Joseline Peña-Melnyk Enters District 4 Congressional Race
Hyattsville, MD – Maryland State Delegate Joseline Peña-Melnyk announced today that she will run to represent Maryland’s 4th District in the U.S. Congress.
“I am excited to be taking on this new challenge, and am looking forward to representing the people of District 4 in Congress. I have represented many parts of this district in the Maryland General Assembly and I am familiar with our issues. Job number one is creating and protecting high wage jobs for working families. That means investing in education, health care and transportation; and fighting for fair play. I’ve done that for eight years in the legislature and that’s what I’ll fight for in Congress,” said Peña-Melnyk.
Fighting for Working Families
Joseline, her husband Markian, and their children Camilo, Alejandra and Katerina, who attend Prince George’s public schools, share values that are familiar to residents of District 4.
“We play by the rules and try to make the most of our blessings – and give a little back too. I’ve seen families struggle and I identify with so many of our residents who work hard and are hopeful for their children’s future,” said Peña-Melnyk.
She got into politics to fight for her neighborhood, which was threatened by a proposed new highway. That fight led her to serve on the College Park City Council. Then, when long-serving State Delegate Pauline Menes retired, Peña-Melnyk was elected in 2006 to Maryland’s House of Delegates to represent the 21st District.
In the legislature, her focus has been on helping people solve problems — foreclosures, unemployment, medical insurance, and discrimination. She has passed more than 50 bills boosting opportunity for minorities, immigrants, and other ordinary people.
“No one works harder or fights harder for justice than Joseline,” said Senator Jim Rosapepe. “And she knows how to get things done — exactly the skills the US Congress needs.”
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Tuesday, March 17, 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Edith Perry, a resident of Bowie noted, “I have lived in District 4 for 24 years and have known Joseline since she first ran for office. As a Legacy Intern in her office for the past two years, I’ve seen the passion, dedication and commitment that she delivers to her constituents on a daily basis. Joseline will give us a strong voice in Congress. She’s a true public servant.”
Before politics Peña-Melnyk also held various public service roles. As an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia she prosecuted criminal cases, and as a court-appointed lawyer she gave a voice to neglected children and represented poor defendants. She also has counseled battered women and helped immigrants to join the fabric of American life.
Health care issues have been central to her work in the Maryland General Assembly. She is Chair of the Public Health & Minority Health Disparities Subcommittee and has sponsored and passed numerous bills to improve health care access and delivery, and to lower its cost. For eight years she has been a member of the Maryland General Assembly’s Black Caucus and the Women’s Caucus, and this year became Chair of the new Latino Caucus.
During legislative sessions her small office on the fourth floor of the House Office Building in Annapolis teems with activity. Visitors funnel in and out for meetings; and staff and volunteers work on projects. Peña-Melnyk actively listens to her constituents. Problems that she has heard often turn into legislative proposals on the House and Senate floor. Each session she sponsors ten or more bills which keep her, and her staff busy talking with stakeholders, building coalitions of supporters, and preparing testimony. The wall behind her desk is filled with framed copies of some of the many bills that were adopted into law during her time in the House of Delegates.
“She has a knack for getting people with diverging views to compromise on solutions. If we’re going to fix the dysfunction in Congress today, we need more people like her there,” said Councilwoman Mary Lehman.
About the 4th Congressional District
Congresswoman Donna Edwards who presently represents the 4th District is running for the seat of Senator Barbara Mikulski. Mikulski, the longest serving woman in the history of Congress, recently announced that she will retire after her current term ends in 2017.
District 4 is spread out, extending from southern to northern Prince George’s County and from the eastern border of Montgomery County to eastern Anne Arundel County. Peña-Melnyk currently represents both of these counties in the House of Delegates. Her home in College Park is within a “donut hole” carved out of the middle of the 4th District.
The district includes the communities of Forest Heights, Oxon Hill, Andrews Air Force Base, Forestville, Seat Pleasant, Landover, Mitchellville, Cheverly, Bladensburg, Mt. Rainer, Hyattsville, Adelphi, Calverton, Laurel, Odenton, Crofton, Millersville, Pasadena, Severna Park, Davidsonville, and Arnold.