100 African American Women Leaders for Van Hollen

100 African American Women Leaders from Maryland for Van Hollen


As African-American women and Maryland residents committed to the advancement of our county and state, we must support political candidates who are best positioned and suited to advance our aspirations. The selection of the candidates to fill the seat vacated by our stalwart U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski has caused us much soul- searching and emotional turmoil. We are mindful of our natural affinity with Chris Van Hollen’s opponent and the paucity of racial and gender diversity in the U.S. Senate. But after thoughtful consideration and objective analysis of the track records of the candidates, our choice was obvious: we must support Chris Van Hollen. We did not make this decision lightly as no one should. Now that we’ve decided, we want to share with you our views and rationale:

  1. Chris’ tenure in the Maryland State Legislature and U.S. Congress reflects his consistency in “doing the right thing” in delivering results for the State of Maryland for education, veteran affairs, health care, civil rights and small businesses;
  1. Chris showed unwavering support of President Obama while he played an important role in the passage of the Obama Administration’s key initiatives – the Affordable Care Act, the Economy Recovery package, and the Wall Street Reform Bill;
  1. As the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee, he has been highly effective in advancing the priorities we share and protecting the president against Tea Party attacks on his agenda, including efforts to defund Obamacare and Medicare;
  1. Chris has also been able to work across the aisle with Republicans to find common ground where possible. He led the debate last winter to produce a bipartisan agreement to prevent another government shutdown — something important to the country, but especially important to our local economy that depends on federal investments.
  1. Chris fights for our young people; he has worked with legislators from Prince George’s County and Baltimore to implement the Thornton Commission recommendations that addressed the inequality of education funding in our state, and to pass the largest increase in education funding in Maryland’s history.

Given the goals we have for the State of Maryland and our nation, we need a leader of high integrity and know-how who can work collaboratively to get things done. We simply must have a proven leader who can fill the gigantic footprints of Senator Barbara Mikulski. For every word used to describe and praise Barbara Mikulski’s stellar performance, one could simply substitute Chris’ name. Like her, Chris is touted as one of the Democrats’ ‘best budget minds.’ Roll Call, the seminal authority on Congress, notes “Van Hollen gets near-universal respect from his colleagues for his intellectual firepower and combination of policy and political chops.”

As County Executives Rushern Baker and Ike Leggett, State Senator Joanne Benson and former Chair, Maryland Democratic Party Yvette Lewis said in their endorsement of Chris: “We support Chris Van Hollen, a person of courage and leadership who has a track record of getting things done and who has the ability to win friends and influence people. Chris forges deep and lasting relations with a diverse range of people and organizations, represents their interest and secures the critical resources that move Maryland forward. It is not about race, gender, creed or color, it is about a person. And that person is Chris Van Hollen.”

We invite you to join with us in support of Chris Van Hollen as U.S. Senator from the State of Maryland and ask that you share this letter with your network and engage and secure their support. Our future is at stake!


Mozella Ademiluyi Susan Leggett Johnson
Angela Anglin Jennifer Jones-Peoples
Dorothy Avant Sharon Key
Jean Bailey Laura Knight
Shirley Peterson Barton Frieda Lacy
Bernice Beaird Ethel Lawhon
Aaro Jean Bell-Reid Gloria Gary Lawlah
Jean Bowen Madeline Young Lawson
O’Dea Bowen-Hawkins Catherine Leggett
Gwendolyn Boyd Yvette Lewis
Ellen Brewer Sherlene Lucas
Oretha Bridgewaters-Simms Antoinette Lyles
Karen Britto Vivian Malloy
Paulette Burgess Donna Mason
Catherine Burrell Claudette Milne
Yvette Butler Marcia Milton
Judith Clark Gwen McCall
Marilyn McPherson Corder Landa McLaurin
Thelma Daley Roberta McLeod-Reeves
Okianer Christian Dark Thelma Monk
Jannette L. Dates Carrie Nelson
Montina Anderson Davis Roz Pelles
Donna Dean Linda Plummer
June White Dillard Anita Powell
Judy Docca Yolanda Pruitt
Avis Mundy Dyson Jackie Rhone
Tosha Dyson Manervia W. Riddick
Michele Emergy Thomasina V. Rogers
Virginia Embrey-Brock Ruby Ruben
Anita L. English Laurie-Anne Sayles
Shebra Evans Odessa Shannon
Ricki Fairley Norma Jenkins Stewart
Joyce Felder Elizabeth Stroud
DeeDee Freeman Andrea Syphax
Gene Gary-Williams Sylvia Syphax
Edith Geddings Tracey Terrell
Pat Grant LaVonn Reedy Thomas
Jacquelyn Dunmore-Griffith Maria Tildon
Artis Hampshire-Cowan Veronica Turner
Esther Hankerson Gene Venable
Gina Harrell Marie Wallace
Taylor Hawkins Wanda Walters
Shirley Henderson Flavia Batteau Walton
Karen Hendricks Shawna Watley
Ola Hill Yaminah Leggett Wells
Tessa Hill-Aston Jheanelle Wilkins
Jeanne Hitchcock Glenda Wilson
Glenda F. Hodges Donna Wilson
Wilma Holmes Dorothy Wilson
Elsie Jacobs Brenda Wolff