Baltimore Fishbowl | John King on Baltimore’s challenges and solutions

John King, who led education in New York state and for the Obama administration, is running for governor of Maryland in 2022.

Baltimore Fishbowl asked candidates running for office this year to share their views on the three most significant challenges facing Baltimore and the region, and the solutions they support moving forward. We asked applicants to submit a video answering this question, so you can hear their ideas and goals in their own words.

John King, Democrat and former U.S. Secretary of Education in the Obama administration, is running for governor and nominated public safety, improving the quality of life and ensuring every child has a world-class public education as the three most important issues he would address as governor.


For Baltimore’s three main issues that I defined in my “One Baltimore” plan and that I will address as governor are: making sure the city is safe for the public; improve the quality of life; and ensure that every child receives a world-class public education.

First, reinvent public safety by recognizing that policing alone is not enough. We need policing, mental health and addictions services, real investments in safe streets and other violence intervention programs, rehabilitation programs for formerly incarcerated people, recreation and summer employment programs for our youth.

Second, we will make real progress on quality of life issues by building an all-rail red line, restoring 7,500 vacant properties by 2030, and ending environmental injustices.

And finally, we will treat the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future as the floor, not the ceiling, for investments in public education. Fix the air conditioning and heating in our schools, invest in after-school programs, mental health supports for students and their families, and universal, affordable child care.

We will tackle head-on the systemic issues facing the city and work to transform our government into a force for good in the lives of everyone in Baltimore.

Biographical information

Last name: John King

Age: 47

Political party: Democratic

Professional experience: Mr. King served as commissioner of education in New York before becoming undersecretary and then secretary of education under the Obama administration. He is also CEO of The Education Trust and his family has deep roots in Maryland. He is a graduate of Harvard University, Yale University and Columbia University.

David Nikin
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