Malcolm Augustine said he wants to use his experiences as a member of the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority and the Prince George’s County Democratic Central Committee to be the next Maryland state senator representing District 47.

Malcolm Augustine, who sits on the WMATA board, said he wants to be a state senator for Maryland’s 47th District in order to enhance the area’s growth and development. (Courtesy photo)

Augustine told the AFRO on Oct. 20 going to Annapolis as a senator would enhance the growth and development of District 47. The district encompasses Adelphi, Langley Park, Chillum, Hyattsville, East Riverdale, Bladensburg, Cheverly, and Landover in Prince George’s County, Maryland.

“There is a tremendous amount of potential that we have in this area,” he said. “District 47 borders on the District of Columbia and is a gateway into Maryland. As a senator, I want to be a catalyst to bring that forward.”

According to latest census data, District 47 is 48 percent Black, 41 percent Latino, and six percent White. Augustine is running to replace Sen. Victor Ramirez (D-District 47), who is seeking to become the next Prince George’s County State’s Attorney and as of Oct. 22, Del. Carlo Sanchez (D-District 47) and attorney Wanika Fisher are his opponents.

As a platform, Augustine doesn’t have a litany of issues and positions but talks in broader terms about being a leader in the district. “I want to establish trust with the people and getting to know what their concerns are,” he said. “I want to do what is in their best interest and be a real advocate and listen to what people are saying.”

Augustine said that economic development, investing in education and helping residents, particularly seniors, live in the district despite gentrification are his top priorities. On economic development, he notes that the district has three solid Metro stations in Cheverly, New Carrollton, and West Hyattsville. “Let me use New Carrollton as an example,” he said. “New Carrollton is a great transportation hub as a Metro stop, an AMTRAK and MARC train stop and soon to be a station on the Purple Line. There needed to be development at the New Carrollton station but that had been languishing for years.”

He said working with Metro, Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker III and his economic development team, and state officials, significant progress has been made. “A few weeks ago, we broke ground on a new center close to the Metro stop with Kaiser Permanente serving as the hub,” he said. “This will be the newest downtown in Prince George’s County and we did that putting transit-oriented development at work.”

Augustine said that as a senator, he would fight for equitable funding for schools and against overcrowding, and would try to see that seniors are able to “age in place.”

Augustine is a resident of Cheverly, a town that has several prominent political leaders such as Baker, former Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Glenn Ivey, and his wife, Jolene Ivey, who is seeking a seat on the Prince George’s County Council. While he is proud of the contribution of his neighbors, he said he will be inclusive of other parts of District 47.

“Being a resident of Cheverly has spurned me to spend more time in areas such as Kentland, Chillum, Bladensburg, and North Brentwood,” he said. “I will work hard day and night to reach out to the residents of the entire community not just Cheverly. I want the people to trust me.”

In 2014, Augustine ran for delegate and lost to Maryland Del. Jimmy Tarlau (D-District 47A). Nevertheless, Tarlau told the AFRO that he thinks highly of Augustine.

“There are three good people in the race and all three of them could be excellent senators,” Tarlau said. “Augustine is an intelligent, hardworking and conscientious worker and has represented Prince George’s County well on the WMATA board. We were competitive at one time but I respect him and what he had to say.” Tarlau hasn’t made an endorsement in the race yet.