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USAF Veteran, (Comm/Nav Specialist), USDOL/VETS (Veterans Program Specialist), Small Business Owner (General Contracting Company), Public Accountant & Realtor
Currently, Donyale has a general contracting company with a focus on community involvement and entrepreneurship to promote growth in the business community for women, ethnic minorities and disabled veteran owned businesses. She is also a board member of the Friends of Delaware Veterans and the board’s liaison with the state’s Junior ROTC programs. As the current President of the Frederick Douglas Foundation, past 1st Vice President of the Central Delaware Branch NAACP, and a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, she stresses the importance of helping others, particularly in the areas of economic development, education and youth. Donyale is also a member of the Delaware Veterans Coalition, The Vines Coalition, Help Initiative, Community Garden advisory board, Tag Unlimited and The Capital Rotary Club, where she continually demonstrates the principles of “Service Above Self” through substantial community involvement.
As a businesswoman, wife, mother and U,S, Air Force Veteran, I have first-hand experience
and inner-working knowledge of the failures and shortcomings within the construct of Delaware legislative policy. It is my belief that the underlying socioeconomic woes of this state are in dire need of addressing by someone who can articulate the needs of marginalized communities. I have humbly accepted the challenge of being that voice.
As a businesswoman and mother of school-aged children, I have first-hand experience and inner-working knowledge of the failures and shortcomings of Delaware legislative policy. The underlying socioeconomic woes of this state are in dire need of addressing by someone like me who can articulate the needs of marginalized communities.
My top three priorities are education reform, job growth and accountability in government. These will be accomplished by education spending reform directed at closing the achievement gap, strategic economic development planning to leverage opportunity zone resources alongside metrics, measurable outcomes, efficacy and transparency in government spending.
Yes, I believe Delaware would benefit from having an independent redistricting commission.
In the absence of order, is chaos; I do not support defunding police departments. More extensive training is needed, in addition to mandatory body cameras and effective community policing strategies to include non-enforcement interaction between officers and community members. Precinct leadership should cultivate a cultural climate of “Protect and Serve!” and officers should be members of the community they police.
I believe that racial inequality can be reduced/eliminated in Delaware by addressing the underlying socioeconomic problems in our state. Delaware is in dire need of quality employment opportunities to provide livable wages. I would seek to develop an economic development plan that specifically targets job growth and education reform. In addition, I would seek to address the disproportionately high rates of health disparities, especially those living in poverty and located in communities which are exposed to disproportionately higher levels of environmental pollution. Lastly, I would diligently seek criminal justice reform to address the 65% recidivism rate, which is the second highest in the country.
Three percent cost caps were included in the RPS to protect our customers. Those caps were ignored by some, resulting in Delmarva Power customers paying increased renewable energy costs upward of 19% over the last eight years. Delmarva Power customers have paid well over a billion dollars due to this consumer protection being ignored. I am not in favor of legislative measures that would increase the burden placed on customers.
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Bethany graduated from Indian River High School in Sussex County. She then went on to earn her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Thomas Jefferson University, Masters of Science in Nursing at the Medical University of South Caroline in Charleston, and her Ph.D. in health policy and nursing administration from George Mason University.
Bethany has been a member of the UD Nursing Faculty now for nearly twenty years. She also holds a distinguished record at the University of Delaware (UD). She was the first nursing faculty at UD to receive the University-wide excellence in teaching award and is currently a Professor of Nursing and Joint Faculty in Urban Affairs. Her research and community service record with at-risk groups such as pregnant teens, diabetics, the homeless, and the mentally ill, makes her a nationally recognized health scientist.
From 2002-2017, Bethany served as a member of Delaware’s legislature, first as a Representative and then as a Senator. She served as the chair of the Health and Social Services committee where her efforts were aimed at ensuring a stronger, healthier Delaware by combating addiction, focusing on a stronger mental health system, fighting cancer, and health inequities in our state.
During her years in the legislature and as Lieutenant Governor, Bethany, saw the devastating effects the opioid epidemic had on those suffering and their families. She engaged those on the front lines, who were touched by this tragedy and brought them all together. As the leading voice behind the creation of the Behavioral Health Consortium, her efforts have helped bring substantive and effective change in Delaware to help create a behavioral health system that works for everyone.
As a nurse, Lt. Governor and Professor Bethany has worked to improve health outcomes for our most vulnerable Delawareans. She has worked on the streets in our communities to help save lives with Narcan and screening the homeless during these difficult times. Bethany is widely recognized as a leader who uses her skills to bring people together, build consensus, and take action to help build a healthier community.
Beyond service to the state of Delaware, Bethany has provided national leadership. She currently serves as the Chair of the National Lieutenant Governor’s Association and has previously served as treasurer and Chair-Elect. She recently completed a successful year-long term as Co-Chair of the Democratic Lieutenant Governors Association.
Bethany is honored to be a member of the League of Women Voters for the past 30 years!
I am seeking re-election to continue to make Delaware a stronger and healthier state, by bringing people together to forge common-sense solutions to real issues around economic, emotional, and physical health. I have been honored to serve as your Lt. Governor for the last three and a half years, addressing inequities in our community, working to create jobs and infrastructure, and fighting for quality education. As a public health nurse and professor, I have worked with organizations such as the League of Women Voters to improve health outcomes for our most vulnerable populations including our homeless and seniors. Recently, as Co-Chair of the Pandemic Resurgence Advisory Committee, along with Secretary Bullock, we convened business, education, health, and community leaders to develop a community-driven and science-based plan to keep all Delawareans safe through the COVID-19 pandemic. We need a healthy community in order to have a healthy economy, and I hope to continue that work.
From 2002-2017, I served as a member of Delaware’s legislature and was the first nurse to serve in the General Assembly. I used my unique background to be a strong voice for women, children, and minorities tackling health, economic, and education issues. I have worked to improve health outcomes for everyone by combating addiction, focusing on a stronger mental health system, fighting cancer, and addressing systemic health inequities in our state. Together with Governor Carney, we formed the Behavioral Health Consortium, which has made substantive improvements to the behavioral health system so that it works for everyone. Serving as a Professor of Nursing and Joint Faculty in Urban Affairs, I believe the best investment we can make is in our children providing them with a solid education. My public service has focused on initiatives to provide opportunities and services for at-risk groups such as pregnant teens, diabetics, the homeless, and those with behavioral health issues.
If I am re-elected, I will continue to work to keep Delawareans safe through this COVID-19 pandemic and the threat of a potential resurgence. As Co-Chair of the Pandemic Resurgence Advisory Committee, implementation of the plan will be critical to the physical, emotional, and economic health of all Delawareans, focusing on inequities. I will continue to work to improve the lives and protect the health of all Delawareans, in a way that is equitable and fair for all communities, and all sectors of our economy. We are still battling an opioid epidemic while in a pandemic as well. I remain committed to the work of ending that epidemic and the overdose deaths that are still occurring. I will work to create opportunities for everyone - from good-paying jobs that will sustain our families, to success for our children too, from modernizing our schools, investing in our teachers, and preparing children to become college and career ready.
Governor Carney appointed me to Chair the Delaware Complete Count Commission. The Commission is facilitating the Census in Delaware and working to ensure that every Delawarean is counted. To date, there are 10 states that have independent redistricting commissions to redraw electoral maps based on population from the Census. In the 149th General Assembly, legislation was introduced to create an independent redistricting commission (SB 27). There is considerable variation in the composition of the commissions across the states. At this time, I believe, Delaware would benefit from learning from the experience of other states of similar size and composition before moving forward with an independent commission. No matter what process is used, it is imperative that the process be transparent and accountable to voters regarding redistricting.
We need to apply the best practices and models for building positive relations and strong communication between police and the public. Using methods that will create greater accountability and transparency with citizen input is important. The Behavioral Health Consortium continues to work with law enforcement on crisis intervention training.
The murder of George Floyd filled our nation with horror, grief, and anger. We must work to address systemic racism, discrimination, and inequities that have impacted black, brown, and other persons of color. We must build trust and confidence in our institutions, and we must hold individuals and agencies accountable for their actions and ensure transparency to the public.
The Law Enforcement Accountability task force led by Rep. Cook is conducting a statewide listening tour to develop recommendations to address systemic change. I look forward to working on implementing these recommendations.
By working together and making a firm commitment, we can address racism and discrimination. Public policies must address inequities that have been perpetuated denying persons of color equal, fair, and just opportunities. We must begin with criminal justice reform to end mass incarceration and seek alternatives to prison. We must address school funding and educational opportunities so that children of color have the same access to resources, learning, and services. We must address health disparities in communities of color where health outcomes are poorer because of the zip code where they live. We must address the high poverty rate for persons of color. No child should be raised in poverty. We must address policies that do not provide an adequate safety net. We must support a living wage to address the growing wealth gap in Delaware that disproportionately impacts communities of color through increased career and technical training for the workforce of the future.
Climate change is having a real impact in Delaware given our geographic location and our elevation. Having served on the House Energy Committee and Senate Agriculture Committee I know the effects of sea-level rise and climate change. Establishing new RPS standards will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the carbon footprint, improve air quality, and increase reliance on renewable energy as a source for electricity. According to DNREC, less than 1% of the total electricity consumed in 2005 was met by renewable resources. In 2025, it is projected that 25% of electricity consumed will be met by renewable resources.
Senator McDowell introduced Renewable Portfolio legislation to increase the RPS standard. I look forward to this legislation being revisited in 2021.
Delaware must continue to pursue clean and renewable energy and implement a climate action plan to mitigate the effects of climate change.