Economic Dignity & Development

As an educator, John knows firsthand how young people are affected by the different systems that are part of their lives, including the need for economic stability at home. Maryland needs an economy that recognizes the dignity of work from all its people and breaks down the structural barriers that have for far too long held back so many Black entrepreneurs. 

Maryland has one of the worst wealth gaps in the country, with the highest earners making more than 17 times more than the lowest earners. As Governor, John will work to break down the structures that create barriers to equity in our system.

John King will: 

  • Speed up Maryland’s path to a minimum wage that is a living wage and indexed to inflation. Black median household income is only 71 cents for every $1 of white household income, and the poverty gap between Black and white Marylanders is 7%.
  • Build the Red Line to connect underserved Black communities in Baltimore to jobs. Less than 2% of jobs in Baltimore were located in the Black neighborhoods along the proposed Red Line route, making it extremely difficult for those residents to commute to work without it.
  • In addition to the Red Line, invest in public transportation projects throughout the state that will expand economic opportunity for Black Marylanders including building the Southern Maryland Light Rail Project, and increasing the frequency of MARC trains.
  • Ensure every Marylander has the right to collectively bargain in their workplace.
  • Strengthen Maryland’s anti-retaliation laws for workers who rightfully speak up about everything from workplace conditions to overtime pay.
  • Pass Paid Family Leave. 80% of Black mothers in Maryland are key family breadwinners making Paid Family Leave vital for Black families.
  • Support small businesses – particularly Black owned businesses – as Maryland’s engine for economic recovery and growth.
  • Establish a Maryland state bank to improve access to capital for Black entrepreneurs. Black-owned businesses, in particular, need access to capital in the wake of coronavirus and its impact on the economy. Montgomery County and Prince George’s County have around the same number of qualified businesses yet Prince George’s received less than half of the amount in grants as Montgomery County.
  • Reform Maryland’s approach to procurement and small business services to expand opportunity for Black-owned businesses. 
  • Work to eliminate food deserts. Food deserts are disproportionately common in communities of color, and in Baltimore alone 1 in 4 residents lived in a food desert in 2015.