Ben Jealous2
Benjamin Jealous

Both Representatives Chris Van Hollen and Donna Edwards are effective, progressive members of Congress who are deeply committed to their constituents. 

There’s no question that Congressman Van Hollen could serve Maryland admirably. But only Congresswoman Donna Edwards would bring a unique perspective to a Senate that is often in need of a reality check; only Donna would fight for fair trade deals that protect American workers – not just free trade deals that only benefit corporations.  

Donna has been a leader in protecting workers’ rights and American jobs in the face of unfair trade practices. She has consistently voted against free trade deals that undermine American unions and workers and ship jobs overseas for the betterment of large, wealthy corporations.  

I’m not one to advocate for purely symbolic voting – and clearly Donna Edwards would be so much more than just the only African American woman in the Senate – but we can’t ignore the fact that we’re voting to replace Barbara Mikulski, a liberal legend and the longest-serving female member of Congress in history. 

Donna made history as the first African American woman to represent Maryland in the U.S. House of Representatives. Tomorrow, Maryland has an opportunity to make history again, continuing Senator Mikulski’s legacy and going one step farther. 

As a single mother who hasn’t had the economic advantages that so many others in the Senate have been blessed with, Donna Edwards would bring a unique voice to a body that is out of touch with what life is really like if you’re not well-off and white in America. Donna understands the interests of the disadvantaged because she’s been there. She’s walked in their shoes, and knows what it’s like to fight just to get by. Donna has always been there for communities that are too often forgotten by politicians, fighting to give every child a fair shot, no matter what zip code they’re born in. 

Don’t vote for Donna Edwards just because she’s black, though African Americans are badly underrepresented in the Senate. Don’t vote for her just because she’s female, though it’s an embarrassment that only 20 out of 100 Senators are women. Don’t even vote for her just because she’s the most progressive candidate, though Maryland deserves nothing less to replace Barbara Mikulski. 

Vote for Donna Edwards because she is the best candidate for Maryland.

Donna will not just represent one community; she will stand up for all of Maryland’s communities. 

Congressman Van Hollen has the support of the political establishment; Donna has you. On Tuesday, let’s show her we have her back, and that being on the side of the people still matters.