Civil Rights

Protecting the Equal Rights and Civil Liberties of All Marylanders

Jon Cardin believes that all Marylanders – regardless of race, gender, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or identity – should have an equal opportunity to fulfill their potential and succeed in our state. That’s why Jon has consistently supported efforts to protect the rights of minorities, women, people with disabilities, LGBTQ Marylanders, and others who continue to be the targets of discrimination.  And Jon has been one of Maryland’s leaders in protecting one of our most sacred rights – the right to vote – and has successfully blocked voter suppression efforts across our state.

In the Maryland legislature, Jon has been a leader in protecting the equal rights and civil liberties of all Marylanders:

  • Jon has been a strong and early supporter of marriage equality and other LGBTQ rights, including transgender equality.
  • One of Maryland’s most effective legislators on campaign finance reform and protecting the right to vote, Jon has led the fight for same day voter registration, public financing of political campaigns, increased transparency and additional accountability for super-PACs and other outside spending. Time and time again, Jon has consistently led the charge to defeat voter suppression laws. 
  • A leading voice for increased funding for mental health and developmental disability resources, Jon has sponsored several bills to increase mental health spending and resources.
  • In a state where a woman’s right to make her own reproductive choices are continually threatened by Republican incursions and limitations, Jon has been a stalwart supporter of Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to make decisions about her own body. 
  • Jon recognizes that both American citizens and undocumented immigrants need additional protections on our streets. In 2013, he voted for the Highway Safety Act, creating a second tier driver’s license for undocumented individuals, ensuring that anyone driving on our roads and highways has a license, valid insurance, and the proper qualifications to operate a motor vehicle while guaranteeing that every individual has the ability to go to work, take their child to school, or enjoy all the recreation and opportunities our State has to offer.
  • Jon has been an outspoken voice on protecting the rights and increasing the opportunities for Maryland's minorities. From his support for the repeal of Maryland’s discriminatory death penalty, to voting in favor of decriminalizing small amount of marijuana, to securing $1 billion for Baltimore City Public School funding in the 2013 session, Jon has been an a true advocate for minority groups in Maryland.

Public Safety

Protecting Maryland Families in a Rapidly Changing World

In a 21st Century world, where criminals not only threaten families on street corners, but also in cyberspace, Jon Cardin believes that it’s critical for Maryland law enforcement officials to stay one step ahead –implementing the most modern, tech-savvy and community-based law enforcement techniques to keep Maryland families safe.  That’s why Jon wrote Grace’s Law – now one of the toughest anti-cyber bullying laws in the nation-- to keep our children safe from Internet predators and bullies.

In the Maryland legislature, Jon has consistently sponsored and supported common-sense measures to protect families in our state, including:

  • Consistent supporter of common-sense gun reforms to keep weapons of out of the hands of criminals, including the Governor’s Firearms Safety Act of 2013 and the Maryland assault weapons ban.
  • A leading voice for combating gang violence in our communities and in our schools, including tougher accountability measures for schools to monitor gang involvement and support for the Maryland Gang Prosecution Act of 2007.
  • Strong supporter of Megan’s Law which implemented tougher penalties for sex offenders, rapists and child abusers.  Cardin supports legislation requiring lifetime supervision of sex offenders to keep our children and communities safer.
  • The author and sponsor of Grace’s law, one of the toughest anti-cyber bullying laws in the nation.  Cardin also lead the charge to pass a bill requiring every school to develop a plan to combat bullying.
  • A leader in the fight to end the devastating effects of human trafficking, which pull thousands of young men and women into a cycle of exploitation and abuse every year.  Cardin co-sponsored  legislation to strip convicted human traffickers of the profits of their crimes.

Consumer Protection

Standing Up for Maryland Consumers

From standing up to big insurance companies, to cracking down on predatory lenders, to making sure Maryland families are able to stay in their homes, Jon Cardin has consistently been on the side of Maryland consumers.  The big corporations and insurance companies have plenty of lobbyists – Jon will make sure that the Office of the Attorney General is a one-stop shop for Maryland consumers who are trying to get a fair shake.

Jon Cardin has been a consistent advocate for Maryland consumers and has cracked down on predatory lenders and insurance companies seeking to take advantage of people. 

  • A consistent leader in the fight against predatory lending practices that hurt Maryland families, such as payday loans and advance loans.
  • Co-sponsored legislation to crack down on corporations that deceptively advertise in order to fool Maryland consumers in automotive sales, clothing sales, and food labeling.
  • Jon has embraced President Obama’s forward thinking healthcare legislation and has endeavored to fully implement Obamacare’s provisions and privileges believing that everyone deserves quality, affordable healthcare without limitations based on pre-existing conditions, age, or gender.
  • Along with his District 11 colleagues, Jon has recognized that the proliferation of natural gas around the country presents significant dangers and challenges to you as a consumer. As a result,  he sponsored first of its kind legislation to make sure that large energy companies cannot walk into your backyard and take your land to build dangerous gas lines that could cause deadly explosions or contaminate our precious natural resources.
  • Recognizing the complexity of 21st century technology that has the ability to both protect us but also invade our private spaces, Delegate Cardin led the effort to reform speed camera programs statewide by requiring increased accountability, transparency and accuracy.


Protecting Maryland’s Environment

For over a decade, Jon Cardin has been one of the state’s leading voices for protecting Maryland’s environment for future generations. Beyond sponsoring key pieces of legislation, Jon leads by example –purchasing a hybrid car “before it was cool”, living in a carbon-neutral house made mostly from reclaimed materials, and frequently riding his bicycle to work.  Jon believes in the simple principle that we owe it to our children to leave Maryland’s environment in better shape than we found it – not the other way around.

In the legislature, and in his community, Jon has been a leader in protecting Maryland’s unique environment for future generations: 

  • A consistent fighter for closing loopholes for corporations that pollute the Chesapeake Bay and our environment at large.
  • Introduced legislation to increase recycling at state office buildings and to expand the State’s “green portfolio.”
  • Supporter of incentives to businesses and individuals who reduce their carbon footprints and create next-generation energy jobs.
  • Strong supporter of initiatives to improve the air quality across our state such as the clean indoor and outdoor air acts.
  • Chairman of the Legislative Bicycle Caucus and an avid hiker, biker, runner and swimmer, Jon actively enjoys Maryland’s outdoor treasurers and parks.  He has been a leader in the legislature in creating incentives for state employees to live healthy lifestyles and enjoy more time outdoors.
  • Because Jon knows that the Chesapeake Bay is not only a cultural and social jewel of Maryland but also an economic driver of the State, he has sponsored and supported numerous pieces of legislation to revitalize the Bay including an oyster shell recycling program, limiting storm water runoff, implementing Smart Growth practices, closing incentives for businesses to contaminate the Bay, voting for bills to hold polluters responsible among other progressive measures.