The Northeast Regional Honors Council is proud to announce that our speaker at the 2019 NRHC Conference will be Delegate Mary Washington, Ph. D. of Maryland’s 43rd district!
Delegate Mary Washington is an advocate for Maryland’s 43rd District as a legislator, professor, ally, public policy leader and trail-blazer.
Born in Philadelphia, Mary Washington began her professional career teaching at a Catholic elementary school. Her scholarly interests and dedication to serving at-risk populations and urban communities brought her to Baltimore where she earned her Ph.D. and M.A. in Sociology from The Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Washington began her academic career as an assistant professor at Lehigh University, was awarded post-graduate fellow at the Population Studies Center of the University of Pennsylvania and is currently a member of the part-time faculty at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA).
In 2010, Mary made history becoming the first openly LGBT African-American elected official in Maryland – and only the second such state legislator in the country. Over her two-terms as a member of the Maryland House of Delegates, 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 receive fair and equitable funding, and helping unaccompanied homeless youth get the services and support they need. Delegate Washington has passed landmark legislation that bars the inhumane practice of shackling female prisoners during labor and delivery; sponsored and passed the nation’s first law protecting social media (Facebook) password privacy; Secured stronger safeguards from electronic harassment via text or direct messaging; won new restrictions on price-gouging and abusive treatment of consumers by rent-to-own stores targeting low-income and minority communities; and passed the state’s first legislation establishing the community schools model as the statewide strategy for addressing concentrated poverty. Her work as Delegate has earned the trust of her colleagues and constituents on budget and tax issues, as well as, the impact of funding choices on Maryland’s families.
Mary has served as:
- Member of the House Appropriations Committee, House of Delegates.
- Member of the House Ways and Means Committee, House of Delegates.
- First director of the Baltimore City Housing Department’s CitiStat program.
- Interim Director of Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance, a project that collects and analyzes data important to neighborhoods.
- Associate Director of the Parks & People Foundation, where she advanced urban sustainability and urban farming projects and helped connect city youth to good, green jobs.
- President of the Abell Improvement Association, the community association for a diverse and vibrant North Baltimore neighborhood.
In Annapolis, Delegate Washington serves as House Chair of the Joint Committee on Ending 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 Delegate Washington is a member of Women Legislators of Maryland and the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland and an Associate Member of the Latino Legislative Caucus.
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.
Delegate Washington is currently the Democratic State Senator Nominee for the 43rd District of Maryland. Without a challenger in the upcoming general election, Delegate Washington is expected to be voted in as the district’s next State Senator in November 2018.