About Me

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I work as a teacher, poet and spiritual director at a number of institutions in the DC area. My teaching focuses in various ways on writing, poetry, Spirituality and Christian vocation and ministry - especially from the point of view of the laity. I also offer classes and retreats encouraging people to explore their inner lives, engage their creativity and reflect on their beliefs about God, vocation, and how we can discern and pursue new ways to transform our broken world. I enjoy speaking of faith in the secular academy as well as reminding those preparing for ministry in the Church that our primary purpose is to love and serve the world beyond the church's doors. I love helping people to grow in faith and to find their own voices, and I also love encouraging them to use their minds. I see no contradiction between these impulses, believing as I do that faith, reason and creativity work together.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Why I'm Voting FOR Question Four - the Maryland Dream Act

Since it's election season, I do want to share this concern as widely as I can:  It's no secret to my friends that I'm a strong supporter of President Obama and the Democrats but going a little deeper into the Maryland ballot there's an item that hasn't gotten as good publicity as it should and we're relying on grassroots conversation like this to get the word out.  So  I've sent this note to all my friends & contacts I can think of who are Maryland voters, and am posting it here just for good measure.
I want  to encourage Maryland voters reading this to vote FOR question FOUR , also known as the Maryland DREAM Act, when you go to vote over the next few weeks or on Election Day. With all the advertising we’ve heard for other referendum questions a lot of people may not even know the DREAM act is on the ballot, and that’s why I’ve gotten involved in trying to get the word out.  Most people who know what it says will be in favor of this act, regardless of other political views.  It simply says that if you graduate from a Maryland high school and your family pays Maryland taxes, you can pay in-state tuition at Maryland public colleges. This applies to undocumented students who were brought here legally as children as well as to active duty military and veterans. The question is called “Public Institutions of Higher Education: Tuition Rates” You can find the exact language at 
I’m working with Action in Montgomery (AIM) on this effort and have promised to get commitments from at least 30 people who will pledge to vote FOR question FOUR.

If you already know all about this and are planning to vote FOR Question FOUR , could you just email me back with your address and phone # and let me know you are “in” so I can add you to my list.    Or, perhaps easier, go straight to the AIM website and  hit “pledge your support”, listing either my name or “COS” (for my church, the Church of Our Saviour, which is part of the AIM effort) under “organization.”.  The link is at http://www.md-iaf.org/     And consider joining supporters on Tuesday evening October 23 at 7 to show support for the DREAM Act - details on the same website.    Thanks for your support. 

If you’d like more information, please read on: 
Quite limited in its scope, this law nicknamed the “Maryland DREAM act” basically allows young people who were brought here by their families as children, but who are undocumented, to qualify for in-state tuition at Maryland four-year colleges and universities.  It doesn’t subsidize their education or give them an edge in admissions; it just qualifies them to attend college at a more affordable rate, and even this is only for the last 2 years, after they have completed 2 years at a community college.    (compare in-state tuition of $8700 at a Maryland university to out-of-state tuition which hovers around $25,000!)    The act also applies to veterans and to active duty military members stationed in Maryland.   Contrary to what you may hear from the opposition, this act does not take away in-state spots from other Maryland students.  It does not create an extra direct cost to taxpayers, as some claim, but will be absorbed by the institutions universities and colleges accepting qualified students.  These institutions have come out strongly in favor of the DREAM act.   All this question does is provide access to in-state tuition to well qualified young people who otherwise would be unable to afford access to higher education.  These young people are our neighbors and students in our local schools; they are people we want to educate for the future in Maryland.  There's a good editorial on this at http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-payoff-of-marylands-dream-act/2012/10/10/04aa9a2c-1253-11e2-be82-c3411b7680a9_story.html