Here to Lead, Committed to Serve
As a lifelong Baltimorean, it goes without saying that I love this city. While my grandmother, mother and aunts raised me, I owe much of who I am to this city. The resilience of the people who live here is something that has molded me over the years and that is a major reason why I chose to return to Baltimore after I graduated from Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, Alabama. I wanted to come back and be of service to the young boys and girls who grew up in similar situations like me. I wanted to join forces with educators and public servants to make this great city even greater than any of us could imagine. After working as an electrical engineer, I threw my hat into the ring and ran for public office, proudly serving as a member of the Baltimore City Council before going to the Maryland General Assembly and returning to City Council. And two years ago, one of the greatest moments of [my] life occurred when Baltimoreans placed their trust in my vision for the city by electing me President of Baltimore City Council.
Coming into office during a global pandemic was not easy, but my colleagues and I were committed to serving our constituents and we managed to lead this city despite the variety of challenges that we’ve all faced. While COVID is still with us, we’ve gladly returned to the office, holding meetings in person and resuming life as many of us knew it prior to March 2020. And we’re fully back to work, addressing the issues that matter most to you. The last few months have been busy for my office. I’ve engaged in productive dialogue with the Scott Administration on a variety of issues because I firmly believe that effective leadership will require one to speak out when they believe it necessary. My position on the underground conduit system remains unchanged – I do not believe it’s prudent to give away valuable city-owned assets. I feel the same way about the allocation of some American Rescue Plan Act – or ARPA – funds by the Scott Administration.
I will continue to speak out against situations like this because, at the end of the day, I believe it’s my responsibility to always call for what serves you best.
I remain committed to being a voice for those of you who may feel like you don’t have the platform to speak out against what you think is detrimental to our city. There are many things for which Mayor Scott and I agree on. For example, I applaud the administration’s decision to launch the Build Better BMore 90 Day Blitz earlier this month, a campaign where our hardworking City workers will work even harder to do essential work such as repair potholes, remove graffiti, clean up illegal dumping and repave nine miles of roadways throughout Baltimore. And while this work is being done by the City, it will be work that all of us must support in order for it to have a lasting impact. While I may not see eye-to-eye with Mayor Scott on every issue, he and I are in lockstep when it comes to making sure Baltimore is the best Baltimore for all of us – and that means we all need to take responsibility and prevent littering, graffiti and other actions that add to the blight that often reinforces the negative stereotypes that people outside of our city have for Baltimore.
Baltimore, it’s my honor to serve you and work to ensure that you receive the support and resources you need to live a better life. In the coming weeks, the City Council will be working on a variety of issues that impact Baltimoreans today and tomorrow, most importantly the 2024 Budget Process.
This work is never easy, but I am the kind of person who enjoys a tough battle, especially when I know I am fighting on behalf of others. So, I welcome the opportunity to engage with you through this amazing publication that is the Baltimore Times! I thank publisher and founder Joy Bramble for the vision she had to enlighten and educate readers and I look forward to doing my part to ensure that you all are informed and inspired to do your part to create the Baltimore that we all deserve. If you want to share your thoughts on my first column or what you’d like to hear from me moving forward, please email me at [email protected]