Q&A: At-Large Candidate Jarryd Hawkins on the environment and development
Bowie City Council Candidate: Jarryd Hawkins
Occupation: Managing Director of a lobbying firm that specializes in clean energy development and environmental protection
Education: Bachelor's degree from University of Maryland, College Park
Years lived in Bowie: 30
Current or previous elected office, if any:
I am the incumbent At-Large Bowie City Council Member
Which seat are you running for on the Bowie City Council? At-Large
Endorsements from environmental leaders, if any: N/A
What is your stance on accepting donations from developers? Have you received developer campaign donations for this or previous campaigns?
I have not accepted developer campaign donations, as it raises a lot of concerns among residents. But I think everyone has the right to express themselves through their campaign contributions. Donating to my campaign does not guarantee anything. My loyalties will always remain with the residents of Bowie.
What are your plans, if any, to address concerns about overdevelopment in the Bowie area?
Overdevelopment is a concern, especially when you consider our transportation infrastructure. It is no surprise idling cars is one of the top contributors of pollution. I think mitigating overdevelopment can help reduce traffic and sprawl, but we as a city and county need to get creative on how to make our city less car-centric and more accessible. We also as a city should find ways to play our part in enhancing cleaner methods of transportation. We need to focus on redeveloping our older shopping centers as opposed to developing new sites. This way we can attract the retail amenities residents desire without interrupting green space.
Do you believe climate change is real and if so, what climate change issues, if any, are you planning to tackle while on the Bowie City Council?
Climate change is real. We have to protect our green space, continue to plant trees, and be mindful that we are guardians of the Patuxent River which feeds the Chesapeake Bay.
After reading the Bowie Climate Action Plan, how would you work to implement it if elected?
I think we can do more with our food waste program. We should be promoting composting as a practice. I would also like to see more clean energy development with the goal being 100% of energy the City of Bowie procures is developed by clean methods.
ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT
If elected, how will you ensure that funds are allocated to the city’s environmental initiatives?
There are resources/funds housed in the state level government that can be used to support our environmental initiatives. I also plan to advocate during the city's budget process to fund storm water drainage pond upgrades. Our residents and the Environmental Action Committee have shown a lot of leadership on this. I want to see where we as a City Council can step up to the plate.
With the rise of inflation, what are your long-term plans to reduce home energy costs?
Long range energy costs are handled predominantly at the state level of government. But as a city, we should consider helping people switch to LED bulbs and other technologies to become more efficient.
What role, if any, do schools, businesses and homeowners play in protecting the environment locally?
As a community we all play a role in being stewards of our environment. Our schools must continue to educate on the harms of littering and the impact emissions have on our environment. But we must go a step further and now discuss the danger of PFAS “forever chemicals” and how to mitigate them. Homeowners and businesses must continue to recycle responsibly, consider cleaner methods of power like solar. But also find ways to reduce usage, like relying on natural light when possible. Finally, as a society we will have to find ways to break our addiction to plastics, especially single-use plastics.