Mckayla Wilkes

U.S. House, MD-05

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Who am I?

My name is Mckayla Wilkes. I’m running to represent Maryland’s 5th Congressional District because we deserve a representative who will fight for environmental, economic, and racial justice. When I was a child, I was incarcerated for missing class while dealing with grief undiagnosed depression after losing my aunt in the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the Pentagon. When I was pregnant with my daughter, I nearly died due to deep-vein thrombosis after my pain was repeatedly dismissed, then watched as my insurance company attempted to deny covering life-saving medication. I’ve had to support my family while living paycheck-to-paycheck. All of these experiences are how I know firsthand it’s time for change.

I first ran against Steny Hoyer for this seat last cycle to fight for working-class people who feel disenfranchised by our political system. With the help of a great team behind me, we built a grassroots movement unlike any seen before in MD-05. We knocked on over 57,000 doors (before the pandemic hit) and made over 400,000 calls to voters. Every conversation began the same way: “What issues are most important to you?” Our campaign won more votes than any challenger in Steny Hoyer’s 40-year congressional career and even beat him in the in-person vote on Election Day. Since then, I co-founded the nonprofit advocacy organization Schools Not Jails to ensure no one experiences the school-to-prison pipeline like I was forced to.

Now, I’m running for Congress again – because it’s time for some damn change.

What am I fighting for?

I’m running because I believe there is an urgency in this moment. I’m running to fight for affordable housing, because I know the impact that the housing crisis is having on communities in MD-05 and across the nation. I’m running to pass Medicare for All, because I believe that healthcare is a human right. I’m running to enact a Green New Deal, because we are the last generation who has a chance to prevent climate catastrophe. I’m running because the inadequate federal response to COVID-19 has caused countless needless deaths and exacerbated the existing inequities in our society. I’m running because the current representative has failed to take sufficient action on any of these issues.

Without a doubt, our political system has been and continues to be dominated by corporate money and lobbying. I believe It’s time to prioritize the concerns of working families in our district. We need a clear voice for bold, progressive policies, not a mouthpiece for corporate interests that slow down meaningful change to preserve their bottom lines. We need a representative who cares more about amplifying the voice of the people, rather than silencing their criticism in order to hold onto power and maintain the status quo. We need a representative who hears our voices, feels our pain, and lives our struggles.

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