I come from a proud family that has been of service to the people of Baltimore for as long as I can remember. I want to work for you as your representative on the Baltimore City council in the 13th District.
We must create more living wage jobs, improve our schools, and make public safety - a top priority we all know the challenges we have faced for years.
I have nearly a decade of government experience but I need your vote because the only way we can bring about meaningful change is by implementing best practices that work. They will work because you, District 13 citizens, will have input! I will use your suggestions and solutions to help make OUR community better, for everyone. It is going to take all of us working together creating wraparound services that lift you up not hold you down.
The power is in the people of the 13th District! I will value your support and vote with action, not words. You have heard it all before, but together we will make the change that we need, reality. We know what is wrong. Let's work for what is right for our children, older adults, and for the disenfranchised.
I sincerely thank you all for your votes, and to those that chose another candidate, I look forward to serving you diligently, so that I will earn your support in the future.
NOW IS OUR TIME.
LIST OF ISSUES
I have spoken out against failed policing tactics that have perpetuated violent crime in Baltimore City neighborhoods. Crime in our neighborhoods have left many residents and visitors feeling unsafe, tarnished the reputation of the City, and stifled economic development and opportunity. In order to build healthier communities, it is important that the City gains control of the local police force and that the consent decree is fully implemented to ensure that our neighborhoods are being policed fairly and constitutionally. This will facilitate stronger relationships between City residents and law enforcement officers, which will in turn make community policing strategies more effective.
Last year, Baltimore suffered 347 homicides—the highest murder rate per capita recorded in our city’s history and in 2019, Baltimore struggled with a 32% homicide clearance rate. This is unacceptable, and given the $530 million budget of the Baltimore Police Department, it is unjustifiable that we still have a shortage of qualified police officers who live in the City keeping our families safe. Hiring, recruiting, and training more officers, and investing in modern technology would reduce response times and reduce the need for millions of dollars spent on police overtime. Auditing the spending of BPD to ensure the most effective use of taxpayer dollars is imperative to make the most of our public safety spending. With more effective management of BPD resources, we will be able to invest in workforce development, addiction treatment, and connecting residents with employment opportunities for residents in need of opportunity.
Breaking the cycle of crime will not be easy. That is why our plan involves proactively attacking crime at its root. Funding for YouthWorks should be expanded and implemented year-round in order to provide opportunities for young people to have access constructive activities, and prevent them from entering into the criminal justice system. Residents formerly involved in the criminal justice system must receive adequate resources to support re-entry, such as housing and job training. The City must continue to enforce Ban the Box laws, as many residents seeking employment still face barriers to employers’ discriminatory employment practices.
As a community liaison in the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office, I know firsthand that the Office requires more support in order to keep repeat violent offenders off our streets and more resources for victims and witnesses of crime. Effective coordination between City agencies, the SAO, and BPD will facilitate lower rates of crime, especially with the City allocating more funding to the SAO to recruit and retain talented prosecutors and investigators. Baltimore cannot arrest its way out of our current circumstances. More police and policing is not the answer; having the courage and the creative vision to address the systemic issues which contribute to poverty, failing schools, and unmotivated and ill prepared young people, is. In this way, those who have been given the honor to serve as representatives of their respective communities, must be willing to make adequate funding for our schools, affordable housing, jobs paying a decent wage, and substance abuse and mental health programming, a priority. This is the only solution. Otherwise, we, as a society, will continue to put band aids on wounds which will never stop bleeding hope, family and neighborhood security, and any chances for upward mobility and economic prosperity.
Improving transit means working on the transit systems already in place, by advocating for MTA to add more buses and routes to increase bus frequency around the clock. No one should have to wait 30-45 minutes for a bus on any given day. Between work, school, errands and other daily activities, those who utilize public transit should have access to quality, clean, and timely service.
With respect to the creation of a Regional Transit Authority, I would wholeheartedly support this if it can help improve and better coordinate bus service and routes for and between individual local jurisdictions (ie Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Howard County, etc.).
Additionally, access to transit is a barrier to many City residents and stifles their ability to rise out of poverty. Creating sensible transit solutions that incentive bike ability and walkability, along with modernizing transit infrastructure to expand throughout the City is key to spurring economic development. Reliable and timely transit options will reduce reliance on cars and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The City must allocate resources to perform audits on City agencies to increase efficiency and incorporate cost-effective green alternatives where they exist.
Improve economic opportunities
Baltimore City doesn’t need more program bureaucracy. Baltimore City needs partnerships between area employers, unions, and the Baltimore City Public School System, and a dramatic expansion of apprenticeship opportunities for those young people who do not want to explore higher education.
If students are enrolled in school with the goal of finding employment after graduation, students should know what their employment options are. Revisiting the role of a guidance counselor or workforce development faculty member should be at the forefront if we want to improve access to well-paying jobs or employment, period.
If employers want quality employees, a pipeline should be created to ensure that opportunities are available for students to gain access to internships, mentoring and fellowships to ease the transition graduation occurs.
Improve education for all Baltimoreans
and provide educational equity
I pledge to work with schools in my district to improve relationships between parents and caregivers of the students who attend these area schools. Investment from families isn’t always financial.
Encouraging participation and input from parents and families coupled with holding staff accountable to family concerns around student education, performance and the conditions they are in is important. When families feel like their voices aren’t heard and don’t matter, they won’t support the staff that spends the majority of the day with their children.
Baltimoreans face some of the highest rates of asthma in the country. The BRESCO Wheelabrator Trash Incinerator is one of the City’s worst air polluters. The City’s residents cannot and should not tolerate the negative health impacts that it creates. While passing the Baltimore Clean Air Act last year was a good start, we still have a far way to go to meaningfully address pollution. A better functioning and well-resourced DPW will work to clean up neglected neighborhoods. Coordinating efforts to strategically plant more trees throughout the City will assist with managing wastewater.
Earlier this year, the Elijah Cummings Healing City Act, which aims to address the effects of trauma and violence was passed by the Council and signed into law by our Mayor. This was a great start to addressing trauma, however, until environmental issues like lead in water and housing are addressed, our City will continue to perpetuate the cycles of trauma and crime. It is widely known that lead exposure and poisoning has life-long negative health and behavioral impacts, and is to blame for much of our City’s crime. The City Council should pass a resolution to support legislation in the Maryland General Assembly creating a tax incentive to re-mediate and abate lead hazards in housing. It is also long overdue for landlords to be held accountable for lead violations, because even small amounts of exposure to lead can impair children and adults for life. Finally, we must ensure that the demolition of vacant homes is carried out in a way that mitigates or eliminates emission of toxins like asbestos and lead into the air, land, and water.
The climate crisis presents an existential threat to human life as we know it. Indeed, mitigating climate change and pollution are issues that need to be at the forefront of our City’s agenda. Baltimore is in an advantageous position to lead on the environment by modernizing and building green infrastructure as a percentage of all city contracts, lowering the City’s dependence on fossil fuels. Access to transit is a barrier to many City residents and stifles their ability to rise out of poverty. Creating sensible transit solutions that incentive bike ability and walkability, along with modernizing transit infrastructure to expand throughout the City is key to spurring economic development. Reliable and timely transit options will reduce reliance on cars and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The City must allocate resources to perform audits on City agencies to increase efficiency and incorporate cost-effective green alternatives where they exist.