Press release from the NWPC:
National Women’s Political Caucus Endorses Joseline Pena-Melnyk for U.S. House in Maryland
The National Women’s Political Caucus (NWPC) is pleased to endorse Joseline Pena-Melnyk for U.S. House in Maryland’s 4th Congressional District. She is running in the race to succeed U.S. Rep. Donna F. Edwards.
Born in the Dominican Republic, Pena-Melnyk arrived in New York on a visa with her mother and sister when she was 8 years old. She paid her way through school with a series of retail jobs, earning enough to also help support her younger sister. While in college she volunteered at a shelter for battered women and during law school she interned for a non-profit legal organization documenting the working conditions of migrant farm workers in Ohio.
“Joseline is a proven fighter for working families. She has fought tirelessly for the values of fairness and inclusiveness and will take that fight to the U.S. Congress,” said Donna Lent, NWPC President.
Pena-Melnyk began her legal career in the public defender’s office in Philadelphia and later moved to Washington D.C. where she became a court-appointed defense attorney and an advocate for foster children and abused children in the D.C. Superior Court. After spending time in private practice, Pena-Melnyk joined the U.S. attorney’s office as a prosecutor.
In 2003, she won her first election for a seat on the College Park City Council. In 2006, she defeated several establishment candidates to win an open seat in the Maryland House of Delegates representing District 21, which includes northern Prince George’s and Anne Arundel counties.
“Joseline has spent her time in Annapolis working to give a voice to the voiceless, and she will continue to do that when we send her to Washington,” said Paris Bienert, Maryland Women’s Political Caucus President. “We are prepared to aggressively support her campaign efforts on the ground because we know that Joseline is the right choice for Maryland’s women and families.”
Through her hard work, Ms. Pena-Melnyk has been able to get more than 50 bills into law in Maryland. Some of the laws include, protecting people against discrimination, improving healthcare, funding public schools, and promoting sustainable transportation. She has also voted to increase Maryland’s minimum wage and supports increasing the Federal minimum wage. Expanding opportunities for minority businesses and promoting successful training programs that lead to jobs in growing fields in the private and public sectors, are some of her other top priorities.
“Public service is Joseline’s passion and she is willing to take a stand when it’s not popular,” said Paula Owen Willmarth, NWPC Vice President for Political Planning. “She is truly a woman of the people and we will all be fortunate to have her serving in the United States Congress.”