Open Letter to Ben Jealous: The Lower Shore Thanks You

"...for the first time in my life, there is actually a candidate running for governor who cares about the Eastern Shore and has plans and policies that will help us grow and develop."


 

/By Jared Schablein/ Dear Ben Jealous: The Eastern Shore of Maryland is often used, forgotten, or completely ignored by politicians from both parties. I was born and raised here; it is nothing new.

It honestly wouldn’t surprise me if most Maryland politicians do not know the Eastern Shore is a part of Maryland, let alone be able to name the counties.  The lower Eastern Shore is home to many of the poorest counties in the state and faces a lack of economic growth, opportunity, and political engagement. It is common for gubernatorial candidates to ignore the Shore and our issues because it is not considered one of the four counties that will make or break an election.kent_narrows_e_shore.jpg

I am happily surprised that, for the first time in my life, there is actually a candidate running for governor who cares about the Eastern Shore and has plans and policies that will help us grow and develop. This candidate is you, Ben Jealous, the former president of the NAACP.

Pay attention, Lower Shore. Ben Jealous seeks to solve the economic, social, racial, and environmental injustices we face not only on the Eastern Shore, but across the entire state. Ben Jealous will make Maryland the first state to provide quality healthcare to all our residents, and lead the nation in fixing our broken healthcare system. He will help create fair wage jobs. He will work to bridge divides in our communities, and make us stronger by working together to solve the issues that we face on the Eastern Shore and throughout the state.

ben_jealous_hustings.jpgI’ve had the privilege of hearing you, Mr. Jealous, speak on a few occasions. One thing that resonates with me is when you speak of your time in the Ozarks and how surprised you were to discover that a progressive message appeals to people in rural communities. Well, Mr. Jealous, it is my hope you are reading this, because the Lower Eastern Shore is your Ozarks.


Jared Schablein is chair of the Lower Shore Progressive Caucus.