Bearing Witness

by Billy Shore

The Political Courage of A Governor and No Kid Hungry Champion

Thursday, February 02, 2012


Because Maryland is of such great importance in our No Kid Hungry strategy, our focus in listening to Governor O’Malley’s State of the State speech yesterday was on whether he would include a reference to ending childhood hunger. He did. But the speech turned out to be well worth listening to for other reasons as well. It was not only ambitious in scope, but politically courageous.

O’Malley did what other political leaders rarely do: he told people what they did not want to hear, but needed to know. He said that creating jobs and investing in the future means there would need to be increases in taxes and fees.

The Governor tried to help legislators and voters think long-term and see the big picture:

“To create jobs, a modern economy requires modern investments: investments by all of us, for all of us. That’s not a Democratic or a Republican idea; it’s an economic and historic truth. It was true for our parents, it was true for our grandparents, and it is a truth that has built our State and has built our country….
“Everything has a cost. Failing to make decisions that are consistent with the interests of the next generation – this too has a cost,” he said. “Progress is a choice.”

Politicians don’t often say such things. But leaders do.

The Baltimore Sun coverage is at @,0,6645505.story
and the speech itself can be found at @