Our children are the greatest asset we have, and in Harford County, I am dedicated to making sure that each and every child has the same opportunity to succeed. I want our kids to grow up with a sense of security in themselves and their environment. To do that, our families need a supportive, inclusive place to grow and thrive. I'm ready for the challenge to improve our county for all of our families, but I can't do this alone.
My name is Suzanne Oshinsky and I'm asking for your support to help put me on the Council in Harford County, representing District B.
I am running for County Council, because, as the parent of special needs children, I know how easy it is to fall through the cracks. I want to make the system work for all of us and make it easier to get the support we need. We must fully fund our public schools in order to retain experienced professionals and lower classroom sizes, while also prioritizing the teaching of social and emotional skills, and ensuring that families have access to affordable, consistent mental health care resources.
I'm showing up for Harford County and our kids. I'm asking you to stand with me and fight for them.
Three years ago, when the DoD transferred my husband from Fort Detrick to Aberdeen Proving Ground, my family and I chose to settle in the City of Bel Air. We had enjoyed raising our kids in a quiet, small town setting near Frederick, and we wanted to continue that lifestyle here. But as a mom of kids with special needs, I also wanted to make sure we had access to the best education and mental health resources. That's something that every parent shares, but the stakes are even higher for special needs kids.
We had done our homework, so to speak, visiting several neighborhood schools that boasted high test scores for their children. I also looked to situate ourselves in a neighborhood with quick access to community spaces, libraries and parks. What we didn't realize was that funding for Harford County public schools was falling behind other counties. Complicating the issue was the fact that the number of mental health practices east of Baltimore was far below the needs of the population. Even with good insurance, we had to wait months to get into a practice that expected out-of-pocket payments for our kids' mental health needs.
As an educator myself, I understand the struggle of meeting the needs of individual students. Despite the best efforts of teachers in my kids' new school and frequent IEP adjustments, we had to remove my son from his home school, and after a difficult year of 3 hours each day being bussed back and forth to a special education school in Baltimore, we decided that the best option was homeschooling for my son, while my daughter has been able to thrive in her local public school.
The recent school shooting in Florida woke up many of us to the urgency of the problems families are facing. The perpetrator of the attack was a kid who fell through the cracks of the system. Yes, he is solely responsible for his horrendous act, but at each step in his journey through education and social services there was an opportunity to turn his life and future behavior towards something positive. It is incumbent upon us to question whether any of these tragedies could have been prevented if we were committed to supporting our social and education services the way we expect them to support us.
We as a society are losing more and more children to violence and drug abuse, because families lack access to timely help and needed services. Not only in the case of mental illness, but also when neglect is involved, or abuse, or when a bright young mind doesn't fit into the cookie-cutter approach our education system takes towards learning.
As a member of the County Council, I will be there for every student, every parent, and every member of our community that benefits from a county that lets each and every one of them shine to their fullest potential.
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March 9, 2018
This has been a busy week for my campaign!
Our website www.citizensforsuzanne.com is finally live and will be filled out with where I stand on the issues in the coming weeks.
I also had the pleasure of attending two local events. On Monday evening, Represent MD did a great job of educating new candidates such as myself on the importantance of campaign finance reform and, among other issues, the problem with the supreme court decision, Citizens United.
On Thursday, I attended a town hall hosted by Allison Galbraith who is running for congressional district 1, and she was kind enough to allow local candidates to get up and introduce themselves. I was delighted to see how many wonderful candidates are stepping up for Harford County, and I got to meet some of my future constituents as well.
Again, I'd like to thank all those who have added their support. I can't do it without you!
March 7, 2018
Thank you so much to my supporters for getting our campaign jumpstarted!
We are almost at our first goal of $1,000, which will ensure we have enough to cover initial startup costs. We are in the process of setting up our website and printing campaign literature and cards, which will enable us to start spreading the word about our campaign and goals for Harford county.
I look forward to working with you to make a difference for all our children and families!
February 26, 2018