UMBC’s Black Student Union, in association with the College Democrats, hosted a rally for Ben Jealous on Nov. 2 on the Commons Main Street. Jealous, a Democrat, is running for governor of Maryland against Larry Hogan, the incumbent Republican governor.
Jealous is running on a progressive campaign and has been endorsed by Bernie Sanders. Jealous is a Rhodes Scholar, civil rights leader, community organizer and the youngest ever National President and CEO of the NAACP. He promises to raise teacher pay by 29 percent and fund universal Pre-K by legalizing and taxing marijuana. He also guarantees to end the student debt crisis and make community college free for all Marylanders. Furthermore, Jealous ensures Medicare for all Marylanders, as well as lower prescription drug costs.
During his time as Governor, Hogan has been considered a moderate Republican. Before pursuing high office, Hogan was a lifelong small business owner, which he claims has influenced his politics and policy positions. Hogan is the second Republican Governor of Maryland in almost 50 years. He supports lower governmental budgets and lower taxes and has promised to fight Trump and Congress if they attempt to hinder Marylanders’ access to affordable quality health care. Like every governor in the last 15 years, he has provided record funding for education and promises to continue to do so if re-elected.
The event gave Jealous a platform to attack his opponent and to rally supporters at UMBC. He accused Hogan of being a friend of Mike Pence, arguing that Mike Pence is even worse than Donald Trump. He claimed that under the leadership of Hogan, Maryland has declined, saying, “If we had the job growth of Virginia right now, we would have 40,000 more jobs—and here’s the punchline: Virginia job growth is below the national average.” He also states that Maryland’s income growth has lagged behind both Virginia and Delaware, while murder, opioid deaths and health care costs have gone up.
During the rally, Jealous emphasized the importance of voting and the voice of young people, saying, “Every election is about the future, and the question is, do we want the future to go faster, or do we want the future to go slower?” Jealous reminded students that—whether federal or local—elections always have major consequences, and UMBC students have a civic duty to vote and let their voices be heard.
“It won’t hurt your GPA, I promise you,” he said.