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Who is Delegate Mary Washington
Throughout her 20-year career as a legislator, advocate, student of public policy and public official, Delegate Mary Washington has been a tireless, practically grounded advocate for sensible, progressive policies that meet the needs of her neighbors in Maryland’s 43rd District and of Maryland’s diverse communities.
In 2010, she made history when she became the first openly LGBT African-American elected official in Maryland – and only the second such state legislator in the country. In her seven-plus years in the House of Delegates since, she has distinguished herself as a leader fighting for affordable access to water, protecting families at risk of losing their homes to unfair tax sales and foreclosures, making sure Baltimore City schools get adequate funding, and helping homeless youth get the services and support they need. After serving on both the House Appropriations Committee (2011-14) and the House Ways and Means Committee (2015-present), Delegate Washington has won the trust of her colleagues and constituents as an expert and a leader on budget and tax issues and on the impact of those funding choices on families across Maryland.
A Legislator and a Civic Leader
In Annapolis, Delegate Washington serves as House Chair of the Joint Commitee on Homelessness and as a member of the Joint Committee on Children Youth and Families, the Regional Revitalization Task Force, and the Tax Credit Evaluation Committee. She served as Deputy Majority Whip in 2015-16 and on the Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Task Force in 2013-14. Today she is a member of Women Legislators of Maryland and the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland and an Associate Member of the Latino Legislative Caucus.
At home in Baltimore, she is a member of the Board of Directors for the Parks & People Foundation, Health Care Access Maryland, Baltimore Heritage, Inc. and the Maryland School for the Blind. She was also a founding member and long-time board member of the Baltimore City Commission on Sustainability. She is a member of the NAACP of Baltimore City, the Greater Baltimore Black Chamber of Commerce, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 500 and of First and Franklin Presbyterian Church, a welcoming congregation in Baltimore’s Mount Vernon neighborhood.
Delegate Washington lives in the heart of the 43rd District she represents in Baltimore’s Ednor Gardens-Lakeside neighborhood. She regularly teaches public policy and sociology courses at Morgan State University and the Maryland Institute College of Art.
A native of Philadelphia, Mary Washington is the oldest daughter of a family of six siblings
and a proud graduate of the Philadelphia High School for Girls. She began her professional career teaching at Catholic elementary school in Philadelphia. Her dedication to serving at-risk students and drive to understand the needs of urban communities then led her to come to Baltimore to study sociology at Johns Hopkins University, where her research focused on historical and social demography, population statistics, and the social construction of race, class and gender in the U.S. Census.
She earned her Ph.D from Johns Hopkins in 1997, then went on to teach sociology at Lehigh University before taking a post-doctoral NIMH Fellowship at the Population Studies Center at University of Pennsylvania.
From Scholar to Public Official
Looking for new ways to serve at-risk youth and the communities she cared about, Mary Washington then turned her work toward positions that gave her the opportunity to bring together academic institutions, foundations, community-based civic, local and state government agencies, residents and business owners, and researchers to open up new opportunities.
These positions give her extensive experience managing complex relationships among public agencies and private stakeholders in Baltimore and the state of Maryland and negotiating effective solutions to real problems those stakeholders face.
Those positions include serving as:
• First director of the Baltimore City Housing Department’s CitiStat program.
• Interim Director of the Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance, a project that collects and analyzes data important to the neighborhoods that make Baltimore work.
• Associate Director of the Parks & People Foundation, where she advanced urban sustainability and urban farming projects and helped connect city youths to good green jobs that can help open up a greener future for the city and a brighter future for their careers.
• President of the Abell Improvement Association, the community association for a diverse and vibrant North Baltimore neighborhood.
You can reach Mary Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org or at her Baltimore office at 410.841.3476