Ms. Brooks has been an English teacher at Oakland Mills for quite some time now. She is a prominent part of the Oakland Mills Community that has helped it flourish throughout the years. While Ms. Brooks is an English teacher, she is also a mother and community leader. She has three children within Howard County schools and has put together multiple projects in the community. She has started the “Scorpion Speaker Series” and “Outdoor Learning Spaces” for the students at Oakland Mills to help them achieve success.
On the evening of November third, Mrs. Brooks had a huge announcement to make. A gathering was held in her backyard aimed to be family, student, and community-oriented. After making her rounds and greeting everyone who came, Mrs. Brooks announced that she would be running for state delegate, which was followed by cheers from the crowd.
Within her announcement speech, she mentioned the main topics that her campaign would focus on such as fully funding our schools, creating a living wage and affordable housing, and fighting for equity in the justice system.
Since Mrs. Brooks was young, she always imagined running for office, making sure to keep a clean record in the case that she decided to in the future. As her sons grew older and more independent she saw that she would have more of an opportunity to make her ambitions a reality.
One of Ms. Brooks’ main drives is being a role model for others in the community who may feel that taking action and holding a position of leadership may not be a reality for them. In response to being asked what one of the most important things for her to represent in office is, she said “I want people to be like… that was my middle school teacher who ran for office. If she could run for office, I could run for office.” Ms. Brooks also believes that she is well integrated into her community and she would love to “amplify the voices” of the people she knows. She believes that there is often a disconnect between politicians and the community, and wants to be an elected official that people feel comfortable voicing their opinions to.
Ms. Brooks says that she has thought about juggling teaching and running for state delegate. There is some precedent for being in politics and being a teacher at the same time, and because of her continued passion for teaching that she plans to continue teaching if elected.
After being asked about issues that are important to her, Ms. Brooks emphasized the issue of mass incarceration. She believes that it is very difficult to become re-integrated within society after you have a criminal record. Ms. Brooks says that it is almost a “second class citizenship” after being convicted, and wants to improve the transition back into society for those who have served their time.
To bring her announcement to a close at the gathering on November third, Ms. Brooks ended her speech with a powerful and important message. She stated, “…the English teacher in me wants to end with a quote by my beloved Alice Walker…’The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.’”
If you are interested in learning more about her platform make sure to take a look at her website brooksformaryland.org.
By: Rory Lawson and Colson Warren