Mr. Hucker, after examining your plan for early education and accessibility, transportation systems, restore our afterschool and recreation programs, and your t our young people with reliable local jobs the Ethiopian-American Council of North America is considering offering an endorsement for you in the upcoming election. You certainly appear to be a good friend to the various ethnic communities in your substantial jurisdiction.
As you may be aware, Ethiopian-Americans comprise second largest immigrant or ethnic constituency, next only to our Chinese-American fellow citizens. Many businesses such as gas stations, convenience stores, restaurants, and other entrepreneurial enterprises, many of which anchor various business districts, are owned by Ethiopian-Americans. And we also are well represented in professions such as the medical arts.
Considering the economic and social impact Ethiopian-Americans have on Montgomery County District 5, we would be interested in where you stand on a number of issues important to us, and, in some instances, perhaps to other ethnic communities as well.
We are very interested in preserving our rich and ancient cultural and historical heritage, especially for our young people. Could you see your way to help our community establish a nationally important Ethiopian studies center or museum in Montgomery County to help the Ethiopian community achieve that goal, to include assistance with land, buildings, and other capital necessities?
Lately in the news, the Latino community has been at the forefront regarding immigration reform. A number of Ethiopians are also in the situation of being undocumented and this is causing some pain in our community as well. Where do you stand on proposals now before Congress to legalize the status of undocumented immigrants?
As a follow up to that, the proposals, for the most part, call for fines, paying back taxes, a lot of paperwork, and other issues, such as language and digital barriers, that may undermine the ability of less financially solvent and less educated immigrants to obtain legal status. What are your thoughts on remedying those issues?
As another follow up, many Senators and Representatives are balking at allowing undocumented immigrants paths to full citizenship, only allowing a kind of permanent green card existence with diminished rights and privileges such as voting and having access to government-assisted health care. How do you feel about that?
How would you help increase voter participation among Maryland’s diverse immigrant Communities in particular District 5, and do you have any thoughts on how you might help increase the number of ethnic candidates for elected offices in Montgomery County your and throughout the state?
How many staff members do you presently have as delegate in District 20 on hand who are representative of your diverse immigrant constituents and would you be willing to increase those numbers through active recruiting among those ethnic communities?
Along those lines, while we want our young people to be well aware of their cultural heritage, we also want them to see American democracy and public service in action on the community or grass-roots level. Would you be willing to explore the possibility of opening intern positions in your office if you get elected, paid or unpaid, for our young men and women attending high school, college, or university?
How would you help to make Amharic (Ethiopian Working language) as working language in Montgomery county? Currently, DC has Amharic as working language.
For the last 9 years, the city of San Jose the only city in the nation established the annual Ethiopian Heritage Flag Raising Festival to celebrate Ethiopian New Year. This event gives Ethiopians, Ethiopian Americans, their families, and their supporters the chance to come together, not only to celebrate the New Year of the Ethiopian calendar so they will never forget their roots even though they may be far away from their motherland. And Montgomery County is lagging behind on this celebratory endeavor and how do you feel adapting the same event to your Ethiopian and Ethiopian Americans constituency?