Age: 43

Personal: Sneed and her husband, Ramond, live in Reservoir Hill with their 7-year-old daughter.

Education: Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore in 2002 and a master’s degree in communications from Morgan State University.

Experience: Worked in TV news and spent more than a decade at the local WJZ-TV; Worked for the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development; elected 13th District councilmember in 2016; unsuccessfully ran for City Council president in 2020; worked in U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen’s office; worked for the AFL-CIO labor union; pick for Maryland lieutenant governor by Tom Perez in his 2022 gubernatorial campaign.

Endorsements: Maryland state Senators Nate McFadden, Joan Carter Conway, and Del. Jackie Addison; Former Baltimore Comptroller Joan Pratt, Baltimore City School Board member Ashley Esposito, former NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland Director Diana Phillip, Amalgamated Transit Workers.

Notable donors: Sneed is fundraising through Baltimore’s new public financing fund, which caps donations at $150 per donor and provides candidates with matching funds. Notable contributors include Biden adviser and former Maryland gubernatorial candidate Tom Perez; Women’s Law Center Executive Director and former first lady of Maryland Katie Curran O’Malley, former Baltimore Mayor Jack Young, Council members Kristerfer Burnett, Phylician Porter Antonio Glover, 11th District candidate Zac Blanchard Maryland state Sen. Cory McCray, Board of Schools Commissioners members Robert Salley and Mujahid Muhammad.

Read The Baltimore Banner profile of Shannon Sneed.


A: The city will have to do what many people have to do in their own personal lives. My husband and I did exactly that when I decided to run full time for City Council President last fall. We went down to a single income. We made tough decisions on our personal finances. I will do the same here with the city’s finances. The city will need to find savings in all city agencies. If that means freezing positions, cutting back on programs, and holding off on projects that don’t net any income to the city. It means having significant oversight of all city agencies. If we have to go through each agency’s budget line by line then we will do that. It means working with both the Mayor and the rest of the City Council to find workable solutions. These will not be easy decisions but as your next City Council President I will look at the same ways my mother who raised two daughters after my father passed away in a car accident. She was frugal with her money and would not spend money on luxuries. She would focus on the necessities.

A: My role is to be a collaborator and ally. My greatest strength is bringing both advocates and opponents together and finding workable solutions. I passed numerous common sense legislation bills when I was a member of the Council including requiring our top officials to live in Baltimore. Clearly the significance of gun violence reduction is paramount in the city. Nine out of every ten homicides in Baltimore in 2022 were committed with firearms. As the experts have pointed out, the reasons for the gun violence are many and complex. I will work with our public safety officials and those that work closely with our youth. The best method is to give our children hope and opportunity. By reaching out to the youth of the city, providing high-quality childhood programs to help equip students is one way to reduce crime. As the parent of a BCPS student, I want my precious jewel and all precious jewels to get the best education possible. My goal is to increase parental involvement in schools by 20 percent. We can do this by creating education hubs that provide several services in one setting with resources to help the entire family.

A: I think there has been a lot of good that has been done because of ARPA. I think we should have put the money into building affordable housing, renovating more of our school buildings, and creating education hubs that provide a number of services in one setting with resources to help the entire family. We need job centers that include child care and classrooms where parents can earn their GEDs and increase the likelihood of employment. It takes a lot of work to break the cycle of poverty, but we can absolutely do it if we make a commitment and work together to lift up families and ultimately keep our young people from falling victim to a life of drugs, crime, and violence. As the next council president, helping parents succeed and increasing their engagement in their children’s lives is one of my top priorities. I want to lower school absenteeism, but I also want to ensure that we offer opportunities and locations for people to improve their lives in every corner of our city. I have been speaking to parents, educators, and advocates about how we can improve education, and the conversation almost always comes back to parental involvement.

A: No, I do not support reducing the council. Baltimore City residents already feel like they don’t see or engage with their elected officials enough. Having fewer members will make it harder – not easier – to see your council member. Remember city council members are considered part-time work. If we reduce the number of districts will we make the remaining council members full timers? Keep in mind we already reduced the city council from 18 members (over 6 multiple member districts) to 14 (single member districts) when we passed a City Charter amendment in 2002. I find it ironic that the person who is funding this petition drive lives in Baltimore County where they are considering adding members to the county council. Why not focus on the council where you live before trying to “help” Baltimore?

A: As a homeowner in Baltimore City I would love to have my property taxes reduced. However, in your first question above you say we will be facing a budget deficit in the next few years. I think it is irresponsible to reduce property taxes right now if we are facing budget deficit. Cutting property taxes will lead to seeing critical services cuts in the police department (which is already 600 officers short), the fire department, emergency medical services, or reduced trash and recycling pick up. Plus, we are obligated to increase the budget for the Kirwan Commission and the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future. To me the best way to increase our city revenue is by growing the population of Baltimore.

A: I want development around the Inner Harbor. I exercise there. I go down often with my family. The problem is how we are developing it. The lack of transparency and inclusion of the residents is obvious to all. Yes, they had Council hearings but this is a zero sum game. If we spend money downtown then we are taking away from our neighborhoods. This is exhibit A in the “pay-to-play” culture at work. I am the very first person to qualify for public financing in the history of Baltimore. We made HERstory. My opponents are bought and paid for by the developers and special interests that are at the heart of what is wrong with city politics. How can you say “no” to a developer that gives money to run for office. This city voted 75% to 25% for a charter amendment in 2018 to allow for public financing. Over 570 city residents have donated to my people powered campaign; 85% of my money comes from Baltimoreans. My opponents have gone to the same donor class that perpetuates the pay to play culture that is part of the problem. I want to see more openness in this entire process.

A: When I first graduated from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, I had no money. I moved to Baltimore to take my first job in the television newsroom. I was fortunate to be able to stay with a sorority sister. Not everyone has those options to rely on family and friends for help. I understand the importance of having affordable housing. Many people struggle between taking care of their basic needs and paying rent. There are a few solutions experts have said to increase the affordable housing stock. I would work with our housing experts, the city’s law department, and the housing department to see about eliminating parking requirements for new development, moving the approval process that deals with affordable housing through the city faster, concentrating on building affordable housing along transit lines, and lastly, fully funding affordable housing trust funds.

A: I support and voted for Complete Streets as a Councilwoman. My husband and I share a single car so I am a regular user of the bus and rail network throughout the city. I take my daughter with me as well. So having a reliable transportation network is a key part of Complete Streets. What I would change is with the Complete Streets program, not having it roll out during COVID-19. Further I would have implemented the community engagement part. If the city had properly informed residents and involved them in the process we would have more support for Complete Streets. The program is a wonderful idea to keep all of us safe no matter what mode of transportation we opt to use. I like that we have many options to get around in Baltimore City. I think each community should have a say on what they want. The Gwynn Falls neighborhood organized and stopped bike lanes from coming into their community. The city listened and there are no bike lanes in Gwynn Falls. The city has the opportunity to work with each neighborhood and allow the people who live there be part of the process.

A: The Board of Estimates is a microcosm of what is wrong with the city. The Board of Estimates makes major fiscal decisions on contracts and proposals. It is chaired by the President of the City Council. However, it is illusion. Everyone is against the current 5 member Board, except the Mayor, who appoints two of the members, and has a vote themselves. If they don’t want to support a proposal then it will fail. This leads to back room deals and decisions being made far away from the cameras. It is no wonder why our citizens have little faith in our elected officials. As your next Council President, I will be a leader that Baltimore can be proud of. I have decided to be a Public Financed candidate, which means I will not take any donations from developers, businesses and special interests. Here is what I would do. Reduce the board to a three-person board, with additional oversight from the City Council. Provide real funding to the Ethics Board, and allow them to enforce rules that prevent conflicts of interest that involve taxpayer dollars. Implement annual auditing of agencies to ensure taxpayer dollars are being spent wisely and with transparency.

A: I am a fearless champion for working families. I have a history of leading on major issues that have a direct impact on City residents. I have a spotless reputation in both my professional and personal life. Look who has funded my campaign. I am funded by the working men and women of Baltimore. Over 85% of my money raised has come from Baltimoreans. My opponents are funded by the usual suspects of special interests, developers and businesses. I reject business and downtown monied interests. The reason I am like this. I was raised by a strong single black mother who showed me values, loyalty, compassion and action. Thanks mom. I passed legislation to create jobs, and protect hard working families. I ended the practice of using “gag orders” as a condition of settlement between the Baltimore Police Department and victims of police misconduct. Giving city janitorial, security, building maintenance, and food preparation employees 90 days to get their affairs in order if their contract is not renewed. Expanded lactation accommodations, so that working mothers don’t have to choose between the health of their baby or their career. Let’s return Baltimore to Baltimoreans.