tougher water regulations to keep our streams, rivers, and bay clean. 

Darian also supports the implementation of a carbon fee that puts a price on greenhouse gas emissions.  Assigning a real price to carbon dioxide pollution will create the market signals necessary for renewable energy to out-compete fossil fuels in Maryland.  The revenue from the fee can be used to fund education, renewable energy programs, and reduce property taxes.  Once successful in Maryland, the model can be adapted and adopted by other states as we build a more sustainable future.

Please help make this happen by supporting Darian Unger for delegate. 

 Improving Education

1) Universal Pre-K    

All of my children are already in Montgomery County Public Schools, and our youngest daughter recently began kindergarten in a few years.  My family is like many others.  We had to work hard to find quality daycare and affordable preschool.  And we celebrated with relief when our older kids started their elementary school.

pre-k_ready2learnkids.jpg

But we were the fortunate ones, because at least our kids were able to go to pre-school.  Other families are not as lucky, and that discrepancy is both a societal and educational problem.  There is a solution: universal pre-K.

Studies suggest that the achievement gap begins early and persists because kids have uneven starting points.  Some students with access to private pre-K have already learned about classroom socialization, group play, and alphabet basics, but others are not so lucky. 

Let's even the playing field.  Maryland and Montgomery County should give kids of all economic classes and background the opportunity to go to pre-kindergarten for free as part of their public education.

Expanding education is already a proven idea.  Washington D.C. introduced pre-K in an effort to keep young families from moving away...and it's working.  We in Montgomery County also have families who are struggling with work and child care. 

We as a society can do better than this.  Offering the option of public pre-K would both reduce the achievement gap and provide tremendous relief to young, working families. 

2) Reliable, increased funding to allow more teachers and smaller classes

When our children started in elementary school, we were extraordinarily impressed by their teachers.  My wife and I sometimes have trouble managing three kids on a trip to the zoo.  But MCPS teachers manage, nurture, and educate classes of 15-30 kids, and do it with skill and dedication.  They are a special breed.  But even they will tell you that large classes are difficult. 

There is an answer for this problem too: reliable and increased school funding.

Montgomery County has a terrific system which mandates smaller class sizes if a high percentage of students are in the free-or-reduced lunch program (often called "Title 1" students).  Having smaller classes in Title 1 schools is a fantastic method of leveling the playing field, but Title 1 staffing requires funding.  

Montgomery County teachers and students were both kicked around during recent budget controversies.  The state gave up on its teacher pension responsibilities and passed them to Montgomery County.  The state also threatened to cut millions in education funding to the county.  Teachers should not have to worry about their pension security.  Students should not have to worry that class size will increase because of staff reductions.   We can do better.

We need to stop punishing vulnerable students and fantastic teachers.  Our educational system is world class, but we need reliable and increased funding to reduce inequalities in education and strengthen our public schools.

Please help make this happen by supporting Darian Unger for delegate.

 

Health care and women's rights

As an EMT, Darian personally brings health care to people's doors and homes.  Health care needs to be expanded, rather than sabotaged by the federal government. If the Affordable Health Care act is disabled by Trump and the Republican Congress, we can initiate a stronger, single-payer system in Maryland.

NARAL Maryland gave Darian 100% rating, and went on to specifically praise his understanding of health care legislation.  

As an emergency responder, Darian unfortunately responds to and treats many domestic violence emergencies.  Because of these experiences, he understands firsthand the scope of violence against women and the tools and effort we need to prevent it.  He has testified in Annapolis in favor of greater protection for victims of domestic violence, and brings a caring, understanding and helpful experience to the effort.  

Please help make this happen by supporting Darian Unger for delegate.

Transportation

Darian is a local leader in promoting public transit, finding traffic solutions, and improving pedestrian safety.  His track record can be seen here.  

Roads:  

As a firefighter, Darian has responded to people hurt in car accidents throughout Silver Spring and Takoma Park.  During rush hours, even fire engines and ambulances get stuck in traffic.  

Are you also frustrated by state roads like Colesville Rd., New Hampshire Avenue, 16th St., East-West Highway and Georgia Ave?  We can solve these problems by calling attention to them in Annapolis.  These roads are poorly managed by the State Highway Administration; they are frustrating to drive, difficult to cross, and unsafe in several areas.  We can do better.

Public transit:

Darian actively promotes public transit because it is a key to sustainable development, smart growth, and traffic reduction.  He has championed additional funding for WMATA, Ride-on buses, and the Purple Line so that they operate well and can serve our community.   It is vital that public transit be both accessible and community friendly so that they are welcomed and adopted. 

Darian was also was among the first whistleblowers when the Silver Spring Transit Center mess hurt the community instead of helping it.  You can see his commentary in the Washington Post here and here.

Biking and walking:

Few accidents are more devastating than collisions between cars and pedestrians or bikers.  Darian regularly bikes to work from Silver Spring to his office at Howard University.  Darian also walks around downtown Silver Spring and Takoma Park with his kids, and is acutely aware of how better engineering and design can create safer streets and sidewalks.   He has championed sidewalk and bike lane construction because they are key to making our neighborhoods sustainable and accessible. 

 

Public Safety

As a local firefighter and EMT, Darian works closely with police when people are hurt or need help.  Some people are hurt because of domestic abuse or assault.  Other times, car accidents become the threat to public safety. 

Everybody should be able to live in safety and security.  Ensuring public safety is a core governmental responsibility, and takes many forms:

  • Safe streets
  • Safe buildings
  • Safe sidewalks
  • Effective emergency responses
  • Strong but fair judicial system
  • Education and crime deterrence
  • Rigorous gun safety laws
  • Appropriate criminal penalties that discourage crime and allow rehabilitation

And we can accomplish these with

  • Stronger criminal law regarding domestic violence and automobile manslaughter
  • Better design of roads, sidewalks, and public areas
  • Limitations on the ability of the state and police to track and gather our personal data
  • De-emphasizing enforcement and decriminalizing of victimless crimes
  • Strengthening deterrence, youth programs, and education to prevent violence before it begins

Please help make this happen by supporting Darian Unger for delegate.

 

Environment

Sustainable development and environmental protection are Darian's top priorities. 

Locally, our children cannot play in Sligo Creek because it is too polluted.  Globally, our children and grandchildren will inherit a hotter, more volatile world because of carbon dioxide from fossil fuel use.  We have a moral obligation to take stronger steps to sustain the world and its resources for future generations.  We can also set an example here in Maryland that can be duplicated around the country and the world. 

Darian's ongoing research at Howard University focuses on the development of environmental energy technologies.  His earlier work at the MIT Energy Laboratory explored the use of renewable energy for transportation.  He understands firsthand how innovation and market incentives can increase energy efficiency and spur the adoption of renewable energy technologies.

Maryland can and should lead the way in sustainable development policies.   Our best hope for progressive legislation lies with strong, liberal states like ours, where we can lead by example.  The federal government is ineffective because Congressional Republicans continue to obstruct President Obama.   But we can champion key environmental improvements in Maryland and serve as an example to other states and the nation. 

Darian has long favored tougher water regulations to keep our streams, rivers, and bay clean. 

Darian also supports the implementation of a carbon fee that puts a price on greenhouse gas emissions.  Assigning a real price to carbon dioxide pollution will create the market signals necessary for renewable energy to out-competes fossil fuels in Maryland.  Once successful in Maryland, the model can be adapted and adopted by other states as we build a more sustainable future.

Please help make this happen by supporting Darian Unger for delegate.

 

Police accountability and criminal justice reform

As Chair of the Montgomery County ACLU, Darian has been leading the fight in favor of immigrants' rights, criminal justice reform, and police accountability.  As the son and grandson of immigrants, Darian has fought the Trump administration's racist executive orders, and has actively helped and sheltered immigrants to the US.  We are a land of immigrants and opportunity, and must leave and extend the ladder for new and striving people.
Criminal justice reform is vital in Maryland because it does not treat everyone equally.  People often fear the police instead of trusting them.  Police in our county have killed more people with tasers than any other county in Maryland.  Our court system also penalizes people -- disproportionately people of color -- for victimless crimes, which leads to broken families and stigmas that prevent people from getting jobs.  

We can change this by passing police accountability and criminal justice reform legislation that will strengthen our communities.  

Please help make this happen by supporting Darian Unger for delegate.

Jobs and Economy

Darian is an award-winning professor at the Howard University School of Business.  He teaches both undergraduate and graduate students how to solve business problems, how to guide innovation, and how to become entrepreneurs.  Many of his former students have started new companies or became successful business managers.  Job creation is part of his work.

The costs of living in Silver Spring and Takoma Park are among the nation's highest, and make it difficult for many people to afford homes and apartments here.  Yet wages remain low, and only 20% of our state tax dollars come back to Montgomery County.  Darian supports:

  • Raising the minimum wage
  • Requiring mandatory sick leave
  • Spending a greater share of state tax dollars in Montgomery County
  • Supporting local businesses
  • Ending the state-mandated subsidy for Lockheed
  • Ending regressive property taxation
  • Supporting labor and working families
  • Enacting renters protections
  • Lowering property taxes and replacing the revenue with a carbon fee instead

As a member of AFT and adjunct professor at the National Labor College (NLC), Darian also helped start a labor-oriented business administration program.   He taught union members and labor organizers how to manage organizations and start new businesses.  

Darian focuses on sustainable business development, good wages, healthy working conditions, and equal opportunity because they  strengthen not just families, but societies.  A progressive economy creates a working middle class, which in turn sustains a strong economy, improved education, and better living conditions.

Please help make this happen by supporting Darian Unger for delegate.

 

Track Record

Who would you want to represent us?  Someone with years of local experience?  Someone connected to our community?  Someone with a solid track record of strong advocacy?

As a volunteer firefighter, as chair of the Silver Spring Citizens Advisory Board, as a champion of local transportation improvements and pedestrian safety, Darian helped and advocated for our community. 

Click on the Washington Post, WTOP, and Gazette articles below.  They've quoted and written about Darian for years as he advocated:

Darian also testified in front of County Council and has written public letters in favor of

Regulating PEPCO

Funding local police stations, public transit, youth facilities, and business hubs

Smarter transportation priorities 

Correcting the inequitable distribution of county resources


Showing 1 reaction

  • published this page 2017-10-20 11:20:06 -0400