Thriving Education System
Our schools are the number one reason people choose to live in our community. With two school-aged children of her own, Christiana understands the challenges facing the school system, our educators, and Howard County families. On the County Council, Christiana has:
- Led the fight to raise over $200 million in school construction funds for the Howard County Public School System.
- Delivered record funding for District 3 schools, including construction funds for the new High School 13, the Hammond High School Renovation/Addition, and the Talbott Springs Elementary School Replacement.
- Supported increased funding for educators, school counselors, special education, and mental health initiatives in the HCPSS Operating Budget.
Christiana will continue to fight for structural funding increases to the Howard County Public School System to support our educators, students, and families. She is also focused on finding funding solutions to fully implement the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, which calls for important investments in teacher salaries and retention, universal pre-k, career and technical education, and more. She will also continue to prioritize school construction funding in the capital budget to provide additional school capacity and ensure our students are learning in world-class buildings.
To be a truly vibrant community, Howard County must ensure that opportunities are available for seniors, young families, and everyone in between. Keeping multi-generational families united creates a better quality of life for all. Right now, housing costs are unsustainable for current and future residents of Howard County. In order to make Howard County accessible and welcoming, affordable housing is a critical piece of our future growth. On the Council, Christiana has:
- Championed a full spectrum of affordable and accessible housing opportunities in Howard County, including approving funding for affordable housing units in Downtown Columbia.
- Passed legislation requiring that moderate-income housing units (MIHUs) are built in transit-oriented developments in Howard County.
- Voted to create disability income housing units (DIHUs) in the Howard County Code to provide more opportunities for individuals with disabilities to access affordable housing.
- Sponsored legislation to give the Howard County Housing Commission the first right to purchase existing multi-family housing units that are up for sale, which will preserve existing housing in the county.
- Called for the creation of an affordable housing trust fund to help expand affordable housing options for families in our community.
- Sponsored legislation to provide rental protections for residents and businesses during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
Howard County is stronger and more resilient when all families have access to housing opportunities that meet their needs. Christiana will continue to work toward a future where families of all income levels can thrive in our community.
As a former employee for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Christiana takes deep pride in our natural resources. She believes it is our responsibility to manage our natural areas with an eye to the future. Christiana is committed to expanding our open spaces, protecting and restoring our rivers and streams, and taking bold actions to address climate change in Howard County. On the Council, Christiana has:
- Worked with County Executive Ball to pass the strongest local Forest Conservation Act in the State of Maryland, which will protect more trees in Howard County and encourage more planting in eastern Howard County watersheds.
- Prioritized action on climate change by funding a new Climate Action Plan for Howard County and voting to expand renewable energy production in our community.
- Passed legislation to reduce single-use plastic pollution in Howard County and advocated for investments in composting service to reduce waste and cut back on greenhouse gas emissions from our landfill.
- Expanded our electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure to further reduce our reliance on fossil fuels.
Climate change is an immediate and growing threat to our world, and taking actions to mitigate its impacts on our community must be a core focus of public policy at every level of government. Christiana will continue to advocate for our environment and bold climate action on the County Council.
Safe and Accessible Transportation
A successful transportation system must ensure that Howard County residents have opportunities to walk, bike, and access public transit safely in our community. Christiana understands that investing in multimodal transportation improves health outcomes, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and helps build a more connected and safe community. On the Council, Christiana has:
- Championed investments in Complete Streets infrastructure like sidewalks, bike lanes, multi-use pathways, and intersection improvements in Savage, North Laurel, Columbia, and Guilford.
- Worked toward better transit service in Howard County by providing RTA access to high school students, advocating for transit connections to neighboring jurisdictions, and funding infrastructure investments to enhance our public transportation system.
- Protected students who are traveling to school by passing legislation to implement school bus stop-arm cameras and funding safe routes to schools.
Creating safe opportunities for people to travel around Howard County is vitally important to the health, wellbeing, and safety of our community. Christiana will continue to focus her efforts on policies that prioritize safe and accessible transportation options in our county.
Inclusive and Vibrant Communities
Our diverse and welcoming community is part of what makes Howard County such a special place to call home. Christiana believes that all community members should be welcomed, included, and supported in our community. On the Council, Christiana has:
- Worked to expand services for seniors and older residents of Howard County by advocating for and funding the new East Columbia 50+ Center in Owen Brown.
- Enhanced protections for LGBTQ+ residents of Howard County by passing legislation to expand anti-discrimination protections and provide for gender-neutral single-user restrooms in public places.
- Advocated for families with young children by passing legislation to require diaper-changing stations in all bathrooms and advocating for affordable childcare programs in Howard County.
- Established a community-led Racial Equity Task Force to assess, address, and make recommendations to the County Council to improve racial equity in Howard County.
- Sponsored and passed landmark legislation to raise the minimum wage for roughly 40,000 working people in Howard County.
Christiana will continue to revise and update our county laws to reduce barriers, expand opportunities, and center inclusion so that all residents of Howard County are supported and affirmed by our government.
Responsive, Accessible, and Transparent Government
Inclusive and broad community engagement is at the core of our democratic government in Howard County. Christiana is committed to improving access to county government, strengthening government transparency, and listening to community members who have voiced concerns. On the Council, Christiana has:
- Written and passed Howard County’s Whistleblower Protection Law to ensure that all County employees have the right to speak up and disclose improper conduct without fear of threat or retaliation.
- Supported legislation written by Councilman Opel Jones to require a public fiscal analysis on all Council legislation under consideration.
- Worked with community members and District 3 residents on over 450 constituent cases and concerns, on issues including housing instability, vaccine access, local tax credits, public utilities, parks, and speeding.
Christiana will continue working to enhance trust in government and between community members by supporting policies that make county government more responsive and accessible to residents.