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Delaney talks to Boy Scouts about equal opportunity

April 15, 2013|By DAN DEARTH | dan.dearth@herald-mail.com
  • U.S. Rep. John Delaney spoke with local Boy Scouts and business leaders Monday morning during the Friends of Scouting 2013 Community Campaign Breakfast at the Academy Theater in downtown Hagerstown.
By Joe Crocetta/Staff Photographer

U.S. Rep. John Delaney said he wants to work toward leveling the playing field to ensure all Americans have an equal opportunity to succeed.

Delaney talked about equality, the economy, tensions with North Korea and several other issues Monday during the Friends of Scouting 2013 Community Campaign Breakfast at the Academy Theater in downtown Hagerstown.

“The only way to preserve (equality) is to make sure there is an environment where people have opportunities,” the Democratic freshman congressman representing Maryland’s 6th District said. “Unless we do that, the people who are born with advantages and the people who are born with privilege — and I have nothing against any of that — but they’ll just continue to have the advantages. That will ultimately erode everything we really care about, everything we stand for.”

He said he believes the nation’s leaders have to pare down the country’s “tragic” unemployment rate and address, among other things, a decrease in the standard of living among average Americans.

“Obviously the first debate is our fiscal trajectory, which we have to change,” he said.

Delaney said the country has to focus on improving education, infrastructure, and the policies that govern energy and immigration.

“Those are going to be the four dominant themes that define the lives of the young people in this room over the next 40 or 50 years,” he said.

Delaney said he doubted whether North Korea would make good on its threat of starting a war in that region, but said Congress was unified to react if the Communist nation attacks Japan or South Korea.

“Congress is in absolute unanimous support of military action should they fire a weapon against any of our allies,” he said.

The event was attended by about 40 people, including several Boy Scouts from the Mason-Dixon Council, which covers Washington County in Maryland, and parts of Franklin and Fulton counties in Pennsylvania.

Mark Barbernitz, Scout executive of the Mason-Dixon Council of the Boy Scouts of America, told the audience that the council was second among 65 Boy Scout councils in the region in membership growth. He said the Mason-Dixon Council has about 2,300 members.

Asked after the event about a proposal to allow gay membership in the Boy Scouts, Delaney declined to comment.

He said he chose not to answer the question because it wasn’t the appropriate place or time.

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