The News Journal | by Jon Offredo
Firebrand and outspoken legislator Rep. John Kowalko, D-Newark, is top of the legislative class when it comes to issues of social justice and economic equality, according to rankings released Monday by a progressive advocacy group.
And in the Senate, Congressional hopeful Sen. Bryan Townsend, D-Newark, tops the list.
Delaware Americans for Democratic Action released their annual report card Monday. The rankings grade legislators on a points-based system based off of their support, or lack thereof, of measures the group feels are focused on economic and social justice issues.
The group used ten pieces of legislation to grade legislators and looked at whether they sponsored the legislation and how they voted for it when it was in committee or on the floor.
Among the pieces of legislation the group graded legislators on were Senate Bill 40, the bill to repeal the death penalty; House Bill 50, opt-out legislation; and House Bill 39, which decriminalizes marijuana.
Overall, eight members of the House and five senators received recognition as “Delaware ADA Heroes” for their consistent efforts for justice, according to the group. Nine House members and six senators received a “Delaware ADA Zero” this year for what the group says was their consistent efforts to block such legislation.
Legislators who received the lowest ranks were Rep. Tim Dukes, R-Laurel, Senate Minority Whip Greg Lavelle, R-Sharpley, and Sen. Bruce Ennis, D-Glasgow.
In the House, four of the six legislators who opposed the budget this year ranked as ADA heroes, with three of them, including Kowalko, making up the group’s top three.
Rep. Sean Lynn, D-Dover, was the only new legislator in either chamber to receive a ‘hero’ ranking.