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The People Behind the Policies

As we close the year and reflect on the progress we’ve made together, we wanted to share the stories of the people behind the policies.

Together, we’ve made significant progress over the years. Our schools are number one in the country. We’ve driven down violent crime to its lowest level in over 30 years and we’ve decreased infant mortality deaths 16.3 percent since 2007.  All of these achievements relate to our 15 strategic goals.

But often when sharing these statistics, it’s easy to lose sight of what they actually mean.

Crime is not the weather. It does not go up and down by itself. It is driven down by the hard work of our law enforcement and through effective policies. Our schools aren’t number one because of an arbitrary set of factors.  The homicide rate going down is a great statistic but what it really means is that more moms don’t have to stand over a child’s casket.

We set these goals because the things that get measured are the things that get done. And the reason they get done is because of people. There are thousands of people working on these goals and millions more who are affected by them.

As we close the year and reflect on the progress we’ve made together, we wanted to share the stories of the people behind the policies. We’ll start with a touching story about a young woman who finally got the help she needed after years of substance abuse.

GDU Goal: Expand Access to Substance Abuse Services by 25 percent by the end of 2012.

“I am Worthy”

My name is Audralina and I’ve been a resident of Montgomery County for about thirty ears. When I was fourteen years old, a light switch flicked on and my life changed.

My mind began to move faster and colors looked brighter than ever before. Everything in my life was amplified to a degree that I was experiencing both moments of clarity and pure chaos.  The once introverted child was now living on the edge and struggling to make sense of it all.

When I entered middle school I began to act out. My parents got help for me but at that time the psychiatrist classified me as being rebellious (I was later diagnosed with Bipolar disorder.) As time went on my situation became worse and shortly after being assessed by the doctor, I tried to commit suicide. My parents found me.

When I was in my last year of high school I decided to drop out and live on the streets with my boyfriend. My life was out of control and I could not hear anyone. Soon after, I became pregnant with my son. His father and I both decided to get jobs and life seemed to be going fine until one day something changed – his father became physically abusive. He had always been abusive but I overlooked it because I had a problem with loving myself. I thought that he was the only one that would love me. At 19, we broke up.

I returned back home to my family who supported me and my son. Then I got a job where I was introduced to cocaine. It became my best friend. I kept it a secret for a while because it seemed fun but the fun periods became shorter and the painful times became longer. I used for over twenty years and was disconnected from my family for most of that time. I was running from myself the whole time; I was afraid of who I would find once I began to look inside of myself.

One day, I decided to get help.

Today I am different because I participate in my wellness program. I know how to ask for help, and I’m now helping others with addiction.

I am not existing today – I am living, and life has offered many solutions.

My family has been supporting me since I began this journey when I was a teenager. I have been blessed along the way to have an extended support network.

The women’s outpatient program that I still attend has been a steady support system for me. I will never forget all of the programs that I attended and utilized in Montgomery County that always let me come back and never gave up on me.

I recently celebrated two years of recovery and it is truly a blessing and I know that I did not do it alone. Loving myself was something that I thought I was not worthy of, but now I know that I am worthy.

 

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Joe December 04, 2012 at 04:54 PM
Oh how rich and hypocritical is O'Malley for the Christmas season? Just got an email invite to the "Holiday Open House" at the Government House. To be admitted one must posses and show a PHOTO ID! He fights against the need for a photo ID to vote but DEMANDS one to party with him. Ignorance knows no bounds with this man.
1ke December 04, 2012 at 05:45 PM
You ever heard of a poll-sitter or an election judge being assassinated? If he knew your name and address--beyond being just another Joe--he probably wouldn't have invited you. Party hearty.
1ke December 04, 2012 at 05:54 PM
Like O'Malley invented gambling or slots or table games or pitching pennies. I view gambling as a vice that has nothing at all to do with who holds political office. Such was the case with street numbers and casting lots at the foot of the Cross.
Joe December 04, 2012 at 06:11 PM
More playground commentary from a Patch Vulture Bully! Grow the hell up child 1ke.
jag December 04, 2012 at 07:07 PM
?? How does a photo ID for security concerns not make sense? Requiring an ID for the PRIVILEGED to attend an event or drive a car makes sense. Requiring an ID to exercise the RIGHT to vote doesn't make sense. You honestly can't discern the difference between the two? "Ignorance knows no bounds with this man." I don't think you know what the word "ignorance" means. "Irony", maybe. Though, again, there's an obvious difference between entering the Governor's home and voting.
1ke December 04, 2012 at 07:46 PM
Stop being a sorehead, Joe. You despise O'Malley, Cardin, and your President. We got it, man, got it. GOT IT. But don't truck out silly warrants and opinions as if they have any universal validity. I hope to call you on them every time in the name of civil, intelligent discourse.
Joe December 04, 2012 at 07:48 PM
jag 1:20 pm on Monday, December 3, 2012 "...you don't know what strikes are, do you? " jag 2:18 pm on Tuesday, December 4, 2012 "I don't think you know what the word "ignorance" means." I think jag thinks he is the only person on the planet who knows anything. Always feeling superior to others. Always telling others what they "don't know". I hope your feelings of superiority and supremacy over others helps you in your weekly sessions with your shrink. It sure make you look like an idiot here. Now come in and tell me what else you don't know that I don't know.
Joe December 04, 2012 at 07:49 PM
You obviously don't know jag that that is not HIS house, it is OUR house.
Joe December 04, 2012 at 07:57 PM
"The county is now is in desperate shape due to Republican policies that started with Reagan's first year deficit of $400 Billion when Carter's $72 Billion was so terrible. Reagan added the first $Trillion Deficit." Nothing more than an unsupportable opinion. To blame policies of 30 years ago for today's financial issues when they were non existent during the past decade is reaching into the dark for blame and pulling out nothing but words.
1ke December 04, 2012 at 08:38 PM
Joe, you know that kind of reasoning is flawed. No sense trying to correct it and becoming a bore while you do it.
jag December 04, 2012 at 08:57 PM
I look like the idiot? That's rich, coming from the person who can't defend a single position of his after anyone and everyone comes by and points out how nonsensical they are. "Your" out, buddy.
1ke December 04, 2012 at 10:06 PM
PC Tech, I understand some of your frustrations. Votes for Gore in the cookie jar or the stove? Reagan's and the Republican's responsibility for the Federal deficit? Getting carried away and blaming individuals solves nothing.
Chris W December 04, 2012 at 10:53 PM
PcTech said "How about the 14,000 votes for Al Gore that were found in a vote counter's kitchen" Man, you need to turn off Rachel Madcow for a while. News flash: Al Gore Lost multiple recounts even when the Democrats cherry picked heavily Democratic counties to recount. There are plenty of flaws with our election system, but one are as bad as not requiring a person to prove their identity with an ID.
FIFA December 04, 2012 at 11:05 PM
You are a joke Chris.
FIFA December 04, 2012 at 11:07 PM
The photo ID is a joke and even puny brain Joe knows it. Cry me a river Joey, you lost, your team stunk. Just swallow.
1ke December 05, 2012 at 12:53 AM
How could there be a bully here? We all have a keyboard and a Submit button.
Chris W December 05, 2012 at 10:52 AM
Ah. What a surprise. FIFA and Frank ride in and and contribute NOTHING. I see some things never change. Have you heard of Wendy Rosen? Wendy Rosen, who was going to run against Harris, voted in both Florida and in Maryland in two elections. The Democrcats forced her out of the race. I guess they figured that she would be a distraction in any debate around voter ID laws. http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2012-09-14/news/bs-md-wendy-rosen-withdraws-20120910_1_general-election-voter-fraud-vote-on-local-issues
Chris W December 05, 2012 at 11:04 AM
Get over it already. Gore lost! He lost every single recount even when they were biased in his favor and even though the people counting the votes in those heavily democratic counties were manipulating the ballots to invalidate votes for Bush. Even after all of that he still lost. Thankfully, SCOTUS put an end to the charade. There were plenty of irregularities this year, but I'm not going to pretend that Obama stole the election. He ran a better campaign and got out the vote. End of story.
1ke December 05, 2012 at 03:46 PM
True about Gore's loss, but... If what happened in Florida had happened in a Middle Eastern country, what would all of these Real Mercans say? Son of the former President, who was the former head of the Secret Police, was embroiled in a close election in the state where his brother was Governor. The results were delayed by several weeks and ultimately decided in the Supreme Court, where two justices sat who had been appointed by the candidate's aforementioned father. Not surprisingly, he won.
Joe December 05, 2012 at 04:28 PM
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/media/media_watch/jan-june01/recount_4-3.html MEDIA RECOUNT: BUSH WON THE 2000 ELECTION April 3, 2001 "More than three months after Democrat Al Gore conceded the hotly contested 2000 election, an independent hand recount of Florida's ballots released today says he would have lost anyway, even if officials would have allowed the hand count he requested. In the first full study of Florida's ballots since the election ended, The Miami Herald and USA Today reported George W. Bush would have widened his 537-vote victory to a 1,665-vote margin if the recount ordered by the Florida Supreme Court would have been allowed to continue, using standards that would have allowed even faintly dimpled "undervotes" -- ballots the voter has noticeably indented but had not punched all the way through -- to be counted."
Steve December 05, 2012 at 05:46 PM
Neocons complaining about voter fraud is like the wolf that cried wolf. http://www.randomlengthsnews.com/blogs/Notebook/2012/10/the-wolf-that-cried-wolf/
Corbin Dallas Multipass December 05, 2012 at 07:27 PM
think i'm gonna get me a house on each side of the potomac and a boat.
1ke December 05, 2012 at 08:37 PM
Doesn't matter..it looks bad, looks pitiful, looks crooked. Of course, it is no worse than the President and his brother in a room deciding whether or not to wage nuclear war.
Chris W December 06, 2012 at 11:37 AM
Two points boys: 1. While my example was someone who voted in Maryland and Florida, last I checked a few of our states share a common border. People don't need to fly anywhere to do this. 2.its a question of having faith in the system. Several precincts in Philly went 100% for Obama. Think about that. Not one republican vote? Not even a single accidental vote? While there is no proof that there was fraud in tis cases, the lack of any positive ID allows questions of legitimacy to fester. You cant cash a check without ID. I don't think this is asking too much. BTW Frank/FIFA (whichever you are today) ACORN may be defunct in name, but the organization lives on. I don't think they stole the election, but they have done a lot of really questionable things.
Chris W December 06, 2012 at 12:30 PM
Nuclear war? Must have missed that one.
1ke December 06, 2012 at 04:38 PM
Cuban Missile Crisis (1962)
Chris W December 07, 2012 at 12:52 AM
Ok. So I'm not the oldest one on this site ;-)
PcTech December 07, 2012 at 10:42 AM
Reagan and Bush I, $9.5 Trillion in deficits. Bush II $6.1 Trillion.
Buck Harmon December 07, 2012 at 02:43 PM
Every NEW president undergoes an epiphany when he gets his government briefing prior to his taking office and learns that he isn't going to be able to deliver on his campaign promises as well. Those are the facts, so that many foolish promises are never acted on. For decades each NEW president had promised to release the secret files on UFOs. Never happened though. They all vowed to reduce the size of the White House Office building, which grows larger and leaks more secrets every time someone mentions they want to do this. Good statements PcTech...
1ke December 08, 2012 at 12:56 AM
fair enuf

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