Clean Water Action of Maryland endorsed a group of pro-environment candidates for the Baltimore City primary election. These candidates fared well and will likely change the dynamic of the City Council on environmental issues. Clean Water Action won 8 out of 11 of its Primary Election races in Baltimore City. This included the City Council President Bernard ‘Jack’ Young, who was elected with 75 % of the vote, and new-comer Nick Mosby, who upset two-term incumbent Belinda Conaway.
Nick Mosby pledged to “…fight to improve the quality of life for the hard-working citizens and children of this great city…and create policies that provide sustainable solutions to improve the environmental health of our communities.”
Unfortunately turnout was the lowest in the city’s history with a total of about 25 percent of registered voters casting ballots, which represents less than 13 percent of the city's population of 620,000. However, the large number of new candidates running for office and the relatively young age of many candidates is a reason for optimism. Through our endorsement process we spoke with more than 93 candidates. Of those, the majority were younger candidates running for the first time. Half of Clean Water Action’s endorsements for City Council went to newcomers. In all, Clean Water Action endorsed 9 candidates for City Council, the current City Council President and the current Mayor.
Because the Baltimore City is heavily a Democratic Party, a primary victory usually means election in the General Election. This means that at least 2 new members of the City Council will probably be elected, enough to change the dynamic on support for environmental issues. They are: Brandon Scott who won an open seat in district 2 and Nick Mosby, Clean Water Action’s endorsed candidate in district 7.
Andy Galli, Clean Water Action’s MD Program Coordinator said, “I strongly believe that with the relationships we have established through these primary victories, we will be able to move forward in partnership with the Baltimore City Council and administration on important environmental initiatives such as; clean construction requirements for large developments, establishing a dedicated fund for dealing with the City’s damaged water infrastructure and support community stormwater projects, as well as protecting and remediating already polluted environmentally stressed communities.
With the election of Clean Water Action’s Mayoral candidate Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, the organization has a new friend and ally, who has pledged to work with environmental organizations in implementing and improving environmental initiatives and programs in the City. This means a new and improved working relationship with Baltimore government agencies to help redevelop neighborhoods in a healthy and sustainable way, while supporting and building 21st century water management and infrastructure.
Galli summed up what the election mean to his organization and the city stating, “We are proud to say that the victories by Clean Water Action endorsed candidates are a great step towards making Baltimore a great city again by rebuilding it in an environmentally healthy and sustainable way.”