Local 355 Member Sets Sights on Md. Delegate Race


Workplace safety is an overlooked issue by many. But not Karen Simpson, a Teamster and candidate for the Maryland House of Delegates. Her family knows all-too-well the cost that comes from unsafe working conditions.

Back in 1990, Simpson’s brother Paul was working construction on a bridge project on Maryland’s Eastern Shore when he plunged 65 feet to the ground as he tried to jump on a crane-suspended platform from an unguarded concrete pier cap. Despite the site’s unsafe working conditions, he was not provided with fall protection, and died.

Simpson said that had her brother been represented by a labor union, Paul would be alive today. A union is all about taking care of its members, she noted, and aggressively enforces employer requirements to provide safe conditions for its workers.

It is that message, along with being a survivor of domestic violence and sexual harassment on the job, that Simpson is channeling into her campaign. A member of Local 355 since 2005, she was encouraged to join the union at a time when she was experiencing harassment on the job from a manager at the agency she worked with for Maryland state government.

“Public sector unions are in a struggle today, but I understand the importance of unions and their advocacy on behalf of working people,” she said. “When I needed an advocate, the union stood with me.”

“Teamsters Joint Council 62 is proud to have the opportunity to endorse Karen Simpson for the Maryland House of Delegates,” said JC 62 President Denis Taylor. “We support any member who is willing to jump into the political process to bring a fair and determined voice on behalf of working people and the issues important to them and their families.”

Simpson has extensive experience in bringing diverse groups together on the local and state level to address problems, find solutions and accomplish goals. Currently the education and training manager of the Maryland State Retirement Agency, she also served as a child protective services worker in Harford County and later as a family court facilitator.

She promises in her race for Anne Arundel County’s District 31B to represent the people who elect her and not the special interests. Simpson said she will work to provide opportunity, equality and fairness for everyone in the community.

“You will not be alone in our district,” she said. “I believe we must take care of each other. I will fight for what matters and never stop fighting for those who need a voice.”