Pediatrician and advocate Margaret Flowers has won the Green Party nomination for the Maryland U.S. Senate seat, and is urging voters to replace retiring Sen. Barbara Mikulski with another progressive woman from Baltimore.
“I want those voters who turned out for Donna Edwards and Bernie Sanders last week to know that there is an alternative who represents their values,” Flowers said Monday. “Marylanders will have a chance to make a statement against big-money politics at the polls in November.”
Flowers won the Green nomination in a primary run and funded by Maryland Greens, since the state government only runs primaries for the two major parties – despite the fact that the Green Party is also ballot-qualified in Maryland. Flowers says this is another indication of how the system is stacked to prevent competition to the status quo.
“The Maryland political establishment would have you think that the election took place last week,” Flowers said. “But Chris Van Hollen’s corporate sponsors haven’t won yet. The final vote will take place on November 8.” Open Secrets reports that the top donors for Van Hollen’s over $8 million primary campaign were developers, Washington lobbyists and financiers.
Margaret Flowers is the youngest of five children. Raised by a single mother, she was the first of three daughters to attend college. After graduating from the University of Maryland School of Medicine and completing her pediatric residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Flowers worked as a hospitalist in Carroll County and later in private practice.
Seeing firsthand how the profit-driven healthcare system hurt her patients and their families, Flowers stopped practicing medicine in 2007 to become a full-time advocate for a single-payer system, calling the struggle for healthcare “part of a broader social, racial, economic and environmental justice movement.”
She later joined 2006 Maryland Green U.S. Senate nominee Kevin Zeese in leading ItsOurEconomy.us to educate, organize and mobilize around social and economic justice and democratization of the economy to reduce the wealth divide. Flowers, Zeese and others organized the Occupy movement at Freedom Plaza in Washington, DC. They are now the co-editors of PopularResistance.org, which reports on local, national and international movements and organizes issues campaigns. Flowers has been a leading voice in the fights against the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Dominion’s fracked gas project in Southern Maryland.
“I see through my work how the concerns of Marylanders are ignored by our legislators even when serious issues of public health and safety are raised,” Flowers said. “I do not accept any corporate donations, and as senator, I will accept only the median Maryland income and will donate the balance to social movements. My office will be open to constituents so that we can work together to rein in corruption, reduce the wealth divide, solve the healthcare crisis, move to clean and sustainable energy and end systemic racism.”
Flowers, a mother of three young adults, lives in Baltimore’s Belvedere Square area.