A child and adolescent psychiatrist, Dr. Drew A. Pate is running as a Green Party candidate for state delegate representing the 41st District.
A graduate of the Louisiana State University School of Medicine in New Orleans, Dr. Pate completed his general residency at the Sheppard and Enoch Pratt Hospital in Baltimore and completed his child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship at Harvard Medical School/Children’s Hospital in Boston.
He and wife, Dr. Tess Carpenter, live in Northern Baltimore with their sons, Sam, 14, and Ezra, 12. Dr. Pate is a member of Baltimore Hebrew Congregation and serves on the temple’s board of electors.
Jmore recently spoke with Dr. Pate about his political ambitions.
Jmore: Your primary message to voters in the 41st District?
Dr. Pate: I am a passionate advocate and practitioner of community-based health care. I want to use my experiences to be part of building a grassroots democratic movement to bring our community’s vital issues to the forefront and to address our city’s continuing inequities in health care, education, housing, transportation and the justice system. Our campaign positions include:
- Immediate implementation of $15/hour minimum wage;
- Universally accessible school and neighborhood-based health care clinics delivering high-quality medical and mental health services;
- Universal preschool and parenting support from birth to age 5;
- Criminal justice reform to expand jail diversion programs and to eliminate cash bail;
- Enhanced mental health and family support services for youth involved in juvenile justice system. Creation of a permanent grassroots 41st District Stakeholders Coalition for community input on housing, police oversight, local budgeting, transportation and education;
- Creation of “Sustainability Zones” with state tax credits to expand neighborhood use of environmentally friendly energy and buildings.
Major differences between you and the other candidates?
One of the primary differences is my commitment to the relentless pursuit and expansion of a grassroots, community-based democracy. My goal is to work with our neighborhoods to create a more responsive and transparent system that is accessible to all citizens of the 41st District.
If elected, how will you fund your major proposals?
We are fortunate in Maryland to have maintained a strong financial position. I believe the issue of funding is related more to priorities than to a lack of dollars. We can operate within or close to our current budget to realign our priorities to focus more on early childhood support, health care systems that are held accountable for their outcomes, criminal justice diversion programs and improving public safety resulting in reduced expenditures in other areas.
Can you get votes from voters who tend to lean toward President Donald Trump? If so, how?
We are working hard to engage every voter in the 41st District. I am running a local campaign based on local issues with the mission of creating results that improve our neighborhoods through grassroots solutions. Our common interests as citizens of Baltimore are so much greater than our differences.
Why are you devoting personal time and energy to this candidacy?
I have lived the experience of relying on friends, neighbors and my broader community to overcome personal obstacles. My life was turned upside down on two separate occasions. The first time occurred in 2005 when my late wife and I were living in New Orleans, and we experienced Hurricane Katrina. We were able to start over again in Baltimore, only because of the incredible support and acceptance of so many new friends and neighbors.
The second time occurred after living in Baltimore for a few years when my late wife was diagnosed with a terminal illness and ultimately died, leaving me as the widowed father of two young sons. Once again, without incredible support of those around me, I’m not sure I would have been able to return to much of a normal life. My experience has taught me that we can accomplish much more when we all pull together than seems possible if we are divided.
What would you consider a successful outcome of this election?
A successful outcome is definitely winning, and I intend to work every day for that outcome until Nov. 6. I think a more successful outcome will be the opportunity to work with our community and neighborhoods as a state delegate for the next four years to create novel and effective solutions to support and improve our entire city.
Peter Arnold is an Olney, Md.-based freelance writer.