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Washington Post: Donna Edwards wants women to follow her into politics, where she’s happy to lead

Rep. Edwards was featured in a Washington Post article by Krissah Thompson on September 30.

Donna Edwards wants women to follow her into politics, where she’s happy to lead

Rep. Donna F. Edwards is stooped in a corner fiddling with the sound system. Her event, guest-starring House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, is about to start. There is barely room to move in the small Hyattsville bakery, and side conversations are bouncing off the walls.

On a Women Succeed, America Succeeds bus tour stop, Edwards joins Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Reps. Rosa L. DeLauro (D-Conn.) and Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio) in listening to a female business owner discuss the difficulties of keeping her business afloat. (Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

A microphone would be helpful when the speeches begin, and Edwards, who likes to fix stuff, is not above squatting in a fuchsia frock to try to get the job done.

Almost as soon as she unseated an incumbent congressman in a Democratic primary in 2008, Edwards became all about pushing out the Democratic Party’s message. A broken mike won’t stop her. “Good morning!” she says, before turning to what has become her mantra for the midterm elections.

“We know that when women succeed, America succeeds,” she shouts, joined in unison by Pelosi.

The two Democrats are pushing a theme that they hope will draw voters, especially women, to the polls in November. The slogan sounds a little cheesy, when belted in their sing-songy way. Edwards’s and Pelosi’s manner of speaking is more deliberative and wonky than traditionally charismatic, but their duet goes over well with the enthusiastic gaggle of supporters crowding the bakery – small-business owners, students and more than a few congressional staffers.

Edwards is in her home district, which covers much of Prince George’s County and a slice of Anne Arundel, and she speaks first. She says she wants more women to run and more women to lead. She tells her story: how she raised her son as a single mother while working and, later, won a long-shot congressional race. Edwards wants more women to do what she has done, to reinvent themselves and take a chance on politics.

But six years into her time on Capitol Hill, the chatter has turned to what’s next for Edwards. Like a good student, she raised her hand quickly to volunteer for committee work and, this year, took charge of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s efforts to recruit candidates, after serving as co-chair of the effort in 2012. She has become a pretty regular fixture on cable news and the still-coveted (at least in Washington) Sunday-morning political talk shows.

She spent this summer walking in Pelosi’s footsteps. The two women were central figures on a national bus tour, which Edwards helped to organize, that was intended to focus Democrats on issues of importance to women. It also gave Edwards plenty of face time with Pelosi. At a moment when their party has a glut of young, ambitious members vying for relatively few open spots in leadership, it doesn’t hurt to be friendly with the woman-in-charge.

And Edwards seems to have made a good impression.

Pelosi piles on the platitudes: “She is an exceptional leader in every way – I take pride that she is from my home state of Maryland – I have frankly never heard anyone say anything negative about her achievements and approach.”

Standing shoulder to shoulder at the Hyattsville bakery, they confidently connect with the crowd.

So, when Pelosi, 74, leaves the national stage – and don’t expect this anytime soon – will Edwards, 56, be the person left in the spotlight?

 

Click here to read the rest of the article.

 

Rep. Edwards Hosts Panel Discussion on Impact of Uterine Fibroids on African American Women

At this year’s Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Annual Legislative Conference, Rep. Edwards hosted a panel discussion entitled, “A Edwards CBCF ALC Panel 2014Hidden Epidemic: Uterine Fibroids and African American Women.”  The panel brought together leading doctors and health care professionals who had an informative conversation about the impact uterine fibroids are having on African American women.

The panelists included Linda Blount, MPH; Stacey Ann Scheib, MD; Kara Odom Walker, MD, MPH; and C. Emmanuel Ayers, MD.

 

 

 

 

Rep. Edwards Discusses Addressing Domestic Violence With RealClearPolitics

From RealClearPolitics:

Rep. Donna Edwards and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp expressed a strong hope Thursday that the deeply divided U.S. Congress can come together to address the problem of domestic violence.

Speaking at a breakfast organized by RealClearPolitics and Allstate, the Maryland congresswoman and the North Dakota senator discussed the state of the Violence Against Women Act; the new frontiers in combating domestic violence; and whether an issue as important as women’s safety can bridge divides among polarized lawmakers.

To read the entire article, please click here.

Rep. Edwards on USA Today’s “Capital Download”

Rep. Edwards sat down with USA Today’s Washington DC Bureau Chief Susan Page for “Capital Download.”

From USA Today:

Maryland Rep. Donna Edwards, 56, for the second straight time heads the “Red to Blue” program at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee — that is, the targeted effort to win Republican-held seats in November. On USA TODAY’s Capital Download newsmaker series, she talked about Democratic prospects, President Obama’s impact and the exploding immigration crisis. Answers and questions have been edited for length and clarity.

 

To watch the video clip, click here.

Thank You

Dear Friends,

 

Thank you once again for the honor of serving as your Member of Congress in the U.S. House of Representatives.  I take thisphoto 1 responsibility seriously, and it is why I fight every single day on behalf of the residents of Maryland’s 4th Congressional District.  It is why shortly after being elected to office in 2008, I ensured low-income and disadvantage Maryland students could also receive afterschool suppers in addition to breakfast and lunch. It is why I fought to include a provision in the Affordable Care Act to hold insurance companies accountable for unjustified rate increases.  

 

With your support, I will continue to be a vocal advocate to create jobs and strengthen the economy by investing in 21st Century infrastructure — roads, bridges, rail — expanding research and development, and improving Pre-k to 12 and higher education.  As chair of the Democratic women in Congress, I am dedicated to passing a women’s economic agenda that includes increasing the federal minimum wage, guaranteeing equal pay for equal work, and ensuring quality, affordable childcare to boost the national economy and increase incomes for working people. And I will fight to ensure we continue to protect Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and our dedicated federal workers.

 

I included a few photographs of just some of the old and new friends I met as I traveled throughout Maryland’s photo(2)4thCongressional District during yesterday’s primary.  I thank all of you for your years of support and once again for the opportunity to continue fighting and working hard for you in Congress.

 

With your votes and your support, I look forward to representing you in the 114th Congress following my reelection in November.

 

Sincerely,

Donna Edwards

Rep. Edwards’ Mail Piece, with President Obama’s Endorsement

Click to view larger versions of the mail piece.

Edwards Mailer Page 1 Edwards Mailer Page 2

Rep. Edwards on MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports”

Rep. Edwards was a recent guest on MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports.”  Rep. Edwards highlighted the “When Women Succeed, America Succeeds” National Bus Tour.

She said:
“Women’s voices are incredibly important in the midterm elections and getting them to turn out to vote on our three pillars: equal pay for equal work, paid sick leave and also making sure that we have quality affordable childcare. The crowds were terrific, they were tremendous [...] really enthusiastic for the agenda and for what it means for women.”
Rep. Edwards Andrea Mitchell Reports WEA Bus Tour
Rep. Edwards continued:

“Two-thirds of workers who work for the minimum wage are women, and what that means is that when you’re working for minimum wage you can be working 40 hours a week and you don’t even make it to the poverty line. This impacts women and families and children. [...] We haven’t raised the wage since 2006, when Democrats actually had the gavel. On the bus tour Leader Pelosi said public sentiment is everything. We have to raise that public sentiment in every single congressional district across the country, and then we will have a Congress that understands the importance of raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour.”

 

Rep. Edwards on Women’s Economic Agenda Bus Tour

As chair of the Democratic Women’s Working Group, Rep. Edwards helped organize and took part in the Women’s Economic Agenda Bus Tour.  The tour traveled from Seneca Falls, N.Y. and ended in Chicago, focusing on engaging women across the country to the importance of the upcoming elections to help pass the policies found in the agenda. The tour included Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Rep. Rosa Delauro (D-Conn.), Rep. Lois Frankel (D-Fla.), Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Calif.), Rep. John Tierney (D-Mass.), Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), and Rep. Niki Tsongas (D-Mass.).

The women’s economic agenda includes, increasing the minimum wage, passing equal pay, and ensuring affordable childcare that will boost the national economy and reduce income disparity. To learn more about the agenda, please click here.

Click here to read an article in the Huffington Post about the bus tour.  Here is an excerpt:

Reps. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) and Donna Edwards (D-Md.) huddled around Tiffany Payne, a mother of three young children who lives in a shelter in Lowell because she cannot afford childcare and housing with a part-time, minimum-wage job. “There are so many other women in the shelter that don’t speak out like I can, because they’re afraid to mention that they’re homeless,” she said.

“You have empowered your message, we have heard it,” Edwards told Payne. “Now you’re going to make us even more strident in fighting on the House floor. We’re gonna raise your name up and say, ‘This doesn’t make any sense. We cannot function this way.'”

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Capital News Service: Maryland Lawmaker Pushes Women’s Economic Agenda in Congress

Capital News Service highlighted Rep. Edwards work to promote “When Women Succeed, American Succeeds: An Economic Agenda for Women and Families.”

Here is an excerpt:

Maryland Congresswoman Donna Edwards remembers her son curled up in the corner of a conference room where she was having a meeting, because he was sick and she couldn’t afford time off to stay home with him.

Over the years, Edwards, D-Fort Washington, has worked for minimum wage, waited tables for tipped wages, and struggled to find quality, affordable childcare. That was before she was elected to Congress.

She said her firsthand experience with these issues has been invaluable as she works to bring awareness and change for working women around the country.

“These are the issues that really plague women in the workplace and get in the way of their economic success,” Edwards said.

As the chair of the Democratic women’s working group, she is pushing for an increase in the minimum wage, paid leave, affordable, quality childcare, and equal pay for equal work.

She speaks passionately about the importance of raising the federal minimum wage, something she says disproportionately affects women.

“I think it is a win-win situation if we raise the minimum wage…but it should be indexed to inflation” Edwards said.

To read the entire article, please click here.

Rep. Edwards Endorsed by The Gazette

Today, The Gazette announced their endorsement of Rep. Donna Edwards for reelection.

Here is an excerpt:

Edwards has been a staunch advocate for funding of STEM programs, even hosting an annual forum on the topic in her district, and has held numerous community events to help those at risk of losing their homes. She has been vocal about pay equity for women and successfully pushed for funding of an after-school meal program for children from low-income families. Edwards’ record as a supporter of federal workers, who make up a large part of her district; efforts to clean the Chesapeake Bay; work toward regulating corporate expenditures on campaigns; and record of bipartisan efforts make her the better choice in the Democratic primary.

To view the entire article, please click here.