BERLIN — A Worcester County native has thrown his hat into the ring as a potential state delegate for the new 38C district, which will cover parts of Worcester and neighboring Wicomico County.
Though only in his mid-twenties, Mike Hindi hopes to defy the tradition of voting older, politically experienced candidates into the House of Delegates.
A 2006 Stephen Decatur High School (SDHS) graduate, Hindi may be a political neophyte but believes that his genuine passion and fresh approach will be more valuable to voters than a candidate with a lengthy political pedigree.
“I have lived in this district most of my natural life. I’ve worked in this district, I was educated in this district,” said Hindi, “and I think one thing I could do very well is represent it.”
If elected next June, he promises not to let himself become deadlocked by partisan politics.
“I’m principled but I do know how to compromise. I am not obsessed with party guidelines,” Hindi said.
Many of the initiatives Hindi favors would be expected on a democratic ticket, including increased support for schools and a push for alternative energy. However, Hindi doesn’t treat each issue as mutually exclusive and would strive toward blending environmental conservation with greater educational outreach while tying both to increased job creation.
He looked to things like recycling programs, several of which having faltered in recent years, including Ocean City’s. One mark that Hindi would aim for is the resurrection of those programs with an effort being made to conduct recycling in a way that doesn’t put a town or municipality in the red.
“Those are recycling jobs that we could have and if we do it smart that could be recycling revenue,” he said. “It doesn’t always have to cost money even on a scale like Ocean City.”
Likewise, Hindi supports investigating potential sources of green energy such as solar and wind. Less well known but possibly viable programs involving hydro power and catalytic de-polymerization would also be on the table, he added. Catalytic de-polymerization is the conversion of waste and solid biomass into diesel fuel and is a process that Hindi said he has researched extensively.
“When you look at environmental consciousness for me, that kind of goes hand-in-hand with job creation,” he said. “We have the potential to have so many green or green-powered jobs.”
Hindi takes a similar approach to education. As a SDHS graduate, Hindi said he’s experienced firsthand the strength of Worcester County public schools and agreed that they have earned their spot at the top of the state lists. However, with funding being constantly cut, he wondered how long Worcester will be able to stay on top. Additionally, while he praised Wicomico County schools for their teachers he pointed out that the school system struggles due to a lack of “appropriate infrastructure and funding.”
As the delegate for 38C, Hindi promised that he would fight for more funding for both Worcester and Wicomico and would specifically seek to defend after-school programs and promote fields like math and science which are underrepresented on the Eastern Shore.
Hindi has a host of ideas directly targeted toward job creation and he is able to recite them off of the top of his head like a grocery list: training programs for the unemployed, an export-import bank for Maryland, possibly even a chancery court such as the one Delaware has. In every situation, Hindi said that he looks for a program that will benefit all parties involved equally and fairly.
He supports issues like the expansion of gambling in Maryland as well, though he is adamant that the profits need to be channeled towards education without the state dipping their fingers into the pot when funds are lean elsewhere.
One of the few issues that Hindi discussed that isn’t focused directly on spurring job growth is the struggle the Eastern Shore has with hard narcotics. Having recently experienced the loss of a family member to drugs, Hindi said one of his top priorities is to see multi-offense drug traffickers hit with severe prison sentences even if it means increasing the size of Maryland’s prison system.
However, the solution “can’t be all hammer” he admitted and needs to emphasize drug rehabilitation and counseling programs that will help people break out of the cycle of using, dealing, prison and then back to dealing.
Hindi acknowledged that some people might see his age and stop listening before they can hear his ideas. But he is optimistic that enough people will look beyond experience and towards what he’s promising, which is something he claims people aren’t used to in a politician: honesty and passion.