Thursday October 20th, 645 people joined together at Ark and Dove Presbyterian Church in Odenton, MD and online for a substantive conversation with candidate for Governor, Wes Moore, and Comptroller, Brooke Lierman.
AIM (Action in Montgomery), ACT (Anne Arundel Connecting Together) and PATH (People Acting Together in Howard) organized the event. All the three organizations are multi-racial, inter-faith, and non-partisan community-based organizations representing over 70 faith congregations, schools, and non-profits across the state of MD. All candidates for the office of Governor & Comptroller were invited.
After hearing stories from leaders with all three organizations, both candidates voiced their support to work on the top priorities named by ACT, AIM, and PATH.
Candidate for Governor Wes Moore confirmed that if elected he would:
- Expand universal pre-kindergarten for all 3- and 4-year-olds in MD.
- Create a baby bonds program. This is a strategy for investing in youth born into poverty by providing an account for each to use when they reach adulthood for school, starting a business, buying a home or other priorities for economic advancement.
- Creating a Healthy Home program to ensure that at least 40% of the funds that the state will direct towards energy efficiency and clean energy are directed to low-income communities and available to multifamily housing.
Candidate for Comptroller Brooke Lierman confirmed that if elected she would:
- Update the state’s 529 college savings program to increase enrollment of low-income families and make it more accessible to families’ whose first language is not English.
- Use the Comptroller’s role on the Board of Public Works to create additional affordable housing.
- Ensure that the Climate Solutions Now Act, which requires Maryland to dramatically reduce greenhouse emissions and address climate change, would be implemented equitably so that lower income Marylanders gain the benefits of these new changes.
The loudest message of the night was the promise of a good working relationship between AIM, ACT, and PATH and both candidates if elected. Moore affirmed his eagerness to work with the three community-based organizations if he is elected saying, “It’s not that I want to work with you I need to work with you. I will need you as I prepare for the legislative session, work with local jurisdictions. If we stand united, we can’t lose. I’m going to need you every step of the way.” Both candidates committed to meet personally with leaders from AIM, ACT, and PATH every 6 months, if not more frequently.