Anyone reading Suzanne Pollak’s article “18th District Contenders Run as a Team” (WJW, April 3) might assume that – when trying to determine which candidates will best represent them in the Maryland General Assembly – your readers care only about which candidates are Jewish. Although Pollak writes about non-Jewish candidates, she interviewed only Jewish candidates. As a result, her article provides no basis for comparison between the candidates on issues that concern voters.
The incumbent candidates in Maryland’s 18th district, as Pollak points out, are a diverse group of public servants who are pooling resources in order to advance the concerns of their constituents. These incumbents are not part of a “racket,” as one of their challengers comments. They are working together on issues of importance, not only to their constituents, but to all the residents of Maryland. Their combined efforts – along with those of other fair-minded legislators in Annapolis – resulted in passing the Civil Marriage Protection Act of 2012 and the Fairness for All Marylanders Act of 2014, which updates Maryland’s antidiscrimination laws to include transgender Marylanders. Because of their steadfast and unfaltering determination to secure passage of these bills, Sen. Madaleno and Dels. Waldstreicher, Carr and Gutierrez have received the endorsement of Equality Maryland, Maryland’s LGBT civil rights organization.
Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel cautioned that “parochialism has become untenable” (No Religion is an Island, 1966). Heschel wrote these words as he worked tirelessly, with religious leaders and lay people of all faiths, towards a just society. We would do well to heed his teaching.
RABBI STEPHANIE BERNSTEIN
Chair, Equality Maryland, Inc.