Chris Van Hollen (D-Maryland) Running for MD Governor
May 2014 at Salisbury University
[Take a deep breath] Give me a second. [Takes another deep break] I thought it’d be a good idea to walk up the tunnel under the highway as I toured the campus. It was a bad idea. All my family’s hiking didn’t prepare me for that. I’ll catch my breath in a second.
Praise (thank you’s, acknowledgements, praise for audience and self)
This is my first time at Salisbury University. What a beautiful campus nestled in one of America’s great neighborhoods. I’m grateful to be here. Mayor Ireton, it’s good to see you again. Thank you, President Dudley-Eshbach for having me at your school and thank you, students and people of Salisbury for opening up this town’s gem for me.
For the past 11 years, I’ve been serving as congressman for the 8th district and serving most of Montgomery County and part of Prince George’s County. As a congressman, I’ve helped create positive programs for ex-offenders and gang members to re-enter society. I’ve voted to protect my constituents against hate crimes. I’ve brought support and money to build infrastructure, better the education system, and make public transportation easier for all of us. I’m a man that values the people above all. Today, I’m asking for your help.
I love my state. No matter where I travel across the country and around the world, this is where I call home. I love Maryland, but I’ve noticed that in my home, things aren’t always the way they should be.
In the past 10 years, Hispanics have accounted for almost half of all Maryland’s resident growth. But not enough of them are on their way to citizenship and employment.
Unemployment in 2012 was 7%. That seems like a small number compared to the rest of the country, but just 5 years ago, unemployment was less than 4%.
Our small slice of America alone, has over 40 colleges and universities. These students don’t have all-inclusive healthcare.
Salisbury… is this acceptable?
Any forced unemployment is unacceptable. People should have jobs if they want them. With me as governor, Maryland supports the President’s full job package to modernize America’s infrastructure creating thousands of jobs to bring our economy back on its feet.
Trying to get rid of a new American is unacceptable. We cannot allow our Latino community to live in fear of being hauled away. We cannot allow our Latino community to go without work or healthcare because they are waiting for residency or citizenship papers. My job is to protect anyone living on Maryland soil. Immigrants included.
Not giving college students everything that they need to lead healthy lives is unacceptable. Healthcare needs to be all-inclusive in order to keep student’s out-of-pocket expenses low.
Our state is a treasure; DC’s retreat-- a cozy of sorts from the big city life. The Chesapeake flows through our state, reinforcing beauty and simplicity. We are separated from Europe and Africa only by the Atlantic Ocean. This is Maryland. This is home. With the hard work of Governor O’Malley and those before him, our state boasts a superior school system, low unemployment and many liberal freedoms for all people.
Call to Action
I want to… I want us… to do better. With me, as your governor, you can depend on Maryland remaining one of the strongest states with the loudest voice in DC. Vote for me to help keep Maryland at the top.
My critics say that I’m just going to live in O’Malley’s shadow and follow his footsteps. Let me tell you something, that’s not the worst thing. I’m not against change—it’s a necessary part of life. Remember, on the other hand, that not everything needs to be tampered with. Many of the world’s greatest formulas are great because they’re simple and familiar. Coke’s secret recipe, Apple products, the Harry Potter Series. All of these things started with a simple foundation and kept that idea at their core.
If I know anything, it’s that if a formula works and it keeps you rising to the top, then all you have to do it make it work for you.
Our previous governors have set an incredible pace and Maryland is climbing to the top of its game in statehood. It’s 2014, let’s do it again.
*The tunnel under the highway is known to make people feel out of shape and out of breath when they walk it