As the Maryland Senate joins in annual Pride celebrations, there is no more fitting a current Senator to celebrate than Senator Mary Washington (D43-Baltimore City). Senator Washington has proudly taken her place as the first openly LGBT woman in the Maryland Senate.
A Maryland resident since attending college at Johns Hopkins University in the early 1990s, Washington grew up Philadelphia as the daughter of two healthcare workers. She’d attend the Philadelphia High School for Girls before pursuing her undergraduate education at Antioch University where she’d graduate in 1989. Leaving Philadelphia in 1989, she’d pursue her graduate education at Johns Hopkins University where she’d study sociology and receive her Master’s Degree in 1992 and then her PhD in 1997.
Washington’s career in elected service would begin upon her election to the Maryland House of Delegates in 2010. Upon her taking office, she would become the first openly LGBT African-American elected official in Maryland and only the second such legislator in the United States. Washington would represent Baltimore’s 43rd legislative district as a member of the House for eight years until her election to the Maryland Senate in 2018.
Her legislative career has seen numerous successes and positions of leadership. Since her election to the Senate, she has continued to prove herself a clear advocate for social justice in numerous ways including through her service as the Senate Chair of both the Joint Committee on Children, Youth, and Families as well as the Joint Committee on Ending Homelessness. In addition to those positions of leadership, Washington also served as the lead sponsor of 2019 legislation that stopped Baltimore City residents from having their homes seized for small unpaid water bills.
Clearly Senator Mary Washington has become one of Maryland’s foremost elected leaders and only time will tell as to the great things that she’ll continue to accomplish for the causes of justice and equality.