Banner political notes: Moore’s hop across the pond; new top trooper sworn in; comings and goings

Published 4/15/2023 5:30 a.m. EDT

Maryland, Baltimore City, Baltimore County politics

Moore takes service pitch across the pond

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore used his first international trip to pitch the idea of using volunteers to tackle some of the state’s pressing problems.

Speaking to the Skoll World Forum, a gathering of “social innovators,” Moore touted his newly established Department of Service and Civic Innovation. Initially, it’s going to house existing community service and volunteer programs, as well as an expanded program of paid service for young adults.

It appears he wants to broaden the department’s mission.

“It’s going to be the headquarters of our mission to bring people together and recruit volunteers to help what’s broken in our state and our world,” Moore told the Skoll crowd in Oxford, England, on Thursday.

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore is shown on a livestream speaking at the Skoll World Forum in Oxford, England, on April 13, 2023.

He gave three examples of how volunteers could be enlisted: engineers building seawalls to protect communities from climate change, lawyers assisting people returning from prison and “social entrepreneurs who want not just to build a more just and equitable future, but who want to build it now.”

The Democratic governor invited the Skoll conference participants to “come make the world a better place with us.”

“I want Maryland to be the best place in the world to change the world,” he said.

Moore also repeated his goal of offering a paid year of community service work to all young people recently out of high school. That program will start off with 200 participants in the first year, with a target to grow to 2,000 in the next few years.

The Skoll Foundation is an international nonprofit that invests in social change entrepreneurs and the forum “celebrates 20 years of impact and the innovators who drive social progress,” according to its website. It’s founded by Jeff Skoll, a billionaire who was the first president of eBay.

Moore’s trip to England ran from Tuesday through Saturday and also included economic development meetings, according to the governor’s office.

Post-sine die swearing in

In a brief ceremony in the State House, Lt. Col. Roland L. Butler Jr. was sworn in as the new superintendent of the Maryland State Police. Butler is the first Black person to hold the role since the organization’s formal composition in 1935. Butler previously served as chief of the Maryland State Police field operations bureau, and commanded the Forestville Barrack for more than 20 years.

Butler is tasked with ushering in a new era for an organization that has long been rife with reports of racism and discrimination. Lawmakers who confirmed the 30-year veteran of law enforcement say they will withhold a portion of the budget for his office until Butler submits reports on his progress toward reform.

Comings and goings

  • Sanjay Rai is Gov. Wes Moore’s pick to be secretary of the Maryland Higher Education Commission, the final high-level appointment the new governor needed to make. Rai is a senior vice president at Montgomery College. His background is in math, and he taught at Texas A&M University and Jacksonville University before joining Montgomery College in 2004. Rai will be acting secretary until he faces a confirmation vote in the next General Assembly session scheduled for January.
  • Dylan Goldberg, who has been a key aide to Del. Luke Clippinger and the House of Delegates Judiciary Committee (which Clippinger chairs), has a new gig. He’s heading to the governor’s team as deputy director of intergovernmental affairs.
  • Stephen Schatz, who was a deputy chief of staff and director of intergovernmental affairs for former Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, has joined Drumfire Public Affairs as a senior vice president. Drumfire is a D.C.-based public affairs firm with corporate, nonprofit and trade association clients.
  • Jordan Hines is the new political director for the Maryland Democratic Party. He comes to Maryland from Delaware, where he worked on issues such as HIV and housing, and has experience as a legislative analyst for the City of Wilmington and a legal aide for New Castle County, according to his online resume. He ran unsuccessfully for the Delaware Senate in 2018.

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