It is with much hope and great conviction that Our Revolution Maryland announces our endorsement of Mckayla Wilkes for the House seat in Maryland’s 5th Congressional District. Our endorsement comes as a unanimous choice by both our voting members in CD-5 and our state board.

With an 18-page response to our questionnaire, Mckayla Wilkes has left no doubt that she stands squarely in support of a range of progressive issues covering health care, climate change, criminal justice, war and peace, workers’ rights, immigration and more. On each issue, Mckayla Wilkes speaks for justice, the needs of the underserved and the urgency for action, all of which echo our own fundamental stances.

In contrast, Representative Steny Hoyer’s long tenure has steadily distanced him from the needs of his constituents, which consistently take a back seat to the interests of his corporate donors. His touted “leadership” role in the House has been retrograde and damaging to the residents of District 5 and the interests of Maryland families, and stands in contrast to the positions held by the more progressive members of the Maryland congressional delegation. Congressman Hoyer’s long record includes:

• Votes in support of free trade deals that have proved disastrous to American workers, undermined the rights of indigenous communities in those nations and devastated the environment.

• Vote in support of the war in Iraq and lack of subsequent oversight, which has now led to a potential war with Iran.

• Opposition to H.R. 1384, Medicare for All, currently co-sponsored by a majority of Democrats in the House, while taking contributions from pharmaceutical and insurance companies, in the face of untold bankruptcies due to escalating medical costs.

• Lack of support for the Green New Deal resolution, which would meet the urgency for climate action while addressing the serious economic challenges that so many Americans across the nation and in District 5 face.

Furthermore, he has proven time and time again to be unavailable to his constituents for a discussion on these issues. District 5 residents no longer have the time and luxury to continue with this inadequate representation. We welcome the entry of Mckayla Wilkes, who fully understands the issues and will strongly support and fight for the changes we need.

It is therefore with energy and enthusiasm and a demand for accountable representation that we are proud to endorse Mckayla Wilkes for Maryland’s 5th Congressional District.

Suchitra Balachandran, College Park

The writer is with Our Revolution Prince George’s and on the board of Our Revolution Maryland.