Saturday, March 08, 2014 9:19 AM
Delegate Jolene Ivey talks with The Sentinel
Published on: Friday, October 18, 2013
Alexis Goring, Special to The Sentinel
Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler named Delegate Jolene Ivey as his running mate in the 2014 race for Governor of Maryland. Ivey talked with reporter Alexis Goring of The Prince George’s Sentinel about her vision for the state.
Goring: What is your platform?
Ivey: I have more than one thing that I’m very interested in having an impact on: any issue having to do with family are obviously the most important to me as a mother and a wife, as a person who’s been working in this county for decades…I really have a stake on what’s going on here and what’s going on in the state.
When you talk about what affects family, the number one issue right now is jobs. If people do not have a job that they can work and support their family then things are just extremely difficult for them, it’s a domino effect. Obviously we want to make sure that we’re bringing more jobs into the state. It’s been kind of distressing for everybody...We have to get all hands on deck to address that and make sure that there’s work and that people are able to earn a decent living so therefore we’re also supporting the minimum wage. People have to be able to make more money in order to keep a roof over their head because making the minimum wage right not is not enough to keep people out of poverty.
Goring: How high do you want to raise the minimum wage?
Ivey: We’re looking at around somewhere around $10 or so an hour. We’ll have to work with a lot of different people to get it done. But we’re going to try to increase the minimum wage during this session. If we can’t get it increased in session then we’re going to make it the first thing we address in the Gansler/Ivey administration.
Goring: You’ve said that education is an issue of importance to you especially as Maryland is number two in the nation for an achievement gap between minority kids and white kids. What is your plan to close the achievement gap?
Ivey: There is a program in place right now (the Home Visiting Program) where low-income at-risk teen moms are able to get home visiting, meaning a trained person comes in to advise them, to talk to them about how they’re going through their pregnancy, how they’re raising their children and by the help and advice they get, they’re able to turn things around so that their babies are born healthy, and they’re ready for school, and they learn by the time they start school. The idea is to focus resources on the needs of kids, the ones who are dropping out of school.
Goring: What about transportation?
Ivey: Transportation is another very important issue for me that I personally will be hopefully involved with. When you look at Prince George’s County for example, we really struggle with economic development and a lot of it is tied to transportation, transit that we’ve got available. I mean if you look at south county right now, people have a hard time getting around without a car, there’s no metro, there’s very little bus service. One thing that we’ve done with a delegation that I was in charge of during the session was to get a commitment from the state to increase bus service in the southern part of the county.
Goring: What in, your opinion, are some of the most pressing issues facing Marylanders and how do you and Mr. Gansler plan to address those if elected?
Ivey: Jobs, the economy, pay, education and transportation—those are the main things that we’re focusing on right now. As a mother, I have a tendency to care about what’s happening with children because I have five boys. I have a natural inclination to want to lookout for people who cannot look out for themselves whether it’s children or seniors. I know very well the challenges facing senior citizens and children and I want to use those past experiences that I’ve had in order to make life better for everyone.