I walked down the hall to pick up Jack, the first grade student I tutor. It was a crisp cool day and his class was headed out for recess. When I saw him, my heart squeezed and my throat closed with emotion. This little guy, whose t-shirts are constantly too small and unkempt, and whose hair was often shaved to his skull, was wearing a coat that must have belonged to a full-grown man. The sleeves hung nearly a foot below his fingers and it reached all the way to his skinny shins. When he caught my eye, he was momentarily deflated knowing he would miss recess, but he is such a sweet boy, he dutifully walked with me into the tutoring room.
Three days later I sat reading the Capital Gazette story about the Annapolis Fire Department coat give away. Mark walked in the room and immediately said, “What’s wrong?” I had tears running down my face as I told him about Jack and how he needed one of these new coats.
Each week as I drive to Jack’s school through parts of my district—District 32—I see my neighbors. We all want happiness. We all want homes, and food and good jobs and protection from violence and safety for our families... and we all want coats for our children. We can all agree on these things. And if I love God with all my heart, I will also want this for my neighbors. I will be a representative that will vote with head and heart. Both are necessary.