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 Moore’s Inauguration Showcases Maryland’s Diversity

By GREG MORTON
Capital News Service

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (Jan. 18, 2023)—With the historic inauguration Wednesday of the state’s first Black governor and Asian lieutenant governor, a diverse group of Marylanders arrived at the State House inspired by Wes Moore’s message of a more equitable state.

Moore, freshly inaugurated, took office saying, “This journey has never been about ‘making history.’ It is about marching forward. Today is not an indictment of the past; it’s a celebration of our future. And today is our opportunity to begin a future so bright, it is blinding.”

He extolled the virtues of his state, saying, “Maryland is home to spectacular natural beauty, dynamic industries, and people as talented as they are determined.” But he cautioned that “for too long, we have left too many people behind.”

It’s that promise that caused throngs to flock to his inaugural, many of them Black Americans, who see in Moore a new beginning.

“Once again, when he’d say ‘leave nobody behind’, I think that encompasses so much that he’s gonna make sure to tackle to make sure that you count. I count. We all count in the state of Maryland,” said Jerome Stephens, a Black man from Baltimore County.

Before the crowd began streaming in, soldier rows of about 2,600 white chairs in front of the Maryland State Capitol building portended the excitement around Moore’s inauguration.

Even hours before the event was set to begin, the air around the capitol was already pregnant with the anticipation of Democratic lawmakers excited to have an ally in the governor’s office after eight years of Republican leadership, law enforcement and city officials scrambling to make sure everything was set up, and Marylanders from around the state, some with their children or their students in tow, ready to see themselves reflected in the highest office of state government.

“My district is about 75 percent Black. So the kids in my district get to look up and see Wes Moore as governor, a Black man who lives in Baltimore City,” said Del. Caylin Young, D-Baltimore City.

Lawmakers seemed keenly aware of the gravity of the moment as they gathered in a joint session in a tightly packed House chamber at 9:30 a.m. to certify election results to cheers and loud applause. Some seemed ready, even before the inauguration began, to get to work alongside their new governor.

“Now’s the time, now that we have the leadership in place, now we have to move the dial forward and make significant change to ensure opportunities for each and every resident,” said Sen. Ron Watson, D-Prince George’s County.

As legislators began to make their way outside after the joint session, the lines of white chairs were beginning to give way to smiles, anticipatory conversation, the sounds of a diverse array of music from hula to bachata, and the bright colors of historically Black “Divine Nine” fraternities and sororities, whose members arrived in numbers to support the governor-elect, a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.

Swain Riley, sporting a shiny black jacket shot with gold lettering saying “Manly Deeds” on the back, came to the inauguration saying his support for Moore was “threefold:” He and Moore are both members of the Alpha Phi Alpha, retired Army veterans (Riley was an Army master sergeant) and Black men. Black and gold and “Manly Deeds” are the colors and credo of the Black fraternity.

Riley said he just moved to Maryland after his retirement and he attended Moore’s swearing in because, “I want great things for the place I moved to.” After he attended Bowie State, he said, “Maryland is the place for me.”

Others arrived feeling hopeful about Wes Moore’s policy agenda. Deborah Wilder, a former public administrator from Prince George’s County and member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, who arrived clad in her all-red Delta jacket, was hopeful about Moore’s promise to fill many of the vacant jobs in state government.

“I don’t think people who work for government agencies, especially local and state, get enough praise,” she said. Adding “if it weren’t for those who work in governmental areas, a lot of what goes on in the state wouldn’t happen.”

Dr. Ralph Johnson, a former mentor of Moore’s at Johns Hopkins University, arrived alongside a multi-generational coalition of Alphas to support Moore. Johnson, who sported a “WES” button, recalled just how little had changed about Maryland’s new governor over the course of their 20-plus-year relationship.

“What you see here is not fake. That is Wes Moore. And I can say that was Wes Moore when he was 20 years old when I knew him at Hopkins,” said Johnson.

Johnson had an air of pride about him as he looked back on his words to Moore years ago:

“I told him when he was a student at Hopkins, you’re going to be something great one day, I don’t know what it is, but you’re gonna be something really great.”

Capital News Service reporter Jennifer Gable contributed to this report.

DC Area High Jumper Sets USA Record for Men Over 65

By MICHAEL CHARLES
Capital News Service

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (Jan. 18, 2023)—In a star-studded inauguration ceremony Wednesday, newly sworn-in Maryland Gov. Wes Moore captivated the crowd with the same energy and vision that launched his political ascension last year. Emphasizing themes of unity and forward progress, Moore promised to lift people out of poverty, become a leader in clean energy technology and create a path of service for the state’s youth.

“No, yes, Aruna’s and my portraits are going to look a little different from the ones we’ve always seen in the capitol. But that’s not the point. This journey has never been about ‘making history’. It is about marching forward,” Moore said. “Today is not an indictment of the past; it’s a celebration of our future. And today is our opportunity to begin a future so bright, it is blinding. But only if we are intentional, inclusive, and disciplined in confronting challenges, making hard choices, and seizing the opportunity in front of us.”

In a ceremony emceed by Anne Arundel Executive Steuart Pittman,  Moore became the 63rd governor of Maryland, and the first Black governor in state history. He is the fifth Black governor in U.S. history and only the third elected Black governor.

His ascension in politics has brought him national renown and attracted celebrity guests to the inaugural, including media mogul Oprah Winfrey; former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, the first Black man elected statewide; President Bill Clinton’s daughter, Chelsea Clinton, and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, among others.

“I always walk away from a conversation with Wes Moore with a new perspective, with new ideas, with a new way of seeing things. A new burst of positive energy. That’s what you do for people,” said Winfrey, who introduced him to the audience arrayed in front of the portico steps of the Maryland State House.  “This might be his first day as an elected official but Wes Moore has been a public service servant his entire adult life. There’s so much more to come. He's just getting started.”

Moore took the oath of office at noon on a Bible that once belonged to author and orator Frederick Douglass, who was born enslaved in Maryland and later became known for his fight for the abolition of slavery.

Moore acknowledged Maryland’s history of enslaving people, as well as its great civil rights leaders.

“As I stand here today, looking out over Lawyers’ Mall, at the memorial to Justice Thurgood Marshall, it’s impossible not to think about our past and our path. We are blocks away from the Annapolis docks, where so many enslaved people arrived in this country against their will. And we are standing in front of a capitol building built by their hands,” Moore said.  Those people’s history was lost or stolen, he said, but progress has been made and he promised to continue it.

“And it is a shared history—our history —made by people who, over the last two centuries, regardless of their origin story to Maryland, fought to build a state, and a country, that works for everybody,” Moore said.

In the Democratic primary, Moore received 33.8% of the vote, enough to beat out competitors Tom Perez (28.3%) and Peter Franchot (21.5%). Moore then went on to defeat Republican Dan Cox overwhelmingly in the General Election, capturing 64.5% of the vote.

Aruna Miller, also sworn in Wednesday as Maryland’s 10th lieutenant governor, is another historic first, becoming the first woman of color to be Maryland lieutenant governor and the first South Asian lieutenant governor in U.S. history.

Miller was born in Hyderabad, India, and moved with her family to the U.S. at age 7. She is a civil engineer who worked with the Montgomery County Department of Transportation for 25 years and served in the General Assembly from 2010 until she was tapped to be Moore’s running mate.

“We will address the inequities of the past and build a Maryland where everyone will thrive. Our fortunes are tied together in ensuring that we create a state where we grow equitably. It will take all of us together to achieve this vision,” Miller said. “Together, with you, we will write the next chapter of Maryland’s history, a chapter that will be filled with real-time heroes like you.”

During his inaugural address, Moore also reflected on his life’s journey to Annapolis. Specifically, he highlighted how his time in the military shaped his leadership style and will inform his legislation.

“My years of service transformed me. My character was strengthened, my vistas were widened, my leadership was tested. I want every young Marylander, of every background, in every community, to have the opportunity to serve our state,” Moore said. “That is why we will offer a service year option for all high school graduates. A year of service will prepare young people for their careers—and provide our state with future leaders: public servants we desperately need.”

Moore, who graduated from Valley Forge Military College, served as a captain and paratrooper with the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne, including leading troops into combat in Afghanistan. Two members of his Cabinet, Secretary of Housing & Community Development Jake Day and Secretary of Veterans Affairs Anthony Woods, also are combat veterans. Moore said service can be a catalyst for young people in Maryland, as it was for him.

The governor challenged the state to reject the norms that have failed many and enter this period of change with optimism and unity.

“Maryland is home to spectacular natural beauty, dynamic industries, and people as talented as they are determined. But…the truth is: Maryland is asset-rich and strategy-poor and for too long, we have left too many people behind,” Moore said. “We’ve been asked to accept that some of us must be left behind. That in order for some to win, others must lose. And not only that: We have come to expect that the people who have always lost... will keep losing. Well, we must refuse to accept that.”

While Moore has made it clear that tomorrow is a working day, today provides an opportunity for Marylanders to envision a brighter future.

 

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DC Area High Jumper Sets USA Record for Men Over 65

By MARGARET POPE

Landover, Md. (Jan. 15, 2023)—Bruce McBarnette from Loudoun, VA, set a new USA record in the high jump for men over 65 at the Sportsplex Track Showcase meet at the Prince George's Sports and Learning Complex in Landover, MD. He jumped 5 feet 4.4 inches (1.64 meters).

McBarnette, who is a realtor with Keller Williams - Dulles, business owner, and lawyer, has won 14 world championships and 41 USA national championships for his age group. He is a member of the Potomac Valley Track Club and competed for Princeton University in college.

For more information and pictures of and articles about McBarnette visit http://www.mcbarnette.com/track

 

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Save-the-Date:
Get Revved Up for the 13th Annual Fashion for a Cause

By ELYZABETH MARCUSSEN
Hospice of the Chesapeake

PASADENA, Md. (Jan. 20, 2023)— Last year’s Fashion for a Cause was a phenomenal success—new models, new looks, new food in a new, bright, and airy venue. This year, Annapolis’s hottest red-carpet fashion event returns to the new custom service center at Porsche Annapolis on Hudson Street, from 6 to 9:30 p.m. Thursday, June 8, 2023.

Get a look at what you’ll be seeing this summer in the city, on the beach and at parties. More than a dozen community models will take to the runway for this high energy show with sleek and racy Porsche automobiles as their backdrop. They will be wearing designer fashions from shops along Main Street and in the Annapolis Town Center.

The party begins and ends with signature cocktails and delicious savory and sweet bites from popular food trucks and area restaurants. Proceeds from the event will benefit Chesapeake Kids, a program service of Hospice of the Chesapeake designed to support children who are living with illness, dealing with the illness of a family member or who are grieving the loss of a loved one.

Sponsorship opportunities are available. For details, contact Lauren Thurston at 443-837-1531 or events@hospicechesapeake.org.

For pictures from last year’s event, visit https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.439889598143331&type=3

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Save-the-Date:
Popular Calvert County Culinary Event Returns for its 10th Year

By ELYZABETH MARCUSSE
Hospice of the Chesapeake

Prince Frederick, Md. (Jan. 20, 2023)—Calvert Hospice, an affiliate of Hospice of the Chesapeake, is pleased to announce that its 10th annual Culinary Event will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Friday, May 12, 2023, at Running Hare Vineyard in Prince Frederick, Maryland.

The evening will begin with a cocktail hour, followed by delicious dishes created by Maryland Country Caterers paired with the vineyard’s finest wines, all designed to delight your palate in an extraordinary setting. The band Nightlife will provide music for entertainment and dancing throughout the evening. There also will be a live auction with pieces from local artisans, exciting travel packages, and more.

In June 2022, Calvert Hospice proudly became an affiliate of the Hospice of the Chesapeake brand family through acquisition. Though the nonprofit is now caring for families in Anne Arundel, Calvert, Charles, and Prince George’s counties, the organization is fully committed to having local dollars supporting local programs. All proceeds from this event will be used to grow and strengthen programs in Calvert County and providing direct support to local patients and families living with illness and loss.

For sponsorship opportunities, contact the events team at 443-837-1531 or events@hospicechesapeake.org.  For additional event details and to purchase tickets please visit https://www.hospicechesapeake.org/2023-culinary-event/

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