Maryland Senators pay a visit to Salisbury University to discuss local issues
For the first time ever, both Maryland Senators were in Salisbury at the same time and the same place on Friday.
Senator Chris Van Hollen and Senator Ben Cardin attended several events throughout the day, most notably a public forum held at Salisbury University.
The Eastern Shore can often feel forgotten when it comes to federal politics, and that's just part of the reason why Senator Van Hollen and Senator Cardin paid a visit to Salisbury University.
They said they want to show the Eastern Shore that they care, and that they are listening.
Senator Van Hollen (D) said, "This is an opportunity to talk to people and answer questions and have that interactive dialogue where you get to have an exchange as opposed to just a speech."
Senator Cardin (D) said, "Well I think it's important for individuals first to get access so that we can understand the local problems. We've got to listen to people and make sure we have the policies that makes sense."
The Maryland Senators used this moment to talk about the work they do in Washington, and to explain how they are working for the Eastern Shore.
Senator Cardin said, "My job is more than just showing up and voting. I had the opportunity to put a spotlight on important issues for the people of Maryland for our country"
Senator Van Hollen said, "I think it's important that people understand that we're sort of working on lots of issues that impact all parts of our state and the Eastern Shore, and Salisbury is a big part of that."
During their hour long appearance, the Senators were asked about a variety of Eastern Shore issues from offshore wind and Wallops, to education and budgeting.
Senator Van Hollen said, "In terms of specific issues, there were a whole range of them like Wallops Island where NASA has a launch facility, to making sure that we expand opportunities here in Salisbury and Eastern Shore to make sure students get an affordable college education."
The Senators hope their presence on Friday makes it clear that they are listening, that they want to hear our issues and that they plan on taking action.
Senator Cardin said, "What we want to, I think, let the people here know is that exciting things are happening here in Salisbury. Exciting things are happening at the University. We want to be part of that we want to be sure that the federal government is a strong partner."
Just about an hour before that public discussion on Friday, Senator Cardin sat down with local leaders to discuss infrastructure priorities here on the Eastern Shore.
At that roundtable discussion, transportation alternatives, river walks, bike and pedestrian infrastructure were all addressed.
The conversation mostly circulated around those transportation priorities. More specifically, things like dredging.
According to local officials, both the Wicomico River and the Ocean City inlet need to be dredged so that large vessels can safely pass through.
Senator Cardin said, "Here particularly there is an interest on what is the future for dredging in regards to the river? What is happening in regards to the airport in addition to roads?"
Senator Cardin says he plans on getting in touch with the US Army Corps of Engineers to see if they can help with the dredging issue.
Following the discussions at Salisbury University Friday, Senator Cardin headed off to Easton to take part in an event commemorating the 200th birthday of Frederick Douglass.