Maryland advocacy groups voice priorities for current legislative session, focus on racial equity


MARYLAND – Advocacy groups like the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland wants to make sure every voice is heard, as the Maryland General Assembly is currently in session.

The caucus says they had an influential role in much legislation that passed last session, including paid sick leave and the legalization of recreational marijuana. “That insured that we put 10 of millions of dollars into a fund to help our disadvantaged potential licensees when it comes to cannabis legalization,” LBCM President Delegate Jheanelle Wilkins said.

“We expanded expungement to make sure those who were impacted by the war on drugs would be able to move forward and apply to get their records expunged.”

For the 445th Maryland legislative session, Delegate Wilkins says the caucus has their eyes set of several key issues such as black wealth, housing, and bringing diversity to the field of education. “We know that a student’s life, even they encounter even just one black teacher, that their outlook and outcomes dramatically improve.”

We spoke with the Wicomico County NAACP who agrees.

They also want to see more initiatives geared towards health and the environment for the Eastern Shore. “We still do not have any legislation that requires our wells to be protected or tested for safe drinking water. We still have pesticides being sprayed around our schools and we’ve also been looking into air quality monitoring,” Wicomico County NAACP President Monica Brooks said.

With new legislators and a new Governor, those we spoke with say they’re optimistic for Maryland’s future. “I think this legislative season is going to be very telling. We’re going to get to see what this administration is truly about when the pedal is to the metal,” Brooks said.

The Wicomico NAACP tells us they’ve already met with Wicomico County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Micah Stauffer on ways to boost recruitment.

The Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland also tells us they look forward to working with Governor Moore and education advocates on the implementation of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future.

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