Jeff Waldstreicher from District 18, Montgomery Co - Live with Bobby Zirkin

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Jeff Waldstreicher from District 18 in Montgomery County

Interview Transcription:

Bobby Zirkin: Bobby Zirkin live on Facebook, so it’s a new thing during this coronavirus. I just thought it would be a really cool opportunity to bring some amazing people into everybody’s living rooms, and offices, and all the rest through the miracle of Facebook. And bring really people that are doing great things in the community, in politics, in law, in sports, and I’ve got an announcement at the end of this about a Baltimore Raven who will be joining us next week for the second show. But today I am really excited to bring to you a great, great public servant, a member of the House of Delegates first, and now a member of the Maryland state Senate. Jeff Waldstreicher from District 18 in Montgomery County. He’s an incredible legislator, and the vice chairman of my old committee, the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee. So let me see if I can make this technology work and bring in … here we go. Senator Waldstreicher. I think that worked. Jeff, welcome to the program.

Jeff Waldstreicher: Thank you, Bobby, I appreciate it. Happy to your guinea pig, this is great.

Bobby Zirkin: Well, it’s great to see you and great to have you, how are things … first of all, how are things holding up with you, and your family, and all the rest during this pandemic?

Jeff Waldstreicher: Yeah, thank you for asking. It’s tough. It’s tough for everyone, but we’re fortunate. As you probably see in your neighborhood and around your community, there’s like tons of doctors, first responders, folks who work at grocery stores who don’t have the option to stay home. So we’re home most of the day with the kids and it’s not easy, but it’s a lot easier than all the heroes that are going out there working and risking their lives every day.

Bobby Zirkin: And what do you … just as an introduction-

Jeff Waldstreicher: Yeah.

Bobby Zirkin: Since most of the people that are probably on my feed aren’t from Montgomery County, and may not know you, so tell us a little bit about yourself and what you-

Jeff Waldstreicher: Yeah.

Bobby Zirkin: Do inside and outside of the General Assembly.

Jeff Waldstreicher: So yeah, born and bred down in here in Montgomery County. Went to our public schools, graduated from Montgomery Blair High School. Went to college and law school, then came back to Maryland and joined a large law firm. And kind of got into politics accidentally, started doing some pro bono work for an advocacy group. There was a vacancy and a whole bunch of shenanigans happened after that, but ended up serving in the House, and then in the Senate, and I’ve loved every moment of it. And my family has been great about the challenges that come when people serve in the legislature, you know that better than most. But it’s just an honor and a privilege.

Jeff Waldstreicher: And what’s great about serving legislature, as you know, is you serve with wonderful people. And we’re surrounded by well meaning folks from both parties, and that’s what makes it different from Washington, and that’s what makes it fun.

Bobby Zirkin: So you … I think probably people will take a look at you and see somebody’s who’s young.

Jeff Waldstreicher: Yeah.

Bobby Zirkin: And you have darker hair, unfortunately, than I do.

Jeff Waldstreicher: But less.

Bobby Zirkin: So you have served, I saw from your bio and we’ve talked, obviously I know you quite well.

Jeff Waldstreicher: Yeah.

Bobby Zirkin: You’ve served now, this is going to be your 15th year coming up in the General Assembly?

Jeff Waldstreicher: Yeah, January will be my 15th legislative session. So I was elected at 26, and all by accident. So here’s the story, I was working for a law firm doing pro bono work for an environmental advocacy organization. And great group of folks, and there was a vacancy in my legislative district. Of course back then I didn’t even know what legislative district I lived in, most folks don’t know what legislative district they live in. But they came to me and they said, “Hey, don’t you live in that district where there was a vacancy announced?” And we figured out that I did. That was the retirement of John Hurson, Delegate Hurson who was chair of the Health and Government Operations Committee, and a wonderful delegate who’s still active in circles.

Jeff Waldstreicher: So they said, “You should put your name forward for the central committee appointment,” because as some of your viewers know, there’s no special elections in Maryland, when there’s a vacancy in the legislature you have to go through the local democratic party. So I agreed to put my name forward not knowing anything about the process, and they said, “Oh no, we’ll take care of it.” And I remember I needed 11 votes to win that night, and I had called around, and they had called around, and they said, “Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, you got your 11 votes.” And I thought I was going to be the next delegate from District 18. So lo and behold, we-

Jeff Waldstreicher: What’s that?

Bobby Zirkin: We were having a little technical difficulty there for a second, but go ahead.

Jeff Waldstreicher: Oh, okay. So lo and behold we take the vote that night among the central committee, and I don’t get 11 votes, I get four votes, which was my first lesson in politics, because I had 11 yeses, and I lost this central committee appointment. But through that process I met a bunch of great folks, advocacy organizations, party members and advocates, and it was just really good. And so then there was another vacancy a little bit later, a regular election vacancy. And because I had gotten the bug I was able to put my name forward a second time, and that one is when I won.

Bobby Zirkin: So you were … you tried to get an appointment the first time, that didn’t work out, and then you ran for office in your-

Jeff Waldstreicher: That’s right, yeah, yeah.

Bobby Zirkin: And won at the age of 26 years old.

Jeff Waldstreicher: 26 years old. Yeah, and to be honest-

Bobby Zirkin: I’m definitely losing you right now, can you still hear me, Jeff?

Jeff Waldstreicher: Yes, I can hear you, Bobby. I’ve got you.

Bobby Zirkin: I think we’re having a little … we’re having technical difficulties with your computer here. Is this Will Smith jumping in on us?

Jeff Waldstreicher: Well I’ve got you Bobby, you’re 100% on my end.

Bobby Zirkin: Okay. Well I’m going to put your family’s picture up until we get you back.

Jeff Waldstreicher: Okay.

Bobby Zirkin: There you go. I think we’ve got you, I’m going to put this in the screen just in case we lose you, at least we have the nice picture of your family there. So that’s interesting, so you were appointed … did not get the appointment, but then ran and won your first time. And you’ve been serving ever since.

Jeff Waldstreicher: I’ve been serving ever since. I did eight years on the Judiciary Committee on the House where I know you served. And then four years on the Economic Matters Committee. And then joined you in the Senate, and joined the Judicial Proceedings Committee.

Bobby Zirkin: So from the Judicial Proceedings Committee, you deal obviously as we have together for so many years with criminal law and civil procedure, and family law, and estates and trust, can you describe to the people who might be watching who don’t know you kind of your passion in terms of those issues and others that you’re interested in?

Jeff Waldstreicher: Yeah. So I’ve always had a passion for civil rights and civil liberties issues. And specifically issues of what we now call returning citizens, people who are leaving incarceration, and trying to get back on their feet and back in the community. And it’s been a struggle to make progress on those issues, but over the last 12 years, with your help and so many others, we were able to pass a number of bills that allow people to clear their records, get back on their feet in the community. If people can’t get a job, as you know, after they get out of jail, they’re just going to recidivate, and you need to have some type of intervention on the front end to prevent that from happening. So that includes job training, that includes clearing records, expungement and shielding. And that includes linking them to housing and other resources.

Bobby Zirkin: So what are some of the bills that you’ve done and kind of take people where … because I have a lawyer in my law firm-

Jeff Waldstreicher: Yeah.

Bobby Zirkin: Erik Atas, who does a lot of that work in terms of trying to help people to expunge their records with the law, but if could kind of describe some of the things that you’ve been doing, as well as maybe some of the things you think you’d like to see here in Maryland.

Jeff Waldstreicher: Well, under your leadership, Bobby, we passed a number of bills that allow people to apply to the court to expunge or shield their criminal records. And that was a huge step forward. Maryland was really behind what other states were doing in terms of allowing people to get rid of their records. The problem is, a lot of folks with records don’t have the resources or tenacity to go through that process. It’s bureaucracy, it requires a petition to the court. And as you see in your own office, sometimes it requires the assistance of an attorney. And so the question was how do we make this easier? How do we help people clear their record in a way that just has less friction? And what we decided was some type of automatic shielding would be the better way to go. To get these off of Case S, and off of peoples’ records without them having to apply for it. And so last year we passed a number of bills that would begin that process, so that people don’t have to petition the court to get rid of the record. The court will essentially self petition to get rid of these records and get them off of Case Search and other record finding databases.

Bobby Zirkin: So for example, so something like a marijuana possession, let’s say-

Jeff Waldstreicher: That’s right.

Bobby Zirkin: So if somebody were to get that, then it would be automatically shielded from Case Search, is that essentially-

Jeff Waldstreicher: That’s right. And we’re going to do it forwards and backwards. In other words, if you have a minor marijuana conviction, previously because of bills you passed, Bobby, someone could apply to get that expunged. Now under a bill we passed this past session, and just to be clear, it hasn’t been signed by the governor yet, someone wouldn’t have to apply. That crime would be automatically expunged from that person’s record.

Jeff Waldstreicher: And then on a going forward basis, if someone is convicted of those crimes after a certain period they would be expunged automatically on a going forward basis. So we’re doing both directions in time. Which was a big deal. As you probably know, we are likely at some point in the future to legalize recreational marijuana. So allowing anyone to have a marijuana offense that’s minor on their record is just hypocritical if that’s the direction we’re going. And so this was a good step from a kind of civil justice and criminal justice point of view. And it’s just the right thing to do given where we’re going in this state.

Bobby Zirkin: That’s really interesting, yeah. You’ve been a leader on that for years, I wanted to know where we were heading. I saw that, actually it’s interesting, I was going to bring this up later on, but I saw that you serve on a number of committees, some I knew you served on and some I was unaware of.

Jeff Waldstreicher: Yeah.

Bobby Zirkin: One of them is, in fact, the … and obviously there’s so much going on in the world right now-

Jeff Waldstreicher: Right, yeah.

Bobby Zirkin: We’re taking a step back from some of these issues, they seem unimportant in kind of the broader scope of what’s going on in the world right now.

Jeff Waldstreicher: Right.

Bobby Zirkin: But it is interesting to talk about them. You serve on the commission dealing with the issue of legalization of marijuana. I know it’s something of interest to people. Where is that at this point in time? I still get questions about it, even though-

Jeff Waldstreicher: Yeah.

Bobby Zirkin: I’m out of office now, but where is that commission and kind of where do you see … if you had a crystal ball, where do you see that issue heading?

Jeff Waldstreicher: So the short answer is it’s on pause right now. As you know, there has been kind of tumult in the marijuana industry, both the medical side and the recreational side. And we have to get that all sorted out before we move forward as a state. The commission itself, as you know, you were the chair of the commission briefly and now President Ferguson-

Bobby Zirkin: Very briefly.

Jeff Waldstreicher: Yeah. President Ferguson who’s done such an incredible job as our new Senate president, has took over that work group. And kind of moved the ball forward. And that’s where we went before we pressed pause on everything. And COVID-19 has clearly delayed a lot of things, and this will be one of them.

Jeff Waldstreicher: So if I had a crystal ball, I’d say within this term we will move forward on some type of marijuana reform, recreational marijuana reform. So two more sessions left in this term, so probably next session or the following session. That would be my hope, at least.

Bobby Zirkin: Okay. And-

Jeff Waldstreicher: Yeah.

Bobby Zirkin: That would require a lot of Zoom meetings between now and January, probably.

Jeff Waldstreicher: We’re all getting to be experts at Zoom meetings, so hopefully we can make it happen.

Bobby Zirkin: Sounds good, well it’s-

Jeff Waldstreicher: Yeah.

Bobby Zirkin: Something I know a lot of people are interested in, have very strong opinions on one way or the other, so I-

Jeff Waldstreicher: Yeah.

Bobby Zirkin: Hopefully we can come back and do this again as that starts moving-

Jeff Waldstreicher: Absolutely.

Bobby Zirkin: Forward. Another commission which kind of goes into the one that you were talking about before that you also serve on, which I find to be a fascinating one, is the … which I’m sure that it will sound kind of … kind of obscure to people who aren’t in the legal field, but is a really interesting one, is this Commission on the Classification of Crimes.

Jeff Waldstreicher: Yeah.

Bobby Zirkin: If you could talk a little bit about that, I know you serve on that, I don’t know if-

Jeff Waldstreicher: Sure.

Bobby Zirkin: The chair of that now or where that stands, but …

Jeff Waldstreicher: So I’ve got to start by giving credit where credit’s due. So Mike Huff, Senator Mike Huff who represents Frederick in the Senate, it was his idea. He worked for a number of years to pass that bill to kind of look at crime classifications in Maryland. What should be a misdemeanor, what should be a felony, and Senator Mary Washington, our colleague, your former colleague, is the chair of that commission, and she’s doing an incredible job and cares deeply about the issue. And of course she’s served for one year on the Judicial Proceedings Committee.

Jeff Waldstreicher: So for your viewers, Maryland is an outlier, most states have a clear definition of what’s a misdemeanor and what’s a felony based on either the seriousness of the crime, or the amount of time that can be incarcerable related to that crime. So the way you learned it in law school, or I learned in law school, most states it’s a year or under is a misdemeanor, anything over a year is a felony. That’s what most states do, that’s what the federal government does. And there’s a certain logic to that. In Maryland, there is absolutely no rhyme or reason, no logic. You have 10 year misdemeanors, you have life imprisonment felonies, it’s just … there are so many things that are incongruous in our code. And Mike Huff decided we need to take a look at this and see if we can provide some logic to it. And so it’s a tough task, because it’s a line drawing task. But because we’ve got Republicans and Democrats dedicated to doing it, it’ll be … I think it’ll get done. And we’ve got a lot of outside technical assistance from the law schools, from the judges, from retired judges as well.

Jeff Waldstreicher: It’ll be good, and so it’s not just an intellectual exercise. The whole point of doing this is that once you have a clear delineation between felonies and misdemeanors, then you have the ability to make certain macro changes about how you treat these. You can say, “Oh, all misdemeanors are expungable.” Or, “All felonies are ineligible for parole until this point.” Right now, because you have a mishmash, you can’t do those macro things, you’ve got to take them crime by crime. And that makes life difficult for us as legislators.

Bobby Zirkin: It’s a fascinating commission. You’re diving, as somebody who’s interested in criminal law, though I don’t do criminal law in my private practice, the number of misdemeanors and felonies and the rhyme and reason to them-

Jeff Waldstreicher: Right.

Bobby Zirkin: Don’t often make a lot of sense-

Jeff Waldstreicher: Right.

Bobby Zirkin: Or don’t seem to make sense, but they made sense to come legislature at some point in time, so it’s really great that you guys are tackling that issue. It’s-

Jeff Waldstreicher: Well, and credit to the new chair, Will Smith, who’s done an incredible job under challenging circumstances. A lot of the initiatives that you were passionate about, including that one, he has continued on and is equally passionate about. And so much of the things that you got the ball rolling on he has made it a point to continue, even if they weren’t of his own initiative originally. And that provides a lot of continuity for the committee, and allows people to continue working on things that they were passionate about.

Bobby Zirkin: I tried very hard to get him to blast into your interview here today, but I could not figure out the technology on it, so-

Jeff Waldstreicher: Well, he’s a chairman, he’s a busy man.

Bobby Zirkin: He is a busy man.

Jeff Waldstreicher: And I know he’s helping his constituents on a lot of issues related to COVID-19, so hopefully you can have him on sometime soon, I’m sure-

Bobby Zirkin: Absolutely.

Jeff Waldstreicher: He’d be happy to join.

Bobby Zirkin: Yeah, he’s great. And if he calls in here I definitely am going to get him-

Jeff Waldstreicher: Okay, good.

Bobby Zirkin: You’re getting some questions on the side here so maybe we’ll get to some of these-

Jeff Waldstreicher: Okay, I didn’t want to be rude and look over, but-

Bobby Zirkin: Yeah, it’s okay, no, there’s some interesting ones. Issues about COVID-19, and workers’ compensation, and some other things.

Jeff Waldstreicher: Yeah.

Bobby Zirkin: Before we get to that though, there are a number of bills that you did and I could do this with you forever, this is-

Jeff Waldstreicher: Sure.

Bobby Zirkin: Great, I love listening to what’s going on and hearing this, I hope people are interested. It’s the things that legislators like yourself deal with are such a myriad of issues, and just on the committee you’re talking about, the number of issues that you’ll hear in a single day, let alone the entire 90 days, is just unbelievable, the breadth and depth of them. So I saw some of the bills that you put in, a couple of them had to do with the civil justice system, or plaintiff versus defendant type issues. One of them was about a constitutional amendment for the amount in controversy. If you could describe kind of what is that all about, and where is that issue?

Jeff Waldstreicher: Yeah, it’s a good question. So Maryland, like a few other states, has two different trial level courts. And so for civil cases, whether you go to the lower trial level court, or the upper trial level court depends on the amount in controversy. In other words, the amount that someone is suing over. And so we want our courts to be really accessible. And what that means is you’d rather have more cases at the lower level court where discovery rules are a little more lax, and things are easier for people who are seeking civil justice.

Bobby Zirkin: A little less expensive as well.

Jeff Waldstreicher: That’s right. Right, yes.

Jeff Waldstreicher: No question about it. That’s right. And so Maryland in its constitution delineates an amount by which one case goes to the upper level trial court, and one case goes to the lower level trial court. And so as we … because inflation takes a bite out of that amount, and because cases tend to get more and more expensive, we then have to go back and change the constitution, usually around once a decade, to change the amount that delineates between the upper level trial court and the lower level trial court. So I put in a bill this year, a constitutional amendment that would increase the amount that would be allowed in the lower level court to make sure that those courts remain accessible to folks. And unfortunately the bill didn’t move, it didn’t have time to move this year. Because it has to go on the ballot we’ve now got two years to pass it. It’s certainly my hope that we do so.

Bobby Zirkin: Is that something that’s likely to pass for those who work in kind of in the civil justice system, is that a bill that is … because that’s one of those things that you hear about-

Jeff Waldstreicher: Yeah.

Bobby Zirkin: Kind of year after year, is that a bill that likely has legs down in Annapolis over the next couple of years do you think?

Jeff Waldstreicher: So we haven’t done it in I think since 1997, if that’s right, maybe a little bit later. But it’s time to do it again. I think all the advocates, whether you support the bill or oppose the bill, know that at least once a decade we have to come back and do it. So there will be some, I guess, negotiation as to the amount. But I think it’s going to happen. And likely not next year but the year after. The next constitutional opportunity, which is 2022.

Bobby Zirkin: And if you recall the specifics of it, is it … because right now it’s 15-

Jeff Waldstreicher: That’s right.

Bobby Zirkin: So is this an attempt to move it up to 30? There have been machinations of that 20, 25, 30-

Jeff Waldstreicher: Yeah.

Bobby Zirkin: What version of it-

Jeff Waldstreicher: I think that’s all in the discussion. We put it in I believe at 30. Certainly open to ideas from advocates on both sides. But the idea is to hopefully get it to 30. And what that means is people who are seeking civil justice can do so at a lower cost with a lower discovery burden in a way that’s accessible and fair to them in the lower trial court level.

Bobby Zirkin: Interesting.

Jeff Waldstreicher: Yeah.

Bobby Zirkin: Really interesting, and it’d be something for people to watch.

Jeff Waldstreicher: Yeah.

Bobby Zirkin: Another civil justice bill, and this is one that you and have talked offline about-

Jeff Waldstreicher: Yeah.

Bobby Zirkin: But I do think particularly now, just to set the table, with COVID-19 and all of these healthcare workers that are in hospitals and on the front lines, as well as front line workers like police, and firefighters, and so forth that are also working on the front lines of this, an issue you put in had to do with something obscure, fairly obscure, or what I thought was obscure when we first talked about it.

Jeff Waldstreicher: Yeah.

Bobby Zirkin: The Fireman’s Rule, and it’s become very interesting since the legislative session ended. If you could talk a little about that, it is I thin for those who are doctors, nurses, certainly police and firefighters-

Jeff Waldstreicher: Right.

Bobby Zirkin: Something that’s of intense interest.

Jeff Waldstreicher: Yeah. So the Fireman’s Rule you know is archaic in part because we call it the Fireman’s Rule, and not the Firefighter’s Rule, right? Workman’s comp has long been called workers’ comp, and so you know the Fireman’s Rule is old and in fact, it goes back to the 1600s in England. And here’s what it says. If you’re a public employee and you take a risk as part of your job, if someone is negligent towards you in the course of that job, you cannot collect in our civil courts. And so if you’re a firefighter and you go to a house and you’re on the roof and you fall through, and that house has burned down because of arson, you can’t sue the arsonist. You can’t collect from the person who caused your damages. And that’s crazy, it doesn’t make any sense. Of course our firefighters assume certain risks when they take that job, our police officers, nurses, all our public employees assume a certain amount of risk, but that doesn’t mean … it doesn’t logically follow that they can’t collect against people who are bad actors. And who act out against them in some way that’s negligent or malicious.

Jeff Waldstreicher: And here’s why it’s important during this kind of period of COVID-19, we’ve got tons of public employees who are forced to go to work because they’re essential, and want to go to work because they’re providing a public service that they believe in. But if someone were to ask negligently towards them, and I know you have some good examples of this, Bobby, then they wouldn’t be able to use our civil system in order to seek compensation for damages that happened to them. And so for example, if you’re a nurse and you’re a state employee or a county employee, and your hospital won’t provide you with adequate PPE and you get sick, if you die, your family will not be able to seek damages, because you assumed the risk as a nurse. And that doesn’t make any sense, and it’s just wrong.

Bobby Zirkin: So it’s interesting, so I mean obviously you could recover in workers’ comp, although-

Jeff Waldstreicher: Correct.

Bobby Zirkin: There’s a lot of talk now about groups want to have liability kind of immunity.

Jeff Waldstreicher: Right, right.

Bobby Zirkin: Based on what they’re doing. So if a police officer, just to have an example, because all these things are so changing because of-

Jeff Waldstreicher: Right.

Bobby Zirkin: COVID-19, if a police officer brought somebody to the emergency room and somehow got sick but it was in the official course of their duty, because of somebody else’s negligence, this issue would shield that individual from suit against the police officer because essentially they assumed the risk as a public safety official? Is that essentially the way that the law stands right now?

Jeff Waldstreicher: That’s exactly right. So if someone … if a public employee, like a firefighter or a police officer gets sick on the job right now the only way that they can recover is through workers’ comp. And that’s as it should be where there’s no bad actor, or no negligence. But if somebody does something that is malicious or negligent to that officer that causes them to get COVID-19, in other words fails to provide them with protective gear, or otherwise does something that is … like purposefully gives them the disease, they wouldn’t be able to get compensation from that person. It’s an archaic rule, it goes back centuries, it goes back to England. And most other states have gotten rid of this. Conservative states, Democratic states, liberal states, Republican states, lots of folks have gotten rid of this. And it’s, in my mind, time for Maryland to do the same.

Bobby Zirkin: Really interesting issue. I hope people who are listening to this, if there are folks listening to this, see just again the incredible breadth of issues that you have to deal with and be expert and have expertise on, it’s really … it’s amazing to me, so …

Jeff Waldstreicher: Yeah, I mean, here’s the other thing because we talk about amount in controversy, and we talk about the Fireman’s Rule, sometimes people think this is an issue related to plaintiff’s attorneys. I’m not a plaintiff’s attorney, this is not the type of law I practice. And to me it’s not an issue of defense attorneys versus plaintiff’s attorneys or people verus corporations or anything like that. If you believe in access to courts, you believe in access to courts. If you believe people should have a right to go in front a judge and plead their case and say what happened to them, and determine whether they have the ability to be compensated for injuries, and if you believe in that you have to create laws that allow for that. So I know sometimes it’s easy, especially in Annapolis, to view this as a two sided issue. I’ve never viewed it that way. I’ve always viewed it as our courts are there to help people, and the more access we can provide to those courts, the better for everyone.

Bobby Zirkin: That’s great. We will again stay tuned. How do you see … I mean, just to take a shot-

Jeff Waldstreicher: Yeah.

Bobby Zirkin: Away from issues, I have a whole bunch here to-

Jeff Waldstreicher: Good.

Bobby Zirkin: Talk about. The list of bills that you introduced last year are really interesting. And I did want to talk about two in particular that are very controversial. But before we get to that, where do you see kind of … first of all, I guess how are things going, I think people are used to a 90 day legislative session, where things-

Jeff Waldstreicher: Right.

Bobby Zirkin: Get done and the balloons drop down on the last day and the president of the Senate and the Speaker get the picture with the balloons and it’s all done. How did things go this year, because it was really towards the end of session that things started rolling with this pandemic.

Jeff Waldstreicher: That’s right.

Bobby Zirkin: So how was it this year? And what was the feeling down in the General Assembly, and how did things change because of it?

Jeff Waldstreicher: Well, they changed quickly. So I remember … so as you recall we often vote in committee on Fridays, and I remember March 6th was a Friday and my kids were leading synagogue that evening, and so we got our voting done and I headed over to synagogue back in Montgomery County. And I remember being in this crowd and starting to feel uncomfortable and thinking, “Man, this doesn’t feel safe.” And by that Monday, the following Monday, things were starting to snowball very, very quickly. And thank God for Speaker Adrienne Jones, and President Bill Ferguson. They recognized it right away. And so there was a triage effect, we had to act quickly because we have a constitutional obligation to pass a budget, we have a constitutional obligation to make sure our public schools are sufficient for our children. And we had legislation pending on both of those issues. And so they moved decisively, aggressively, along with the governor to start putting together a package of legislation addressing COVID-19, including unemployment insurance, stimulus, all the things you need to do if we were going to adjourn quickly, as well as pass the budget and pass the current recommendations for our public schools.

Jeff Waldstreicher: And so … I mean, there’s no question, it was crazy and a bit chaotic, but not so much that people weren’t thinking deeply and thoughtfully about how to do it. And no one was doing more of that than President Ferguson, and certainly our chair, Will Smith, as we kind of were working through these issues. We had to figure out what needed to move this year, and what could wait til next year. And unfortunately for a lot of my priorities, they’re going to wait til next year, and that’s fine.

Bobby Zirkin: That’s what they told you anyway.

Jeff Waldstreicher: This is true. But everyone could see that this was going to get much more dangerous, and that we had to act quickly. And the second someone in the legislature got infected, you wouldn’t have a quorum able to legislate, and so that’s part of the reason we had to act so swiftly and end the legislative session.

Bobby Zirkin: And it ended, what, a week or two early, or … ?

Jeff Waldstreicher: Yeah, so it ended on March 18th, so about three weeks early.

Bobby Zirkin: Okay.

Jeff Waldstreicher: Yeah. And it was the right thing to do, no question about it.

Bobby Zirkin: All right. Yeah, it was interesting to watch because the world was coming to a standstill and you guys, you could see kind of day to day that you were trying to rush through to get some of these-

Jeff Waldstreicher: Sure.

Bobby Zirkin: Couple of these big ticket things done, essentially because you had to constitutionally.

Jeff Waldstreicher: That’s right.

Bobby Zirkin: And prepare for what was coming with people staying at home and so forth.

Jeff Waldstreicher: Yeah, and I think your viewers know this, but obviously I’m giving high praise to my presiding officer as well as Speaker Jones, but what people might forget because they’re so good at what they do is that this was both of their first years as presiding officers. So the fact that they were able to act so decisively, and so gracefully under difficult circumstances, it wasn’t a given. One or both of them could’ve fallen flat on their faces, but neither did. And it just goes to show you what leaders both of them are.

Bobby Zirkin: That was my last official act in the Senate was to vote for Bill.

Jeff Waldstreicher: It was a good vote, he’s doing an incredible job.

Bobby Zirkin: Yeah. Yeah, I speak with him often, he is … it’s a pressure filled job, that’s for sure-

Jeff Waldstreicher: Yeah.

Bobby Zirkin: Under the best of circumstances-

Jeff Waldstreicher: Yeah.

Bobby Zirkin: Let alone now.

Jeff Waldstreicher: Yeah.

Bobby Zirkin: Couple more issues before we kind of move on to-

Jeff Waldstreicher: Sure.

Bobby Zirkin: Some other things. This has been a little weighty, but I think it’s good, I think it’s important and certainly educational for me and hopefully for others who are watching. But there was an issue that I see here related to, and this is very weighty, but a case before the Court of Appeals, I believe, and about child pornography. If you could speak a little about it, I saw you had a bill on that but it doesn’t look like it passed. So-

Jeff Waldstreicher: That’s right.

Bobby Zirkin: I’m curious what that’s all about, and where that issue is at this point.

Jeff Waldstreicher: Yeah. So from time to time we look at what the Court of Appeals does and figure out whether they did the right thing and whether we need to act legislatively. This case was interesting, because what happened was … and I don’t need to get explicit with your viewers, a girl took a video of herself performing a sex act on a young man who was an adult. He was not identifiable in the video, she was identifiable in the video, and then later that video was released on some kind of social media. And she was charged with essentially being her own pornographer. So she was charged with producing child pornography, and then the victim of that child pornography was her. And this was a fascinating thing that had never been litigated, but it went to the Court of Appeals which upheld the conviction.

Bobby Zirkin: She was convicted, did she serve time in jail?

Jeff Waldstreicher: I don’t think she served time in jail because she was a juvenile.

Bobby Zirkin: Oh, she was a juvenile, right.

Jeff Waldstreicher: That’s right. But basically the Court of Appeals in a way I rarely see them do begged the legislature to fix this. They said this is the letter of the law. If you read the letter of the law, she can be her own child pornography victim. But this doesn’t create a good outcome. How is it good for her to be convicted of producing child pornography in which she is the victim? And so they asked us to come forward and find a solution. Well, I think five members took the court up on coming up with that solution, and we all came up with different solutions. And that was a challenge, because with a shortened session we didn’t have the opportunity to try to take all five of those and mesh them together in a way that worked in the real world. And so we’re going to have to fix this at some point. But you’ve got essentially this case … and I don’t begrudge the court for finding what they did, I think they’re right on the letter of the law, they had to do what they did. But we’ve got to fix this because lots of kids do lots of stupid things, including taking naked videos of themselves. And it shouldn’t be considered a criminal act under our code.

Bobby Zirkin: Got it. I remember hearing about that case. I had thought that it was two underage individuals at the time, but maybe the details of that are hazy. But interesting issue before our courts if the courts ever open up again, which-

Jeff Waldstreicher: Right.

Bobby Zirkin: Because they are-

Jeff Waldstreicher: Yeah.

Bobby Zirkin: At this point permanently closed until further notice, so-

Jeff Waldstreicher: That’s right.

Bobby Zirkin: I’d like to see them open up again. And then the last issue I did want to ask you about if it’s okay.

Jeff Waldstreicher: Of course.

Bobby Zirkin: If you keep this maybe a little … keep it light as best we can.

Jeff Waldstreicher: Sure.

Bobby Zirkin: But it’s the Israel and Moyer Act, or kind of the death with dignity-

Jeff Waldstreicher: Yeah, yeah.

Bobby Zirkin: Type of issue. You’re the lead sponsor of that issue, is that correct?

Jeff Waldstreicher: I am, yep, the chairman was the sponsor last … I mean, the previous year when he was vice chair and I was sponsor this past year.

Bobby Zirkin: Okay. And that did not pass this year, and this is essentially trying to wiggle through the issue of giving people a choice at the end of their life as to what to do with their life with the assistance somehow of the medical community, is that essentially-

Jeff Waldstreicher: Yeah. That’s right. Yeah. And so I feel strongly about this. And the reason I feel strongly about it is just as an issue of liberty. As an issue of personal control. I think people at the end of life should be able to make decisions about what they do and don’t do, and that has everything to do with personal autonomy. And so this issue has gotten bogged down related to medicine, and legal liability, and things like that. And those things are not things we can kind of put under the rug, but nonetheless at its core, for me at least, it’s an issue of liberty, and allowing people to make choices at the end of their lives is an important issue of liberty and personal autonomy for me.

Jeff Waldstreicher: So but we’ve been honest with folks, we’re likely to vote short on that bill. It’ll be an uphill challenge to pass the bill. I’m committed to do it, and I know there are other advocates who are committed to doing it.

Bobby Zirkin: Very weighty issues you have to deal with.

Jeff Waldstreicher: Yeah, no question.

Bobby Zirkin: All right. So is there anything that I missed? Those were kind of the yellow marker highlights that I saw from your 2020-

Jeff Waldstreicher: Yeah.

Bobby Zirkin: Legislative session. Anything that I missed there? We’ve got a lot of questions on the side here, which-

Jeff Waldstreicher: Yeah.

Bobby Zirkin: We can or don’t have to get into. About workers’ comp, bail reform-

Jeff Waldstreicher: Marijuana.

Bobby Zirkin: The War on Drugs, I’m seeing a lot of different-

Jeff Waldstreicher: Yeah.

Bobby Zirkin: Kirwan and funding and somebody that just wanted to say hello. So-

Jeff Waldstreicher: Well let me give a shout out to the chairman, to Will Smith, for leadership on three big issues that came in front of our committee. The first is the decriminalization of poverty. As you know, people get wrapped up in fines and fees in a way that can get them put in jail, or get them in debt.

Bobby Zirkin: Whoa. Jeff, I lost you. All right, I think we lost Jeff for a second, hopefully we can get him back. I’m going to put his picture up then. All right, I’m going to try to get him back. But anyway, interesting issues, I think some of the things that he was going to talk about he had told me beforehand had to do with something called the HOME Act, the CROWN Act, there were hate crimes legislation and other things. I think Jeff is coming back. This is our first broadcast and already having technical difficulties. Let me just give … oh, I got it, I do have Jeff back, Jeff, can you hear me? All right, let’s get … and he’s gone again.

Bobby Zirkin: So while we’re trying to get him back and we see this beautiful picture of him and his family, let me do … I was going to do something at the end of this but next week, hopefully with fewer technical difficulties, we are going to have a really special guest. And I alluded to this at the beginning, so let me just talk about it a little now while we’re waiting for Jeff hopefully to get back here. Next Wednesday looks tentatively at 2:30, we’re going to be joined by Bradley Bozeman and Nikki Bozeman. And for those of you who are Redskins fans, you can close your ears for right now. And if you’re a Patriots fan or a Steelers fan, need not listen ever.

Bobby Zirkin: But Bradley Bozeman and Nikki Bozeman will be joining us next week. Bradley is the starting left guard for the Baltimore Ravens. And his wife Nikki is a tremendous athlete in her own accord. She was the starting center for the University of Alabama woman’s basketball team and was a star. When Bradley and Nikki graduated from Alabama, Brad was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens, I believe in the sixth round, and last year was our starting left guard. Fabulous, fabulous football player, and more importantly he has an anti-bullying foundation. I do see we have Jeff back in the bottom, we’ll get to him in one sec. Bradley and Nikki have been on a mission in college and through their time here in Baltimore about anti-bullying, which is an issue that’s really important to me. They have gone to countless numbers of schools in Alabama and now here in Maryland talking to kids about the dangers of bullying.

Bobby Zirkin: And this year, just after the football season was over, Brad and Nikki took off in an RV around the country. And started here in Maryland and went all the way out to the west coast and were heading back before the coronavirus stopped their plans. But they were talking to kids in schools state, by state, by state, I think to 12 or 13 states, before the tour had to be stopped. And it was just an amazing thing, I saw a video of it, you may have seen this in the Baltimore Sun and elsewhere. But they’re going to come on and talk about anti-bullying and their efforts around the country and why it’s such a big passion to both of them. And anything else that folks would like to talk about.

Bobby Zirkin: All right, so let me bring Jeff back in here. Let’s put you back in and let’s see if we can get you. There you are. I’ll take out that picture. Can you hear me?

Jeff Waldstreicher: I’ve got you.

Bobby Zirkin: All right, welcome back. So I got a text-

Jeff Waldstreicher: You know, when you have Brad Bozeman on you’re going to have to get a bigger screen here.

Bobby Zirkin: Yeah. I’ll figure all this technology stuff out, this is a sideshow, I decided we wanted to take a break from practicing law and do something interesting and maybe do some interesting interviews. Technology is not my thing but-

Jeff Waldstreicher: I think it’s great.

Bobby Zirkin: There have been a couple questions, if you don’t mind taking a couple from some in the audience, is that okay?

Jeff Waldstreicher: Yeah, let’s do it.

Bobby Zirkin: All right, so somebody wanted to know if I’d be tailgating before Bradley Bozeman. That is a yes. No, but we have a question here regarding … what do we got here? Oh, yeah, “Is Senator Waldstreicher aware of any legislative proposals in the area of workers’ comp? Whether related to COVID-19 or otherwise.” That’s a technical issue, I know that’s not in your committee, but-

Jeff Waldstreicher: Right, yeah. I think … I imagine that there’s going to be a whole portfolio of issues that will be part of what we do when we come back, likely in January. And workers’ comp is going to have to be part of that. So like you said, Bobby, it doesn’t come in front of the Judicial Proceedings Committee. But we’re going to have to deal with a lot of these issues, and that’ll be one of them, no question about it.

Bobby Zirkin: Yeah, because obviously with COVID-19 kind of what you were talking about with the Fireman’s Rule, these issues are there if somebody goes to a grocery store-

Jeff Waldstreicher: Right.

Bobby Zirkin: And these stores are looking for liability protection-

Jeff Waldstreicher: Right.

Bobby Zirkin: But at the end of the day somebody goes there and they get sick, they obviously need compensation beyond-

Jeff Waldstreicher: That’s right.

Bobby Zirkin: Maybe beyond the workers’ comp. That’s where the PI and workers’ comp come in, but-

Jeff Waldstreicher: That’s right.

Bobby Zirkin: Should be interesting to see how that plays out. Somebody wanted to ask if there’s anything about bail reform. Interesting question, I know that that’s-

Jeff Waldstreicher: Yeah.

Bobby Zirkin: An issue that we’ve dealt with before, was there anything on that particular issue?

Jeff Waldstreicher: I don’t think so because we’ve done so much on it previously, on bail reform, and I know you and I have occasionally differing views on that. But there’s no silver bullet on bail reform. I think people realize that the previous system was unfair, and inequitable, and you don’t want to criminalize poverty and have people behind bars because they can’t afford bail. But we know that the alternative has meant that sometimes people who otherwise had the opportunity to get out, are now not getting out. And that you might have a higher proportion of people being denied bail. And so we’ve got to figure this out. A lot of the solution in my mind will have to do with increasing use of monitoring, and monitoring in a way that’s fair and equitable and doesn’t repeat some past issues of discrimination or other things like that.

Jeff Waldstreicher: And so we’ve got to get this right. I think a lot of the reform will be in a few years, as we full digest everything we previously did.

Bobby Zirkin: Okay. It’s a complicated issue-

Jeff Waldstreicher: No question.

Bobby Zirkin: These are all very complicated issues.

Jeff Waldstreicher: Yeah.

Bobby Zirkin: I always say to people about our committee, and the one that you are the vice chairman of-

Jeff Waldstreicher: Yeah.

Bobby Zirkin: When you make a mistake on the details, somebody loses their life, right?

Jeff Waldstreicher: Right.

Bobby Zirkin: The generic kind of bumper sticker stuff that people think of, it doesn’t really hold true. Like it’s-

Jeff Waldstreicher: That’s right.

Bobby Zirkin: There’s kind of the philosophy, which is fine, but then there’s the words on the page, and if you get the words on the page wrong, even if your philosophy is right, somebody can get hurt.

Jeff Waldstreicher: Yeah.

Bobby Zirkin: Somebody can really get hurt if you screw it up. So-

Jeff Waldstreicher: Yeah.

Bobby Zirkin: It’s important to get it right. So it’s good listening to all these issues. So you were starting to talk about some of the things that you were … that Will had been championing this year, the HOME Act, and what else?

Jeff Waldstreicher: Yeah, and the CROWN Act. And so the CROWN Act is a bill that’s been around for a long time, but as you know we don’t allow racial discrimination in Maryland, that’s a very good thing. But sometimes people use physical appearance as a proxy for race, but that makes it … sometimes people have difficulty proving racial discrimination when in fact folks are just using racial proxies. And one of the big things that people use is they use African American hairstyles against African American employees or Africans. And that’s racist and it’s unfair, and so we essentially defined race to also include certain hairstyles that are associated with race, especially African American hairstyles. And so that’s the CROWN Act, it’s important for African American women especially, but it’s important for African Americans generally. It passed on a bipartisan basis. Republicans on the committee voted for it, Republicans on the floor voted for it. And that wouldn’t have moved but for the leadership of Chairman Will Smith.

Bobby Zirkin: Is that also … the details of that bill, is it just racial or is it also religious and other forms of discrimination? Like does it go beyond … so for instance in my community-

Jeff Waldstreicher: Sure.

Bobby Zirkin: Like the Orthodox Jewish community might have kind of longish hair-

Jeff Waldstreicher: Right.

Bobby Zirkin: Sideburns, like does it protect religious communities as well as racial?

Jeff Waldstreicher: So that’s a really good question. And so what we determined is that those issues that are affiliated with religion, so payos, beard, yamaka and the like are already protected because that’s considered a practice of their religion. And so it didn’t need to be specified in the bill because those religious practices are already protected under current law.

Bobby Zirkin: Okay.

Jeff Waldstreicher: And so it dealt mainly with hairstyles that are closely associated with race. What African Americans or generally people refer to as protective hairstyles, protective not being the legal term like protected, but protective meaning protecting the ends of the hair. So things like twists, braids, and the like.

Bobby Zirkin: Okay.

Jeff Waldstreicher: Yeah.

Bobby Zirkin: Interesting stuff. I hope people understand also, because you would often hear people say, “Why are you wasting time with this issue, that issue, this issue,” yet how many bills, there’s about 3,000 or so bills every year.

Jeff Waldstreicher: Yeah, yeah.

Bobby Zirkin: You are required to get through every one of them, so there’s big issues and small issues-

Jeff Waldstreicher: That’s right.

Bobby Zirkin: And everything in between, and you kind of walk and chew gum at the same time.

Jeff Waldstreicher: That’s right, and so that’s what different from DC, for folks who don’t follow Annapolis closely. In DC, not every bill is guaranteed a hearing. In fact, most bills don’t receive a hearing whatsoever. In Annapolis, every bill that’s put in is guaranteed a hearing. That creates a lot of work and challenges in terms of bandwidth, challenges in terms of seeing our families and the like, I know you lived through that for many, many years. And so it’s not easy, but it is the right thing to do. And it means everyone gets their voice heard.

Bobby Zirkin: Great. Question for you, somebody just wanted to know, and this is interesting, I had actually asked you this-

Jeff Waldstreicher: Yeah.

Bobby Zirkin: Offline before, can you see the questions on the side?

Jeff Waldstreicher: I can see your question, yeah.

Bobby Zirkin: So they wanted to know what happened with the GETT Bill, and for those-

Jeff Waldstreicher: Right.

Bobby Zirkin: Who are … so what did happen-

Jeff Waldstreicher: Yeah.

Bobby Zirkin: That’s a bill by the way that I saw when I was in the House of Delegates my very first year in the General Assembly. So that’s 21, 22 years ago. So-

Jeff Waldstreicher: Right, right.

Bobby Zirkin: I heard it was back, what happened with that bill if you could tell what that is?

Jeff Waldstreicher: Yeah, good question. So in Orthodox Jewish communities, which Bobby I know you used to represent for many years, and a small portion of my district in Kemp Mill I represent, for someone to get a divorce in an Orthodox Jewish community, the man is required to provide a religious document to the woman, and that religious document is called a gett. And there have been abuses of the gett, men who withhold the gett in order to leverage certain things, or just out of spite. And so there’s been this movement in the General Assembly for many years to see if there is a civil remedy to prevent abuse of the gett. The Orthodox community, the people who most might be worried about interference between government and religion, has supported the bill, and New York has had this legislation for many, many years.

Jeff Waldstreicher: So supporters believe it is constitutional. This past year it was put in by my colleague, Cheryl Kagan, she’s the vice chair of the Education and Health Committee. So the bill had a tough hearing, there’s no question about it. And one of the great things about our chamber is that hearings matter. They’re not just kind of show trials for each appeal, you really get to the merits of each bill during the hearing. So it had a tough hearing. And I’m not sure it would have moved even if we had the time. But certainly because of lopping off three weeks, that definitely meant that bill was dead, at least for last session.

Bobby Zirkin: It is a tough constitutional issue-

Jeff Waldstreicher: Right, yeah.

Bobby Zirkin: Like you essentially feel for the people that are kind of chained by this inability to get a divorce within their religion, although-

Jeff Waldstreicher: Right.

Bobby Zirkin: They’ll get one within the civil, it doesn’t allow them to remarry within-

Jeff Waldstreicher: Right.

Bobby Zirkin: That particular … but at the same time, you’re having the state say you have to do something religious in order to get something-

Jeff Waldstreicher: Yeah.

Bobby Zirkin: Civil, so it’s a little bit … gets a little constitutionally hairy.

Jeff Waldstreicher: No question, and you have people on the right who are worried about that interference, and then back when this bill was first heard, Senator Jamie Raskin was in your chamber at the time, and he brought down the bill, I think when it was last heard in 2007, and obviously Jamie identified as kind of a left leaning politician on the Democratic side. And so you have both sides with objections, a lot of people in the middle who want to support the bill and find a way through, but it’s been a challenge constitutionally.

Bobby Zirkin: Interesting. So those are the issues, anything else that was particularly controversial this year, or things that you’re looking forward to next year? And then we’ll get to wrapping up a little bit.

Jeff Waldstreicher: Yeah, well, I think like you, everyone’s looking to a return to normalcy, but we’ve got to do it safely and thoughtfully, and I know Governor Hogan is dedicated to doing this at the right pace and with science in mind. And so I haven’t made the pivot to next legislative session, just because we’re still in the midst of this COVID-19 pandemic. And so what I do day to day, and I’m sure you’re hearing from people on your side even as you’re not in elected office anymore, is folks are looking for help. People need help with food and basic needs, people need help with government services like unemployment insurance and the like. And so my job is just to listen, and to connect people to resources so that they can get the help that they need.

Jeff Waldstreicher: And one of the things we’re seeing right now is right after this hit, you had people who were kind of living on the economic edge who really needed resources quickly because they were worried about losing a roof over their head or food off the table. But this has impacted a lot of people, I’ve got employees, white collar employees who live in my district and now we’re six weeks into this, and they’re starting to hit their economic edge. They had a little bit of a cushion and that cushion is running out. And so this isn’t something that only effects vulnerable people, though certainly it effects in a disproportionate way, it’s starting to effect everyone in very dramatic ways.

Bobby Zirkin: But yeah, your office must be inundated with people trying to get assistance at this point. Is that-

Jeff Waldstreicher: Yeah, no question. We’re happy to help. It’s an important part of our job.

Bobby Zirkin: You want me to give your cellphone out to everybody so-

Jeff Waldstreicher: You can give my cellphone

Bobby Zirkin: No, I know you’re busy.

Bobby Zirkin: Right. I can’t figure out how to do that. It is … yeah, it’s effecting everybody. I think the governor’s doing a great job. I mean, that’s just my personal opinion.

Jeff Waldstreicher: Sure. I agree.

Bobby Zirkin: He is a voice of reason in the country, obviously here in Maryland, but of voice of calmness and reason in the country where I feel like it’s necessary to have, he and-

Jeff Waldstreicher: Right.

Bobby Zirkin: He and Governor Cuomo both I think have done a really nice job of keeping things calm where there has been a lot of craziness coming out of DC. That’s just my personal opinion, but-

Jeff Waldstreicher: Yeah. Yep, you’re exactly right. I agree 100%.

Bobby Zirkin: So how is your family, before we wrap up, just a little thing, we’ve gotten into a lot of heavy issues here, but how’s-

Jeff Waldstreicher: Yeah.

Bobby Zirkin: Your family holding up with things, and what comes kind of … what’s next and …

Jeff Waldstreicher: Yeah.

Bobby Zirkin: As you move towards January.

Jeff Waldstreicher: Yeah, they’re hanging in there. I’ve got twins that are 10, boy, girl twins, my daughter Kate, my son Eli … oh, are you pulling up the photo?

Bobby Zirkin: Let’s put a photo up.

Jeff Waldstreicher: All right.

Bobby Zirkin: I was able to pull it off the internet and onto this, and on the Facebook Live.

Jeff Waldstreicher: Thank you for doing that.

Bobby Zirkin: That’s a beautiful picture.

Jeff Waldstreicher: Yeah. So you see my son Eli in the blue shirt, my daughter Kate with the red hair, my son Harry who my wife is holding there. And so they’re all in elementary school, fourth grade, fourth grade, and first grade. So it’s a lot of Zooms throughout the day, it requires a lot of parental assistance. And so my wife works, but she’s been pretty flexible about things, I try to be flexible about things. So I help them, I help constituents, and then hopefully get them down at a reasonable hour, find an hour or two for The Last Dance, which I know you and I have talked about, catching up on other stuff and just turning my brain off for an hour right before sleep each night.

Bobby Zirkin: Are you up to date on The Last Dance?

Jeff Waldstreicher: I’m up to date on the last dance. I was so fascinated, I forgot how amazing Dennis Rodman was as a defender, because people think of him as a rebounder, and of course he was just preternatural when it came to rebounding.

Bobby Zirkin: Yeah.

Jeff Waldstreicher: But his defense, when you saw the video you were like, “Oh wow, I remember that.”

Bobby Zirkin: Yeah.

Jeff Waldstreicher: On both teams. On the Pistons and-

Bobby Zirkin: And crazy. Crazy as a loon, I have a picture-

Jeff Waldstreicher: Yeah crazy, but see, everyone remembers the crazy. But it’s easy to forget how amazing he was as a basketball player.

Bobby Zirkin: Yeah. And yeah, I think that that … hopefully that video has put to rest any thought that any of these young kids have that somehow the Warriors or Lebron’s teams or anything would ever hold a candle to the Jordan years.

Jeff Waldstreicher: Not for one second.

Bobby Zirkin: Not even close. So well Jeff-

Jeff Waldstreicher: How’s your family holding up?

Bobby Zirkin: They’re good, they’re good.

Jeff Waldstreicher: Yeah?

Bobby Zirkin: I’m a lawyer, and teacher, and figuring out technology, and doing new things, and trying to get some exercise, and kind of like everybody else-

Jeff Waldstreicher: Yep.

Bobby Zirkin: Hoping and praying that the world gets back. My brother’s an emergency room doctor, and so it is … very hard. I mean, he’s-

Jeff Waldstreicher: I’m sure.

Bobby Zirkin: He is on the front line every single day-

Jeff Waldstreicher: Yeah.

Bobby Zirkin: And it’s scary, so … but that’s-

Jeff Waldstreicher: Well God bless him and God bless his family, I’m sure it’s difficult.

Bobby Zirkin: Thank you, thanks for asking. Well listen, it was great having you on this, thank you for being my-

Jeff Waldstreicher: Of course.

Bobby Zirkin: Very first interview. It was great really hearing about what happened in the legislative session right before kind of the world stopped. And it was interesting for me, I hope if anybody was watching I hope it was interesting for them as well. So let me just do a quick thing, I was doing it when I lost you for a couple minutes, but next week … you’re a Redskins fan aren’t you?

Jeff Waldstreicher: I am a Redskins fan. A long suffering Redskins fan, it’s difficult.

Bobby Zirkin: That just took you down a couple of notches from this wonderful interview, but we have … I am an avid Ravens fan and we have next week coming on the show Bradley Bozeman, who I was talking about before, left guard for his Ravens and his amazing wife, Nikki, to talk about their anti-bullying efforts. And I know you were instrumental in helping to get Grace’s Law across the finish line. Maryland, for those who don’t know, has the foremost law in terms of cyber bullying in the country. And Bradley and his wife Nikki have been going around all across the state, and now all across the country, spreading the message about anti-bullying, and they’re going to be here to talk about their foundation, and all of the amazing things they’ve been doing. And so it’s going to be very cool. It’s not Jeff Waldstreicher, but it is a close second. But-

Jeff Waldstreicher: NFLers. This is going to be a great show, Bobby. Bobby’s Working Live is a wonderful idea, a lot of great content during a time when people are looking for something to distract them from time to time. And so I think this is wonderful, thank you for inviting me.

Bobby Zirkin: Well thanks for coming, and for those who viewed and who were there, I see Delegate McComas said to say hello. And I just want to say, Jeff, thank you for being our first, and we’ll definitely have you back as session draws near, maybe during session, to do this again.

Jeff Waldstreicher: Thank you, Bobby.

Bobby Zirkin: Thanks so much. Best to you.