As we celebrate the holidays with our loved ones and prepare to usher in the new year and new decade, I’d like to take a look back at how far we have come in this past year. 2019 was a busy, productive and eventful year for Maryland Democrats. It was a year of change and growth, a year of diligent and dutiful preparation, a year of triumph, and also a year of goodbyes. Here’s a look back at some of the major developments for Maryland Democrats in 2019:
2019 was a year of goodbyes, change, and transition.
We said goodbye to longtime House Speaker Michael Busch, who passed away on April 7. He dedicated more than 30 years of his career to public service, and was the longest-serving Speaker in the history of our state. “Coach” as he was lovingly called, was a true champion for all of us and his contributions to our state will be a lasting part of his legacy that will be felt for generations. We made history by electing his successor, House Speaker Adrienne Jones, the first woman and the first African-American to hold the position.
We said goodbye to Congressman Elijah Cummings, who passed away on October 17. Congressman Cummings served Maryland’s 7th Congressional District for more than 20 years, and served 16 years prior to that as a Delegate in the Maryland General Assembly. We will forever remember his dedication to his community by improving the lives of others, and protecting our Democracy.
We say thank you to Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., who announced on October 24 that he is stepping down from his position. As the longest serving Senate President in the history of our nation, he has carved out an unforgettable legacy in Maryland politics. We honor his historic tenure and service to our state, and we wish his successor, Senate President Nominee Bill Ferguson, best of luck in the next Legislative Session.
And finally, we bid farewell to former Chair Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, who stepped down to run for Maryland’s 7th Congressional District. We are ready to build on the success and continue the forward progress started during her tenure. I am incredibly excited to once again lead our Party and I am grateful for the opportunity to serve.
2019 was a year of victories for the people of Maryland–in the legislature, and at the polls.
During the 2019 Legislative Session, Democrats passed a number of progressive policies to make deep investments in education funding, improve wages for Maryland workers, and support working parents and young people. We salute the service of our incredible Democratic legislators to better the lives of all Marylanders, and we are incredibly excited for the new slate of proposed initiatives put forward by House Speaker Adrienne Jones and Senate President Nominee Bill Ferguson for the 2020 Legislative Session.
On Election Night, November 5, we celebrated a number of wins in conservative strongholds across the state. We successfully defended our Democratic seats in Harford County and on the Eastern Shore, and managed to flip several red seats to blue–demonstrating that Democrats can win all across the state.
2019 was a year of rapid growth for the Maryland Democratic Party.
We’ve hired more regional organizers to organize Democrats all across the state to increase Democratic turnout in Western Maryland and on the Eastern Shore, and to focus on local and municipal races in off-cycle years.
We underwent a rebranding project to update our logo and relaunch our website, a large-scale infrastructural investment that will serve our movement for years to come. Our new logo is bold, blue and Maryland-proud, and our new website has a host of effective, modern tools to help build our movement, including an interactive events map, foreign language translation, and accessibility options.
We started the new MD Dems Podcast–a weekly deep dive into Maryland politics, national news and the political strategies it will take to win back the White House and the Governor’s Mansion in Maryland, featuring some of the most exciting leaders, activists, and figures in Maryland politics.
And finally, we’ve been building our movement with a series of major events to energize Maryland Democrats for 2020. In January, Congressman Adam Schiff keynoted our 2019 Legislative Luncheon. In June, we hosted 2020 Presidential Candidate Andrew Yang for an event with our AAPI Diversity Leadership Council. And in November, we held our action-packed 2019 Gala: Celebrating Diversity in Democracy with special guest House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
We are at a critical juncture in America, and our democracy is being tested in ways we have never experienced. Our job as Democrats is to be ready, and I’m happy to say that the Maryland Democratic Party is finishing the year united, strong, and firing on all cylinders. Together, I have no doubt we will reach new heights in 2020 and beyond.
Chair, Maryland Democratic Party