Democratic gubernatorial candidates attend forum with Prince George’s NAACP


Seven of Maryland’s nine Democratic nominees for governor took part in forums spread over a two-day period on topics such as healthcare, education and the environment.

Each candidate looking to shine at sessions hosted by the Prince George County NAACP branch agreed that the state should provide a universal preschool, invest more in mental health services, and offer paid family and medical leave.

But a primary focus remained to ensure that those listening on Thursday, November 4 and Monday, November 8 highlighted how they would help Prince George, the state’s largest black-majority jurisdiction and home to the most registered Democrats.

** File ** Wes Moore (Robert R. Roberts / The Washington Informer)

“We need to make sure that everything from the capital subsidy that comes to our small businesses to how we adjust to purchasing reform [happens]Author and former nonprofit executive Wes Moore said Monday. “All of these elements need to be in place if we are to create real economic pathways for our small and micro businesses and other businesses in Prince George County.

In addition to Moore, former Prince George Rushern L. Baker III executive, former Obama administration official Ashwani Jain and Baltimore entrepreneur Mike Rosenbaum joined the discussion on Monday.

When asked how each candidate would approach law enforcement responsibility, they responded with the following responses.

Jain said if elected next year he would eliminate school resource officers and police from school buildings, end the cash bond system and demand that the state end contracts for for-profit prison.

** File ** Ashwani Jain (Robert R. Roberts / The Washington Informer)
** File ** Ashwani Jain (Robert R. Roberts / The Washington Informer)

“I don’t think it is extreme to demand accountability,” he said. “It doesn’t diminish the work in progress; we hold everything to account in all other areas and our criminal justice system should be no different. “

Rosenbaum, who created two software companies, Catalyte and Arena, said government agencies need to recognize law enforcement jobs are tough and need to hire the right people.

In addition, “we need to be able to fire people quickly when someone is not good. Until we do that, we will always have bad cops on the streets. We will still have problems, ”he said.

** File ** Michael Rosenbaum (Robert R. Roberts / The Washington Informer)
** File ** Michael Rosenbaum (Robert R. Roberts / The Washington Informer)

Moore, who is also an Army veteran, said the state should scale, fund and “celebrate” the work being done locally, as Prince George state attorney Aisha Braveboy, who manages a unit integrity and prosecute cases of police misconduct with 11 open indictments against the police.

Baker said work on the reorganization of the Prince George Police Department took place after a decline in consent ended in 2004 due to excessive force complaints. For example, he said officers received training on implicit bias and other reform measures.

“The governor’s office working with local county executives and legislatures to really reform the police is what we need to do,” said Baker, who served as county executive from 2010 to 2018.

** File ** Rushern L. Baker III (Robert R. Roberts / The Washington Informer)
** File ** Rushern L. Baker III (Robert R. Roberts / The Washington Informer)

Janna Parker of Temple Hills challenged Baker on the notion on Monday, especially after the county settled a $ 2.3 million lawsuit in July with black and Latino officers who accused the police department of racial practices and discriminatory. Some of the supervisors, including former police chief Hank Stawinski, worked while Baker served as county manager.

“The reality is that Baker’s policies regarding the school system and the police have further damaged these institutions and the residents he was elected to serve,” Parker wrote in the Zoom discussion section. “We are all very aware of his record as a county executive in this county. If you’re going to use that as your experience, then you’re going to own every bit of what your tenure has done to the residents of this county… ”

** FILE ** Former nonprofit executive Jon Baron, who is running for the Democratic nomination for governor of Maryland, speaks during a candidates reception at the Westin Baltimore Washington Airport Hotel-BWI in Linthicum Heights , Maryland.  (Robert R. Roberts / The Washington Informer)
** FILE ** Former nonprofit executive Jon Baron, who is running for the Democratic nomination for governor of Maryland, speaks during a candidates reception at the Westin Baltimore Washington Airport Hotel-BWI in Linthicum Heights , Maryland. (Robert R. Roberts / The Washington Informer)

Towards the end of the 90+ minute session, Baker received support from Ava Richardson who wrote, “Mr. Baker, I would like to volunteer to help you with your campaign. Praying that you win.

John King Jr., former US Secretary of Education in the Obama administration, did not attend Monday because he teaches an undergraduate course in education policy at the University of Maryland in College Park .

** File ** Former Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for governor, speaks during a candidates reception at the Westin Baltimore Washington Airport Hotel-BWI in Linthicum Heights, Maryland .  (Robert R. Roberts / The Washington Informer)
** File ** Former Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for governor, speaks during a candidates reception at the Westin Baltimore Washington Airport Hotel-BWI in Linthicum Heights, Maryland . (Robert R. Roberts / The Washington Informer)

Prince George’s NAACP branch wants candidates to return before the June 28 primary.

“I know we went a little late [Monday] but we need to be informed, ”said Linda Thomas Thornton, NAACP County Chairperson. “This is not the last time. Hope you will come back and discuss different topics with us.

Photo by William J. Ford - Washington Informer Editor

William J. Ford – Washington Informer Editor

I decided I wanted to become a better writer while studying at Bowie State University and thought writing for the school newspaper would help. I don’t know how much it helped me, but I enjoyed it so much that I decided to keep doing it, which I still really enjoy 20 years later. If I weren’t a journalist, I would coach youth basketball. In fact, I still play basketball, or at least try to play basketball, once a week. My kryptonite is peanut butter. What makes me happy – watching my son and my two godchildren grow up. On the other hand, a bad decision by an official in a football or basketball game makes me throw up my hands and scream. Favorite dishes include pancakes and scrambled eggs which I could eat 24/7. The strangest thing that ever happened to me, or more accurately the most painful, was when I was hit by a car on Lancaster Avenue in Philadelphia. If I had the power or the money to change the world, I would make sure everyone had three meals a day. And even though I don’t have a favorite motto or quote, I keep laughing, which keeps me from going crazy. You can reach me in several ways: Twitter @jabariwill, Instagram will_iam.ford2281 or by email, [email protected]


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