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This past week, Boston College and the College Democrats hosted Democratic presidential candidate Governor Martin O’Malley (D – MD) during a campaign stop in Boston. As a candidate, O’Malley prides himself in his loyalty to the Democratic Party and his experience in executive offices as Mayor of Baltimore and later Governor of Maryland. In his presidential campaign, Governor O’Malley wants to convey his dedication to include citizens, especially younger Americans, economically, socially, and politically, something that has not been done in previous administrations. After laying out his plan to the students gathered in McGuinn 121, a Q&A session followed during which O’Malley emphasized that he also wanted not only questions but also answers from students themselves, putting his faith in the next generation of America.
Governor O’Malley’s platform is deeply rooted in his Jesuit Catholic education. He graduated from Gonzaga College High School in Washington, DC and went on to attend the Catholic University of America and the University of Maryland, where he earned a law degree. During his talk, O’Malley cited his time at Gonzaga as the “most formative years of his life,” where he learned the dignity for all people, a central component to his campaign. He also credited his parents for their hard work and supporting his education.
As Mayor of Baltimore, Governor O’Malley implemented programs to combat drug addiction and violence in black neighborhoods in the city. His policies proved to be very influential, and the city saw a decline in drug overdoses and shootings. During his time as Governor, he practiced what he calls “politics of inclusion.” The state increased investments into education and public by a whopping 37% and reaped the benefits of having the best public schools in the nation five years in a row. In a bipartisan effort, he passed stricter gun control and banned all assault weapons, as well as abolishing the death penalty. O’Malley passed not only the DREAM Act in Maryland, but also marriage equality. Diversity, in his opinion, is a strength in America, and he believes the politics of inclusion in Maryland will improve the nation.
The main platform of Martin O’Malley’s presidential campaign is a three-part economic plan that practices the politics of inclusion and incorporated important social issues. Firstly, O’Malley wants to restore fair wage and labor practices by raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour, expanding and implementing paid parental leave for mothers, and passing comprehensive immigration reform. In keeping with this practice, the next point proposes investments into the United States’ infrastructure. Improvements to transportation systems, educational reform, and funding medical research to prevent any sort of price gouging on prescription drugs, a practice O’Malley describes as “criminal.” Lastly, and most importantly, O’Malley wants all Americans to “square [their] shoulders” to challenges that lie ahead. As President, O’Malley promises to combat climate change with a 100% green initiative by 2050, while creating five million jobs. In Syria, he supports diplomacy and a transition of power that would ascertain the eradication of ISIL (ISIS), for it is America’s moral duty to “step up and be men and women for others.” Gun ownership reform and efforts to end childhood hunger and youth unemployment are also on the horizon with O’Malley’s plan.
Governor Martin O’Malley may not be the most recognizable candidate in this election, but that does not in any way discredit the plans he has for our country. O’Malley focuses particularly on young Americans who are “looking for new leadership” and are willing to engage in tough fight because “our country, the American Dream, and the planet are worth saving.” Donald Trump may be trying to make America great again, but Governor O’Malley is out to give “that carnival barker” a run for his (enormous amount of) money.