BREAKING: Wes Moore unveils action steps to make Maryland more inclusive for Black families

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: [email protected] 
June 14, 2022

Wes Moore unveils action steps to make Maryland more inclusive for Black families

Moore describes addressing long standing racial disparities as ‘a core part and a central part of why I’m running’

Moore highlights specific policy measures his administration will take to close the racial wealth gap and create opportunities

BALTIMORE (June 14, 2022) – Leading candidate for Maryland governor Wes Moore today announced a pledge to promote inclusivity in government for Maryland’s Black families and close the racial wealth gap. 

In a video posted on his website, Moore described addressing long standing racial disparities as “a core part and a central part of why I’m running.”

Moore’s pledge builds on the comprehensive policy agenda that includes a bold plan to unlock economic opportunity for Maryland’s Black families, a comprehensive economic agenda, a public safety and criminal justice plan to create a safer Maryland, a plan to build a world-class public education system, and more — all of which carry the lens of racial equity and justice. 

The pledge the Moore campaign announced today includes: 

  • Lifting up small and minority-owned businesses by ensuring every state agency meets the 29% procurement standard through the Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) program.
  • Appointing diverse cabinet officials, agency heads, and members of state boards and commissions to ensure Maryland’s leaders are reflective of the diversity of our state.
  • Breaking down the racial wealth gap by accelerating the $15 minimum wage increase to 2023, promoting wealth-building through homeownership, making child care more affordable, and improving access to capital to drive entrepreneurship and business ownership.
  • Combating the ongoing effects of redlining and appraisal discrimination by working with Maryland’s realtors to increase anti-discrimination training and better educate homeowners, improving data collection, and taking strong and immediate action when discrimination in appraisals takes place.
  • Creating new pathways to the workforce for Black Marylanders by driving students into underrepresented fields like STEM, implementing a Service Year Option for every high school graduate and investing in apprenticeship programs.
  • Connecting people from where they live to where they work by building the Red and Purple lines, and leveraging federal funds to dramatically improve public transit options across Maryland. 
  • Improving outcomes for Black students by building a more diverse teacher workforce, expanding community schools, investing in afterschool and summer programs, and creating partnerships with and increasing funding for HBCUs.
  • Addressing the disproportionate impact of the criminalization of cannabis on Black Marylanders by equitably implementing legalization if voters adopt the ballot initiative in November, which includes automatic expungement for past convictions and a community reinvestment fund. 

These concrete actions address specific disparities challenging Black families in Maryland. Minority owned businesses have seen a 30% decrease in the awards of procurement contracts from state agencies in recent years. Furthermore, only a small number of state agencies are meeting the 29% procurement standard for MBEs, with the statewide average being roughly 14%. 

Moore will also work to advance economic inclusion and ease the economic pressures facing communities of color by ensuring that the low-income communities and communities of color, who are less likely to own vehicles, have access to reliable transit by building the Red and Purple lines. As governor, Moore will leverage federal funds to dramatically improve public transit options across Maryland. 

The longstanding pattern of disinvestment in communities of color has resulted in a racial wealth gap where the average White family in Maryland has eight times the wealth of the average Black family. The average Black worker also makes 71 cents to the White worker’s dollar. Moore commits to addressing this widening gap by accelerating the $15 minimum wage increase to 2023, promoting wealth-building through homeownership, making child care more affordable, combating redlining and appraisal discrimination, as well as improving access to capital to drive entrepreneurship and business ownership. 

While Maryland has made meaningful strides in improving its education system, the yearning disparities in education are most severe for communities of color. As governor, Moore has pledged to improve outcomes for Black students by building a more diverse teacher workforce, expanding community schools, investing in afterschool and summer programs, creating partnerships with and increasing funding for HBCUs. A Moore-Miller administration will also create new pathways to the workforce for Black Marylanders by driving students into underrepresented fields like STEM, implementing a Service Year Option for every high school graduate and investing in apprenticeship programs.

In his bid to become the next Governor of Maryland, Wes Moore and Aruna Miller have earned the support of U.S. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (MD-5), former Governor and former Prince George’s County Executive Parris Glendening; former Democratic nominee for Governor Ben Jealous; Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks; Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman; Former Baltimore County Executive Don Mohler; Former Baltimore County Executive Jim Smith; Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy; Sen. Guy Guzzone (District 13); Sen. Antonio Hayes (District 40); Sen. Cheryl Kagan (District 17); Sen. Delores Kelley (District 10); Sen. Susan Lee (District 16); Sen. Obie Patterson (District 26); Former Sen. Nathaniel McFadden (District 45); Del. Marlon Amprey (District 40); Del. Vanessa Atterbeary (District 13); Del. Ben Barnes (District 21); Del. Kumar Barve (District 17); Del. Lisa Belcastro (District 11); Del. Regina Boyce (District 43); Del. Chanel Branch (District 45); Del. Ben Brooks (District 10); Del. Frank Conaway, Jr. (District 40); Del. Debra Davis (District 28); Del. Jessica Feldmark (District 13); Del. Terri Hill (District 12); Speaker Pro Tem Del. Sheree Sample-Hughes (District 37A); Speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates Adrienne Jones (District 10); Del. Rachel Jones (District 27B); Del. Anne Kaiser (District 14); Del. Cheryl Landis (District 23B); Majority Leader Del. Eric Luedtke (District 14); Del. Maggie McIntosh (District 43); Del. Edith Patterson (District 28); Del. Roxane Prettyman (District 44A); Del. Mike Rogers (District 32); Del. Sandy Rosenberg (District 41); Del. Emily Shetty (District 18);  Del. Geraldine Valentino-Smith (District 23A); Del. and Baltimore City Delegation Chair Stephanie Smith (District 45); Del. Melissa Wells (District 40); Del. Nicole Williams (District 22); Former Del. Gene Counihan (District 15); Baltimore County Councilmember Cathy Bevins (District 6); University Park Councilmember and Mayor-Elect Joel Biermann; Bowie Mayor Pro Tem & Councilmember Adrian Boafo; Baltimore City Councilmember John Bullock (District 9); Hagerstown City Councilmember Tiara Burnett; Morningside Mayor Bennard Cann; Charles County Commissioner Thomasina Coates (District 2); Baltimore City Councilmember Zeke Cohen (District 1); Baltimore City Councilmember Mark Conway (District 4); Baltimore City Councilmember Eric Costello (District 11); Bowie City Councilmember Michael Esteve (District 11); Gaithersburg Councilmember Lisa Henderson; Montgomery County Councilmember Will Jawando (At Large); Baltimore County Council Chair and Councilmember Julian Jones (District 4); Hagerstown Mayor Emily Keller; Hagerstown City Councilmember Tekesha Martinez; Prince George’s County Councilmember Johnathan Medlock (District 6); Former Gaithersburg Councilmember Yvette Monroe; Pocomoke City Councilmember Todd Nock (District 4); Baltimore City Councilmember Phylicia Porter (District 10); Baltimore County Councilmember Tom Quirk (District 1); Baltimore City Councilmember Odette Ramos (District 14); Somerset Mayor Jeffrey Slavin; Riverdale Park Councilmember Richard Smith (Ward 1); Laurel Councilmember Brencis Smith (Ward 2); Baltimore City Councilmember Robert Stokes (District 12); Baltimore City Councilmember James Torrence (District 7); Forest Heights Mayor Calvin Washington; former Maryland Democratic Party chairs Michael Cryor and Susie Turnbull; Former Chair of the Montgomery County Planning Board Royce Hanson; Joe Vogel, candidate for delegate in District 17; The Baltimore Fire Officers Union Local 964; Collective PAC, one of the nation’s largest organizations working to build Black representation in government; Impact, a leading national organization supporting the Indian American and South Asian community; Ironworkers Local #5, a progressive union representing over 1,000 ironworkers; The Maryland State Education Association; The Columbia Democratic Club; and VoteVetsPAC, one of the top veterans advocacy organizations in the country.

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