The NCSL Blog

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Maryland Speaker Adrienne Jones Town Hall Live interview with NCSL's Mick Bullock

By Julie Lays

Maryland Speaker Adrienne A. Jones (D) welcomed us into her home for an NCSL Living Room Town Hall virtual interview on the significance of being the first Black and first female speaker in “the Free State.”

She was unanimously elected by the full House of Delegates to be the 107th leader and is only the third Black female speaker of the House in the nation.

Jones reflects on the “sometimes overwhelming” challenges and opportunities she faces, but how serving in the House of Delegates for 17 years (16 as speaker pro tem) prepared her well for the leadership role. She is excited “to do my best to serve our citizenry.”

She never thought she wanted to be speaker but has great advice for every little girl listening who might aspire to be a leader: “Never say I can’t,” say “How can I?”

Watch the full interview.

Julie Lays is editor of State Legislatures Magazine.

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About the NCSL Blog

This blog offers updates on the National Conference of State Legislatures' research and training, the latest on federalism and the state legislative institution, and posts about state legislators and legislative staff. The blog is edited by NCSL staff and written primarily by NCSL's experts on public policy and the state legislative institution.