Donna Edwards Visits The Washington Informer

Dorothy Rowley and James Wright | 12/22/2011, 5:40 p.m.

U.S. Rep. Donna Edwards, a Democrat who represents the Fourth Congressional

District of Maryland in the U.S. House of Representatives, last month sat down with the

staff of The Washington Informer to discuss what she has done in Congress, her priorities and why voters should return her for a third-elected term.

Edwards, 53, has served in the U.S. Congress since 2008, when she defeated longtime incumbent Albert Wynn in the Democratic Party primary. Wynn resigned from Congress a few weeks later. On June 17, 2008, she won the right to fill the remainder of his term and later won the seat in her own right in that November's general election later that year.

Edwards has distinguished herself as an outspoken progressive member who is not afraid to speak her mind. A graduate of Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C. and the Franklin Pierce Law Center in Concord, N.H., and the mother of an adult son, she was heavily involved in the non-profit sector, co-founding and serving as the first executive director of the National Network to End Domestic Violence. She also has worked at nonprofits such as Public Citizen, the Center for a New Democracy and the Arca Foundation.

Edwards is being challenged in the Tue., April 3, 2012 primary by former Prince George's County State's Attorney Glenn Ivey and Anne Arundel County Councilmember G. James Benoit in the newly configured district which covers Prince George's County and a portion of Anne Arundel County.

Washington Informer: When people think about Donna Edwards, what do you want them to know about you?

Donna Edwards: I want them to know that I'm a doer and that I'm a fighter, and that I don't mind difficult fights...challenging ones.

WI: Since you've been in the office we know that you've heard a couple of things and one, most recently is the redistricting fight that you've been involved in, which was not necessarily a fight, but you took the side that some people didn't support. Tell us a little bit about that.

DE: Long before I came to Congress, when I was running nonprofit organizations, we did a lot of work both in the foundation that I ran and a couple of nonprofit groups that I headed focused on civic participation and on expanding people's opportunities to participate. One of those areas that I focused on (many years ago) was around the redistricting process and what that meant for people.

WI: Has there been any backlash-how do you think this will affect your candidacy?

DE: Well, certainly, it's true that the district as it is redrawn, comprises a greater portion of Prince George's County, all of Montgomery County and [that] a large swath of Anne Arundel County is added to the district. I think that the challenges are the same.

WI: We have real concern especially in the District [of Columbia], with the primaries being moved up to April, that there won't be as much political engagement, but we also find a lot of folks in the county aren't as engaged in county politics. What will you do to get more folks engaged?