CASA in Action Endorses Initial Group of Candidates for General Assembly and Local Council Seats

LANGLEY PARK, MD (FRIDAY, JANUARY 26, 2018) – CASA in Action, the region’s largest immigrant rights electoral organization, has endorsed its first set of candidates for the General Assembly and local council seats. The first set of endorsements by an organization with 96,000+ lifetime members, rewards existing pro-immigrant leaders and lifts up exciting new leaders.

“Far too often we are grasping at crumbs when we fight to protect our members from abusive police, unscrupulous employers, crooked landlords, and worse,” said Gustavo Torres, President of CASA in Action. “In 2018 we are going to fight hard for the people who recognize that working families are the backbone of our community and merit justice.”

This decision also provided CASA in Action Board members an opportunity to lift up new candidates who have already done significant work in their communities in the fight for justice. Julie Palakovich-Carr, running for Delegate in District 17, led the successful battle in Rockville to outlaw collaboration between local government and ICE. Jamila Jaye Woods has dedicated her life to organizing in faith-based communities for economic justice. Wala Blegay, a labor lawyer whose parents immigrated from Nigeria and Liberia, has battled for extension of Temporary Protected Status for immigrant fleeing natural disasters and violence. Wanika Fisher, whose parents immigrated from Nigeria and South Africa, staffed the campaign to outlaw collaboration between local police and ICE in the Maryland Senate. Ben Shnider, also a leader in the Rockville TRUST campaign, will bring a pro-worker, pro-civil rights vote to represent one of the most diverse and underserved districts in Montgomery County. Lorig Charkoudian has built a career dedicated to criminal justice reform and committed civil disobedience in December in support of undocumented immigrants. Marisol Johnson, an immigrant from El Salvador, built better ESOL programming for Baltimore County students through her leadership on the School Board. Gabe Acevero, whose family immigrated from Trinidad, spends his days fighting for rights for public employees.

“In 2018, we will have the opportunity to support long-time friends from Jolene Ivey in Prince George’s to Jheanelle Wilkins in Silver Spring, from Robbyn Lewis in Baltimore’s East Side to Marice Morales in Aspen Hill,” said Yaheiry Mora, Director of CASA in Action. “From electing the first Latino States Attorney in history to electing the Chair of the Latino Caucus to the Maryland Senate, our members are motivated to get out the vote in June for a slate of leaders that will fight for our communities.”

CASA in Action endorsements include:

District 14 Senator Craig Zucker, Delegates Eric Luedtke & Pam Queen
District 15 Brian Feldman
District 16 Senator Susan Lee
District 17 Delegate Kumar Barve, Candidate for House Julie Palakovich-Carr
District 18 Delegate Al Carr
District 19 Candidate for Senate Ben Kramer, Delegate Marice Morales
District 20 Senator Will Smith, Delegates David Moon & Jheanelle Wilkins, Candidate for House Lorig Charkoudian
District 21 Delegates Ben Barnes & Joseline Peña-Melnyk
District 22 Senator Paul Pinsky, Delegates Anne Healey & Alonzo Washington
District 23 Senator Doug Peters, Delegate Geraldine Valentino-Smith
District 24 Delegate Jazz Lewis
District 25 Candidate for Senate Angela Angel, Candidate for House Wala Blegay
District 26 Candidate for Senate Jamila Jaye Woods, Delegate Kris Valderrama
District 39 Delegate Kirill Reznik, Candidate for House Gabriel Acevero
District 46 Senator Bill Ferguson, Delegates Luke Clippinger, Robbyn Lewis & Brooke Lierman
District 47 Candidate for Senate Carlo Sanchez, Candidate for House Wanika Fisher

Local Races:
Baltimore County:

District 2 – Marisol Johnson
Montgomery County:
District 1 – Ana Sol Gutierrez
District 2 – Craig Rice
District 3 – Ben Shnider
District 4 – Nancy Navarro
District 5 – Tom Hucker

Prince Georges County:

District 1 – Tom Dernoga
District 2 – Deni Taveras
District 3 – Dannielle Glaros
District 5 – Jolene Ivey
States Attorney – Victor Ramirez