The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Ben Jealous Win in Maryland is a Clear Sign of Growing Progressive Power


Civil rights leader Ben Jealous, endorsed by People's Action and our member organization Progressive Maryland, won the crowded democratic primary for governor Tuesday. Jealous captured voters with his bold vision and strong support for progressive issues including raising the minimum wage to $15, environmental protection, criminal justice reform, Medicare for All, and getting big money out of politics.

"The election shows a shift the balance of power rising in Maryland, a clear indication that progressives are a strong enough force to win statewide elections," said Larry Stafford, Jr., executive director of Progressive Maryland. "This was an election based on values, ideas and a vision for the state - and respect for the working people who live here."

Progressive Maryland organizers and volunteers contacted more than 100,000 voters with door-knocking and phone calls to move poor and working-class people to vote for Jealous and candidates who share those progressive values.

People's Action endorsed a pool of grassroots, progressive candidates, many of them women and especially women of color, who pushed other Democratic candidates to talk deeply about living wages, Medicare for All, and racial and gender justice for all Marylanders.

"Progressive Maryland is putting a new face on the way politics looks in Maryland," said Laurel Wales. "Activists and advocates with People's Action and Progressive Maryland have been out knocking on doors in communities since freezing cold January to keep the heat on corporate democrats who had hoped they wouldn't have to talk about our issues.

It was Progressive Maryland, and particularly women of color, stepping up to lead, and bringing a genuine and authentic voice of the people to this campaign that played a huge role in the victory Ben Jealous saw tonight," said Wales.

It was that power that Ben Jealous mentioned when he was endorsed by People's Action back in January.

"I know that change doesn't come because of politicians, it comes because working families join together and demand change, the kind of change People's Action works for by building a national movement of working families," said Jealous.

People's Action builds the power of poor and working people, in rural, suburban, and urban areas to win change through issue campaigns and elections.