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Delaware State Senate District 01

The Delaware Senate is composed of 21 members, each of whom is elected to a four-year term, except when reapportionment occurs at which time Senators may be elected to a two-year term. There is no limit to the number of terms that a Senator may serve.State senators introduce and vote on proposed legislation, approve the annual budget for the state, and serve on assigned committees. The General Assembly of Delaware meets in Dover three days a week between mid-January and the end of June.The Lieutenant Governor serves as the President of the Senate, but only casts a vote if required to break a tie. The President Pro Tempore is a senator elected to the position by a majority of the members to run the mechanics of the Senate, including appointing committees and their members and assigning legislation to committee.

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  • Candidate picture

    Sarah McBride **
    (Dem)

  • Candidate picture

    Steven Washington
    (Rep)

Biographical Information

What motivated you to seek or continue in this office?

This year Delawareans can vote by mail due to COVID-19. Would you support continuing the vote by mail option for future Delaware elections? If yes, what modifications would you make to the current mail-in voting process?

Following the 2020 census, election district boundaries will be redrawn across the country. Do you think Delaware would benefit from having an independent redistricting commission? Please explain your position.

If elected, what measures will you develop and/or support to increase community confidence in law enforcement personnel?

How do you believe that racial inequality can be reduced/eliminated in Delaware?

What is your stance on renewable energy for Delaware, and specifically the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS)?

Is Delaware's Freedom of Information Act working well for the public? What changes (if any) would you suggest for FOIA?

Last edit date: updated 8/3/2020
Phone: (302) 598-4310
Website or social media link: http://sarahmcbride.com
Age 30
Education High School: Cab Calloway School of the Arts BA, American University
Work Experience Current Occupation: National Press Secretary at the Human Rights Campaign. Prior to working at the Human Rights Campaign, Sarah worked at the Center for American Progress, in the Obama White House, and for former Governor Jack Markell and the late Attorney General Beau Biden.
Community Involvement Sarah has been a lifelong community advocate and serves on the boards of many local organizations including Equality Delaware, the Delaware Art Museum, and the Delaware College of Art and Design.
Additional Information In 2013, Sarah led the successful effort in Delaware to pass landmark non-discrimination legislation, which was signed into law in June of 2013. Since then, Sarah has worked with state leaders to expand health care covered by Medicaid in Delaware and, in 2017, helped secure passage of legislation protecting vulnerable youth from child abuse. For her efforts advancing equality in Delaware, former Gov. Markell awarded Sarah the Order of the First State, making her one of the youngest Delawareans granted the state’s highest civilian honor. In 2016, she made history when she spoke at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. And this past year, Sarah taught public policy to students at the University of Delaware’s Biden Institute. Since launching her campaign, Sarah has been endorsed by the Delaware Democratic Party, statewide leaders, retiring Sen. Harris McDowell, and First District legislators.
Ballotpedia Page (external resource) http://ballotpedia.org/Sarah_McBride
I was born and raised in the First Senate District. These communities helped raise me and they’ve supported me through some of the most difficult times in my own life, including the loss of my husband to terminal cancer.

I’ve seen this state at its best. But for all the progress we’ve made, I also know that too many of our neighbors still feel left behind.

Delaware is at an inflection point. To build the economy of the future, we have to foster a diverse workforce that knows that here in Delaware they will be paid a living wage, ensured affordable health care, guaranteed paid family and medical leave, and that their kids will be able to go to a quality public school.

We need a renewed sense of optimism and belief in the possibilities for progress before us. The opportunities and the challenges we face are why I’m running for the State Senate – because I love Delaware and I want us to more fully live up to our values as a state of neighbors.
The right and ability to vote is the cornerstone of democracy. We should do more to make the ballot box accessible for all Delawareans. I'm glad that the General Assembly passed legislation to ensure that Delawareans could vote by mail throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, but there is more we can do. I fully support legislation to create a permanent, accessible vote-by-mail option in Delaware. Other states have seamlessly and successfully adopted universal vote-by-mail that automatically sends ballots to verified registered voters. The current process that requires voters to submit an affidavit with an approved excuse in order to receive a mail-in ballot remains too onerous and serves to discourage participation without enhancing the security of our elections. We know mail-in voting is a safe and secure option that makes it easier for Delawareans of all backgrounds to vote.
Ensuring fair and equitable legislative districts enhances public confidence and faith in our government. The drawing of legislative districts should be based on data, community cohesion, and a transparent process. I support efforts to establish an independent redistricting commission that eliminates the role of blatant political partisanship in the process.
Criminal justice reform is necessary for our communities and public safety. From George Floyd to Sandra Bland, we have seen the tragic and fatal consequences that many Black Americans face when interacting with law enforcement. We must take meaningful action to reform and reimagine community safety to end police violence, address racism in the criminal justice system, and build communities that truly protect the life and dignity of every person. There can be no increase in community confidence without enhanced transparency. I support requiring law enforcement officers to wear and utilize body cameras and reforming current laws that limit transparency and accountability. Community review boards and other measures presented by Delaware's Attorney General are also good first steps. We cannot simply police our way to safe communities, especially if we truly want to build safe communities for everyone. To do so, we must invest more in empowering communities, especially communities of color.
Racism persists in all areas of life and the only path towards racial justice is through action on all fronts. Criminal justice reform is just one part of the process toward eliminating racism in our systems and society. We must invest in communities and reimagine our economy, which has left too many behind, especially our neighbors of color. We must build an equitable public school system so that every student receives a safe and quality education no matter their race or zip code. The first steps include investing in wrap-around services, passing universal pre-k, changing disciplinary practices that result in a school-to-prison pipeline, and reforming our funding so that it accounts for students living with poverty, language barriers, and disabilities. We must also remove barriers to health care and guarantee a livable wage and real benefits for all. It is on all of us to do the hard work of reckoning with and confronting racism in our communities and beyond.
The economy of the future lies in innovation, renewable energy, and green industries. We can and must protect our environment and empower our communities all at the same time by investing in sustainable energy and attracting green jobs. Sen. Harris McDowell, who is retiring and whose support I'm proud to have, has long been a champion of renewable energy. I support his RPS legislation (SB250), which would make it easier for many of our neighbors to get solar power – especially Black and Brown Delawareans and people living in poverty. These communities have faced the brunt of the climate crisis – environmentally, economically and with their health. Time is of essence – we can’t face climate change without expanding access to renewable energy. As we rebuild and reimagine our economy, we have to invest in renewable technology that will power our economy and protect our environment for the future.
With democratic norms under threat and strain here at home and around the world, we should do everything within our power to build public trust in our government and public officials. Transparency and protecting the public's right to information is at the heart of a healthy democracy. I support enhancing Delaware's Freedom of Information Act to remove exemptions and to improve the timeline for transparency.
Last edit date: updated 10/2/2020
Phone: (302) 602-5149
Website or social media link: http://votestevewashington.com
Age 57
Education B.S. Norfolk State University M.Ed. Arcadia University
Work Experience City of Wilmington Summer Youth Director, CEO HBCU Delaware Coalition Inc 501c3, Supervisor of Elementary Support, Reading Specialist and currently Special Education Teacher at Brandywine School District.
Community Involvement Founder and President of Norfolk State University Alumni Association Chapter (Delaware Division) Founder and CEO of Historically Black Colleges and University Delaware Coalition 501C3, Wilmington Housing Authority Commissioner (Executive Sec) State of Delaware Board of Parole. Stormin Basketball Classic Volunteer coach for 12 years. Director Wilmington Summer Youth Program, Restaurant Co-Owner of Stone Oven Pizzeria and Soul Food.
Additional Information City of Wilmington Education Award Recipient, Pennsylvania Coalition Of Black Women Humanitarian Award, Norfolk State University Mr. Alumni, Norfolk State University Board of Directors
As a teacher, a member of the Parole Board and Commissioner with the Wilmington Housing Authority, I see first-hand how a lack of education affects our community.
Covid-19 has not stopped people from shopping. Many of the people I have talked to while canvassing say that they are going to vote in person to make sure that their vote counts. Absentee ballots are available for anyone who requests them. It seems like the Governor and our legislators have not considered the economic costs of preventing our local businesses from finding their own ways to navigate through this pandemic. Lets help local businesses return to full employment, lets get our kids back in school, let’s let Delawareans decide how to live day to day through this pandemic. Concerned about the perception of integrity in our elections. For example, a lawsuit has recently been filed to attempt to have mail-in ballots counted regardless of when they arrive at the Department of Elections as long as they are postmarked by the date of the election. I want to protect the right of every voter to have their ballot count, but this lawsuit highlights a flaw.
I like the idea of an independent redistricting commission. Case in point, my State District 1 has three times as many registered Democrats than Republicans. People on one side of the street are in my district, but not the other side. Only one half of a development is included and not the other.
I would increase funding to attract more recruits to become police officers. Also, I would have law enforcement career paths provided in the middle school and high schools. The school curriculum would include civics, the study of the Constitution, the three branches of government, the origin of the Star Spangled Banner, biographies of defenders of our freedom, and the Robert’s Rules of Order to instill patriotism and respect for law and order. We also have to allow prayer back in the schools and teach black history, the truth about the black culture.
We can reduce racial inequality by assuring that more black and brown people of color complete high school with a greater proficiency in reading, math, and have knowledge of economics and design a curriculum that speaks to the interest of the students. We need to drop the Federal Government’s Common Core curriculum that is not meeting the needs of black and poverty students. Bill Gates called common core his failed experiment and will harm students 30 years out. Why are we still using it?

Parents should have a choice as to where to send their children to school without the "red tape" . The children’s education opportunities should not be determined by their zip code, but by their interests and needs.
A renewable portfolio standard (RPS) is a regulation that requires the increased production of energy from renewable energy sources, such as wind, solar, biomass, and geothermal. Other common names for the same concept include Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) at the United States federal level and Renewables Obligation in the UK.

The RPS mechanism places an obligation on electricity supply companies to produce a specified fraction of their electricity from renewable energy sources. Certified renewable energy generators earn certificates for every unit of electricity they produce and can sell these along with their electricity to supply companies. Supply companies then pass the certificates to some form of regulatory body to demonstrate their compliance with their regulatory obligations. RPS can rely on the private market for its implementation. In jurisdictions such as California, minimum RPS requirements are legislated. California Senate Bill 350 passed in October 2015 requires r
The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. § 552, is a federal freedom of information law that requires the full or partial disclosure of previously unreleased information and documents controlled by the United States government upon request. The act defines agency records subject to disclosure, outlines mandatory disclosure procedures, and defines nine exemptions to the statute.[1][2] The act was intended to make U.S. government agencies' functions more transparent so that the American public could more easily identify problems in government functioning and put pressure on Congress, agency officials, and the president to address them.[3]

While the public may be aware of news organizations' use of FOIA for reporting purposes, they make up less than 10% of all requests with businesses, law firms, and individuals all being more frequent users.[4]

A federal court has concisely described the vital role of the FOIA in democracy:

It has often been observed that the central purpose of