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My Declaration of Candidacy for the Maryland State Senate

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Last week I ended my latest blog post on leadership with the following paragraph:

We are all one. When any minority group works on an issue of concern to a larger population, it has an opportunity to solidify its credibility as an integral part of the whole. More importantly, it gets to do the labor of love that directly benefits everyone, without regard to race, creed, color, ancestry, age, religion, gender, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, marital status, veteran's status or disability. That is my goal -- to do good, one day at a time. I am honored to work with so many who share that goal.

Today I am announcing my next campaign for the betterment of my community in Montgomery County.

We are ready for progress. For too long, hardworking Marylanders have waited for economic fairness and equal opportunity. We have asked our elected officials to help bring better jobs to our neighborhoods, build stronger schools for our children, fix our roads and infrastructure and make quality health care an affordable reality.

We are ready to move forward, and that's why I'm declaring my candidacy for the Maryland Senate.

I am a retired surgeon, a mother of two and a progressive activist. I've spent my entire life fighting for social justice and equal opportunity in our community and around the globe. I'm proud of my track record of success on progressive issues, and now I'm seeking the opportunity to serve you in public office.

Having grown a small business, I know firsthand what it takes to create quality jobs. I am determined to level the playing field for our families, starting with raising the minimum wage -- a critical step in rebuilding our middle class and giving working people a chance to support themselves. I'll help grow our economy by expanding loans and tax credits for small businesses, repairing and modernizing our infrastructure and working to eliminate corporate tax loopholes.

As a mother, I want to make sure Montgomery County schools are preparing our students for success. But right now, our classrooms are overcrowded, and our children are underserved. There's no excuse for not taking better care of our students. I'll fight for Montgomery County's fair share of tax dollars for education and ramp up new school construction to build a brighter future for our children.

As a doctor, I know our health care system needs to be fixed. Obamacare was a start, but we need to do more to get costs under control and get more people covered. We need a public option so that all Marylanders have access to quality, affordable care. And it's long past time to kick politicians out of the exam room and make sure women's health care decisions stay between patients and their doctors.

Politics is the "art of the possible." The possible only becomes probable -- and then actual -- when people care, are willing to step forward and change the conversation, take risks and reach out to each other and build the better world of which we all dream. I ask for your support and your vote, and in return I promise to be the progressive champion Montgomery County sorely needs. I promise to represent you as you deserve to be represented. Together, we can make Montgomery County and Maryland better as we lead the way to a more progressive America.