Where you live: Baltimore
Date of birth: Oct. 15, 1978
Current occupation and employer:
Former CEO, Robin Hood Foundation
Political experience: N/A
Why are you running for this office?
I’m running for governor to create work, wages, and wealth, with a focus on equity, for every family in Maryland. As governor, I’m going to build an economy where every family can thrive by accelerating the minimum wage increase to $15 by 2023, creating strong pathways to the workforce with job training and apprenticeships, and setting students up for success by fully funding and implementing the Blueprint.
What is the most important issue in this race and what specific plans do you have to address it?
When I’m governor, our administration will create opportunities for people to step into better jobs, earn higher wages, and build wealth they can pass down to their children. I will invest in job training programs, strengthen affordable pathways to higher education and fix our broken child care system. I will help Marylanders secure better wages by raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2023 and addressing wage theft. And I will ensure every Marylander has opportunities to create wealth by making homeownership more accessible.
What is one major issue that has been handled poorly and what would you have done differently?
While Maryland is asset rich, we’re strategy poor, and our unemployment rate—which is currently the 42nd worst in the country—is a clear example of this. We have more than two jobs available to each of our 148,000 unemployed Marylanders, showing we are failing to meet our workforce needs. I’m going to build an economy where everyone can thrive by leveraging the billions of federal infrastructure dollars coming to Maryland to build a transportation system that serves as an engine of economic opportunity, connecting Marylanders to great jobs, better wages and the ability to build generational wealth.
What experience (work, political or other) has prepared you to hold this office?
I’ve led soldiers in combat as a captain in the 82nd Airborne, I’ve led students to success as the founder of a Baltimore small business helping students make it to and through college, and I’ve led one of the largest anti-poverty organizations in the country making me uniquely prepared to lead Maryland forward toward a better future. As CEO, we invested over $600 million and worked in the halls of government, tackling the issues holding our communities back head on. In the military, we learned a motto: “Leave nobody behind,” and that is exactly what I’ll do as governor.