Baltimore Del. Mary Washington Files for 43rd District State Senate

Promises more progressive, independent, and transparent leadership

Baltimore, MD. Delegate Mary Washington filed as a Democratic candidate for the 43rd District State Senate primary race yesterday afternoon. She is running for Senate because she believes the district needs a leader who will be more responsive and effective at addressing the needs of one of the city’s most diverse districts.

“The 43rd District has been my home for more than 20 years, and I know it as well as I know my back yard in Ednor Gardens,” Delegate Washington notes. “It’s a tale of two cities where we find some of the state’s most prosperous neighborhoods and world-class universities right next to some of our most troubled communities and public schools.”

“The people of the 43rd District deserve a State Senator who will be a stronger voice for all of their neighborhoods, do more to help under-resourced communities get what they need to thrive and amplify the District’s social, cultural and institutional assets.”

A progressive Democrat and trailblazing representative from Northeast Baltimore, Delegate Washington is currently serving her second term in the House of Delegates for the 43rd District.

More transparent, innovative leadership

While some tout the importance of back-room deal-making in Annapolis, Delegate Washington prefers to advocate for her constituents in a more public and transparent way.

“When decisions are made in back rooms, many of our communities don’t get a voice at the table,” the Delegate explains. “Back room deals haven’t stopped Maryland families who are struggling to pay their water bills from losing their homes. They haven’t produced broad-based alliances to fight poverty, or secured $400K from two Governors to address youth homelessness, secure more funding for our senior centers and community schools or stop us from shackling pregnant detainees while they’re in labor. By working openly with those directly affected by these policies, I’ve been able to bring people together to make a real difference on these issues.”

“Transparency makes all involved more accountable and produces sustainable solutions, rather than quick fixes that fail to make lasting change. I have learned over my tenure that by bringing constituents and advocates together, we’ve been able to make a real difference in the lives of everyday people,” Washington argues. “As State Senator, I’ll be in a much stronger position to amplify these efforts, especially as we fight for the funding we need to make our schools stronger and the reforms we need to make our people and neighborhoods safer.”

A proven pragmatic, effective progressive leader

First elected to the House of Delegates in 2010, Delegate Washington has distinguished herself as an effective and pragmatic progressive leader who knows how to pass legislation that helps protect vulnerable Marylanders and makes state government work better for all 43rd District residents.

Highlights of her record include:

  • Leading the fight to make water affordable for all Marylanders and to stop the terrible practice of families losing their homes in tax sales as a result of unpaid water bills.
  • Targeting federal funding for a Community Schools Strategy that helps bring quality public education to communities where poverty is concentrated.
  • Leading an effort to end homelessness among unaccompanied youth by reforming the foster care system and making college tuition free for some homeless youth.
  • Securing $250,000 in additional funding for senior centers across Maryland.
  • Passing landmark legislation that bars the inhumane practice of shackling female prisoners during labor and delivery.
  • Reforming the state tax assessment appeal process to require the State Department of Assessments and Taxation to hear appeals within 120 days and rule on those appeals within the following 60 days.
  • Sponsoring and passing the nation’s first law protecting social media (Facebook) password privacy.
  • Securing stronger safeguards from electronic harassment via text or direct messaging.
  • Winning new restrictions on price-gouging and abusive treatment of consumers by rent-to-own stores targeting low-income and minority communities.

Delegate Washington has also played a leading role in legislative work to establish marriage equality, prevent discrimination against transgender Marylanders, eliminate the death penalty, implement the Maryland DREAM Act, and win additional funding for Baltimore’s public schools.

In filing for the state senate race, Washington shows her deep commitment to Baltimore. “After the difficult events of the last several years, the city clearly needs more effective, stronger and more independent leadership in Annapolis,” the Delegate notes. “I am honored to offer all my district’s communities an opportunity to cast their votes for a familiar, yet bold and more responsive voice they can trust.”

A trailblazer and a respected civic leader

After college, Mary Washington started her professional career as a kindergarten teacher at the same local parochial school where she received her First Communion. After shifting from teaching into research, Washington earned her Ph.D. in sociology from Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins University. She has taught sociology at Lehigh University, Morgan State University and University of Maryland School of Social Work. Dr. Washington is currently a member of the part-time faculty of the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) and is a member of SEIU Local 500.

Washington has more than 20 years of experience putting her public policy expertise to use in leading programs at some of Baltimore’s outstanding public agencies and nonprofits. She served as the first director of the Housing Stat program for Baltimore’s Housing Department and in leadership roles for the Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance and the Parks & People Foundation. She was a founding and long-time member of the Baltimore City Commission on Sustainability and served her community as president of the Abell Improvement Association.

When she was elected to the House of Delegates in 2010, Washington became Maryland’s first openly LGBT African-American legislator and only the second such state legislator in the nation. Today she serves on the board of Parks & People Foundation, Health Care Access Maryland, Baltimore Heritage Inc., Fluid Movement, and the Maryland School for the Blind. She is a member of the NAACP of Baltimore, the Baltimore Black Chamber of Commerce, and First and Franklin Presbyterian Church.