ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Hundreds of protesters gathered outside of governor’s house in Annapolis on Saturday in protest of President Donald Trump’s policies and what they said was Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s silence on key issues.
A handful of Democratic lawmakers showed up in support of groups such as CASA de Maryland and Progressive Maryland. Samir Paul, a Montgomery County Public Schools teacher and a member of the Maryland State Education Association, came to speak out against the president’s pick for Education Secretary, Betty De Vos.
“I think public schools are the most powerful possible incubator for democracy,” Paul said. “We have a responsibility to make sure public schools are welcoming places.”
The governor has touted record funding of public schools in Maryland, but Paul noted that the governor supported for a program that provides state funding to private schools.
“I think the governor is talking record funding in raw, absolute dollars,” Paul said. “But the need in Maryland is growing every year, and the population is growing, too.”
Immigration was the focus for other protesters. “You need to understand that this America is strengthened by our diversity, not by our division,” said Rudwan Abu-rumman, the president of the Anne Arundel County Muslim Council.
He said the president was encouraging division.
Ben Jealous, a Baltimore resident and the former head of the NAACP, echoed those thoughts.
“If we want to stay safe we’ve got to actually enlarge our definition of our country. We cannot constrict in fear,” Jealous said.
“We need a governor who will stand up for the spirit of the state, who will be inclusive and is willing to criticize the president, even though he’s in his own party,” Jealous continued.
Hogan has kept his distance from the president. During the election, Hogan refused to endorse Trump, even after the GOP nomination of president was clinched. He skipped the Republican National Convention in Cleveland and then wrote in his dad, Larry Hogan Sr., instead of voting for Trump. Since Trump’s election, the governor has declined to say much about the president or where he stands on some of Trump’s issues.
In a statement emailed to WTOP on Saturday, Hogan said he was “focused on making a better place to live, work, and raise a family.”
The statement reads:
“We look forward to seeing these same groups support the administration’s common sense and bipartisan initiatives, including legislation to strengthen our ethics laws, aid in the fight against heroin, and create thousands of jobs for Maryland’s hardworking citizens.”
Here’s video of the protest:
Hundreds of protesters nearly surround Gov House marching, protesting Trump Admin policies they say Gov Hogan needs to rebuke. pic.twitter.com/xZZbQ6QmuP
— John Domen (@JDDsays) February 4, 2017