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WHY I'M RUNNING

When I was growing up in a middle-class family in Maryland, we heard politicians talk about their plans to improve education, create well-paying jobs, and reduce poverty. Those plans came and went — but decades later, we’re still facing the same problems: Over ¼ of Maryland eighth graders can’t read at a basic level and over ⅓ can’t do basic math. Wages of low and moderate-income Marylanders have been stagnant for 40 years. Over a half million Marylanders live in poverty, and our poverty rate hasn’t improved in over three decades. Racial inequities persist in all these areas.

Our state can’t just keep doing the same thing we’ve been doing for decades – rolling out one unproven government program after another – and expect a different result. As governor, I’ll chart a very different path.

For over 20 years, I’ve been on a mission to find effective new ways to solve our toughest challenges. After serving in the Clinton Administration, I founded a nonprofit that pioneered a new way forward – expanding solutions that don’t just sound like good ideas, but have been tested in the real world and shown to improve people’s lives. Working with the Bush and Obama Administrations, we got major reforms enacted into law that produced big gains in education, earnings, and healthcare. Most recently, I headed the largest philanthropic initiative in the country that identifies and expands proven-effective social programs. I’ve been an appointee of Democratic and Republican Presidents, and was confirmed twice by the Senate.

Now, it’s time to bring this evidence-based approach to Maryland. 

When I’m governor, we’ll do what’s proven to work, like – 

  • Providing high-quality tutoring to every struggling first and second grader in the state, to move them up toward grade level early, before their problems become serious in later grades. We’ll do this by engaging the community, including retirees and recent college graduates, to become tutors for a modest stipend as a public service.
  • Partnering with Maryland businesses to provide effective job training to every young adult in our state who wants to advance. If done right, job training can make a big difference, increasing earnings by as much as 40%. The key is to focus the training on fast-growing sectors of the economy, such as information technology and healthcare, and to work closely with local employers who provide the trainees with paid internships. 

We’ll also test bold new ideas and expand them if successful, like – 

  • An anti-poverty program for the long-term unemployed that helps them find a full-time job and offers them a sizable earnings supplement if they do. The idea is: if you work hard in Maryland, we’ll help you move out of poverty.

As governor, I’ll focus on what works best for Marylanders. That’s why I won’t take a dime of corporate or special interest money. And I’ll always be honest about whether we’re making progress, and what needs to be changed.

Here’s the bottom line: if we simply continue on our current path, we’ll be here in another 20 years and nothing will have changed. To make progress, we must use solutions that are tested in the real world and shown effective. That’s why I’m running for governor:

Let’s do what works.

JON BARON
ON THE ISSUES

As governor, I’ll chart a very different path, expanding programs and policies that don’t just sound plausible but have been tested and proven to work.

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