Donna Edwards

Prince George's County Executive

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Donna is a lifelong organizer, community leader, and mom who has called Prince George’s County home for 35 years.

Donna was born in Yanceyville, North Carolina to a military family. Her dad’s service in the U.S. Air Force led Donna to attend nearly 14 schools across the country and around the world before moving to Maryland for her senior year of high school.

After earning her B.A. from Wake Forest University, where she was one of only six black women in the class of 1980, Donna moved back to Maryland, settling in Prince George’s County to build a home and family. Donna raised her only son, the light of her life, here in Prince George’s.

Those experiences led Donna to work at United Nations Development Program. Early in her career, Donna began work for the Lockheed Corporation at the Goddard Space Flight Center, which sparked her passion for STEM and innovation.

Donna earned her law degree in 1989 from the University of New Hampshire. Following law school, Donna led several national fights for justice. As a consumer advocate for Public Citizen, Donna fought for campaign and ethics reform. She also took on Big Pharma to lower the cost of prescription drugs — successfully overturning their lobbying effort to keep affordable arthritis medication out of the reach of seniors. She co-founded and led the National Network to End Domestic Violence, spearheading the campaign to pass the Violence Against Women Act in 1994, and successfully taking on the NRA to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers.

While living in her community in Fort Washington, Donna led neighborhood residents to take on big developers at National Harbor. Donna used her legal background to win hundreds of good union jobs, housing, and beautiful public spaces for residents to enjoy.

Donna was elected to Congress in 2008, the first African American woman to represent Maryland in Congress. She served five terms representing much of Prince George’s County. Democracy for America endorsed her every time, including in her very competitive primaries to unseat an entrenched incumbent.

While in Congress, Donna led efforts to enable Maryland schools to provide dinner for hungry kids through the Afterschool Suppers Program; local nonprofits to provide stronger re-entry programs to people returning from prison; young people to have access to college and career opportunities; and businesses to bring jobs to our community through numerous highly successful job fairs. She also fought to ensure our County got a fair shot at regional economic opportunities, playing a critical role in attracting potential FBI headquarters to Prince George’s County.

In Congress, Donna was a tireless advocate for her constituents, and was instrumental in the passage of the Affordable Care Act, writing a provision to limit how much insurance companies could increase prices year to year.

Donna saw the awful effect of money in politics firsthand while in Congress, and she was the first Congressperson to introduce a constitutional amendment to take big money out of politics. Donna has pledged not to accept any money from developers in her race to be Prince George’s County Executive. Donna is a leader who has pursued justice relentlessly even when the odds were stacked against her. She is an organizer who believes that if you want to get things done, you need a community behind you. She has devoted her life to Prince George’s County, working tirelessly to bring opportunities home to the community where she built her family, career, and community.

In 2016, just as she was wrapping up her final months in Congress after her run for the US Senate, Donna was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Though her condition is mild, it was a wake up call about the challenges that many face and the importance of having access to quality, affordable healthcare.

Donna has been fighting for the people of Maryland for progressive values for years as a non-profit leader, labor organizer, community advocate and member of Congress, and that’s the experience, vision, courage and tenacity she’ll bring to the crucial role of County Executive.

With key investments in education, innovation, and jobs, Donna believes we can write our own destiny and create a new era of opportunity in Prince George’s County. The time has come for a County Executive who will take on big developers and special interests to ensure we bring the best opportunities home.

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