Key Issues for our Governor's Race
We'll be adding more issue statements each week so please check back often.
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Campaign Finance Reform and Public Financing for All Elections
Maryland has some of the laxest rules in the nation for campaign donations, making it extremely difficult for third parties to challenge the corporate-dominated Democrats and Republicans in elections. Money truly dominates our system - from the White House all the way down to local governments. In order to get money out of politics, we will provide public financing for all elections across the state. By leveling the playing field we can ensure elections will be about the parties and candidates who best serve the interests of working people.
A Maryland Public Bank to Invest in Our Future
Private sector banks and financial institutions have not served the public interest. Instead, we are subjected to financial crises, housing foreclosures, and worsening racial inequality through racist lending practices. A publicly-financed state bank would protect our communities from predatory finance while providing a sustainable lending system aimed at building community wealth rather than exploiting it through hidden fees and high interest rates. Revenue collected by the public bank would be reinvested in Maryland and used to fund public services. Main Street, not Wall Street!
Reverse Public Housing Privatization
The Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program, which started under Obama and continues under Trump, has handed public housing over to developers with no strings attached. Decades of chronic under-funding by Congress has decimated our public housing stock. Working and middle-class people need an alternative to skyrocketing rents and the unaffordable real estate market. We will take back these properties and provide affordable housing for our cities and suburbs. Housing is a human right!
Maryland is Full of Millionaires - Raise Their Income Taxes!
Maryland has the most millionaires per capita of any state - 1 in 12 households. But when it comes to taxes, the rich hardly pay their fair share. The bottom 80% of households pay a larger share of their yearly income in taxes than the top 5%. We can reverse the widening income inequality in our state by raising income taxes on the wealthiest residents and using the revenue to fund public services, rebuild our crumbling infrastructure, and invest in communities.
Free Public College and Student Debt Forgiveness
Total outstanding student loan debt in our state stands at over $30 billion. College students are graduating in massive debt and enter the job market with deep economic insecurity. Studies show that student debt hurts our economy by leaving students unable to invest in homes, start small businesses, or pay for goods and services. We need to provide tuition-free public higher education and forgive all outstanding student debts. Once liberated from debt, tens of thousands of people will have more disposable income available to invest in their future and spend in our economy.
Our Commitment to Living with Dignity Includes Dying with Dignity
Marylander's deserve the right to live and die with dignity. Respect for individual dignity must conclude with the right to die with dignity in a humane and painless manner at the time of an individual's choosing. We support the right of Marylander's suffering from painful fatal conditions to voluntarily end their own lives with the support of a physician. Several states and DC have "death with dignity" laws in effect and can serve as a model for effective legislation for Maryland. Our commitment to helping Marylander's live with dignity must conclude with the right to die with dignity when necessary.
Gun Control Statement: No Weapons of Mass Destruction
The basic right of an individual to safely possess a firearm is important, but licensing must be emphasized to prove that ownership is being treated seriously. The right to own a gun should be forfeited by individuals with a violent felony conviction (particularly domestic violence) or a serious, untreated mental health issue that presents a danger to self or others. Guns must not be bought or traded in secret or without explicit traceability. Initial and continuing safety courses must be mandatory. We must acknowledge that the right to possess a weapon for self-defense does not include so-called "assault-style" rifles, large-capacity magazines, and weapons that have been modified for excessive firing speed or power. Marylander's must be allowed to protect themselves and their families, but no individual or organization should own weapons of mass destruction.
Small Business & Reparations approach to Legalized Cannabis
Many millionaires seem to want to cash in on the gold rush of legal taxed and regulated cannabis. Yet we've meet former sellers who were caught and served their time that ask us how they can now sell it legally. It's essential that as we pursue legalization that we do not ignore the damage done by illegal cannabis, and the war on black, brown and poor people that have come from it. The law must serve those that were selling it illegally that now want to sell it legally. We must expunge the records of those that are charged previously. And we must work to release those currently in the criminal justice system for marijuana related charges. That is remediation, and while it is necessary it is not enough. We need reparations using proceeds from legally taxed cannabis to invest in those that were criminalized and most directly targeted by the war on drugs.
True Environmental Leadership & Fighting Big Polluters Statewide
We believe the extractive fossil fuel economy is the top cause of environmental destruction and the climate crisis. That is why we advocate an urgent shift to a 100% clean and renewable energy infrastructure for Maryland. We will fight to maintain the ban on fracking in Maryland and work to ban offshore gas and oil drilling, incinerators, coal fire plants and deforestation. While we support rewarding individual conservation efforts by increasing tax credits for home solar projects and electric vehicles, we believe corporate pollution is a much larger problem. This is why we will crack down harshly on corporate polluters, including revoking the corporate charters of companies with a history of unaddressed environmental destruction.