Thank you to the more than 150 individuals who participated in the August 28th Listening Session hosted by the House of Delegates Study Group on Economic Stability. This event was part of a series of sessions across the state designed to gather insight from front-line service providers, community leaders and those using public assistance on how we strengthen Maryland’s middle class.

It was important to me that Western Maryland voices were heard loud and clear by my colleagues on the study group, and your friends and neighbors delivered!

Our citizens need well-paying jobs that allow them to stay in their community and raise their families. State and local governments must work together to attract businesses of all sizes and help develop the skilled workforce and infrastructure they need. Federal, state and local service providers need to work together to give families a path to financial self-sufficiency.

This is why I am an advocate for the Two Generation approach that places the family at the center of how public assistance is delivered. 2Gen does not involve creating a new government program, it links existing policies, systems and programs to serve parents and children together. With a family’s self-sufficiency as the goal, 2Gen focuses on education, workforce development, economic stability, high-quality childcare, health and wellbeing, and family engagement. Recent pilot programs in Western Maryland have shown that this approach works, and I am an advocate for expanding it statewide.

I believe that we should be judged not on how many families receive public assistance, but how many families we help achieve financial independence. I am pleased that House Speaker Adrienne Jones recently appointed me co-chair of the House Commission on Economic Stability that will allow me to continue working on this important issue for Western Maryland and the entire State.

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