In Maryland, Ransom serves on the Bowie Economic Development Committee, and is a former member of the board of directors for the Bethune-DuBois Institute and Hopes for Higher Education. She is a member of Washington Government Relations Group, the Continental Societies, Inc., Prince George’s County Chapter, Petals on the Potomac, and the Order of the Eastern Star—Prince Hall Affiliate. Ransom is affiliated with the NAACP, National Council of Negro Women, and National Organization for Women, American Association of University Women, National Association of State Directors in Career and Technical Education, and the Association of Career and Technical Education. She is also chair and CEO of the Augustus F. Hawkins Foundation.
BlackEnterprise.com caught up with this Marylander to discuss all things leadership, and how her platform will help provide a better future for Marylanders.
BlackEnterprise.com: Your ‘families first’ platform suggests that you are completely committed to championing issues affecting Maryland families. Can you elaborate?
Ransom: I firmly believe that a nation is only as strong as the spirit of its people — and we are a resilient people. I’m running for the 4th congressional district of Maryland to address the real-life social and economic challenges facing Maryland families; challenges that hinder access to opportunities that build prosperity for Marylanders now and tomorrow. Every Marylander should have the opportunity to:
– Receive a quality education in a good public school.
– Secure a stable, living wage job.
– Have a decent and affordable home.
– Raise a middle-class family.
– Have a secure retirement.
Thanks for elaborating. Recently, the candidate roster has expanded and it’s a little noisy out there. What distinguishes you from the other candidates that would help voters cut through the noise?
Ironically, in this race, I’m considered an outsider. While some of my opponents have a state or local perspective, I cut my teeth on Capitol Hill at a young age and have worked in or around the U.S. Congress on community development, housing, predatory lending, reproductive health and workforce, and equity education issues for over 30 years. I tend to look at issues through a broader lens and believe that everything starts with inclusiveness and balance.
Personally, I believe that ‘doing good’ for good’s sake is essential to the human spirit. I’m what you might call a ‘pay-it-forward’ girl. Tracing back to all the steps in my life, I just believe that it’s my calling to serve. My focus has always been on helping people. God and people come first with me. That’s where I think I am different and why I think I can make a difference.
What are some of the core challenges that Marylanders have faced, but that have been unresolved by past administrations?
During the Bush era, the country just wasn’t prepared to deal with the fall out and massive layoffs resulting from the economic recession. To the credit of our president and administration leaders, the Obama Administration has championed the inclusion of Career and Technical Education (CTE), STEM, adult-learning, and apprenticeships in secondary and post-secondary programs that offer real-life career opportunities for students regardless of age, gender or race.
In fact, the administration recently expanded the Presidential Scholarship Program to include CTE students. Programs like the Department of Labor’s Apprenticeship USA offers people opportunities to ‘earn and learn’ the high-demand skills needed to build living wage careers.
On the other side of the college-career readiness platform, the introduction of the American College Promise Act, by Senators Tammy Baldwin and Cory Booker, along with Congressman Bobby Scott, provides 2-years of community college to all eligible students and includes provisions for minority serving institutions (MSIs).
These are all sound investments in helping Marylanders strengthen their work skills needed to attract existing and new industries to the state. We have to re-calibrate our workforce to increase our competitiveness, locally, nationally, and worldwide. While the administration has made strong efforts to bolster CTE, STEM, Adult ED and apprenticeship programs at the federal level, many of these programs have not received sufficient resources from Congress to keep pace with the growing demand for middle and high-skilled workers that our businesses need to compete in markets at home and abroad.
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