Truly historic days are rare. When they happen, you have to show up and serve as witness to the event.

Marylanders did that by the thousands on Jan. 18 when Wes Moore was sworn in as Maryland’s first Black governor.

The streets surrounding the State House in Annapolis were mobbed as Moore, Lt. Gov. Aruna Miller, and a star-studded crowd (including Oprah Winfrey, Chelsea Clinton, and Cal Ripken Jr.) joined the newly elected officials to address the throngs gathered outside the capitol under a cloudless blue sky.

“I’m asking you to believe that Maryland can be different,” Moore told the crowd. “I’m asking you to believe that Maryland can be bold. I’m asking you to believe that in this moment, Maryland can lead. I’m asking you to understand that it is time for our policies to be as bold as our aspirations.”

The state’s CPAs were among those on hand to celebrate the occasion. Among them were the three CPAs — Sens. Brian Feldman and Arthur Ellis and Del. William Wivell — who are currently serving as members of Maryland’s General Assembly, and the historic moment wasn’t lost on them.

“Being in the Senate Chamber today and witnessing the swearing in of Gov. Wes Moore was so energizing,” Sen. Feldman said. “I am confident that Gov. Moore will be a powerful partner to legislators as Maryland moves forward to address the pressing issues of job creation, the environment, and strengthening our public schools.”

“It’s a historic day for Marylanders,” Del. Wivell added. “I look forward to working with the new administration in moving Maryland forward, especially concerning the issues of importance to residents of District 2A, including advancing a business-friendly regulatory environment, reducing taxes and regulation, school-choice, respect for life, and improvements in making our Maryland communities safer.”

Wivell added a plea that should ring true to all accounting and finance professionals: “Government is successful only if our citizenry remains actively involved in its proceedings,” he said. “Please continue to reach out to your elected officials regarding issues of importance to you and in which you have specialized knowledge.”

As Maryland’s 445th General Assembly gets under way, CPAs throughout the state would do well to heed Del. Wivell’s advice. Our elected officials need us, just as we need them. Any legislation that means anything is happening on the state or local scene. If you’re not paying attention there, things will happen that you might not like … and that your clients will definitely not like.

This is your wakeup call to pay attention, to get involved, to start now … and to serve as witness to the history that’s taking place in your own back yard.

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