The Washington Post

People under 25 expect ‘a new way of leadership,’ Maryland governor says

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley delivers his annual State of the State address on Jan. 23. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) has spoken in recent weeks — including during his final State of the State address — about “a new way of leadership” that he says he has embraced in Maryland.

In an interview, he described it as “a way of leadership that’s much more collaborative, that’s much more open, that is performance-measured, that is more interactive, and that it is the new way of leadership in the information age.”

And, O’Malley — who is contemplating a 2016 White House bid — said “it is also what the next generation expects.”

“If you want to know the opinions and the future of a country, just ask young people under 25, that’s where we’re headed,” said O’Malley, 51. “They have a keener understanding of the connection of their own individual lives with the well-being of the world around them.”

As examples, he cited “a heightened environmental awareness” and the number of young adults who participate in programs like Teach for America.

“They’re pretty dialed in,” O’Malley said. “Unlike some of the older baby boomers, they don’t seek separation, they seek greater connection. They not only expect their government to work. They expect to be consulted and informed regularly along the way. They also expect a degree of openness and transparency from their public institutions.”

As mayor of Baltimore and governor of Maryland, O’Malley has championed programs like CitiStat and StateStat, which use statistics to measure the performance of government agencies and make decisions about allocation of resources.

Early in his tenure as governor, O’Malley also laid out a series of larger goals for his administration, in areas including jobs, the environment and public safety, and he has tracked progress on a Web site.

He said in last week’s interview that he is moving ahead with preparations for a possible presidential bid, saying he can’t afford to wait for Hillary Rodham Clinton to reach a decision about whether she will run in 2016.

John Wagner is a political reporter covering the race for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.



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