Current Position: Author, small business owner
Candidate: 2022 Governor
Former Position: CEO, Robin Hood Foundation from 2015 – 2021
Source: Campaign page
Wes Moore, a combat veteran, bestselling author, small business owner, Rhodes Scholar and former CEO of one of the nation’s largest anti-poverty organizations, has devoted his life’s work to a basic principle: no matter your start in life, you deserve an equal opportunity to succeed – a job you can raise a family on, a future you can look forward to.
Wes was born in Takoma Park, Maryland, to Joy and Westley Moore. When Wes was just three years old, his father died of a rare, but treatable virus. His father’s untimely death created instability in young Wes’ life, causing his mom to move the family to the Bronx, where Wes’ grandparents lived.
The family returned to Maryland when Wes was 14, when Wes’ mom found a job in Baltimore – the first job that paid her benefits.
Inspired by his mentors at military school, Wes went on to serve as a captain and paratrooper with the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne, including leading soldiers in combat in Afghanistan. He also served as a White House Fellow, advising on issues of national security and international relations.
Upon returning home, Wes wrote “The Other Wes Moore,” a story about the fragile nature of opportunity in America, which became a perennial New York Times bestseller. It’s commonly assigned reading in Maryland schools. Wes went on to write other best-selling books that reflect on issues of race, equity and opportunity, including his latest book “Five Days,” which tells the story of Baltimore in the days that followed the death of Freddie Gray in 2015.
While the Robin Hood foundation is headquartered in New York City, Wes and his family never moved from their home in Baltimore.
Earlier in his career, Wes built and launched a Baltimore-based business called BridgeEdU, which reinvents freshman year of college for underserved students to increase their likelihood of long-term success. BridgeEdu was acquired by the Brooklyn-based student financial success platform, Edquity, in 2018. He has also worked in finance with Deutsche Bank in London and with Citigroup in New York.
Of the many titles Wes has held over the years, there are two that he’s most proud of: husband and father. Wes and his wife Dawn live with their two children in Baltimore City.
Source: Follow the Money
Source: Campaign page
Wes Moore is running for Governor because he believes no matter where you start in life, you deserve an equal opportunity to succeed. He has the experience, the vision, and the path to expand work, wages, and wealth for every family in Maryland.
Democracy & Governance
Economy & Jobs
Building a Growing and Thriving Economy that Lifts up Every Maryland Family
Wes believes that no matter where you start in life, you deserve an equal opportunity to succeed – a job you can raise a family on, wages that reflect the dignity of work, and the chance to create wealth for you and your family. Right now in Maryland, as we continue to grapple with the COVID crisis, that’s simply not the case. Economic opportunity is readily available to some and dangerously absent to others. No one knows this better than Wes, who understands firsthand the struggles many Maryland families face and has made creating economic opportunity the central mission driving his candidacy for Governor.
Wes has led in sectors across the economy – in the private sector in the financial industry and as a small business owner, in the nonprofit industry as CEO of one of the largest nonprofits in the U.S., and in the public sector as an Army combat veteran and White House Fellow. Wes understands how the economy works and knows how to increase economic opportunities through creating economic growth.
Wes’ drive to create inclusive economic growth is both personal and professional. He grew up in communities that were chronically neglected and watched his single mother struggle to pay the family’s bills each month. And as the CEO of one of the nation’s largest non-profit organizations exclusively focused on ending poverty and creating economic advancement, Wes spearheaded the creation of Mobility LABs, a $25 million initiative driving economic mobility in urban, rural, and suburban parts of the country, including millions of dollars here in Maryland. Additionally, he fought for the expansion of the Child Tax Credit by the Biden Administration.
Based on his own family’s story, Wes knows there’s no single switch to simply create economic opportunity – it takes leading a focused effort that uses every economic lever in our state, and his vast leadership experience positions him to take Maryland to the next level.
In this moment, Maryland has a unique opportunity to be bold about the systemic and generational challenges that have held families back for decades.
This is a core part of why Wes Moore is running for Governor.
From leading soldiers in combat in Afghanistan, to working in the financial sector, to building and running a small business in Baltimore that helped first-generation students succeed in college, to serving as Chief Executive Officer of one of the largest anti-poverty nonprofits in the United States – Wes has demonstrated a core understanding of the economic barriers facing Black families in Maryland and the tools needed to address them.
In Maryland, the average White family has eight times the wealth of the average Black family. The average Black worker makes 71 cents to the White worker’s dollar.
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 move Maryland toward the kind of generational change that addresses the generational challenges that got us to a state of fragility and disparity.
Through this plan, we sought to build on the critical work that Speaker Adrienne Jones detailed in her Racial & Economic Justice Agenda, which Wes worked closely to help develop.
We also leveraged the frameworks and policy agendas of bedrock organizations like the Maryland state conference of the NAACP, The President’s Roundtable, and the Maryland Legislative Black Caucus.
Wes believes strongly that effective leadership involves listening and good governance involves uplifting voices closest to the problem as we work toward solutions. To that end, this plan will evolve and update based on additional learnings gained on the road to Annapolis.
Wes knows deeply that increasing opportunity across Maryland is not merely an exercise in economic policy. Increased opportunity will depend on our ability to confront existential threats like climate change, which disproportionately affects Black and Brown families in Maryland. It is reflected and laid bare by how the COVID-19 pandemic affected communities that were struggling before COVID. It is deeply tied to our transportation policies, and how we approach moving people from where they live to where they work. It is rooted in our ability to provide people with the basic right to quality healthcare, amid a reality where getting sick is the number one cause of bankruptcy in Maryland. It is seen in the damaging impacts of historic crime policies and the need to continue to holistically reimagine prison and criminal justice policies. It is driven by our commitment to transform Maryland’s Pre-K to 12 educational system and ensure every child has access to a quality education regardless of zip code.
We know that issues affecting Black families are issues of childcare, Pre-K, healthcare, education, workforce development, college and career prep, public safety, transportation, climate, social justice, nutrition, and more. And we cannot unlock economic opportunities for Black families unless we address the systemic barriers that have locked so many out for so long.
This bold plan focuses on tools to give Black families in Maryland increased access to work that imparts dignity and career options, wages that you can raise a family on, and wealth that imparts stability for families and allows people to pass on something other than debt to their children.
Increasing access to work, wages, and wealth are north stars for Wes Moore’s campaign for Maryland Governor, and they guide this bold agenda for increased economic opportunity for Black families in Maryland.
Unions are good for our economy and have an equalizing power in the labor market. As the birthplace of America’s organized labor movement, Maryland recognizes the value of our workers. From Western Maryland’s railyards to the shipyards and steel mills in Baltimore, our state’s industrial foundation was set by union hands. The Moore-Miller team understands economic opportunity is readily available to some, and dangerously absent to others. Today, workers face a widening income gap and decreasing worker wellbeing. It is more vital now than ever before that we support and protect Maryland’s working families and their unions.
Wes comes from a strong union family and believes that strong unions are essential to building a thriving and equitable economy in Maryland. When Wes’ father died at a young age and left his mother a widow, it was his father’s union that paid for his funeral and supported his sister when she got sick. These experiences helped to shape Wes’ strong commitment to organized labor and under his leadership as CEO of one of the nation’s largest anti-poverty nonprofits, their policy work centered around advocating for paid leave expansion, increased wages for front-line workers in the care sector, reforming the unemployment insurance systems, and ending wage theft and forced arbitration clauses for workers. They provided millions to a local union to improve training for home health workers, invested over $10 million annually in job training, and provided emergency relief funding for child care and health care workers during the pandemic.
Wes’ running mate, former Delegate Aruna Miller, has also been a champion for labor throughout her career. As a Delegate in the General Assembly, Aruna supported legislation to provide workers flexible, paid leave for workers experiencing illnesses or with family experiencing illness, prohibiting subminimum wages for disabled workers, expanding collective bargaining, preventing employers from retaliating over wage complaints, increasing the minimum wage, and many other important labor issues.
The North Star of the Moore-Miller administration will be to ensure that all working people have access to good jobs and the power to determine their wages and working conditions. Wes and Aruna are committed to protecting and expanding the right of workers to join unions and bargain collectively; this way expanding work, wages, and wealth for every family in Maryland, with a commitment to equity. Wes and Aruna will always work in true partnership with Maryland’s workers and unions to achieve these goals.
To do this, the Moore-Miller administration will:
- Raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2023, and index it to the cost of living to ensure that worker wages don’t degrade over time.
- Ensure every worker has access to critical benefits like paid sick, family and medical leave.
- Appoint a Labor Relations Liaison to engage regularly with labor representatives and facilitate the quick resolution of issues brought to our attention.
- Expand access to Maryland’s apprenticeship programs, including registered apprenticeship programs, to provide workers with high-quality training that creates pathways to good careers.
- Empower Maryland’s Department of Labor to fully execute its mission and build systems to monitor wage theft, track and penalize bad actors, and report on trends to prevent future abuse.
- Leverage our state’s purchasing power to ensure resources are devoted to sound projects that pay workers a living wage, ensure they are not taken advantage of, and hire and train apprentices so we are building our workforce.
- Strengthen State Collective Bargaining agreements and encourage Maryland’s counties and municipal governments to do the same.
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Maryland is home to nearly 1.4 million people over the age of 60, and according to our most recent State Plan on Aging, we will see considerable growth in the older adult population in the next two decades. In fact, this age group is expected to grow to 1.7 million by 2040. Additionally, the population of Marylanders over the age of 85 will more than double in the same time period. This means Maryland’s next governor must be prepared to expand public long-term services and supports across health care, housing and transportation. Our next governor will also need to be prepared to address growing concerns around elder abuse, exploitation, and fraud in order to protect aging Marylanders.
Every Marylander deserves the opportunity to age comfortably and with dignity, honoring their lives and contributions to
our state. As governor, Wes will:
- Improve state and local service delivery for Maryland’s seniors by filling vacancies and increasing staffing levels at Maryland’s Department of Aging (MDOA), educating the public about the services offered by MDOA, and strengthening the Maryland Access Point, our state’s No Wrong Door single point of entry service.
- Improve access to affordable housing and support seniors’ ability to safely age-in-place by funding additional slots and reducing wait times for the Community Options Waiver so seniors have access to home-based care, increasing access to remote patient monitoring, expanding access to funding for accessible home modifications and finding new ways to provide financial support to family caregivers.
- Lower the cost of prescription drugs by empowering the Prescription Drug Affordability Board to review costs and set limits for prescription drugs, exploring bulk purchasing pools, and leveraging the state’s purchasing power to drive down costs.
- Improve existing long-term care facilities by leveraging federal dollars to ensure better oversight and compliance, addressing staffing shortages and fighting for better wages for nursing home staff.
- Combat elder abuse, exploitation, and fraud by partnering with community organizations to increase training for older Marylanders about their rights, as well as home health care workers, law enforcement officers and family members so they can more easily recognize and report these incidents.
Violent crime is on the rise across Maryland and people are dying in our streets. Making matters worse, our state has experienced a failure of executive leadership over the past eight years that has left localities to fend for themselves and our communities less safe. From 2015 to 2020, Maryland saw increases in the rates and numbers of murder and rapes. In 2020 there were 573 reported homicides in jurisdictions across Maryland and more than 80 percent of those homicides were the result of a shooting. Maryland has the 7th highest firearm homicide rate in the country and tragically we lost 59 young people to firearm violence in 2019. Our ability to keep Marylanders safe is dependent upon having a governor who will be fully engaged and ensure crime is addressed with urgency in our communities.
Wes has dedicated his career to fighting poverty and creating opportunities for the communities he serves. As an Army Captain and combat veteran, Wes was charged with serving and protecting communities around the globe. As CEO of one of the nation’s largest nonprofits fighting poverty, Wes’ organization funded national research on the long-term implications of crime, incarceration and criminal convictions, and that work led to the passage of transformative legislation and policy. Wes has also worked to rebuild trust between communities and law enforcement through collaborative work with communities and law enforcement agencies. During his time as CEO, Wes also raised and oversaw the distribution of $650 million to increase access to job training, improve worker conditions and more.
There is no greater priority or responsibility for the chief executive than ensuring the public’s safety, and rising crime is a statewide problem requiring statewide leadership. As governor, Wes will:
- Swiftly and aggressively combat gun violence by building strong partnerships across state, local and federal law enforcement agencies, banning ghost guns and investing in proven community-based violence intervention programs.
- Reform Maryland’s probation and parole system by filling every vacant position, ensuring strong supervision of high-risk individuals, and leveraging local offices to connect people to behavioral health treatment, housing and employment.
- Increase resources for state law enforcement agencies so they are able to assist local agencies in preventing, interdicting and solving crime in our communities.
- Invest in proven community-based violence intervention programs and build strong partnerships with communities and law enforcement to identify individuals at-risk of violence, connect them to essential resources and interrupt lethal cycles of violence.
- Dramatically reduce Maryland’s recidivism rate by increasing investments in re-entry programming, expanding educational and job-training programs during incarceration and ensuring people have access to behavioral health treatment.
- Rebuild and strengthen relationships between communities and law enforcement agencies by increasing accountability and transparency, funding community-policing initiatives and recruiting diverse officers that reflect the diversity of communities they serve.
Maryland has a long and proud military tradition, unmatched by any other state. Today, more than 375,000 Veterans call Maryland home, and they play a critical role in our state and economy. Maryland has more than 50,000 Veteran-owned small businesses, generating more than $20 million in sales each year and employing thousands. Unfortunately, our Veterans also experience service-related challenges. Nationwide, nearly one in five Veterans lives with a mental health disorder. In Maryland, nearly 80,000 Veterans live with a disability, 60,000 are experiencing a housing issue and 17,000 are living in poverty. We can and must do more as a state for the men and women who have worn the cloth of our country and sacrificed so much to keep us safe and protect our freedoms.
To better support Veterans, the Moore-Miller administration will:
- Lift up Veteran-owned small businesses by reforming our procurement process to make it easier for these businesses and entrepreneurs to win the state’s business, eliminating costly and burdensome regulations, and competing for the billions in federal funds available that will improve access to low or no-interest capital.
- Work with the Department of Veterans Affairs to expand and improve quality of care and expedite claims so Veterans can get access to the care they need.
- Better meet the needs of women Veterans by improving access to specialized health care, breaking down stigma around seeking treatment for Military Sexual Trauma and other care, and ensuring programs supporting the transition to civilian life address the unique needs of women.
- Ensure Maryland delivers the job training and educational resources needed for Veterans to obtain employment and compete in the private sector.
- Close health care gaps by expanding access to telehealth services.
- Support Veterans experiencing mental illness and substance use disorders by increasing funding for community-based behavioral health care, improving partnerships between state and federal agencies, and fighting back against stigma for those seeking care.
- Invest in permanent supportive housing, which connects people with housing and the wraparound services they need to maintain housing stability.
- Ensure spouses and dependents of Maryland Veterans are able to be laid to rest with their loved ones without incurring costs.
Supporting individuals with disabilities
Nearly 670,000 Marylanders live with a disability, including nearly 100,000 students and 325,000 working-aged people. People with disabilities in Maryland are working as educators, entrepreneurs, public servants, and serving in other vital roles. However, this community, from birth through adulthood, still faces tremendous disparities related to education, employment, and economic wellbeing. Marylanders with disabilities face disproportionately high rates of unemployment at 56%, and 62% of Black Marylanders with disabilities experience unemployment. Additionally, nearly one-fourth of Marylanders with disabilities are living in poverty. Maryland’s economy cannot truly thrive until every person, regardless of their abilities, is able to succeed and thrive.
Wes recognizes that our families, communities, state and economy cannot thrive until every Marylander has the ability to access better work, wages, and wealth. As governor, Wes will build an inclusive economy and:
- Partner with child care and early learning programs to improve screening protocols, identify disabilities earlier, and connect families with early intervention services.
- Ensure students with disabilities are able to succeed and learn safely by fully funding and implementing the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, urging Congress to fully fund the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and address critical staffing shortages.
- Partner with Maryland’s disability rights and advocacy organizations to improve access to community programs, secure additional waiver slots for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and more.
- Promote economic mobility by establishing set asides in state apprenticeship and training programs for people with disabilities and partnering with the business community to develop new employment programs and incentives to encourage companies to hire people with disabilities.
- Work with Maryland’s world-class institutions of higher education, community college system and other stakeholders to build and strengthen specialized job training, apprenticeship, degree, and certification programs and ensure necessary wraparound services are in place to support completion.
- Make it easier for Marylanders with disabilities to start and grow businesses by streamlining the process to obtain an MBE certification, reforming the procurement process so business owners with disabilities can compete for and win state contracts, and ensure every state agency meets their MBE targets.
- Increase investments in supportive housing, which connects people with disabilities with the housing and the wraparound services they need to live and thrive in their communities.
- Improve transportation options by expanding Maryland’s MobilityLink/Paratransit service so that more Marylanders can have access to the mobility and transportation options needed to work, shop, and enjoy all our state has to offer.
Health & Education
When Wes was just three years old, he watched his father die in front of him from a virus that was completely treatable if he had just received the basic care that he deserved. That experience shaped Wes’ life and, specifically, his view that healthcare is a basic right that every Marylander deserves, period.
Maryland is home to some of the very best hospitals, medical research institutions and health care facilities in the entire world – and that’s something we should all be proud of. But at the same time, so many Marylanders can’t access those institutions or even afford very basic care – and that shouldn’t be the case.
The COVID-19 pandemic shows us that when people struggling with mental health issues and addiction are not able to access much needed in-person services, they suffer. Wes understands the need for Marylanders to have coverage that will include behavioral health, mental health, and substance disorders, not just physical health. And he will work to ensure the systems we have in place will provide effective and affordable services to those in need.
Wes will protect funding for our community health centers that offer critical health services like cancer screenings and birth control. Wes supports the right to choose, and as Governor, he will fight to protect it.
Maryland is fortunate to have strong schools, educators, stakeholders, and parents dedicated to ensuring every student has the opportunity to succeed. We are also fortunate for the tremendous work of the Kirwan Commission and the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, which Wes advocated for and testified in support of. This historic legislation has already set Maryland on a path to future success and will enable us to break down long-standing inequities. Now is the time to continue the progress we have made to fully fund and implement the Blueprint because from cradle to career, education is one of the key pillars for Marylanders to access jobs, higher wages, and the opportunity to build wealth that can be passed on to their children.
Wes will always make education a top priority. He will work closely with local leaders, educators, parents, and community organizations to address our most pressing challenges. As governor, Wes will:
- Ensure Maryland’s Blueprint for Education is fully funded and implemented and provide dedicated funding for the Blueprint’s Accountability and Implementation Board to assess progress and provide technical support to localities.
- Support educators, paraeducators, and ESPs by strengthening collective bargaining, expanding innovative teacher mentorship programs, raising wages, and building new pipelines to the workforce.
- Make child care and early childhood education more affordable and accessible by fully funding and streamlining the Child Care Scholarship fund, ensuring every child in need has access to free pre-k, and growing the early childhood workforce.
- Set students up for success by investing in 21st Century Schools, reinstating Maryland’s Governor’s Office for Children, and closing the digital divide.
- Tackle disrupted learning and position students for success by increasing funding for afterschool and summer programs, tutoring, and more.
- Prioritize students’ social/emotional well-being by expanding community schools, increasing the number of ESPs in our schools, and ensuring schools adopt inclusive, trauma-informed policies and practices.
- Combat the school-to-prison pipeline by reinstating the Commission on the School-to-Prison Pipeline, implementing restorative practices, preventing school resource officers from engaging in disciplinary decisions, and eliminating disorderly conduct as a criminal charge in schools.
- Prepare students for good-paying jobs by expanding access to CTE programs and offerings, investing in dual enrollment and apprenticeship programs, driving students into STEM fields, and implementing a Service Year Option program for high school graduates.
Civil Rights and Social Justice
When Wes talks about equity and social justice, he is not simply reacting to the politics of the moment – he is speaking to his lived realities. Wes knows that we will never achieve our potential – as individuals or as a state – until equity is achieved.
Wes applauded the Maryland legislature last year for passing some of the nation’s most comprehensive police accountability legislation, and we must continue to build on that progress and ensure it is executed effectively.
That means continuing the march toward equity in our criminal justice system by supporting policies that promote redemption and second chances and reforming our prison systems. Wes will legalize cannabis, expunge the records of anyone convicted of simple possession, and prioritize equitable access to this emerging industry.
But, true equity and social justice extends far beyond criminal justice. It means equity in housing. It means equity in access to education and health care. It means environmental justice. It means fixing procurement policies and increasing liquidity for our MBEs to increase job growth. It means supporting our HBCUs and committing to eliminating the wealth gap. And Wes doesn’t just talk about these things as priorities, he has already led on them. Wes helped launch Ninety-To-Zero, an initiative that brought leading CEOs and Executive Directors across all pillars of the nation’s economy to provide a roadmap for companies and organizations to act as an engine for continued collaborative learning to end the racial wealth gap.
In Maryland and across the nation, women face inequities in health, caregiving responsibilities, economic opportunity, safety and more. Overall, women earn 84 cents to every dollar men make, while Black and Latina women make 68 and 46 cents to every dollar that a man makes respectively. Additionally, reproductive rights and a woman’s right to make decisions about her body are under attack now more than ever before, and child care and paid leave policies too often force women to choose between nurturing their career and nurturing their families. When it comes to public safety, women are also more likely to be victims of sex crimes and human trafficking. It is essential that Maryland continue to advance solutions to expand economic opportunities, reproductive rights, and enhance families’ economic and personal security.
Wes Moore and Aruna Miller are ready to address these challenges head-on because our state and economy work better when everyone has equitable access to opportunity. Former Delegate Aruna Miller has spent her career fighting the status quo; from being an immigrant who came to the United States as a little girl, graduating as a Civil Engineer in a male-dominated field, and to being elected as the first Indian American woman to the Maryland General Assembly. In these roles, and in raising three daughters and being a caretaker for her mother, Aruna understands firsthand the challenges women face. Wes credits his mother’s support as the most important factor in his success. After Wes’ father died, he watched his mom work three jobs just to support their family. He knows the challenges a single mom faces raising a family.
With this shared determination to implement equitable policies, the Moore-Miller administration will:
- Advance reproductive rights by enshrining the protections of Roe v. Wade into our constitution, expanding access to abortion training for health care providers and ensuring that every Maryland can afford and access reproductive care.
- Repeal the Maryland law allowing spouses who engage in sexual abuse against their partner to use their marriage as a legal defense; and pass legislation to ensure that women, particularly minors, aren’t charged as criminals when they are forced into prostitution by human traffickers.
- Ensure equal pay for women by exploring policies requiring companies to disclose demographics on gender, race and salary bands; and removing salary history from the interview process.
- Establish a Women in STEM focus across all levels of education and invest in job training and credentialing programs to drive women into high-demand, high-paying STEM jobs.
- Get women back to work by ensuring every family has access to quality, affordable child care by broadening the expansion of the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit, developing a system to cap out-of-pocket expenses for families in need and more.
- Secure paid sick, family, and medical leave for every Marylander so that no family has to choose between caring for a new child or loved one or their paycheck.
- Allow small, woman-owned businesses to compete by modernizing Maryland’s procurement process, requiring small business set-asides, and making it easier for local governments to piggyback on state contracts with small and woman-owned businesses.
In Maryland and across the nation, LGBTQ+ individuals face adversity at higher levels than many other communities. This adversity is felt in all intersections of life including education, health care, housing, and criminal justice to name a few. To provide a brief snapshot, more than half of LGBTQ+ youth in Maryland report they have been harassed or assaulted in schools. Further, LGBTQ+ youth are more likely to experience depression and to attempt suicide. Members of this community are also more likely to experience housing instability, food insecurity, and are more likely to be represented in the foster care system. Maryland’s LGBTQ+ seniors also face housing discrimination, harassment, and victimization at higher levels. LGBTQ+ Marylanders deserve a governor who will fight for their rights and create a state where every person can thrive.
With the commitment to better the wellbeing of Maryland’s LGBTQ+ population, the Moore-Miller administration will:
- Support students who identify as LGBTQ+ by fully implementing the newly passed Inclusive Schools Act, ensuring Maryland schools adopt LGBTQ+ affirming policies, create partnerships with organizations working with LGBTQ+ youth to provide additional resources needed to support our students, and broaden access to trauma-informed mental health care in schools.
- Support the passage of the Trans Health Equity Act to ensure transgender Marylanders can receive the gender-affirming health care they need.
- Abolish Maryland’s outdated laws that criminalize HIV, which disproportionately affect and stigmatize the LGBTQ+ community.
- Work with the LGBTQ+ Chamber of Commerce and community to build and publish a list of LGBTQ+ businesses so state agencies can more easily identify and contract with them.
- Ensure the LGBTQ+ community has a seat at the table and voice in the discussion, and work to implement the recommendations of Maryland’s newly created LGBTQ+ Commission.
- Stand as a brick wall against any anti-LGBTQ+ legislation or policies and welcome families and businesses from states enacting homophobic and transphobic social agendas, demonstrating that Maryland remains open and inclusive for all.
Protecting Reproductive Rights
Across the nation, the right to choose is under fire more than ever before. The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade is dangerous and jeopardizes the bodily autonomy of women and non-gender-conforming individuals everywhere. In recent years, Maryland has taken important steps to protect abortion rights, including codifying the right to abortion and increasing training for abortion providers in order to expand access to reproductive health care. However, too many Marylanders continue to lack access to this care. In fact, more than 70% of counties in Maryland lack access to a clinic that provides abortion care, meaning nearly one-third of Maryland women live in an area where they cannot access an abortion clinic.
Wes recognizes that all Marylanders deserve the autonomy to make their own decisions about their reproductive healthcare. Wes and Aruna will fight to make access to reproductive care more affordable and accessible in every corner of our state, and will:
- Enshrine the right to abortion in Maryland’s Constitution and establish Maryland as a safe haven for reproductive health care.
- Demand that Governor Hogan release appropriated funding to expand training for reproductive health care providers so more people can access care. If Governor Hogan fails to act, Wes and Aruna will release this funding on day one.
- Improve diversity in the reproductive health care field to ensure all Marylanders feel comfortable accessing reproductive health care.
- Address and eliminate disparities in maternal mortality rates for Black and Brown women by incorporating social determinants of health into health care settings and reporting measures across the state.
- Implement legislation requiring Maryland’s Medicaid program to provide one year of postpartum coverage to new mothers.
- Expand home visiting programs, which provide expecting and new mothers with wraparound supports and education.
- Work with broad coalitions and organizations like NARAL, Planned Parenthood and others to advance access to reproductive health care in Maryland.
Environment & Energy
Maryland’s Climate, Our Economic Future
From the farmlands and waterways of the Eastern Shore to our main streets throughout Central Maryland, to the mountains of Garrett County – Maryland has incredible natural resources that make our state a great place to live, work and raise a family. Unfortunately, climate change, which continues to pose a tremendous threat to our state, has cost us $10 billion over the past decade, and is expected to cost us $19 billion in real estate damage alone this century. It is also causing increasingly severe storms, worsening pollution, poorer air quality, and more frequent extreme heat events, burdening low-income communities and communities of color the most. Once a national leader on climate change, Maryland continues to fall behind, putting our health, safety and economic future at risk.
As Maryland’s next Governor, Wes will re-establish Maryland as the national and global leader we should be by setting aggressive clean energy and emissions reductions standards, partnering with local leaders to combat the effects of climate change, and build a more resilient Maryland. His plan will:
- Employ an entire-government and stakeholder-inclusive process whereby government agencies, local leaders and climate experts work hand-in-hand to solve our greatest challenges.
- Prioritize environmental justice for the low-income communities and communities of color facing the worst effects of climate change by taking action to address extreme heat, improve access to cleaner public transit, increase tree canopy cover to reduce pollution and cool the climate, and ensure equitable access to electric vehicles and charging infrastructure.
- Ensure that Maryland generates 100% clean energy by 2035 by reducing energy consumption and the burden on the grid, supercharging investments in wind and solar developments, and investing in battery storage research and development to quickly bring new technologies to market.
- Reduce 60% of dangerous greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and achieve net-zero emissions by 2045 through clean energy generation targets, incentivizing electrification of vehicles and public transit, supporting more sustainable agriculture and forestry practices and reducing consumption.
- Ensure Marylanders of all backgrounds benefit from the tens of thousands of new jobs in the green economy by increasing access to green registered apprenticeships and on-the-job training programs and partnering with organized labor organizations to recruit and train workers.
- Preserve the Chesapeake Bay and protect our waterways by fully funding the Bay Restoration Fund, fighting to hold neighboring states accountable to reduce pollution, investing in storm and wastewater treatment upgrades, and partnering with industries to reduce pollutants and emissions.
- Combat sea level rise and recurrent flooding by constructing and replacing sea walls, creating buffers with natural infrastructure, and piloting programs to inject water underground to prevent land subsidence.
- Appoint a Chief Sustainability, Mitigation, and Resilience Officer to ensure strong public-private collaboration, measure our progress and ensure accountability to our goals.
Maryland has a rich history as a transportation innovator. We were home to America’s first railroad, its first national highway, and even its first air flight when 13-year-old Edward Warren ascended in a balloon over Baltimore in 1784. Maryland has historically recognized the value of transportation, not only as a means of mobility, but as an economic engine and as a vehicle for helping people lift themselves from poverty. There is an important link between transportation and economic mobility, and as billions of federal dollars are allocated to improve Maryland’s infrastructure, we must ensure that the economic opportunities that come with this investment are available to everyone.
There is no team better equipped to take on this challenge than Wes Moore and Aruna Miller. Aruna Miller spent 25 years working at the local Department of Transportation in Montgomery County to improve the safety of the public, alleviate traffic, and create equitable transportation access to connect people to opportunities. As a Delegate in Annapolis, she was a respected voice and leader on Transportation issues. Her deep understanding of these issues makes her the perfect complement to Wes. As a former U.S. Army captain, small business owner, and CEO of one of the nation’s largest anti-poverty nonprofits, Wes brings the leadership and unique perspective we need to address these challenges.
Maryland has amazing economic, educational, natural, and cultural assets, but our transportation system needs to better connect our citizens to jobs, schools, parks, and other amenities in their communities. As a result, we have not lived up to our economic potential, and we continue to lag in implementing sound policies to protect our environment and enhance our communities. The Moore-Miller administration will build an efficient and equitable transportation system that unharnesses economic growth in our region, drives billions in new investment, protects our environment and our neighbors, and connects people with employers by:
- Providing equity and opportunity in transportation planning by ensuring that our efforts to improve mass transit focus on the people who rely on it the most, addressing the connection between transportation and public health, removing politics from transportation planning and investment to ensure merit-based project funding, and implementing procurement reform.
- Driving the economy through leveraging a regional approach that expands transit-oriented development, connects workers with jobs, and drives growth at BWI Marshall Airport and the Port of Baltimore.
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- Better managing congested corridors by using the influx of federal infrastructure funding to build generational infrastructure improvements like establishing usable mass transit and bus lanes, expanding and improving commuter rail around the state, and developing true high-speed rail capacity on the Northeast Corridor.
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Westley Watende Omari Moore (born October 15, 1978) is an American author, entrepreneur, television producer, and United States Army veteran. From 2017 to 2021 Moore served as the CEO of the Robin Hood Foundation. He is currently the Democratic nominee for governor in the 2022 Maryland gubernatorial election. If elected, Moore would be the first African-American governor of Maryland.
Moore is the author of The Other Wes Moore and The Work, both of which are New York Times Bestsellers. He was also the host of Beyond Belief on the Oprah Winfrey Network, as well as the executive producer and a writer for Coming Back with Wes Moore on PBS.
Moore is the founder and CEO of BridgeEdU, a social enterprise dedicated to helping students in their transitions to the freshman year of college. A Baltimore Banner interview with former BridgeEdU students found that the program supported them in their first year, helping them to progress toward graduation.
Early life and education
Moore was born in Takoma Park, Maryland, to father William Westley Moore Jr., a broadcast news journalist, and mother Joy Thomas Moore, a daughter of immigrants from Jamaica and a media professional.
On April 16, 1982, when Moore was nearly four years old, his father died from acute epiglottitis. In the summer of 1984, Moore’s mother took him and his two sisters to live in the Bronx, New York, with their grandparents. His grandfather, Rev. Dr. James Thomas, a Jamaican immigrant, was the first Black minister in the history of the Dutch Reformed Church. His grandmother, Winell Thomas, a Cuban who moved to Jamaica before immigrating to the United States, was a retired school teacher. Moore attended Riverdale Country School. When Moore’s grades declined and he became involved in petty crime, his mother enrolled him in Valley Forge Military Academy and College.
In 1998, Moore graduated Phi Theta Kappa from Valley Forge with an associate degree, completed the requirements for the United States Army‘s early commissioning program, and was appointed a second lieutenant of Military Intelligence in the Army Reserve. He went on to attend Johns Hopkins University where he studied international relations and economics and graduated Omicron Delta Kappa and Phi Beta Kappa in 2001. He is also a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.  Immediately after, he attended the Wolfson College, Oxford as a Rhodes scholar, where he earned a master’s degree in international relations. He served in the Army until 2006, including overseas deployment for the War in Afghanistan, and attained the rank of captain before leaving the military in 2006.
In April 2010, Moore’s first book, The Other Wes Moore, was published by Spiegel & Grau. The 200-page book explores the lives of two young Baltimore boys who shared the same name and race, but largely different familial histories that leads them both down very different paths. In December 2012, Moore announced that The Other Wes Moore would be developed into a feature film, with Oprah Winfrey attached as an executive producer. In April 2021, Unanimous Media announced it would adapt the movie into a feature film. As of June 2022, a film has yet to be produced.
In January 2015, Moore wrote his third book, The Work, which follows Moore’s journey in life and his experiences around the globe that lead him to find his passion. The book also tells the stories of other twenty-first century changemakers who inspired him in his search, including Daniel Lubetzky and Esther Benjamin.
In November 2016, Moore wrote This Way Home, a young adult novel about Elijah, a high school basketball player, who emerges from a standoff with a local gang after they attempt, and he refuses, to recruit him to their basketball team.
In March 2020, Moore and former Baltimore Sun education reporter Erica L. Green wrote Five Days, which explores the 2015 Baltimore protests from the perspectives of eight Baltimoreans who experienced it on the frontlines.
Moore is a news contributor to various publications including The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, The Baltimore Sun, The New York Times and many other publications. Moore regularly appears on various MSNBC programs including Hardball with Chris Matthews, Now with Alex Wagner, The Rachel Maddow Show, PoliticsNation, Meet The Press and Morning Joe. He has also made appearances on various notable programs including: Face the Nation, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Colbert Report, and Real Time with Bill Maher.
In 2010, Moore founded his own company, Omari Productions, to create content for networks such as the Oprah Winfrey Network, PBS, HBO, and NBC. In May 2014, Moore produced the three-part PBS series Coming Back with Wes Moore, which followed and celebrated the lives and experiences of returning veterans.
In September 2016, Moore produced All the Difference, a PBS documentary that followed the lives of two young African-American men from the South Side of Chicago from high school through college and beyond. Later that month, Moore launched Future City, an interview-based talk show that explored best practices used to solve problems in other American cities and examined how those same ideas could be applied to Baltimore, with Baltimore’s WYPR station.
Robin Hood Foundation
From June 2017 until May 2021, Moore was CEO of the Robin Hood Foundation, a charitable organization that attempts to alleviate problems caused by poverty in New York City. The foundation combines investment principles and philanthropy to assist programs that target poverty in New York City. This is accomplished mainly by funding schools, food pantries and shelters. It also administers a disaster relief fund.
Honors and awards
On May 27, 2020, Moore was invited to and gave special remarks at his alma mater Johns Hopkins University‘s 2020 Commencement ceremony. Other notable guest speakers during the virtual ceremony included Reddit co-founder and Commencement speaker Alexis Ohanian; philanthropist and former New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg; Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a leading member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force; and senior class president Pavan Patel.
In June 2013, an investigation from The Baltimore Sun alleged that Moore was improperly receiving homestead property tax credits and owed back taxes to the city of Baltimore. Moore told The Sun that he was unaware of any issues with the home’s taxes and wanted to pay back what they owed immediately.
In April 2022, the family of Baltimore County Police Sergeant Bruce Prothero, whose murder in 2000 is highlighted in The Other Wes Moore, accused Moore of making contradictory statements about where the proceeds of the book went, saying that the family “directed no donations” to anywhere, including the nonprofits Moore named.
Moore was the subject of a CNN article in which he was accused of embellishing his childhood and where he actually grew up. Shortly after the article was published, Moore created a website that attempted to rebut the allegations. He was later criticized for failing to correct television interviewers who incorrectly said he was awarded a Bronze Star. A Capital News Service article highlighted Moore’s connections to various industries, including pharmaceutical, technology, beauty and retail giants, and the Green Thumb Industries marijuana company.
Moore is a vocal advocate for serving those who served in the military overseas. He has worked with various veterans groups, including Iraq Afghanistan Veterans of America and Things We Read, and is a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). Moore has also presented a TED talk at TEDSalon NY2014 titled How to Talk to Veterans About the War.
In 1998 and 1999, Moore interned for Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke. In 2013, he said that he had “no interest” in running for public office, instead focusing on his business and volunteer work. Later that year, Attorney General Doug Gansler said that he considered having Moore as his running mate in the 2014 Maryland gubernatorial election, in which he ran with state Delegate Jolene Ivey.
In 2015, Moore was seen as a potential candidate in the 2016 Baltimore mayoral election. Moore declined to run in September of that year, saying that the “best way for me to serve is to fulfill the promise I’ve made to the students at BridgeEdU”.
2022 Maryland gubernatorial candidacy
In February 2021, Moore announced he was “seriously considering” a run for Governor of Maryland in the 2022 election. He launched his gubernatorial campaign on June 7, 2021. His running mate is Aruna Miller, a former state delegate who represented Maryland’s 15th district from 2010 to 2019.
During the primary, Moore received endorsements from House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, Prince George’s County executive Angela Alsobrooks, television host Oprah Winfrey, and former Governor Parris Glendening. He also received backing from the Maryland State Education Association and VoteVets.org.
Moore won the Democratic primary on July 19, 2022, defeating former Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez and Comptroller Peter Franchot with 32.4 percent of the vote. If elected, he would become Maryland’s first Black governor.
Crime and policing
In May 2022, Moore called on Governor Larry Hogan to target state resources toward preventing gun violence in Baltimore. Moore says he “believes in policing with maximum accountability and appropriate intensity”, and would provide funding for community-based violence intervention programs to address violent crime.
Moore supports hiring more probation and parole officers, pursuing police misconduct allegations, and increasing resources for law enforcement agencies.
Moore supports the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future reform effort, testifying before the state legislature to urge its passage. During his campaign, he said that he would “work closely with local governments to make sure they are on board with their commitments to the Blueprint”. He also said that he does not support the expansion of charter schools, but wants to ensure accountability for current charters and wants to focus on improving public school districts.
During his campaign, Moore said he supported the renewable energy goals set by the state’s Clean Energy Jobs Act of 2019, which called for a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and an electrification of the state’s vehicle fleet by 2030, and has said the state should pursue “more ambitious goals” beyond carbon neutrality. He has proposed regulations to achieve 100% clean energy use by 2035 and net zero carbon emissions by 2045, electrify the state’s fleet, and prioritize environmental-justice funding. He also said that he would establish a “cap-and-invest” program in Maryland, which could tax polluters to provide revenue for clean energy infrastructure and relief in communities of color. In April 2022, Moore signed a Chesapeake Climate Action Network pledge to support legislation to get Maryland to use 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2035 and to remove trash incineration from the state’s “clean energy” classification.
In June 2022, following the Supreme Court‘s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Moore said that he would support an amendment to the Maryland Constitution to enshrine abortion access.
Moore opposed Governor Hogan’s decision to cancel the Red Line, and said during his campaign that he would support restarting the rail project. He does not support Governor Hogan’s plan to widen portions of the Capital Beltway and Interstate 270 using high-occupancy toll lanes, saying that he would instead support a transit line alongside I-270 and a proposed transit line from Prince George’s County to Charles County. Critics have accused Moore of flip-flopping on this stance after he told the Maryland Transit Opportunities that he would be willing to dedicate federal funds to the project, issuing a statement afterwards saying that he would be open to toll lanes if there were strong public consensus. In a radio interview with WAMU in July 2022, Moore said he preferred a “new type of proposal” for the I-270 toll lanes plan that included reversible lanes, increase transit, and greater collaboration with local “stakeholders.”
Moore and his wife, Dawn (née Flythe), moved to the Riverside community in Baltimore in 2006. The couple married on July 6, 2007. The Moores moved out of their Riverside home by late 2008, purchasing a home for $1.2 million in the Guilford community in north Baltimore and keeping their Riverside home as a rental. Together, they have two children, Mia (born 2011) and James (born 2014).
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You know I look at my history and I look at the fact that I am, you know, I’m a social moderate. I’m a, you know, strong fiscal conservative. I’m a military officer. I’m an investment banker and I just happen to be also a registered Democrat.
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