Alec’s Ideas

We're running an ideas-driven campaign because Maryland is facing serious problems that require serious solutions.

Alec’s Ideas

Education

The starting point to address inequity in Maryland is education. I learned this firsthand when I taught 6th grade at Booker T. Washington Middle School in Baltimore. Many of my students were brilliant, but I knew they would struggle to succeed because of where they came from and what lay ahead.

Read Alec's plan to fix the inequities in our education system

Election Reform

We need to change how people think about voting. Voting should be so easy with numerous methods readily available that rather than ask ‘Did you vote?’, we want people to ask ‘Why didn’t you vote?’

Read Alec's plan to secure and expand voting

Child Care

Child care policy is economic policy. The state of Maryland doesn’t treat it that way. But it is time to think differently. The choices we make about child care are deeply influential in shaping outcomes later in life. We need to take an investment approach to child care.

Read Alec's plan to make child care affordable

Computer Science

Look at the top ten most valuable companies in America. Half are technology firms. None of them existed before 1975. But this is not just a story about Silicon Valley. This is a major economic shift that affects nearly every aspect of our economy. We aren’t ready for it, but Alec has a plan to change that.

Read Alec's plan for universal computer science education

Marijuana Legalization

It makes little sense for marijuana to be illegal in this day and age, and the costs of doing so are increasingly unbearable. Meanwhile, we are prosecuting and incarcerating people for nonviolent crimes and crushing their chances for social mobility. It is time to create a taxed, regulated market for safe and legal marijuana.

Read Alec's plan to legalize and regulate marijuana

Jobs and the Economy

We must build a more inclusive economy that works for everyone in Maryland. That starts with helping people get new job skills and matching employers to talented people that bring energy and know-how. Technology changes everything in tomorrow’s economy. It’s not a slice of the economic pie. It’s the pan. We must ensure that every Marylander has the opportunity to compete and succeed in this tech-driven world. It’s not just about finding a job. It’s about finding the right job with a path to greater prosperity for families. Wages have been stagnant for too long, and working families need a raise.

Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, yet our government still focuses too much of its efforts on recruiting industry giants instead of supporting Maryland-based entrepreneurs and businesses. Maryland cannot place all its bets on trickle-down benefits from large corporations. We’ve got to build up from the bottom by investing in hard-working people.

When I’m governor, we will:

• Raise the minimum wage to $15 for all workers. At a time when corporate profits and executive compensation have reached all-time highs, the low-wage workers that make the wheels turn at these companies deserve a raise. We cannot be satisfied until the minimum wage is a living wage that does justice to the hard work that earns it.

• Make Maryland the innovative national leader in preparing our people for the job market through non-collegiate pathways. We will build world class programs for business-led apprenticeships across the economy, expanding beyond traditional skilled trades. We will create non-traditional education programs for delivering job skills quickly and help match employers with talented people that have unconventional resumes.

• Make it easier for new businesses to grow in Maryland. Government must be more than just a regulator of hard working business owners; it should be their greatest champion.

• Support and grow industries of the future, like cybersecurity and biotechnology, that have strong roots in our states and utilize many of our skilled workers. We will make Maryland into the innovation hub it always should have been — leveraging our world class university system and highly educated workforce.

Infrastructure and Transportation

We need 21st-century transportation solutions for Maryland that will carry us into the future and ensure equity and accessibility for all.

When I’m governor, we will:

• Invest in a comprehensive plan for mass transit in our state that is more than just expanded highways. We need to think holistically about our transportation issues and what modern solutions will be most effective.

• Revive the Red Line project to provide a mass transit solution for Baltimore and its surrounding areas. This is more than a transportation issue. It will be a social and economic boon for our state.

• Prioritize proper funding of the Purple Line to ease transportation issues for those working in the DMV area, as well as a long-term funding solution for the DC Metro.

• Bring back the study to look at building a Second Bay Bridge to invigorate the Lower Shore’s economy. We will also study the impact of another bridge off the Beltway to alleviate lengthy commute times caused by backups on the American Legion Bridge for Maryland residents.

• Ensure affordable, world class, high-speed internet access for all Marylanders regardless of zip code so they can participate in today’s economy. We will focus on covering the gaps in wired networks in rural parts of the state and pushing out robust mobile wireless coverage statewide. Broadband is the infrastructure of the 21st century economy.

Environment

Climate change and environmental issues are present and urgent threats to our world today. This is about protecting our world for the next generation and providing environmental justice for our communities.

Green policies also provide a huge economic opportunity for Maryland. As a state with vast natural resources and a history of scientific expertise, Maryland must lead the way in addressing climate change and become leaders in the green economy.

When I’m governor, we will:

• Protect the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries and empower those who work the Bay and lead conservation efforts that ensure it remains our state’s greatest natural resource long into the future.

• Make Maryland a leader in the green economy and become a hub for innovations that provide new ways for our world to operate in environmentally responsible ways. For example, we will promote fast-growing industries like solar and wind energy. We will provide incentives for construction and retrofitting of energy efficient building technologies. And we will support the expansion of electric cars by installing charging stations in public places across the state.

•Encourage and invest in environmental tourism, particularly on the Bay and in Western Maryland, so that other our most beautiful natural places become destinations that draw tourists from all over the world to our state.

• Work with state and local leaders to ensure that Maryland meets all of the goals of the U.S. Climate Alliance. Since leaders in Washington refuse to defend our planet, we must step up and join other states in pursuing the goals of the Paris Agreement. That means a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and an increase in the share of renewable.

Criminal Justice

It is the role of government to ensure that all individuals are safe and have the ability to thrive in society. Our methods should not be based solely upon punishment; we must prioritize models that empower communities and provide pathways to restoration for offenders that go far beyond traditional incarceration.

When I’m governor, we will:

• Prioritize community policing and recruit officers to work in areas they call home, where they have existing relationships.

• Acknowledge and take steps to remedy the injustices of past criminal justice tactics and work together with communities to empower their residents, not just punish.

• Ensure that police units are properly funded and their officers are fairly compensated.

• Expand pathways to rehabilitation for offenders that are addicted or have faced significant trauma, rather than just funneling them through a prison system that is solely punitive.

• Legalize, regulate and tax the sale of marijuana for personal use, and expunge the records of any citizen charged or convicted of a marijuana-related crime. Read the full plan to follow in the footsteps of other states that have raised hundreds of millions in tax revenue by taking marijuana out of the black market and putting it under the rule of law.

Labor

Without ensuring the rights of labor, we cannot create an inclusive economy that works for everyone and reduces inequality. I spent many years working at minimum-wage, and I was a member of the teachers union after graduating college. I understand the importance of fighting for workers rights because I’ve experienced the issues firsthand.

When I’m governor, we will:

• Strengthen the rights of organized labor, including their right to collective bargaining. We will work with labor organizations to make sure workers’ interests are represented and heeded in the policies we enact.

• Raise the minimum wage to $15 for all workers. At a time when corporate profits and executive compensation have reached all-time highs, we will restore the economic rights of all workers.

• Protect the rights of tipped workers and sub-minimum wage workers so they are able to participate in our economy and experience social mobility.

• Require that contracts for government services and construction include living wages, proper benefits, and insurance for all workers.

Health Care

The provision of universal access to affordable, quality health coverage should be a basic right and expectation of all citizens. We must strengthen and defend health care for all Marylanders and ensure our markets are stable — regardless of what happens in Congress.

When I’m governor, we will:

• Establish a state-run public option through Medicaid so that no matter what happens in Washington D.C., everyone in our state is able to receive quality health care.

• Fight to reduce the costs of prescription drugs and make sure that pharmaceutical companies are not exploiting Marylanders.

• Protect and preserve the best parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and make sure they are available to all Marylanders.

• Make health care more accessible in all communities through models like community schools and rural dental and vision clinics.

Opioid Crisis

The opioid crisis is an epidemic in our state that must be addressed swiftly and responsibly by our next governor. The reach of the crisis is staggering, and it is impacting all parts of our society, from health care systems to law enforcement to the economy.

When I’m governor, we will:

• Treat the opioid crisis as the public health crisis that it is — not merely a law enforcement issue. Without erasing that stigma, we will never been able to tackle this issue.

• Invest in infrastructure to end this epidemic, such as educational campaigns about fentanyl-laced drugs and other risks.

• Increase funding to provide more programs to train individuals to administer Naloxone in the case of overdose and add rehabilitation centers within prisons.

• Train all law enforcement officials in the state to administer Naloxone in cases of overdose and make sure our communities have a consistent supply of Naloxone.

• Allow opioid users who seek help to receive and access care without fear of arrest.

• Prosecute those who create and distribute these often lethal drugs when they step outside strictly regulated procedures to prioritize profit over public health.

Immigration

The rights of immigrants should be the concern of every Marylander, as it is the immigrant experience that has shaped our country and defines many of our values. Policies that discriminate against and exclude immigrant populations will not be tolerated when I am governor and strike me as entirely un-American.

When I’m governor, we will:

• Stand up to the hateful rhetoric of Donald Trump’s administration towards immigrants in our country. Maryland will be the home of the resistance against his misguided policies, and we will protect our immigrants and their rights.

• Work with the Maryland State Troopers to protect Maryland’s citizens and guests from overreaching ICE agents.

• Work with state and federal legislators to protect the rights of Dreamers and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) grantees living in Maryland.

• Extend state higher education scholarships and financial aid to all students in Maryland, regardless of immigration status.

Civil Rights

Until we have equal rights for all no matter race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, class, disability or place of origin, we cannot truly call our society just. At a time when it feels like so much of the progress we have made — in terms of civil rights — is being attacked by our federal government, Maryland must be the center of equitable, progressive policies that protect and empower everyone.

When I’m governor, we will:

• Prioritize policies that promote equity and justice for all.

• Build the most diverse governor’s cabinet in the history of the office, one that represents the interests and perspectives of all Marylanders.

• Implement inclusive hiring practices for all government entities to eliminate discrimination within the system.

• Continue the fight for gender equality — including equal pay and paid parental and sick leave.

• Continue to expand and promote the rights of LGBTQ individuals in Maryland.

Ross is the only candidate in the nascent Democratic race to pitch specific policy programs.

Baltimore Sun

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