Other Group

Maryland Working Families

Maryland Working Families is the affiliate of the Working Families Party (WFP) operating in the state of Maryland. Working Families Party is a historically labor-union-backed far-left political operation best known for its support of the left-wing of the Democratic Party in New York State. [1]

The organization has endorsed progressive candidates for federal, state, and local office in Maryland, along with championing left-wing and labor union-backed causes such as a $15 hourly minimum wage, anti-school choice measures, and gun control. [2]

The WFP is associated with the lobbying group Working Families Organization.

Issues

Maryland Working Families has generally supported left-wing issues and has pressured centrist Democratic candidates to adopt them.

Minimum Wage

Maryland Working Families has been longtime supporters of raising the state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour. As a result, they launched a two-year campaign called Raise Maryland that pressured Democrats in the House of Delegates and the State Senate to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour. In February 2019, Maryland Working Families endorsed a $15 minimum wage but insisted on “a clean $15 minimum wage,” arguing that the legislation championed by left-wing lawmakers would “disproportionally affect women and workers of color and keep workers reliant on public assistance.” [3] [4]

Maryland legislators passed a sick leave bill in 2018 that required businesses of more than 15 employees to provide paid sick leave to their employees. The bill was initially vetoed by Governor Larry Hogan (R), but the veto was later overridden by the Democratic-controlled legislature.  [5]

Maryland Working Families was vocal and organized activists in support for paid leave legislation despite negative impacts that the legislation has on small businesses and families, namely fewer job opportunities. [6]

Equal Pay Legislation

Maryland Working Families, like the national Working Families Party, has been in support of “equal pay” legislation which has a stated goal of closing pay disparities between men and women. As a result, Maryland Working Families was crucial in pressuring support for the “Maryland Equal Pay for Equal Work Law” in 2016 including from Republican Governor Larry Hogan who signed the legislation. Upon the legislation’s passing, left-wing outlet Vox referred to the legislation as, “one of the nation’s strongest equal pay laws.” [7]

Maryland Women’s Economic Security Agenda

The Maryland Women’s Economic Security Agenda is a legislative agenda produced by Maryland Working Families. The agenda frames the party’s conventional left-wing goals of government-mandated sick leave, restrictions on employers’ ability to schedule work hours, “equal pay” legislation, minimum wage increases, and government-funded childcare as necessary for the “economic security” of women in Maryland. [8]

Endorsements

In the 2018 gubernatorial primary, Maryland Working Families endorsed left-wing candidate and former NAACP CEO Ben Jealous for the Democratic nomination for governor. The endorsement cited his support for various left-wing causes such as a government-run healthcare, $15 dollar minimum wage, and free college programs. [9]

Candidate Pipeline

Maryland Working Families also runs a training program for far-left candidates interested in running for public office called “Progressive Candidate Pipeline.” The program offerings range from “scout trainings” at which leaders host four-hour workshop for the purpose of recruiting candidates based on their strengths, in-depth candidate training, intensive trainings for campaign workers, and a six-month training for Baltimore City residents interested in joining boards and commissions on how to promote left-wing goals, such as restrictive zoning laws, pro-teachers-union educational agendas, minimum wage increases, and Black Lives Matter-endorsed policing practices. [10]

Leadership

As of April 2020, Maryland Working Families website does not currently list any executive staff or board of directors. [11]

Maryland Working Families first most recent executive director was Charly Carter who worked in this capacity from March 2014 to April 2018. Previously, Carter was the regional political director for the Mid-Atlantic Joint Board of Workers United, a division of the Service Employees International Union. She holds an undergraduate degree from Cornell University and a graduate degree from George Washington University. [12]

References

  1. Levy, Pema. “Bernie Sanders’ secret weapon in New York.” Mother Jones. April 18, 2016. Accessed March 27, 2017. http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/04/bernie-sanders-has-secret-weapon-new-york ^
  2. “Maryland Working Families.”. Working Families Party. Accessed April 13, 2020. https://workingfamilies.org/states/maryland/ ^
  3. Dresser, Michael. ”State’s minimum-wage workers getting a raise,” Baltimore Sun. December 31, 2014. Accessed April 14, 2020. https://www.baltimoresun.com/politics/bs-md-minimum-wage-rises-20141231-story.html#page=1 ^
  4. ”Clean 15 Minimum Wage for Maryland”. Working Families Party. February 26, 2019. Accessed April 14, 2020. https://workingfamilies.org/2019/02/clean-15-minimum-wage-for-maryland/ ^
  5. Dubose, Brooks. ”Maryland has a new sick leave law. Here’s how workers and business owners feel about it.” The Diamondback. February 28, 2018. Accessed April 14, 2020. https://www.dbknews.com/2018/02/28/maryland-paid-sick-leave-law-umd/ ^
  6. “700,000 Marylanders Just Got Paid Sick Days”. Working Families Party. January 12, 2018. Accessed April 14, 2020. https://workingfamilies.org/2018/01/700000-marylanders-just-got-paid-sick-days/ ^
  7. Crockett, Emily. “Maryland Has Passed One of the Nation’s Strongest Equal Pay Laws.” Vox. Vox, May 24, 2016. https://www.vox.com/2016/5/21/11715722/maryland-equal-pay-law-women. ^
  8. ”The Maryland Women’s Economic Security Agenda.” Working Families Party. Accessed April 14, 2020. https://workingfamilies.org/pushwesa/ ^
  9. Wiggins, Ovetta. ”Maryland Working Families endorses Ben Jealous for Maryland Governor”. Washington Post. August 11, 2017. Accessed April 14, 2020. https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/md-politics/maryland-working-families-endorses-ben-jealous-for-maryland-governor/2017/08/11/2013ba3e-7ea3-11e7-83c7-5bd5460f0d7e_story.html ^
  10. ”Our Progressive Candidate Pipeline”. Working Families Party. Accessed April 14, 2020. https://workingfamilies.org/mdpipline/ ^
  11. ”Contact Us”. Working Families Party. Accessed April 14, 2020. https://workingfamilies.org/states/maryland/?sec=contact ^
  12. “Charly Carter.” LinkedIn. Accessed April 14, 2020. https://www.linkedin.com/in/charly-carter-08581551/ ^
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