Five days after Maryland gubernatorial candidates received a Nov. 1 deadline to post a Black agenda on their websites, author Wes Moore has done just that.
The former CEO for the Robin Hood Foundation, an anti-poverty organization, released his plan Tuesday for Maryland’s Black families, which includes encouraging companies to hire HBCU graduates, accelerating the plan to increase the minimum hourly wage to $15 (scheduled to go into effect Jan. 1, 2025) and requiring corporations and large companies to have at least one board member from an underrepresented community.
“This bold action plan to unlock economic opportunity for Black families in Maryland seeks to both meet the urgent needs that families across the state are facing and address longstanding fragilities and disparities,” Moore, a Democrat, said in a statement. “I am proud of this road map as a clear and actionable demonstration of how this campaign will bring coalitions to the table and create work, wages and wealth for every family in Maryland.”
Moore’s plan, which can be viewed at www.wesmoore.com/issues/unlocking-opportunity-for-black-families-maryland, is outlined through various topics based on three priorities — work, wages and wealth.
One proposal would be offering a state trust for low-income children born into poverty through adulthood and achieves educational and other requirements. The money could be allocated for higher education, purchasing a home or starting a business.
Under the work theme, Moore proposes for the state to evaluate how climate affects transportation decisions that often harm low-income and Black and Latino communities.
He also aims to remove barriers to state financial aid for those with criminal records and boost funding and location of the state’s Apprenticeship for Formerly Incarcerated Individuals pilot program, which he says would help improve wages.
Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy said in a statement that Moore’s vision to help returning citizens return to the workforce also helps the state’s economy.
“This is the kind of bold thinking and systems-level approach that is needed to create safer communities and provide hope for the future,” she said.
During a reception Thursday in Anne Arundel County, Del. Darryl Barnes (D-District 25) of Upper Marlboro, chair of the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland, requested all gubernatorial candidates to release a “Black agenda” for Marylanders slightly more than eight months before the June 28 primary election.
Democrat and state Comptroller Peter Franchot issued his “A Level Playing Field” plan, which his campaign distributed at the reception.
The other seven Democrats are former Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III, former nonprofit executive Jon Baron, former Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler, former Obama administration official Ashwani Jain, former U.S. Education Secretary John King Jr., former Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez and Baltimore businessman Mike Rosenbaum.
The three Republican candidates are Maryland Commerce Secretary Kelly Schulz, Del. Daniel L. Cox, who represents parts of Carroll and Frederick counties, and Robin Ficker.
David Lashar, an information technology executive from Annapolis, represents the Libertarian Party.