Jerome M. Segal, candidate for Maryland Governor – Baltimore Sun

Maryland Governor

Jerome M. Segal



Silver Spring, Montgomery County

Director, The Peace Consultancy

BA – The City College of New York Masters in Public Policy – University of Minnesota Ph.d. in Philosophy, University of Michigan

1965 – 1972 — anti-war & civil rights movement 1975 – Served at the UN, assisted Clarence Mitchell in his fight against Apartheid. 1977 – 78 House Budget Committee, Administrator of Task Force on social equity. Focused on unemployment disparities between racial groups. 1979 – 1983 – Coordinator for Near East, USAID, fought for basic needs conception of economic development. Removed by John Bolton. 1984 – present – connected to Univ of Md, mostly at the School of Public Policy 1982 – With Marc Raskin (Jamie Raskin’s dad) organized first Jewish protest at Israeli Embassy against the invasion of Lebanon. 1987 – First Jewish delegation to engage with PLO. 1988 – present – 3 books on Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 1999 – wrote “Graceful Simplicity: the Philosophy and Politics of Simple Living” 2018 – Challenged Ben Cardin in Democratic primary both on Israel and as advocate of Bread and Roses socialism.

What is the most pressing issue in Maryland and what are your plans to address it?

It remains education. The so-called Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, which has become law, was a giant step forward in resolving the social justice aspects of the distribution of financial and human resources to schools, and closing multiple equity gaps. However, when it came to education itself, what should be taught in the classroom and what are the missions of the public schools, it turned out to be a terribly impoverished document, with a very limited vision of the mission of public schools, and even in the area of ​​its focus: getting better jobs, it had a weak understanding of future labor markets, and failed to undertake the needed long-term thinking when educating today’s children, most of whom will be healthy and active into the twenty-second century . In its pursuit of a “world class” school system, Maryland committed itself to focus on the only way of comparing schools internationally: standardized testing.

What should the state do to reduce violent crime in and around Baltimore?

Everyone has a right to life without fear. Relying on policing has been disastrous, resulting in a new kind of fear, fear of the police themselves. We know our society is sick when parents have to have “The Talk” to instruct their sons how to survive an encounter with officers who are supposed to protect them. And imprisonment actually makes things worse. I strongly believe in the right of the community to remove those who endanger the lives of ordinary people. The problem is that we have no viable and humane way of doing this. We have to rethink “removal” from top to bottom. Prison as we know it should be abolished. People at all ages, but especially the young, need new environments that support human transformation. It is no panacea, but I believe in free full-summer sleep-away camp for all children from low-income families.

What are your top three priorities for transportation in Maryland, and how would you fund them?

Two priorities: public transportation and the “near-free EV.” The best-selling EV: Tesla, starts at $60,000. Low-income households will be the last to switch to electric vehicles, waiting for Tesla’s to become old used cars. Low-income people will be the last polluters on the road. We can reverse this. The second best-selling EV in the world is the Wu Ling Mini. It is available only in China and sells for $4,500. Guess who makes it? GM owns 44% of the company. As Governor, I will bring “near free EV’s” to Maryland, even if the state has to contract with Shanghai or Tokyo for 250,000 that we will resell in Maryland. Our deeper goal is to reduce the household transportation budget from 20% of income to 5% of income, thus making it possible to live on 15% less money, and thus start the weekend at 10:30 Friday morning. That’s Bread and Roses.

What should Maryland schools do differently during the next pandemic?

1. Mobilize a Health National Guard to protect those in nursing homes, who died like sheep in the first six months. 2. Use work sharing programs so that an employer who goes from needing 5 workers at 40 hours (200 hrs) to 4 workers at 40 (160 hours) instead goes to 5 workers at 32 hours (also 160 hours). We could have avoided almost all the unemployment. 3. A Year of New-Education: Stop teaching all the high stress, competitive courses in school. Have a fun year, teach through film, teach the arts, have virtual debates, learn about the history of slavery, have performance competitions, read only the most enjoyable books, or better yet, hear them on audio books, write poetry, visit other countries (virtually). Have the most educational and joyful year of your life.

What are your plans for the state’s property taxes?

We have a proportional property tax, the same rate for the rich and the poor. We need progressive property taxes. Zero property taxes for those with small homes or in low-income neighborhoods and higher rates on the McMansions. For Bread and Roses Socialism, this is only part of our housing ambition. We will provide ZIM’s – zero interest mortgages for building modest and even tiny homes. This will make it possible to pay off the mortgages on a modest home within 10 years even on a modest income. This shelter cost (mortgage + property taxes) is typically 25% of income, and means 25% of work time, 1 day plus 5 hours. Combine this with the 6 hours we save on transportation and we have the 3-day work week. That’s Bread and Roses.

How equitably do police officers treat people of color?

First, you can’t just ask, “how do police officers treat people of color.” People are each responsible for their own actions, and people are different. But we know that there is a system and a culture in which ill treatment and brutality and injustice is rampant. And it is a giant problem, not just for those who suffer from it directly, but because it also has deep connections with the original sin of America: Slavery. In many ways, today’s police brutality is the long reach of our dreadful history into the present, and it shames us all.

What would you do to make sure Maryland’s voting system is secure and accurate?

I view this as largely a non-issue that has been manufactured to suppress voting of minorities. There is a real threat to our voting system today, but of a very different sort. It is Donald Trump, calling up election officials in Georgia and saying, “Find me 13,647 votes.” And this is not anomaly. The Republican Party has descended to the lowest gutter in American history. Except for a few individuals that they are hounding from office, there is no integrity to be found in the entire lot of them. Even at the time of the Civil War, no one maintained that Lincoln didn’t win. Today’s Republicans would at least be honest, if they quit the Union and fired on Fort Sumpter, rather than destroying confidence in the legitimacy of American elections.

What are the right goals and deadlines for Maryland to reduce carbon emissions and develop renewable energy sources?

The automobile is the worst source of carbon emissions, and one of the easiest to correct. We need to go to electric vehicles, and it is very doable, and in a previous answer I wrote about the need for “the near-free EV.” The real issue for Maryland is how to make a difference to climate change itself. Meeting our goals, whether by 2035 or 2060, will make no difference to sea level or temperature levels. Bread and Roses seeks to model for the country and for the world a different conception of a developed society, one that is not a matter of more and more, one that provides a higher quality of life with modest levels of consumption and with more time that is truly our own.

What are Gov. Larry Hogan’s best and worst policies?

Beyond all else, the best thing about Larry Hogan is that he has said he will not support Trump, even if Trump gets the nomination. This simple prioritizing of country over party is a rarity in today’s Republican Party. Things are so bad in the United States today, that even though I, as a bread and rose socialist, could hardly be further from Hogan on policies, I recognize that a Hogan Presidency might indeed be a good thing.

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