Maryland may be one of the wealthiest states in the union, but for far too long that success has not been widely shared enough. 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 and brown entrepreneurs. COVID-19 and the related economic challenges have had a disparate negative impact on low-income communities and communities of color, disproportionately pushed women – especially women of color – out of the workforce or into economic crisis, and subjected countless Marylanders to housing and food insecurity.
As we continue to recover from the pandemic, the gross inequity in our economy has only become clearer. Thousands of Marylanders were left waiting for their unemployment benefits because of a system that was neglected and poorly managed by Governor Hogan’s administration. As Governor, John will rebuild Maryland’s unemployment system so that it provides the support it is meant to.
Recently, as small businesses continue to try and survive the pandemic, access to capital and loans has not been made equitably available. For example, Montgomery County small businesses received more than double the assistance through state-sponsored loan and grant programs received by Prince George’s County businesses, despite having around the same number of qualified businesses. As Governor, John will work to break down the structures that create barriers to equity in our system.
Maryland has one of the worst wealth gaps in the country, with the highest earners making more than 11 times those of the lowest earners. Contributing to this problem is Maryland’s regressive tax system that has the highest earners (those making over 1 million) actually paying less as a percentage of their income in taxes than the lowest earners. John understands the dignity in all work and as Governor would reverse these regressive tax policies.
As Governor, John will:
- Speed up Maryland’s path to a minimum wage that is a living wage and indexed to inflation.
- 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.
- Invest in the care economy – particularly women-owned businesses – that have been forgotten in our economic recovery efforts.
- Fight for Paid Family Leave.
- Support small businesses – particularly businesses owned by women and people of color – as Maryland’s engine for economic recovery and growth.
- Create thousands of good-paying jobs by investing in Maryland’s long-term sustainable infrastructure, including public transit.
- Establish a Maryland state bank to improve access to capital for entrepreneurs of color and women entrepreneurs as well as developers of mixed-income and affordable housing.