Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Our Fabulous Political Woman of the Month: Heather Mizeur

It’s that time again! Time to spotlight a woman who is accomplished, dynamic, poised, politically savvy and just plain fabulous all the way around. For September, that woman is Heather Mizeur.

In 2006, Heather was elected to a four-year term in the Maryland General Assembly, representing the 20th district (Takoma Park and Silver Spring) in the House of Delegates. She serves on the Health and Government Operations Committee, which deals with all matters of health insurance and health policy issues before the state of Maryland. Ms. Mizeur sponsored and won passage of the Family Coverage Expansion Act in 2007 and the Kids First Act in 2008, accomplishments noted by the Washington Post, the Baltimore Sun, and National Public Radio. The Democratic Leadership Council named Mizeur their “Democrat of the Week” for her innovative health policy ideas in March 2008.

Prior to joining the Maryland General Assembly, she served one term as a member of the Takoma Park City Council, where she was known for her pragmatic leadership and attention to constituent services. Maryland Democrats elected Heather Mizeur to be their representative to the Democratic National Committee. Heather spent five years sharing her health policy expertise with non-profit community health centers for low-income, minority, migrant, and homeless people across the country. In addition to her work at a national non-profit health care organization, Delegate Mizeur spent nearly a decade working as a policy analyst and political director on Capitol Hill for three members of the House of Representatives, and most recently as Domestic Policy Director for Senator John F. Kerry. She was named the Maryland State Director for the Kerry-Edwards Presidential campaign in 2004 and was the principal architect of Kerry’s agenda for health care reform during the campaign.

Heather’s solid grounding in social justice has led her to perform significant volunteer work. A Truman Scholar and graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, she traveled to remote and impoverished villages in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, where she helped repair water systems, teach public health classes, and work with medical teams to deliver much-needed health care. She is now the senior technical advisor to the Montgomery County Latino Health Initiative. Heather also spent four years as a member of the AmeriCorps national service program. She worked as a tutor and mentor in a dropout prevention program for at-risk youth and serves on the board of directors of the Long Branch Athletic Association (LBAA). She lives in Takoma Park with her spouse Deborah and their dog Chester.

Heather has become a recognized leader on health care, higher education, energy and the environment, high technology, social justice, and civil rights issues. She has dedicated her career to finding creative ways to expand quality, affordable health care to all. She is a tireless public servant with a vibrant personality and warm, down-to-earth demeanor. I applaud her for her service and for making waves in the political arena.

So three cheers and two snaps for our Fabulous Political Woman of the Month! If you have someone you’d like to nominate for next month, hit me up!

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