A Level Playing Field:
A Concrete Plan for Economic, Social, and Political Equity for Black Marylanders.
It is with great warmth and optimism that I write this letter. Over the last several months of campaigning, communities across Maryland have been incredibly enthusiastic in their embrace of our vision for the state. Time and again I hear a similar refrain: “We know you. We trust you. We’re with you.”
So much of that support is based on an understanding that is central to my vision for the state: competence in government. By getting the core services of government to work properly -- even the basics like answering the phones and filling the potholes -- we can restore trust in our government’s ability to execute on bigger, bolder solutions that will allow more Marylanders to achieve the quality of life they deserve.
Understood that way, competent government is a transformative concept. It’s the difference between the rhetoric we all agree on, and the results we all deserve. As your next Governor I will focus my brand of proven, honest leadership on delivering results that you can see and feel every day.
For Black Marylanders, those results matter. Each week, Black leaders in business, faith, and politics tell me that they’re tired of being told how important they are, and want to be shown how important they are through concrete policy commitments that impact their quality of life in meaningful ways. I write today to outline concrete commitments that you can bank on from me as your next Governor.
As your next Governor, I will maintain the same bedrock commitment to your communities that I have demonstrated during my tenure as Comptroller. Points of progress I’m particularly proud of include:
I have consistently fought against single bid contracts for state procurement projects, because they unfairly stack the deck against Minority and Women Owned Businesses (MWBEs). Since becoming Comptroller, the use of single bid contracts has fallen by 86% because of my advocacy.
I have voted for and approved more than $19.2 billion in contract payments to MWBEs during my tenure as Comptroller.
I advocated for the creation of the Terra Maria Developing Managers Program, which creates asset management opportunities for minority and women money managers through the State of Maryland’s Pension Fund. From 2015 - 2020, the program has more than doubled participation from minority and women owned firms, and brought a total of $11.07 billion to these firms for management. As Governor, I will continue to insist upon game changing opportunities to effectuate inclusion of minority and women owned firms as a fundamental component of my administration.
I called for an audit on COVID relief spending in order to determine whether it was equitably distributed, which led to the creation of the Comptroller’s Work Group on Pandemic Spending. Within one month of starting, the group has already uncovered that Prince George’s County and Baltimore City received half of the funds of their white-majority neighbors, despite having just as many qualifying businesses.
When Governor Hogan was elected, I immediately called on him to maintain his commitment to infrastructure projects like the Purple Line that serves majority Black Communities. Moreover, as Governor I will renew our commitment to the Red Line by breaking ground on an East-West rail project in Baltimore City and County.
Together with the leadership of Maryland’s chapter of the NAACP, I called on Maryland to immediately improve climate control in its public schools so as to address the unequal experience for students primarily from Black and Brown communities.
My vision for the state of Maryland in the years ahead is one of transformative progress for Black Marylanders, rooted in my track record of pragmatic good governance that delivers concrete results.
My pledges are intended to be a living, breathing document that continues to be enriched by the insight and experience of community members like you. I am committed to engaging in an ongoing conversation with you that grows this document in the weeks and months ahead. You can read my full set of pledges by visiting franchot.com/pledges. I’d love to hear your thoughts on my vision for our state. Send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All my best,