WELCOME

Friends,

Welcome to my official website where you can find information about me, my campaign, my work as a member of the House Judiciary Committee, the 24th Legislative District, and the Delegate Scholarship Program. It is my privilege to be your voice in Annapolis and to advocate for higher paying jobs, more educational opportunities for young people, and keeping our healthcare system affordable for the residents of the 24th Legislative District.

As always, please share your thoughts and concerns on any legislation of importance to you and feel free to contact me or my staff about any constituent service matters you would like me to look into. As you know, our campaign for a better Prince George's is about people like you. No contribution is too small and with an active group of committed citizens, anything is possible.

Sincerely,
Del. Jazz Lewis

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ABOUT JAZZ

Delegate Jazz Lewis is a lifelong Prince Georgian and lives in the City of Glenarden with his wife Aurin. Jazz is a proud graduate of the Prince George’s County public school system and is an alumnus of the University of Maryland, graduating in 2011 with a Bachelors in Government & Politics and in 2014 with a Masters of Public Policy. Jazz got his start in community advocacy at a young age when he joined the First Baptist Church of Glenarden’s Boy Scout Troop 1657. Helping the members of his community led Jazz to ultimately earn the rank of Eagle Scout and make public service his life’s calling.

Continuing his service while at the University of Maryland, Jazz served as the President of a multicultural and social justice advocacy group called Community Roots. With the help of his group members, Jazz organized over 1,000 students to protest budget cuts that threatened the job security of non-tenured faculty, including women and people of color, as well as the school’s cultural centers. After attaining his Bachelor’s degree in 2011, Jazz joined the Service Employee International Union's “Good Jobs, Better Baltimore” campaign as a Community Organizer. The campaign, consisting of a coalition of community groups across the city, organized to put Baltimore's economy back on track after the recession through pushing for living wage jobs and increased investment in Baltimore communities.

Jazz’s experience as an organizer taught him that quality jobs, which pay living wages, change communities. This inspired Jazz to focus his graduate work on issues of economic development and government contracting, especially for underrepresented communities. While working at University of Maryland’s Office of Procurement and Supply, Jazz assisted the business diversity team in ensuring the University purchased goods and services equitably, via the use of small, women-owned, and minority businesses. Finally, Jazz was also an advisor to the College Success Scholars program, a retention program focused on increasing the graduation and post-graduate employment outcomes of African American and Latino male students.

Jazz Lewis

Jazz has successfully campaigned and supported the efforts of hard-working Democrats in the state of Maryland and beyond. He currently works as Executive Director of Hoyer for Congress, the Maryland political organization representing Democratic Whip Rep. Steny Hoyer. During this past Presidential cycle, Jazz also served as the Maryland Political Director for Secretary Hillary Clinton's campaign, where he was responsible for organizing the various party constituencies to support the Stronger Togetherplatform for the country.

Jazz’s core philosophy is that organized and active communities produce better outcomes for their children’s education, their local economies, and their public safety. As a member of the Prince George’s County’s Democratic Central Committee and as a founding member of the advocacy group Progressive Prince George’s, Jazz continues to be an activist focused on community engagement and building a more sustainable and fair economy.

ISSUES

Economic Development

Jazz’s vision of Prince George’s County is one where we use the advantages we have for our citizens’ benefit. He is committed to cultivating transit oriented and affordable mixed use development that provides healthy food access, high quality retail, as well as high-paying jobs for county residents. A member of the Annapolis workgroup on metro safety, Jazz believes that we must use our metro stations as hubs for urban growth that will stimulate new jobs and revitalize our communities. Jazz also fights to improve job conditions for workers and was proud to co-sponsor legislation that expanded paid sick leave to over 700,000 Maryland workers.

Expanding Support For Small Businesses

As a community organizer, Jazz learned firsthand talking with small business owners that if their companies grew, they would hire locally and invest in their communities. As such, Jazz is committed to making sure small businesses have what they need to thrive here in Maryland. This includes creating options to keep healthcare cost for small businesses affordable, pushing back against special interest priorities that limit competition and shut innovators like small businesses owners out of the market, expanding access to capital for entrepreneurs, and working to make sure small businesses owners have a fair shot at government contracts.

Education and Workforce Development

As a graduate of the public school system and public universities in Prince George’s County, Jazz knows firsthand the benefits of a quality education. Jazz is committed to forging partnerships between our local labor unions and our public school system and community college to create opportunities for more skilled labor jobs post-high school. With 13 apprenticeship programs in our county, Jazz believes we can do a lot more to bridge the lack of skilled laborers with residents seeking jobs and training.

Further, as a strong advocate for education reform, Jazz knows that students will not live up to their full potential as long as we are handicapping our teachers by forcing them to teach to the test. This is why he supported the Less Testing, More Learning Act of 2017, which empowered our teachers to move away from teaching to the test and toward using assessments as one of several measures of student progress.

Food And Hunger

From I-95 to the DC line in the 24th Legislative District, there is not a single grocery store for residents to shop at. To make matters worse, while grocery options are limited, there is an excess supply of fast food chains that do not always have the best healthy food options for residents dealing with high blood pressure, diabetes, and other health issues. Jazz is working to expand access to healthy and affordable food options to Prince George’s Residents as part of the Food Justice Coalition. In a county as prosperous as Prince George’s, no one should go hungry at night and we are working to address food equity justice and hunger right now.

Reform Our Criminal Justice System

Too often, the people going through the justice system are poor, black, or brown. Jazz has a vision for the state where we transition from a costly punitive criminal justice system to one that is rehabilitative and looks at people interacting with the system as people. As a member of the Judiciary Committee, Jazz held the line in the fight to limit cash bail in Maryland as well as pushing back against the Trump agenda to deport law abiding families in our neighborhoods. Jazz will continue to work with the brave men and women in local law enforcement to fight for safer neighborhoods and a fair criminal justice system for all Marylanders.

Lower Prescription Drug Cost

A typical Senior citizen spends over $500 per year out of his or her own pocket on rising prescription drug costs. Jazz was proud to support legislation empowering our Attorney General to fight against the unjustifiable prescription price gouging that has been hurting our residents’ pockets and their access to affordable healthcare. He will continue fighting to make healthcare affordable as the prescription drug companies push back against the progress we’ve made.

Protect Health Care in Prince George’s

Jazz fought to protect full funding for the Prince George’s Regional Medical Center and supported legislation that expands funding for mental health treatment and substance abuse aide, including support to rehabilitate those affected by the opioid crisis. Jazz is actively monitoring the Affordable Care Act repeal and replace debate on Capitol Hill to ensure that over 433,000 residents, many of whom live in Prince George’s County, do not lose their access to healthcare.

Raising The Minimum Wage

In America, every citizen deserves the right to earn enough to provide a roof over their head, have food to eat, and live in a safe environment. This promise to life, liberty and happiness is not attainable if you are living out of your car because you can’t afford rent, or racing to different shelters between work shifts because you can’t afford enough for food and shelter for you and your family. In effort to create more pathways to skilled jobs and to keep residents out of poverty, I am in full support of raising the state minimum wage to $15 per hour.

Expand Access To The Ballot Box

Everyday Marylanders shouldn’t have to go out of their way to register to vote and engage in the political process. Data shows that people who vote are more engaged in their local communities, have better job outcomes, and show a greater satisfaction with their surrounding areas. For these reasons, Jazz believes we need to do more to expand voting to communities that are too often shut out, including renters, young professionals, and low-income seniors. Jazz is committed to supporting legislation that would allow automatic voter registration when a resident becomes eligible to register to vote. He also supports requiring property managers to provide potential renters with voter registration forms when renters sign a lease, giving them the option to get engaged in their community.

Collective Bargaining Rights And Project Labor Agreements

The right to collectively bargain is essential to ensure that workers get fair wages for their labor and sweat equity. As a former community organizer, Jazz knows how real the threats to labor unions and safe work conditions are to everyday workers. Jazz pledges to stand up against threats to collectively bargain and is committed to supporting project labor agreements that ensure workers receive prevailing wages on state contracts.

Making College Affordable

The gains of obtaining an education goes well beyond a higher paying career and cost shouldn’t be a barrier to students willing to do the necessary work. Jazz will do everything within his power to keep the price of college tuition down and expand options to pay for it without burdening students with unbearable debts.

Diversity & Cultural Competence

Our differences in color, religion, gender, geography, and thought is the root of what makes America amazing. We are a melting pot that brings the talents of the many together for the single goal of making a better society for all. This is why in the wake of the tragic loss of Second Lt. Richard Collins III, a Bowie State University Senior who died a mere three days prior to his graduation due to hate and prejudice, Jazz will push legislation that encourages students to dialogue about their differences under trained facilitation to bridge differences and quell hate on our college campuses.

CONTACT

10608 Joyceton Dr
Upper Marlboro, MD 20774