HEATHER MIZEURAhead of the curve on issues that matter
A visionary and courageous leader, Heather Mizeur has taken bold positions throughout her career that later come to enjoy wide acceptance
Long before passage of the federal Affordable Care Act, Heather was hard at work utilizing innovative solutions to expand health care access in Maryland. She authored the Kids First Act – a law that served as a national model to find and enroll tens of thousands of qualified uninsured children into health plans. She fostered a unique bipartisan relationship with colleagues to win passage of The Family Planning Works Act — legislation to reduce abortions, improve pregnancy outcomes, and lower infant mortality rates. And in her Family Coverage Expansion Act, Heather made Maryland one of the first states to allow young adults to stay on their family health plans until age 26 (a policy that would go national under the ACA).
Heather has a deep appreciation for our state’s environment, from the incomparable Chesapeake Bay to the beautiful forests of Western Maryland. She was among the first to raise alarms about the dangers of a new form of drilling for natural gas, spearheading a 2011 bill prohibiting fracking in Maryland unless the practice could be proven safe. She served on the nation’s first state-led fracking commission that ultimately led to the General Assembly and Governor Larry Hogan permanently banning fracking in 2018.
The Baltimore Sun has dubbed her one of the state’s leading environmental advocates. After authoring a Democratic National Committee Resolution urging rejection of Canada’s Keystone XL pipeline, Heather was one of the featured speakers along with national climate leaders at a 12,000-person “tar sands” rally outside the White House.
Jobs & Economy
Jobs and Economy
In 2008, Heather had the foresight to create a program to invest millions of dollars in nanobiotechnology research funding – enabling advances in treating cancer, HIV/AIDS, and other diseases. The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the wisdom of investing in groundbreaking disease research; Heather recognized this need when it was far removed from the daily headlines.
As an alternative to casinos, Heather outlined a more visionary economic plan in an op-ed for The Washington Post, offering a blueprint for connecting job creation to progressive policies in education and infrastructure. And in March 2021, Heather’s editorial in The Baltimore Sun gives us a road map for rapid deployment of broadband in rural Maryland to lessen the digital divide.
Equality, Justice & Civil Rights
Equality, Justice, and Civil Rights
Throughout her career, Heather has consistently championed forward-looking policies grounded in fairness and decency, whether leading efforts to decriminalize possession of marijuana, demanding equitable education funding and decent schools for all children, or successfully championing policies to increase transparency in government and eliminating the influence of money in politics.
Heather’s tenacity helped Maryland win marriage equality when others were ready to give up the fight. Baltimore magazine credited Delegate Mizeur with “delivering one of the most memorable [floor] speeches” of the 2011 House of Delegates marriage equality debate.
A Visionary Voice for the People
A Visionary Voice for the People
Heather has never hesitated to use her powers of persuasion in support of a just cause. Her far-sighted approach to policy solutions that improve our lives is most evident from her campaign for Governor in 2014. During that race, she was the first candidate to advance detailed initiatives to:
- eliminate the achievement gap and fully fund pre-k for all children (by dedicating a new revenue source through the legalization of recreational marijuana use);
- boost economic growth through a living wage for workers coupled with middle class and small business tax cuts funded by closing corporate tax loopholes for large companies;
- establish paid sick time for workers;
- enhance public safety policies and reform criminal justice; and
- promote democracy reforms, including a plan to end gerrymandering.
At that time, her proposals were called “too liberal” by some of the same people who now advocate their adoption. Many of these issues – marriage equality, legalized marijuana, paid sick leave, ending gerrymandering, and a $15 minimum wage – are now either the law of the land or enjoy widespread support today, making 2014’s “liberal” seem like 2021’s “moderate.”
Heather is a legislative pioneer who uses the courage of her convictions and her visionary leadership to chart a course for a better tomorrow. We need someone with these skills to represent us in Congress.