Dana Beyer

Candidate, State Senate, District 18

Democratic Candidate for Maryland State Senate Shares Why She is Running for Office

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A note on the financing of Dana's campaign:

Since I neglected to ask Dana on the podcast how she finances her campaign, I sent Dana an email and she replied with the following:

"I’m limiting my asks to my friends and family. No corporations, no PACs, though if a union chose to send some money I would accept it. I do tell them, though, that it’s not necessary.


I’m asking for small <$250 donations, though some have been very generous."

Now back to regularly scheduled coverage:

In this interview, you'll learn about Dana's ideas and commentary regarding:

  • Multitude of Candidates in Montgomery County

    • D 18 - 2 incumbents not running for reelection for delegate race

    • Many at-large candidates

    • 8 State Legislative Districts in Montgomery County

  • Districts in Montgomery County

    • Redistricting by state legislature to reward / punish incumbents based on behavior in legislature

    • Roughly 125,000 / district

    • Some districts are compact geographically / others not so much

  • District 18

    • Manageable district - can do retail politics here - can meet the neighbors - walk through and knock on doors

    • Lots of federal government workers or supporting workers

    • Several Sections of D18:

      • Upscale Chevy Chase

      • Kensington / Garrett Park / Silver Spring - Mid zone middle to upper middle class

      • Norther part:

        • Wheaton / Viers mill road

          • Working class

          • Lower middle class

          • Aspiring middle class

          • Immigrant community in many cases

          • Burgeoning urbanization of Wheaton

  • Local Elections

    • Elections are highly competitive this year for a variety of reasons:

      • Public Financing

      • Term Limits

      • The overall political environment

  • Health Insurance

    • Need to ensure affordable health insurance in Maryland

  • Immigrant fear in Montgomery County

    • Citizens and non-citizens are scared of being swept up in the net

      • We need to address this

      • MD Attorney General is addressing this and other matters to battle federal government action

  • State politics matter more than ever due to the federal regime


  • Bio

    • Practiced surgery in Mississippi

    • Served the under-served

    • Worked in Kenya and Nepal

    • Raised children here

    • 2003 completed gender transition

    • Became an LGBTQ activist in 2003

    • Board of Equality Maryland

    • Co-Founded Gender Rights Maryland

    • Promoted marriage equality / laws that led up to that

    • Passing gender identity rights in various counties

    • Passing 2014 bill on gender identity rights in Annapolis

    • Fought bathroom bills - endured death threats

    • Executive Vice Pres. of Maryland NOW

    • NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland Board Member - protecting women’s reproductive rights

    • Helped create the Family Justice Center in Rockville

      • Haven for abused women to have a safe place with their children and pursue judicial justice / protective orders

    • Senior Staffer to a Council Member

      • Worked on BRT plans

    • Public health / environmental health work

      • 2007 County Council banned artificial trans fats - most toxic type of fats

      • First county to pass this kind of law; spread to other jurisdictions and eventually use phased out; many lives were saved


  • Why Beyer is running:

    • To be on the inside and make change     

    • Leverage successful lobbying experience in Annapolis


  • Where change is made

    • Working with civic lobbyists and activists at the beginning to marshal support for a cause - months before the legislative session begins

      • Craft legislation

      • Find a lead sponsor

      • Summon support / create relationships

      • Organize rallies

      • Next:

        • Committee Work

          • Invisible to Voters / Hard to pay attention

          • The best legislators do their best work when nobody is watching and they create legislation that can pass / or kill legislation that shouldn’t pass - and voters don’t know about this since final vote scorecards don’t tell the whole story

  • Work with Progressive Neighbors

    • Supporting Jamie Raskin’s campaign

    • Doing the work to research candidates for local office

    • On running a productive meeting or forum

  • On Part-Time State Legislature

    • Make it full-time to make it more effective

    • Make it a well-paid job

    • Part-time doesn’t work

  • Democratizing the senate

    • Committee chairs are all powerful and kill any bill they want / promote any bill they want

      • Appointed by president of the senate

    • The membership at large should choose the committee chairs

  • Commission in Annapolis on Sexual Harassment

    • Need to clear out members now because if they aren’t challenged and get ejected, a Republican can grab the seat.

  • Priorities:

    • Hard to know what the next crisis will be due to instability at the federal level         

    • Priority 1: flexibility

    • Would like to work on Health Care

      • Retain coverage for Marylanders via affordable care act

    • Make Senate more Democratic

    • Making progressive solutions to our problems the default solution in our legislature - this hasn’t been the case

    • Transportation:

      • Safety

      • Public Transportation should be the priority   

      • Address climate change - we are in an existential planetary crisis

        • People are overwhelmed by the scale of the problem

        • Address it with a Manhattan style project

        • Global warming should be the #1 priority; but we need a vital movement to get solutions

  • Protect our immigrant community

    • Serious uptake in hate crimes

    • People must be able to trust the authorities

    • Support of the TRUST act

  • Health Care

    • The practice of medicine is a healing art - not a business

    • Treatment with as much compassion and empathy as possible

    • Medicare works well because there is no profit motive in it - 97 cents of every dollar is spent on patients

    • Provide choice for Americans - private care  / care via employees

    • We should offer Medicare for everyone - this is a federal issue

    • Getting single payer in the state is far more complicated

      • It failed in Vermont

    • How the state can help if premiums in Obamacare go up

Dana Beyer - Quick Take

Parkwood School Shooting

Candidate for State Senate, District 18, Maryland on Guns and the Parkwood Shooting

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