The Lower Shore is one of the most impoverished areas of the state, after decades of sending GOP legislators to Annapolis, a Shore progressive writes. Larry Hogan fits that mold.
/By Jared Schablein/ A few weeks ago during a speech in Baltimore City, Governor Larry Hogan said don’t let anyone tell you who to vote for because of where you are from. Later in the same speech, he said: “…some people have not been delivering for you for decades.” As I listened to his speech, I notice those quotes sum up the Lower Shore perfectly under the Maryland Republican Party’s ”leadership” and Governor Hogan’s first term.
For decades we have been told because we are from the Eastern Shore we are a “Republican area” and “have to” vote Republican. On top of this stereotype about our region, for decades we have mainly elected the same times of leaders from the Maryland GOP. What has the Lower Eastern Shore gotten from this? Well, the Lower Shore is one of the most impoverished areas of the state. Suffering from almost non-existent opportunity, slow economic development, and serious brain drain as our youth leave the area and don’t come back. If you looked at the numbers you would see Somerset County has held the title of Maryland’s poorest county for the last 40 years.
In 2014, Governor Hogan campaigned on changing this by “An open ear and a seat at the table” to the Eastern Shore after decades of being forgotten by the political establishment. Despite these campaign promises, during his term he has kept the status quo of ignoring the Shore and the issues we face.
It’s time we elected a Governor who isn’t just going to talk about helping the Shore but actually put action into place to lift our area out of poverty and grow our communities.
That’s why I support Ben Jealous -- because he will fully fund our schools and help provide better educational opportunities to the shore, enact livable wages for our working families, and invest in rural Maryland not just put bandaids over the issues we face.
Jared Schablein is chair of the Lower Shore Progressive Caucus