One of my oldest friends lives in Maryland, way out in the country. She's a hard working single mother, trying to get by in this bad economy. It isn't easy. I visited her this summer and we talked about the pressures that are upon her and she told me that for all of her struggles to keep up, she was immensely grateful that she lived in a state that provides her daughter with health care. Maryland is the only state in the union that offers universal coverage for all kids, no matter what.
I didn't know at the time that my friend could thank one particular Maryland Assembly delegate for that little bit of peace of mind in her tumultuous life, a woman by the name of Heather Mizeur. And when I told my friend about her and how she sheparded that bill through the Assembly, she was devastated that she didn't live in her district so that she could vote for her.
Well, now she can. Today, Heather Mizeur is announcing her candidacy for Governor of Maryland and Blue America is honored to endorse her. She is the perfect embodiment of the progressive leaders we believe will lead the Democratic Party in the direction we must go if we are to change this country.
The daughter of a UAW member from Illinois, she aspired to public service from the time she was a little kid. "The experience of walking picket lines taught me the value of sacrifice and hard work and standing up for the courage of your convictions," she said. "Catholic teachings on social justice also inspired me."
And for someone who's only 40, she has amassed an impressive amount of experience in management and governance, with a decade of senior staff experience on Capitol Hill before her tenure in the General Assembly. A policy wonk who likes to delve into the details, (she wrote John Kerry's 2004 health care plan) she is also called the "Transparency Queen" by the Baltimore Sun, for sponsoring and winning passage of the Maryland Open Government Act. She is a leading anti-fracking activist and was one of 10 featured speakers at the huge Keystone Pipeline rally in front of the White House along with Bill McKibbon and leading climatologists. And last but not least, she was a leading strategist in the fight for marriage equality in Maryland and now lives in a state that fully recognizes her marriage to her wife of 8 years, Deborah. Yes, a Governor Mizeur will be breaking several glass ceilings as the first woman and first openly gay person to win the office.
John Amato I had the privilege of sitting down with Heather at Netroots Nation this year and we came away from the conversation believing that we had just met the future of the progressive movement. This is a person who can not only lead on policy (she's scary smart) but she can lead on strategy as well: as you can see, she gets things done. And more than anything she leads with her heart, up front and without apology, a true blue progressive in every way.
We don't often endorse in Governor's races, but this one is a no-brainer for us. We simply couldn't not support Heather Mizeur. We know she will be a great Governor of Maryland and we'd be grateful if you could help us get her there by donating to her campaign.
The video at the top, in which Heather told the members of the Maryland Assembly, "you can't stop us!" says it all. Below is the full speech which the Baltimore Sun reported: "One of the most memorable speeches came from Mizeur whose emotional plea that her colleagues vote for love left the chamber in silence.
Mizeur is a smart, strategic politician and sees a path to victory. But she'll needs the help of the grassroots and the netroots to do it. Please donate to her campaign if you can.