Meet Donna Hines!
Get to know the woman behind the movement, her life, what she stands for, and what her plans are for our state!
Wife Mother Activist
Small Business Owner
I decided to stay home to raise my daughter after my career with Baltimore Gas and Electric came to a screeching halt when I was downsized after going on pregnancy leave after being an employee in good standing for over 18 years.
Was this a problem for them?
They didn’t get rid of my job.
They gave it to someone else, a man.
More about this later…..
My husband was promoted to Development Manager at T. Rowe Price and his salary nearly doubled.
This allowed me to stay at home and take care of my wonderful daughter.
I am proud that by being a stay at home mom, I was able to focus my attention on my daughter.
She recently obtained a masters in sociology from UMBC and now has a job with the Federal Government. She graduated from UMBC with a BS in Sociology.
She graduated with high honors, was named the Sociology Student of the Year and was nominated to be a Fullbright Scholar.
As a mom, I volunteered for every school activity from kindergarten through high school.
The teachers found me most helpful and I believe that we should provide our teachers’ as much help as possible.
I was an officer in the PTA’s that supported my daughter’s schools most of that time I served as an officer – Vice President.
Our teachers are our heroes.
I believe we should arm our teachers with pay raises and greater resources instead of arming them with guns.
I became an activist when I was downsized by my employer of 18 years, Baltimore Gas and Electric (BG&E), downzised my position when I took time off for family leave.
I also became an activist when Jones Suburu decided to erect stadium lighting that healthy and welfare of my home and that homes of my neighbors.
I will discuss both cases in more detail later.
Small Business Owner
I love vintage jewelry and have been selling Vintage Jewelry on Ruby Lane – Donna’s Dally
Donna’s Dally (for Daliance)and on Etsy.
I also co-founded a site with my husband to assist people in recovery from Heroin and Opioid Addiction. The site is called https://QuitTheHabit.org
We worked with the Linda Williams from the Addiction Resource Center. She was kind enough to put us in touch with Joe Ryan who is the manager of the Harford County Office of Drug Control Policy. He formed a team to provide us feedback on our site. My husband and I were sent to a 5 day of recovery coach academy training.
The purpose of this site is to fill the gap between when people get out of prison and or clinics and when they find a sponsor. It is a place to give your introduction, post-roll call daily and to join a chat to get and give assistance.
High School and College
I graduated from Mercy High School. Yay Mercy!
I was accepted to Wharton and decided to attend Towson State University for Financial Reasons.
I graduated from Towson State University with a BS in Business and Psychology and a minor in Geography.
I helped pay my way through college by working part-time at The Savings Bank of Baltimore in the first ever walk- in-window in Maryland. I was trusted to work by myself, alone in a bank.
As graduation drew near the bank officers attempted to recruit me into their management program.
I was very dissatisfied that the path to management was different and longer for the women than the men.
My First Experience with Bias Against Women
Men who didn’t have a college education were allowed into the management program at higher levels of position and at greater salaries than a woman with a college education – me.
This was not an environment, as a woman, I wanted to be in.
So, I declined the offer and I moved on.
This was my first lesson of “the good old boy” network and their rules.
Political Experience/ Activism
I joined BG&E after graduation and held jobs in 4 departments: Sales, Customer Relations, Human Resources, and Distribution.
Working for BG&E was a wonderful experience that I will always treasure.
I had many great managers and met many wonderful people there.
In fact, I met my husband Frank “Bud” Hines while we both worked in Customer Relations.
He asked to sit next to me and the rest is history.
Bud left BGE to pursue a career in Information Technology.
We married a year later.
I was at BGE for 18 years when in my last position I became pregnant.
Just before announcing my pregnancy I was advised (by the dept. management) that a big promotion was coming to me in a new position being created for me.
Imagine my excitement!
I had a new baby and a new dream job all in the same year!
Weeks later after giving birth, I was informed by HR that BGE was downsizing and my job was eliminated.
My First Court Case – FMLA
I took BGE to court (2 trials w jury).
The first trial ended with the jury awarding me $750,000, the largest civil settlement in Maryland at the time.
As a result of their loss, BG&E went ballistic and pulled out all the guns.
BG&E was granted a 2nd trial because a juror magically ended up in an elevator with one of BG&E’s attorneys right before the juror was to be convened.
Prior to the court reversal, I was invited to the Sally Raphael show to talk about our case.
My husband was very happy as he got to speak to some of the Price is Right girls (men will be men) who were in the audience.
BG&E had at least 6 attorneys and numerous other support staff.
Overwhelming just like you see on TV and the movies.
Donna vs. Goliath!
Both trials were overseen by a very elderly judge who retired immediately after the second trial.
The second trial was quite different than the first trial because most of the evidence used in the first trial was inadmissible in the second trial???
The evidence mainly relied on BG&E human resource policies and procedures…..
Yes, I lost.
This was the last trial this very elderly judge oversaw.
Weeks later I was informed that this judge’s senior law clerk was now working in BGE’s law department.
Going to the Supreme Court
I followed upon on this action by going directly to the supreme court and filed my own writ of Certiorari.
My case was that BG&E violated my FMLA rights.
The Supreme Court decided not to hear my case.
I will note that at that time, only a male ( a Maryland State Police Officer) had won an FMLA case in the district.
My Lawsuit Against Jones Subaru
My 3rd lesson in how the good old boy network works occurred in 2010 when I took Jones Subaru, Harford County Zoning, and BG&E to court.
Jones Subaru took over the old Hinder Motor location that had been sitting dormant for more than 3 years.
Jones redeveloped this property without following zoning rules and did this without filing any permits.
Jones installed stadium lighting that impacted my home and the homes of my neighbors.
We had daylight all day and all night.
The expert lighting engineer advised the court that this lighting was the equivalent to the lighting of 3 or 4 major professional stadiums.
Further, he stated that this would cause us considerable health problems and environmental problems.
We lost a large population of bats residing near our home as a result of this lighting.
This lawsuit lasted over 2 years and was quite expensive.
But, in the end, changes were made, lights were removed and other best practices were put in place.
Unfortunately, we still have more lighting than we need or deserve.
I should note that Jones had already taken down many of the large trees that served as a buffer area.
A word of caution, before hiring an attorney to deal with your case, find out what his spouse and siblings do for a living. You may find out that there is a potential conflict of interest that could bias his or her approach.
I am an activist!
I am an activist and have participated and volunteer for many good causes over the years.
People asked me why.
My response has been “to create change requires effort, hard work, and commitment.
Not many are willing to do so.
In both lawsuits, I was engaged in creating a change, a positive outcome, for the good.
To my knowledge, BGE has never “messed with a long-term good employee in standing maternity leave.
Further, after our lawsuit, Jones showed plans to continue with their extreme lighting on the other side of the building which would impact additional neighbors.
I called zoning immediately, showed them maps, zoning laws and called the design company and threatened to sue them as they moved forward with their design.
This effort resulted in the redesign of the lighting and ensured zoning verified all regulations were followed.
Get up Stand Up, Stand up For Your Rights!
I have shown that I will stand up for my rights as well as yours.
I have fought big organizations like BG&E (one of the largest companies in the state of Maryland) and Jones Car Dealership(the homeboy darlings of the Harford County government.
I even went to the Supreme Court on my own.
Vote for Donna Hines I will fight for you
I was number 4 of 6 children born to Mary and Dominic Fleming. My Dad, a good Catholic Irish man, second generation, was educated by Jesuits from grade school to Georgetown Law. He led the first legal dept. of the Baltimore City Dept of Social Services.
My Mom, also 2nd generation (Irish and German) was 1 of 15 children born to Anna Mueller and Robert Troy. Her dad died when she was 15 years old. She started part-time work at Williams and Wilkens Waverly Press (after school) to help her mother and 14 siblings. Mom was smart as a whip, but she had to turn down many full scholarships to college to work full time at Waverly Press. She spent many years there working her way up to VP of Administration (the name they gave to IT at the time). Along the way, she gave birth to my 3 brothers and 2 sisters.