By James Wright, Special to the AFRO, jwright@afro.com

Tiffany Alston has served as a delegate representing the 24th Legislative District of Maryland and wants to go back to the General Assembly as a senator from the district.

“There are a number of good candidates running for the House of Delegates and I have aligned myself with Marnitta King and D.J. Williams who are candidates for two of the three House seats,” Alston told the AFRO. “I am running for the Senate because we have systemic problems in education in our county and when we try to make changes they are stonewalled in the Senate. They cannot get anything done.”

Tiffany Alston served in the Maryland House of Delegates from 2011-2013 representing District 24 and is running as a senator from that district in the June primaries. (Courtesy Photo/Tiffany Alston).

Alston served as a delegate from January 2011-2013 but had to leave the office due to legal matters regarding her use of campaign funds for personal and professional use. Alston said it was an honest mistake and said she has moved on.

The 24th Legislative District is located in the central western part of Prince George’s County and it borders the District of Columbia’s Northeast and Southeast quadrants. It includes the aforementioned Capitol Heights and Seat Pleasant plus Mitchellville, Hillcrest Heights, Landover, Largo, Lake Arbor, Seabrook, Lanham and Coral Hills.

The district is 85.2 percent Black, according to the 2010 census.

Alston is competing with incumbent Maryland Sen. Joanne Benson (D-District 24) and Everett Browning Sr., a political activist in the district.

Alston graduated from Central High School and then matriculated to the University of Maryland, College Park where she got her bachelor’s degree and the University of the District of Columbia  School of Law where she received her juris doctorate. Alston works as a trained mediator and has her own law practice.

Alston said a primary concern of hers is the 2020 redistricting process. “Redistricting is huge,” she said. “The way the lines are drawn by the General Assembly will determine how we are represented. Black people are always damaged and marginalized by political gerrymandering and I will do everything I can to stop that as a senator. We need to elect Democrats of our choice and not those chosen by someone else.”

Alston wants the county to return to a fully-elected board of education where the citizens have more say in the governance of the school system and the board selected its chief executive officer, not the county executive.

Alston said that health care is a human right and that includes upgrading mental health care. “I think we should have mental health care on demand,” she said. “I advocate that insurance companies pay for mental health checkups like they do for physicals.”

Alston is interested in helping inner-Beltway communities close to the District of Columbia border develop economically at the same rate as outer-Beltway areas, saying the latter have been overdeveloped because so much land is available.

Ultimately, Alston wants to serve the people of the 24th District again as “a voice for the people.”

“I want to give the people a voice in Annapolis,” she said. “My colleagues respect me from my days as a delegate and they know me as someone who gets things done. I realize that I was targeted by the Democratic machine in the state because I am an independent woman who cannot be bought.”