First elected to the Maryland House of Delegates, 1998. Member of the House since 1997: appointed October 15 and sworn in October 21, 1997.
2019 Speaker of the House
2003- Legislative Policy Committee
2003- Management Subcommittee of the Legislative Policy Committee
2003- Spending Affordability Committee
1997- Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland, Inc.
1997- Women Legislators of Maryland
Past House Service
Speaker Pro Tem, 2003-2019; Appropriations Committee, 2003-2019, 1997-2003; Education and Economic Development Subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee (Chair, 2015-2019), 2013-2019; Chair, Capital Budget Subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee, 2003-2019; Oversight Committee on Pensions of the Appropriations Committee, 2004-2014; Health and Human Resources Subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee, 2011-2013; Oversight Committee on Personnel of the Appropriations Committee, 2007-2019; House Chair, Joint Legislative Workgroup to Study State, County, and Municipal Fiscal Relationships, 2009-2010; Education and Economic Development Subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee, 2004-2010; House Chair, Joint Committee on Fair Practices, 1999-2009; Joint Committee on Pensions, 2011-2015; Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education, 2016-2019; 21st Century School Facilities Commission, 2016-2017; House Chair, Paycheck Recovery Commission, 2016-2017; House Chair, Joint Committee on the Selection of the State Treasurer, 2015; House Chair, Joint Committee on Fair Practices and State Personnel Oversight, 2009-2019; Joint Committee on Legislative Ethics (House Chair 2018-2019), 2007-2019; House Chair, Special Committee on State Employee Rights and Protections, 2005-2006; House Committee on Rules and Executive Nominations, 2004-2019; House Chair, Joint Advisory Committee on Legislative Data Systems, 2003-2006; Special Committee on Higher Education Affordability and Accessibility, 2003-2004; Ways and Means Committee, 2003; Finance Resources Subcommittee of the Ways and Means Committee, 2003; Tax and Revenue Subcommittee of the Ways and Means Committee, 2003; Capital Budget Subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee, 1999-2003; Oversight Committee on Program Open Space and Agricultural Land Preservation of the Appropriations Committee, 1999-2003; Vice Chair, Oversight Committee on Personnel of the Appropriations Committee, 1999-2003; Public Safety and Administration Subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee, 1997-2003.
State House Trust, 2019-; External Advisory Board, School of Public Policy, University of Maryland Baltimore County, 2016-; Governor’s P-20 Leadership Council of Maryland, 2015-2019; Task Force to Study the Impact of Adjunct Faculty on Graduation Rates at Historically Black Institutions, 2011-2013; Statewide Interoperability Executive Committee, 2011-2019; Co-Chair, Joint Committee on the Selection of the State Treasurer, 2011, 2007, 2003; Governor’s Commission on Small Business, 2010-2014; Small Business Task Force, 2009; Maryland Commission on Capital Punishment, 2008; Delegate, Democratic Party National Convention, 2008; Budgets and Revenue Committee, National Conference of State Legislatures, 2005-; Maryland Education Council, Education Commission of the States, 2004-; Capital Debt Affordability Committee, 2003-; Transportation Task Force, 2003; Delegate, Southern Regional Education Board Legislative Work Conference, 2014; President-Elect, Women Legislators of Maryland, 2002-2003; First Vice President, Women Legislators of Maryland, 2001-2002; Secretary, Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland, 2000-2002; Chair, Endorsement Committee, Women Legislators of Maryland, 2001-; Second Vice President, Women Legislators of Maryland, 2000-2001; Chair, Redistricting Committee, Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland, 2000-; Budget Committee, Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland, 2000; Ethics Committee, Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland, 2000; Labor Committee, Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland, 2000; Secretary, Women Legislators of Maryland, 1999-2000; Trial Court Judicial Nominating Commission, 3rd Commission District, 1991-1995; Former Panelist, Board of Education, Baltimore County.
Political and Community Action Commission, 2003; We Are Family Community Development Center, 2003; Board Member, Family and Children’s Services of Central Maryland, 2002; Liberty/Randallstown Coalition, 1995-1997; Coalition of 100 Black Women, 1990-1997; Board Member, Friends of Benjamin Banneker Historical Park, 1987-1997; Woman Power, Inc., 1987-; Board Member, American Cancer Society; Baltimore County Leadership Alumni Board; National Forum for Black Public Administrators; Baltimore Neighborhoods, Inc.; Coalition Opposed to Violence and Extremism (COVE); Tenth District Democratic Club; At-large Member, Baltimore County Democratic Central Committee; Former Panelist, Baltimore County Bar Association; Former Mentor, Partnership for Success Program, Deer Park Elementary School.
Casper R. Taylor Jr. Founder’s Award, 2019; Louis S. Diggs Award, Baltimore County Government, 2017; Girl Scouts of Central Maryland Distinguished Women Honoree, 2016; Governing Magazine Women in Government Leadership Class of, 2016; Outstanding Service Award – UMCP Foundation Board of Trustees, 2015; Affordable Housing Leadership Award, 2015; University of Baltimore President’s Award, 2014; John R. Hargraves Distinguished Legislative Fellowship Award, Institute for Public Affaiors and Civil Engagement, Salisbury University, 2012; Harriet Ross Tubman Achievement Award, 2010; Maryland Affordable Housing Coalition Legislative Advocate of the Year, 2010; Living Women’s History Makers Community Award, National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Club, Inc., Baltimore City Club, 2010; Baltimore City NAACP Trailblazer’s Award, 2009; Maryland Association of Resources for Families and Youth, Legislator of the Year Award, 2007; National Coalition of 100 Black Women Leadership Award, 2005; Maryland Justice Leadership Award, 2004; , 2007 Children’s Action Legislative Sponsor Award, 2004; Outstanding Alumna of the Year, University of Maryland Baltimore County, 2003; Social Action Award Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Baltimore County Alumni Chapter, 2003; Maryland Women for Responsive Government Award of Excellence, 2003; , 2004, 2007 Maryland’s Top 100 Women, Daily Record, Circle of Excellence, 2002; Living Legacy Award, Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and Museum, 2001; Parren J. Mitchell Award, Maryland Association of Equal Opportunity Professionals, 1999; Service Above Self Award for Outstanding Public Service, Woodlawn/Westview Rotary, 1999; Delegate of the Year, Maryland State’s Attorneys’ Association, 1998; Governor’s Certificate of Merit for outstanding contributions in field of victims’ rights and services, 1997; Meritorious Service Award, National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs, Inc., 1996; Award of Appreciation, Baltimore County Branch, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), 1996; Valued Hours Award, The Fullwood Foundation, 1995; Citizens Award, Baltimore County Police Department, 1993; Award of Appreciation for Outstanding Services to the Asian/Indian Community, 1993; Community Services Award, Baltimore Alumnae Chapter, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, 1991.
Born, Cowdensville, Maryland, November 20, 1954; Lansdowne Senior High School, 1972; University of Maryland Baltimore County, B.A., Psychology, 1976; National Security Seminar, U.S. Army War College, 2007; Honorary Doctor of Law Degree, Goucher College, 2008; Director, Office of Minority Affairs, Baltimore County, 1989-95; Executive Director, Office of Fair Practices and Community Affairs, Baltimore County, 1995-2011; Deputy Director, Office of Human Resources, Baltimore County, 2011- 2014 (employed by Baltimore County government since 1976); Part-time Columnist, The Baltimore Times 1990-2000; Board of Stewards, Union Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, 2003; Two sons.