Few in the history of the Maryland Senate better represented the interests of the district that they represented better than former Annapolis Senator Gerald Winegrad. A consummate and effective representative, Winegrad would represent District 30 in the Maryland Senate from 1983-1994 and in the Maryland House of Delegates from 1978-1983. He’d serve as a member of the Economic and Environmental Affairs Committee throughout the entirety of his Senate tenure. Before all of that, however, he’d graduate from Western Maryland College (now McDaniel College) in 1969 before making his way to law school and service as a member of the Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps from 1970-1974.
Winegrad would become a member of the Maryland House of Delegates in 1978 thus beginning a political career that would span some sixteen years and parts of three decades until his retirement in 1994. Winegrad was elected to the Maryland Senate in 1982 and truly make his mark as a champion for Maryland’s Environment and for the Chesapeake Bay.
Most known for his tenure in the Maryland Senate, Winegrad would serve as a member of the Economic and Environmental Affairs Committee and act as the Chairman of its Environment Subcommittee for eight years. He’d also serve as a member of the Chesapeake Bay Commission as well as the Joint Committee on Chesapeake Bay Critical Areas. He’d also function as the lead sponsor of Maryland’s phosphate detergent ban and testify before the United States Congress on numerous occasions behalf of the National Conference of State Legislature’s Environment Committee.
Honored by multiple organizations for his legislative work, Winegrad would be selected for numerous awards including designation as the Conservation Legislator of the Year by the Maryland Wildlife Federation (1981) and the Clean Water Action Project (1985), Legislator of the Year by the Solar Action Network of Maryland (1982), the Anne Arundel Psychological Association (1981), the Maryland Public Health Association (1987), and the Audubon Naturalist Society (1988). Additionally, he’d be selected as the Outstanding Conservationist by the Sierra Club in 1985.
Even though Winegrad retired from the Maryland Senate some twenty-five years ago, he is still remembered for his remarkable advocacy in support of Maryland’s environment. A Baltimore Sun article from 1995 put it quite succinctly: “Everyone knew it would be different when Mr. Winegrad retired. More than any legislator, he set Maryland’s environmental agenda during a 16-year career in the Maryland General Assembly.”