(RANDALLSTOWN – May 2, 2022) – She’s from Norfolk, Virginia. She’s 86-years-old and was educated at Virginia State University, Purdue University, New York University, and at the University of Maryland. Further, she was my professor at Coppin State when it was still a college. She’s been a member of the Maryland State Senate since 1995, after serving a term as a delegate representing the 10th state legislative district. This includes a majority Black portion of Randallstown, i.e. the Liberty Road Corridor.
Over the years, state Senator Delores G. Kelley has worked her way up through the ranks, she has earned much recognition for her leadership, but more than that, she has served the people.
I just want to take a moment and thank her publicly for her years of service. No scandal. No chicanery. Just service.
What I personally appreciate about the Senator is her mind. She is a brilliant thinker who is never short of having a plan, a backup plan, and a backup for the backup. That’s how she rolls! Tantalizingly strategic, I have seen her lead her community in Annapolis for years.
She honors loyalty. She has mentored. She has helped open doors for emerging politicos willing to learn the ropes. And while there are those who could not handle the rigors that come with politics, she has continued to hold the line to ensure that competent people go to the County Seat, Annapolis, and Washington, D.C.
If you’ve ever taken the time to speak with her, you know that she is a dynamo, full of wisdom about the future of our community. She is thoughtful, and she has no problem explaining her position. Now, you may not agree with her. Your task then is to prove her wrong.
In my experience, few have done so.
What I appreciate most about Senator Kelley is that she answers her phone. How rare is that, especially in this age of texting? Extremely!
Mayor for Life of Washington, D.C. Marion Barry? He answered his phone. Delegate Howard “Pete” Rawlings? He answered his phone. Former state Senator Joan Carter Conway? She answers her phone.
There is nothing worse than a legislator who does not answer their damn phone. They should just do everyone a favor and quit. If you’re so busy that you cannot talk to your constituents who put you in office, you don’t need to be a legislator.
Senator Cory McCray? He answers his phone. Senator Antonio Hayes? He answers his phone. This is a part of being an effective legislator. Kenny Harris, the former City Councilman, was a beast in terms of communicating with his constituents. And Frank Conaway? Well, he may have been the greatest of them all. Yes, he always answered his phone.
I digress … somewhat. Senator Kelley has done a mighty job helping to lay down the blueprint for leadership in northwest Baltimore County. She has certainly set the gold standard for character.
Now, the question becomes whether Delegate Ben Brooks can grab the baton that Senator Kelley has held or will Delegate Jay Jalisi beat him to the punch?
Member of Senate since January 11, 1995. Chair, Finance Committee, 2019- (member, 1998-2016; welfare reform subcommittee, 1999; chair, home builders registration work group, 1999; member, health subcommittee, 2003-15; chair, property & casualty subcommittee, 2015-16; chair, health & long-term care subcommittee, 2019-). Member, Executive Nominations Committee, 2019- (vice-chair, 1998-2000, 2003-07, 2015-18; chair, 2007-15); Rules Committee, 2019-; Legislative Policy Committee, 1999-2000, 2019-; Joint Covid-19 Response Legislative Work Group, 2020-. Senate Chair, Joint Committee on Federal Relations, 1995-98. Member, Judicial Proceedings Committee, 1995-98 (vice-chair, 2016-19); Joint Committee on Protocol, 1995-98; Article 27 (crimes & punishments) Revision Committee, 1997-98; Joint Committee on Legislative Ethics, 1999-2003. Senate Chair, Joint Committee on Fair Practices, 1999-2007; Joint Committee on Administrative, Executive and Legislative Review, 2001-03. Senate Vice-Chair, Joint Committee on Health Care Delivery and Financing, 2001-14. Member, Senate Special Commission on Medical Malpractice Liability Insurance, 2004; Senate Special Commission on Electric Utility Deregulation Implementation, 2005-06. Co-Chair, Joint Committee on Access to Mental Health Services, 2007-11 (member, 2005-07). Member, Joint Committee on Unemployment Insurance Oversight, 2007-17; Joint Committee on Ending Homelessness, 2015-17; Joint Committee on the Selection of the State Treasurer, 2019. Vice-Chair, Judicial Proceedings Committee, 2016-19. Member, Senate President’s Advisory Work Group on Equity and Inclusion, 2020-21. Chair, Baltimore County Delegation, 2019-21. Member, Women Legislators of Maryland, 1995- (president, 1998-99; chair, legislative committee, 1992, co-chair, 2011-13). Member, Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland (formerly Maryland Legislative Black Caucus), 1995- (chair, health care committee, 2001-; vice-chair, historically black colleges & universities committee, 2001-; member, judicial nominating committee, 2001-; historian, 2008-11, 2012-16); Maryland Veterans Caucus, 2018-. Member, National Conference of State Legislatures (health committee, 2000-05; vice-chair, financial services committee, 2005-07; chair, communications, financial services & interstate commerce committee, 2007-08, member, 2007-); Southern Legislative Conference (human services & public safety committee, 2008-).
Member, Governor’s Commission on Adoption, 1995; Governor’s Task Force on Judicial Nominating Commissions, 1995. Maryland Delegate, White House Conference on Aging, 1995. Member, Family Violence Council, 1995-2006 (co-chair, legislative action team, 1996-2006); Maryland Commission on Criminal Sentencing Policy, 1996-99; Task Force to Study Anti-Asian Violence, 1997-99; Adoption Oversight Team, Department of Human Resources, 1997-2000; Governor’s Council on Adolescent Pregnancy, 1998-2005; Maryland Medicaid Advisory Committee, 1998-2017; State Commission on Infant Mortality Prevention, 1999-2005; State Commission on Criminal Sentencing Policy, 1999-2020; Task Force to Study College Readiness for Disadvantaged and Capable Students, 2000-01; Task Force to Study the Licensing and Monitoring of Community-Based Homes for Children, 2000-01; Task Force to Study Repealing the Disenfranchisement of Convicted Felons in Maryland, 2001; Task Force on Access to Mental Health Services, 2003-04; Unemployment Insurance Funding Task Force, 2003-04; Oversight Committee on Quality of Care in Nursing Homes, 2003-05; Maryland Education Council, Education Commission of the States, 2003-15. Presidential Elector, Maryland, 2004, 2008. Member, Task Force on Common Ownership Communities, 2005-06; Committee on Unemployment Insurance Oversight, 2005-06; State Traumatic Brain Injury Advisory Board, 2005-10; Aging Work Group, Governor-elect’s Transition Team, 2006-07. Vice-Chair, Legislative Committee, Interstate Insurance Product Regulation Commission, 2006-. Co-Chair, Task Force to Study Identity Theft, 2007. Member, Task Force to Study the Developmental Disabilities Administration Rate-Payment System, 2007-08; Work Group on Cultural Competency and Workforce Development for Mental Health Professionals, 2007-08. Co-Chair, Commission to Study the Title Insurance Industry in Maryland, 2008-10. Member, Continuing Care Advisory Committee, Department of Aging, 2009-10; Alzheimer’s Work Group, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, 2010; Maryland Council for Educator Effectiveness, 2010-13; Task Force on the Membership and Operation of the Baltimore County Board of Education, 2011; Maryland Foreclosure Task Force, 2011-12; Special Review Committee on Coppin State University, 2012-13; Task Force to Study Economic Development and Apprenticeships, 2012-13; Foster Care Court-Improvement Implementation Committee, 2012-15; [Secretary of State Police] Superintendent’s Council of Advisors on Diversity and Inclusion, 2012-. Chair, Legislative Committee, Interstate Insurance Product Regulation Commission, 2013-. Member, Task Force to Study Access to Pharmacy Services in Maryland, 2014-15. Co-Chair, Task Force on Family Caregiving and Long-Term Supports, 2015-16. Board of Visitors, Coppin State University. Member, Task Force to Study Erroneous Conviction and Imprisonment, 2017-18; Maryland Sexual Assault Evidence Kit Policy and Funding Committee, 2017-18; Maryland Health Insurance Coverage Protection Commission, 2017-; Maryland Violence Intervention and Prevention Advisory Council, 2018-19.
Member, House of Delegates, January 9, 1991 to January 11, 1995, representing District 42 (Baltimore City & Baltimore County). Member, Environmental Matters Committee, 1991-94; Joint Committee on Administrative, Executive and Legislative Review, 1993-94.
Member, State Commission on Hereditary and Congenital Disorders, 1991-95.
Member, Mayor’s Mental Health Advisory Council, Baltimore City, 1980-88. Member, Values Education Commission, 1981-85.
Born in Norfolk, Virginia, May 1, 1936. Attended Booker T. Washington High School, Norfolk, Virginia; Virginia State College, B.A. (philosophy), 1956; New York University, M.A. (education), 1958; Purdue University, M.A. (speech communication), 1972; University of Maryland College Park, Ph.D. (American studies), 1977. Professor, Coppin State College, 1973-2004 (former dean). Member, Democratic State Central Committee, 1982-86. Secretary, Maryland Democratic Party, 1986-90. Delegate, National Democratic Party Convention, 1988 (platform committee), 2012. Member, Baltimore County Democratic Central Committee, 1995-. President, Tenth District Democratic Club, 1995-. Panelist, reviewer, National Endowment for the Humanities, 1978-82. Fellow (academic administration), American Council on Education, 1982-83. Baltimore Urban League Board, 1986-89. Board of Directors (vice-chair), Harbor Bank of Maryland, 1987-. Board of Trustees, Institute for Christian-Jewish Studies, 1988-94. President, Black-Jewish Forum of Baltimore (BLEWS), 1990-92. Member, Baltimore Chapter, National Coalition of 100 Black Women. Legislative Leader Award, Maryland Commission for Women, 1995. Champion for Children Award, Maryland Foster Care Review Board, 1996. First Annual Racial Justice Award, YWCA of Greater Baltimore, 1996. Maryland’s Top 100 Women, Daily Record, 1996, 1999, 2004 (Circle of Excellence). Dorothy Beatty Memorial Award, Women’s Law Center of Maryland, 1997. Legislator of the Year Award, Domestic Violence Network of Maryland, 1998. Municipal Super Star, Maryland Municipal League, 2008 (certificate of appreciation, 2009, 2010, 2011). Defender of the Defender Award, Office of Public Defender, 2009. First Citizen Award, Maryland Senate, 2017. Past chair, Trustee Board, Union Baptist Church. Married; three children.