Wes Moore Sworn In As Maryland’s First Black Governor

He talked about inclusion and economic equity in his inaugural speech.

Gov Moore Inauguration   (Top)       Lt, Gov Miller Inauguration (Bottom)

(Photos from The Associated Press)

Annapolis, Md (KM) It was an historic moment in Annapolis on Wednesday. Wes Moore was sworn into office as Maryland first Black Governor.

In his inaugural address, Moore talked about inclusion and economic equity, and proposed some big ideas to try to ‘leave no one behind” as he talked about in his campaign. “And today our opportunity to begin this future is so bright that it is blinding, “he said. “But only if we are intentional, inclusive and disciplined in confronting challenges, making hard choices and seizing this opportunity in front of us.”

Before a large crowd in front of the State House , Moore said Maryland can have an economy that attracts businesses and treats workers fairly. “We can attract and retain top industries like aerospace, like clean energy, like cyber security, and raise the minimum wage to $15 to help folks feed their families,” he said.

Talking about violent crime, Moore said Marylanders can have a state that is both sate and just. “We can build a police force that moves with appropriate intensity and absolute integrity and full accountability, and embrace the fact that we cannot and will not militarize ourselves to safety,”: says Moore.

And he also addressed climate change, which he called a threat.  Moore said Maryland can  lead the nation when to  comes to wind technology, grid power and clean transit. “We’ll protect out jewel, the Chesapeake Bay, and address toxic air pollution that chokes our cities,”  he said. He also  made this promise: “And we will put Maryland on track to generate 100-percent clean energy by 2035 and create thousands of jobs in the process.”

Moore also promised  to invest in education, particularly when it comes to special education, English language learners, students experiencing homelessness and every student who needs additional help. “And while Maryland is home to some of the best and some of the greatest institutions of higher education in this country,–something we should be very, very proud–we must end this myth that young people must attend one of them in order to be successful,” he said. “That’s not the path for every student.”

Also inaugurated  that day was Lieutenant Governor Aruna Miller. “To my friend, and Maryland’s 63rd Governor, Wes Moore, I am humbled to join you on this journey to serve the state we love for the people we love in a place call  home,” she said.

Miller is an immigrant from India who worked as an engineer. She said it was difficult for a child from another country to try to fit in, and later working in a profession, engineering,  which is mostly male-dominated. “It took me a long time to realize that it was never about needing to fit  into a space created by others. It was always about having the courage to be my authentic self in every space,”: Miller said.

She served in the House of Delegates for two terms, representing a part of Montgomery County.

For all of Marylanders who are struggling to feel safe in their own skin color, women fighting for autonomy over their own bodies, people wanting to love who they love and be who they are in their lived identity, and families struggling to survive without adequate transportation, food, housing, education and health care, “Governor Moore and I see you. We hear you. We will fight for you. We will address the inequities of the past, and build a Maryland where everyone will thrive,”  Miller said.

Moore noted there are skeptics who don’t believe he can achieve  these big ideas and rise above the toxic politics of the day. “Those are the same voices who told me at the beginning of this campaign ‘you don’t understand how politics works,'” he said. “And to them, I said and I say ‘we must govern on big principles and not on petty differences.'”

As part of the ceremony, former TV talk show hostess Oprah Winfrey was on hand to introduce Moore, whom she met more than ten years ago. “Maryland’s best days lie ahead,” she said.

By Kevin McManus