Mass Incarceration

Wes Moore Officially Sworn In as Maryland’s First Black Governor

Wes Moore and Aruna Miller made historical past on Jan. 18, having formally been sworn in as Maryland’s new Democratic governor and lieutenant governor.

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore waves alongside spouse Dana throughout his inauguration because the state’s first Black governor in Annapolis on Jan. 18. (Robert R. Roberts/The Washington Informer)

Following the official, personal ceremony within the Senate Constructing with many electeds readily available, a extra public ceremony was held exterior of the State Capitol with hundreds of attendees seated and standing there to absorb a glimpse of the barrier-breaking second. Moore is Maryland’s first Black governor and Miller is Maryland’s first Asian-American and first immigrant lieutenant governor.

Whereas overlooking the Legal professionals’ Mall monument in honor of Supreme Court docket Justice Thurgood Marshall, Moore overtly mirrored on Maryland’s wealthy Black historical past and spoke of his guarantees for what his administration will do for Maryland.

“We have now made uneven and unimaginable progress since then, historical past created by generations of individuals whose personal historical past was misplaced, stolen, or by no means recorded,” he stated.

The pre-inaugural ceremony featured the 229th Military Band, a Polynesian music and dance group, and performances by the Bowie Bulldogs Marching Band and Clarksburg Excessive Faculty’s chamber singers. 

With hundreds of attendees current to have a good time the day with roaring applause all through the occasion, the swearing in started with a 19-gun salute and a jet flyover. 

The inauguration festivities have been star-studded with native officers and nationwide celebrities.

Media mogul Oprah Winfrey, whom Moore referred to as a “Maryland lady at coronary heart,” introduced the brand new governor earlier than his speech. Winfrey labored as a co-anchor on WJZ-TV in her 20s earlier than breaking out into superstardom in Chicago. “What a pleasure to be again right here in Maryland,” she stated earlier than explaining her path within the state. After shifting from Nashville to Columbia, she discovered group and colleagues and alternative in Maryland. 

“Maryland is the place I figured it out. The eight years I lived right here have been a few of the most important years of my life,” stated Winfrey, who even met her finest pal, Gayle King, in Maryland.

Oprah Winfrey speaks on the inauguration ceremony for Maryland Gov. Wes Moore and Lt. Gov. Aruna Miller in Annapolis on Jan. 18. (Robert R. Roberts/The Washington Informer)

Winfrey first met Moore in 2010 whereas interviewing him about his best-selling ebook, “The Different Wes Moore,” and he or she was impressed by his knowledge, integrity and need to serve. She closed by promising onlookers that simply as she trusted his management and imaginative and prescient, they need to as nicely.

Former Legal professional Basic Eric Holder and Chelsea Clinton have been additionally noticed on the inauguration. 

Elected officers have been additionally current for the monumental occasion. Prince George’s Councilmembers Sydney Harrison (D- District 9) and Jolene Ivey (D- District 5), Delegate Julian Ivey (D- District 47A), Greenbelt Councilmember Ric Gordon, and Laurel Councilmember Martin Mitchell have been amongst these noticed strolling into the swearing in. 

Prince George’s County Democratic Central Committee Vice Chair Antwan Brown, who had a management position for Moore throughout the basic election, stated he got here out as a result of he “wished to be a part of historical past,” and Councilmember Harrison stated he’s notably wanting ahead to what Moore and his administration will do for fairness and inclusion in authorities. 

Anne Arundel County Government Steuart Pittman (D) served as grasp of ceremonies. 

A number of the loudest applause of Pittman’s opener have been his account of his endorsement and Moore’s rise throughout the election. Throughout his speech, Pittman gave an trustworthy reckoning of his household historical past: one in all his ancestors, Dr. Stewart, was an Anne Arundel politician and tobacco planter who made his fortune throughout slavery. 

Through the celebration, Moore stated the racial wealth hole, college funding gaps and environmental racism are amongst a few of the many challenges he and his administration hope to rectify. Constructing on Winfrey’s message, he pledges to make sure that Maryland higher makes use of the alternatives readily available.

Maryland Lt. Gov. Aruna Miller, working mate of Gov. Wes Moore, speaks on the duo’s inauguration ceremony in Annapolis on Jan. 18. (Robert R. Roberts/The Washington Informer)

Moore’s tenure as the primary Black governor of Maryland has begun, and lots of residents proclaimed they maintain nice pleasure with excessive expectations for his administration. All through the day, shuttles introduced Marylanders from the Navy Stadium parking zone to the inauguration and lots of Black elders got here from throughout the state to witness historical past. For many who had witnessed the extreme segregation and racism of Maryland within the Nineteen Sixties and prior, this was a very turning second. 

Maryland’s first Black governor is starting his administration with a Democratic supermajority in each the State Home and State Senate, which is able to make enacting his agenda and getting his cupboard picks confirmed simpler. Moore has chosen Black nominees for the Secretary of Commerce and Secretary of Veterans Affairs positions, and has created a brand new workplace of Opioid Restoration which can be headed by Hagerstown Mayor Emily Keller (D). 

Moore pledged to introduce a $15 minimal wage, a service 12 months choice for highschool graduates, increasing clear vitality, and concurrently deal with violent crime and mass incarceration. 

Since being sworn in, Moore has held conferences with Legal professional Basic Anthony Brown (D) and U.S. Legal professional Erek Barron (D), each of whom are additionally the primary Black males to carry their place. Moore’s first orders in workplace have been to implement new moral requirements for state staff and highlighting the excessive emptiness price in state authorities positions left following Hogan’s departure. He has additionally pledged further funds for the Kirwan Fee to fund new specialists in colleges. 

For these touring into Maryland, state indicators at the moment are adorned with the brand new governor’s title and his rallying name that he realized and adopted whereas serving within the U.S. Military: “Depart No One Behind.”

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