Q&A With Bob Auerbach, Candidate for the U.S. House
Bob Auerbach is running as a Green Party candidate seeking to represent Maryland's 5th Congressional District.
Patch did a Q&A with Bob Auerbach, Green Party candidate Maryland's 5th Congressional District. Below are his responses to some of the hot legislative topics important to voters in District 5.
Would you support the federal DREAM Act, similar to the Maryland DREAM Act, which would provide conditional permanent, residence to illegal immigrants who meet specific criteria, including arriving in the U.S. as minors, living in the U.S. for five or more years, and graduating from a U.S. high school, and could lead to eventual permanent residency after completing some college or military service? Please explain your position.
Bob Auerbach: All people are entitled to be treated with respect and dignity. Human dignity and equal rights are at the heart of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which Eleanor Roosevelt helped draft in 1948. I support expanding educational opportunities and expanding opportunities for young people to participate in our society. The so-called federal “DREAM Act” is troubling because it is designed to recruit undocumented young people to be used in violent armed conflict. The Department of Defense helped draft this legislation to increase what it calls “military readiness.” Recommended viewing is “Yo Soy El Army: America’s New Military Caste.” This documentary shows the specific targeting by military recruiters of undocumented young people: http://afsc.org/video/yo-soy-el-army-americas-new-military-caste. Many young people from marginalized and low-income communities—those especially targeted by the so-called DREAM Act for military recruiting—see no other viable choice than to enter the military. To the extent that it amounts to a de facto “poverty draft,” this proposed federal legislation is less like a dream than a nightmare.
Bowie Patch: Do you support the Defense of Marriage Act, or do you support legalizing same-sex marriage at the federal level? Please explain your position.
Auerbach: The so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which was enacted into law in 1996, is unconstitutional, as several federal court decisions have held. DOMA is a discriminatory law that specifically aims to suppress equal rights. DOMA does not really defend marriages or families. It is heartening that some members of Congress who supported DOMA in 1996 have come to recognize that DOMA is discriminatory and unconstitutional.
Families should be defended against poverty and unemployment and discrimination. To defend working families, we should start by increasing democratic participation by wage-earners in the workplace. I support gradually changing the current economic system, which is now based largely on exploitation, to move toward a system that emphasizes community-based cooperative economics.
Bowie Patch: Do you identify as pro-choice or as pro-life, and why?
Auerbach: Pro-choice. Government interference with a woman’s reproductive freedom does not promote respect for the sanctity of life.
Bowie Patch: The interest rate on federal student loans had been set to double to 6.8, but was recently frozen by congress at 3.4 percent for one more year. Please explain your position on this temporary freeze?
Auerbach: Federal student loan interest rates should not be raised. It is unwise public policy to saddle students with crushing debt. We need to expand educational opportunities and encourage learning. The Green Party views access to education as a matter of Social Justice, which is one of the main principles of the Green Party; other Green principles include Nonviolence, Grassroots Democracy, and Environmental Wisdom.
The following biography was compiled by Patch based on information from Auerbach for Congress.
Green Party Candidate for the House of Representatives 5th Congressional District in Maryland Bob Auerbach has been active in politics since the 1930s. The 92-year-old Greenbelt, MD, resident and former librarian has worked with various organizations that promote equality and ballot access, including the War Resisters League, the Congress on Racial Equality (in the 1940s and 1950s) and the Committee on Fair and Open Elections. Auerbach also served as the Maryland Green Party chair from 1997 to 2000, and was a founding member of the Greenbelt Greens.
This is Auerbach’s third bid for the District 5 House seat. In 2006, Auerbach won the Green Party nomination for Comptroller of Maryland and in 1999 he ran for the non-partisan Greenbelt City Council.
Auerbach attended Columbia University, City College and New York University, where he earned a bachelor’s in political science in 1948. He earned his master’s in library science from Peabody in 1956.
Check out Bowie Patch's Election Guide for more information on candidates and issues in the 2012 election.