Wendy Davis Interview Series: Episode 1

KOFA Managing Partner Jamie Fontaine talks with Wendy Davis, former Texas State Senator and founder of the women’s advocacy initiative Deeds Not Words, about the opportunities and challenges facing today’s young women. Davis was propelled to national prominence in 2013 when she took to the Texas Senate floor for a 13-hour filibuster on an abortion restriction bill. In this first of a two part series, Wendy shares her story of overcoming adversity to achieve greatness; the mission of Deeds Not Words, an advocacy organization focused on providing the tools and information to help women engage in the process; and about her primary focus today: economic justice for women. Next week in part two, they discuss Betsy DeVos’ proposed dismantling of Title IX.... Continue reading
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Cory McCray's Story is Baltimore's Story

Baltimore has shaped Cory since the day he was born. Now Cory is working hand-in-hand with our neighborhoods to shape Baltimore. Cory is running for Senate so that he can continue expanding our opportunities, listening to our needs, and figuring out how to serve them. He asks for your support, as he continues to work on our behalf in Annapolis.... Continue reading
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Dr. Leana S. Wen: Five Issues for the White House Opioid Commission to Address

Yesterday, the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis issued its draft interim report on fighting the national opioid crisis. I support the draft recommendations included in the Commission’s report, especially the call for declaring a national state of emergency. Imagine if there were hundreds of people dying from a disease such as Ebola or a natural disaster every day—there would be no question about the necessity of such a declaration. I am also heartened to see that the recommendations follow the best available evidence, including support for medication-assisted treatment, which has been scientifically shown to be effective in treating opioid addiction. This is similar to the use of insulin for treating diabetes, and reinforces what we know in medicine to be true; addiction is a disease, treatment exists, and recovery is possible. In completing this report, I urge that the Commission focuses on the following five issues: ... Continue reading
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Jamie Fontaine: Fear 2.0

Trump’s Twitter announcement Wednesday that the U.S. will no longer “accept or allow” transgender people to serve in our military may well be his most blatant and outrageous attack on the LGBT community yet. Along with many peers in the political and LGBT communities, my immediate response to Trump’s win was to question what impact his presidency could have on my marriage, my children – my civil rights. Perhaps naively, I surmised the answer was likely very little. Of course, the LGBT community was not alone on November 9th in our forced calculation of the consequences of a Trump presidency on our lives and our families. We stood alongside a dizzying number of minority, ethnic and faith-based organizations and individuals in a surreal resurgence of collective fear – something that’s always been with members of the LGBT community to varying degrees, but in my adulthood, never so close to the surface.... Continue reading
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Dr. Leana Wen: Baltimore City Health Commissioner Condemns New Senate Healthcare Proposal

A Senate bill revealed today – the so-called the Better Care Reconciliation Act – is even worse than the initial proposal and will result in loss of healthcare for millions of Americans.This plan maintains deep, devastating, and dangerous cuts to Medicaid. Millions of children, mothers, older adults, people with disabilities, and hard-working families will lose their health coverage. In Maryland, 1.3 million children, adults, and seniors rely on Medicaid for critical health services such as treatment for asthma and infectious diseases, prenatal care, glasses, hearing aids, prescription medications, nursing home care and much more. Gutting Medicaid would force families to choose between basic needs—such as paying for food and rent—and life-saving care. In addition, this bill allows bare-bones insurance plans that do not cover essential health benefits. Essential health benefits are called essential for a reason. They include coverage for ER visits, hospitalizations, mental health, and preventive care. Allowing insurance companies... Continue reading
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