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Maryland DREAM Act Supporters, Governor O’Malley Celebrate Decisive Victory on Question 4

In a triumphant outcome for Maryland DREAM Act supporters from across the state, Maryland voters decisively voted today to uphold the Maryland DREAM Act, with 58% of voters casting a ballot in favor of Question 4.  The Maryland DREAM Act ensures that all Maryland students whose families have paid Maryland taxes and who graduated from Maryland high schools are able to pay in-state tuition at Maryland colleges and universities.   A diverse coalition including faith-based, labor union, education, civil rights, and community groups came together to defend the Maryland DREAM Act, which was passed by the state legislature and signed into law by Governor O’Malley in 2011.

“All children will now be able to reach their potential because the people of our state have put a college education within their grasp,” said Governor Martin O’Malley (D-MD), who addressed a crowd of supporters tonight at a victory party at Arcos restaurant in Baltimore and was introduced by Brenda Zavala, a DREAM student at Digital Harbor High School in Baltimore.  “We have made college dreams a reality by passing the DREAM Act!”

“Today, the people of Maryland affirmed their commitment to fairness and educational opportunity for all,” said Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. “With the Dream Act, Maryland now opens the doors to our outstanding educational institutions to the children of hard-working immigrants. By granting our fellow Marylanders access to quality education, we are preparing the state for years of progress and growth.”

Educating Maryland Kids, the Maryland DREAM Act coalition, is comprised of diverse organizations including the Service Employees International Union, the Maryland State Education Association, Maryland Industrial Areas Foundation, Maryland Catholic Conference, NAACPCASA de Maryland and CASA in ActionAmnesty International, American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, American Federation of Teachers, The Intersection, United Food and Commercial Workers,and America’s Voice.

“This is a momentous victory for DREAMers here in Maryland who have done everything we’ve asked of them, excelling in school and contributing to their communities,” said Gustavo Torres, executive director of CASA de Maryland and CASA in Action, who celebrated the Maryland DREAM Act win with hundreds of hard-working students for whom the Maryland DREAM Act will put their dreams of higher education within reach.   “Voters today recognized the vital contributions talented young people, regardless of immigration status, are making to our state.”

Teachers from across the state joined the call for passage of the Maryland DREAM Act.

“With today’s victory for the Maryland DREAM Act, our state once again affirmed its commitment to education,” said Betty Weller, president of the Maryland State Education Association.  “All students we teach deserve a fair shot to pursue higher education and fulfill their potential. The Maryland DREAM Act opens the door of opportunity to talented students who just want the chance to give back to the state they know as home.”

Labor unions, including the Service Employees International Union, are key members of the Educating Maryland Kids coalition pushing for passage of the Maryland DREAM Act.

“SEIU is proud to stand alongside our partners from other labor unions, faith-based organizations, civil rights, and community groups to celebrate the passage of the Maryland DREAM Act,” said Jaime Contreras, vice president of SEIU 32BJ.  “This is a hard-earned victory for our young people and a wise investment in our future.   Allowing every child to pursue their dreams means we’ll be able to build a more highly educated workforce and a stronger economy.”

 


Category : News