What’s the job: Representing residents on the 15-member City Council, including introducing and voting on legislation, approving city spending and providing oversight of city operations. Council members are elected to four-year terms by district. The 10th District includes South Baltimore neighborhoods such as Brooklyn, Cherry Hill, Curtis Bay, Morrell Park and Washington Village/Pigtown.

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Name: Richard Parker

Age: 46

Personal: Parker lives in Pigtown. He is unmarried and has three daughters.

Education: Parker holds a degree in project management from Syracuse University

Experience: Parker is an Army veteran and owner of the Deus Group, a small facilities maintenance business. He has led numerous neighborhood groups over the years, including Southwest Partnership, Pigtown Community Association, Friends of Carroll Park and the Southern District Police-Community Relations Council. In 2016, was voted out as president of the Citizens of Pigtown neighborhood association on allegations that he didn’t actually live in the neighborhood and other accusations, according to Baltimore Sun reporting from the time. Parker insisted that he did live in the neighborhood and helped start up the competing Pigtown Community Association.

Endorsements: None

Notable donors: None reported

(Ulysses Muñoz/The Baltimore Banner)

Name: Phylicia Porter

Age: 36

Personal: Porter is unmarried and lives in Pigtown.

Education: Bachelor’s degrees, molecular biology, biochemistry and bioinformatics, and biology, Towson University; master’s degree, public health; Morgan State University; master’s degree, law, from the University of Maryland.

Experience: First elected to the council in 2020, Porter has served in numerous leadership capacities with the South Baltimore Gateway Partnership, both before and after joining the council. Before getting elected to public office, Porter was a community organizer in West Baltimore and was elected in 2018 to the Democratic Central Committee, representing the 40th District of Maryland, which covers West Baltimore.

Endorsements: Metropolitan Baltimore AFL-CIO, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Maryland Council 3, CASA In Action, 1199 SEIU, Sierra Club Maryland Chapter, Clean Water Action

Notable donors: AFSCME; Baltimore City Fire Fighters Local 734 PAC; the Baltimore Gas and Electric PAC; the Baltimore Towing Company; lobbying firm Harris Jones & Malone; Sen. Antonio Hayes; Joshua Fannon, the president of Baltimore Fire Officers IAFF Local 964; Del. Regina T. Boyce and state Sen. Sarah Elfreth; former Mayor Catherine Pugh; Alex Smith of Atlas Restaurant Group donated $1,000.

A: Despite the proposal to reduce the council to eight districts, I oppose it. It is likely that reducing the council size will negatively affect city services and representation, particularly in neighborhoods that already have limited services. As a result of a lack of conversation regarding increasing staff and funds, council offices would not be able to address the disparity in access to resources that exists in their communities. Additionally, a larger council ensures a more diverse representation of communities. Due to only eight council members, there is a risk of losing this diversity, potentially marginalizing voices from different ethnicities, socioeconomic backgrounds, and cultural backgrounds. For local governments to provide fair consideration and support to their communities, diversity in representation is crucial. Essentially, reducing the council size would compromise the quality of representation and services available to residents, particularly those in underserved areas, and diminish the diversity of voices shaping local government. Therefore, I do not support the proposed ballot measure.

A: A city’s sustainable development depends on ensuring a sufficient supply of affordable housing and fostering a diverse housing stock. Multifaceted approaches are essential to achieving this goal. Individuals and families facing housing challenges can find affordable shelter options by embracing innovative housing solutions such as tiny homes. In addition to utilizing space efficiently, compact dwellings also significantly reduce construction costs, making them a viable solution to affordable housing issues. DHCD must also prioritize optimizing permit and procurement processes. By revamping and adequately staffing these offices, bureaucratic delays can be minimized, enabling smoother and more efficient construction. As a result, not only do we encourage timely development, but we also reduce overall project costs, making housing more affordable. The quality and safety of housing developments must also be ensured through enhanced oversight of housing inspections. Responsible property developers can be incentivized while preventing substandard housing practices by enforcing rigorous inspection standards. Additionally, stricter oversight mitigates the proliferation of unchecked property developers, resulting in a more sustainable and equitable urban development environment. To ensure the availability of affordable housing and promote diversity in housing options in our city, a comprehensive strategy that integrates innovative housing solutions, streamlined bureaucratic procedures, and robust oversight mechanisms is essential.

A: DHCD and other connecting agencies should prioritize streamlining permit and procurement processes, a move crucial for minimizing bureaucratic obstacles that often hamper construction efficiency. By overhauling and adequately staffing these departments, delays can be curtailed, facilitating smoother project execution. This approach not only fosters timely development but also trims overall project expenses, thereby enhancing housing affordability. Furthermore, stringent oversight of housing inspections is imperative to guarantee the quality and safety of housing projects. By bolstering inspection protocols, responsible developers can be incentivized, while the menace of substandard housing practices is curbed. This heightened scrutiny also serves to regulate the activities of unscrupulous developers, fostering a more sustainable and equitable urban development landscape. Embracing a holistic approach, our city must integrate innovative housing solutions with efficient bureaucratic processes and robust oversight mechanisms. This comprehensive strategy is vital for ensuring the availability of affordable housing and promoting housing diversity within our urban fabric.

A: I support Harborplace’s redevelopment plans. Historically, projects such as these have transformed Baltimore’s cityscape for the better, thereby contributing to its economic vitality. My endorsement is based on the developers’ responsiveness to the concerns raised by our communities, especially those in District 10. Local businesses, transportation, and connectivity were among the most pressing issues raised by residents. In response to these concerns, the amended plans demonstrate a commitment to addressing them. Accessibility and equitable growth are fostered by improving transportation infrastructure. Moreover, Baltimore’s unique identity is preserved by incorporating small to medium-sized businesses, which invigorate the local economy. In addition, the project’s focus on improving connectivity to South Baltimore through waterways is commendable. By leveraging these natural assets, not only are recreational opportunities enhanced, but tourism and community involvement are also stimulated. The Harborplace redevelopment plans embody responsible urban revitalization, prioritizing community input and sustainable development. I therefore support this transformative initiative, believing that it can propel Baltimore towards greater prosperity and prosperity.

A: My first legislative proposal would address two critical issues: increasing the pay rate for school-based nurses and expanding the Charm City Circulator to underserved communities like Westport, Brooklyn, and Curtis Bay. The bill is crucial because it directly addresses the root causes of chronic absenteeism among youth. First of all, enhancing the pay rate for school nurses ensures that students have adequate medical support at their educational institutions. Nurses are essential to treating mild illnesses and health concerns promptly, which ultimately reduces absenteeism due to preventable health concerns. The expansion of the Charm City Circulator into underserved communities addresses another significant contributor to chronic absenteeism: transportation barriers. Access to reliable transportation to school is a challenge for many students in these areas. We can ensure that all students have the opportunity to attend school regularly by providing affordable and accessible transportation options. In addition to addressing healthcare accessibility challenges, this bill will foster a conducive environment for educational success and overall well-being among our youth by addressing transportation issues as well.

A: I recognize the need for initiatives to reduce property taxes, but I cannot support the current proposal to do so by Renew Baltimore. Current residents’ legacy resident tax rates are not taken into account, which is a significant concern. Fairness and equity should be prioritized in any tax reform, ensuring that long-term residents do not suffer unfairly. Additionally, the proposal does not differentiate between residential and business tax rates. Understanding how these proposed changes will affect different segments of the community, including homeowners and local businesses, is crucial. A comprehensive tax reform should also examine multiple institutional-level tax rates beyond just property taxes. In the absence of such a holistic approach, there is a risk of unintended consequences and insufficient consideration of broader fiscal implications. As a result, although I am appreciative of Renew Baltimore’s efforts, I believe that their current proposal fails to address key issues such as legacy resident tax rates and lacks the specificity and comprehensive analysis necessary for effective tax reform.

A: Yes, I plan to work full time at a criminal justice reform organization.

A: The Council could establish comprehensive youth job development programs coupled with behavioral coping skill training in order to support young people. In the wake of COVID-19, many young people are dealing with unprocessed trauma, resulting in unhealthy coping mechanisms that adversely affect their development. Focusing on job development allows the Council to provide youth with tangible opportunities to engage in meaningful employment, fostering their sense of purpose and stability. Meanwhile, behavioral coping skills training integrated into these programs equips young people with essential tools for navigating challenges. In addition to promoting resilience and emotional well-being, these coping skills enable them to manage stress, anxiety, and other mental health issues constructively. A holistic approach to supporting young adults in their transition to adulthood post-pandemic, this initiative addresses both employment and mental health needs. Furthermore, these programs can be tailored to accommodate diverse backgrounds and circumstances, ensuring inclusivity and accessibility. The Council can lead a transformative initiative that empowers young people and fosters a healthier and more resilient generation by collaborating with educational institutions, community organizations, and mental health professionals.

A: The residents of District 10 play an essential role in endorsing my campaign, driven by several compelling factors. Over the last decade, my tenure as a seasoned Public Health practitioner within the Baltimore City Council underscores my steadfast commitment to nurturing strong, healthy communities. Through visionary leadership, I have propelled District 10 forward and wielded influence across local, state, and federal levels, demonstrating my ability to effect significant change across diverse platforms. District 10 faces numerous challenges, from food and transit insecurities to economic and housing disparities, necessitating leadership attuned to these complex issues. With a deep understanding of their intricate dynamics and a proven track record of addressing them effectively, I emerge as the ideal candidate to advocate for vulnerable demographics. My unwavering advocacy for equitable access to essential resources has tangibly improved constituents’ lives, highlighting the urgency of supporting my campaign. Furthermore, my dedication to worker well-being and recognition of their pivotal role in our communities underscore why residents of District 10 should endorse my candidacy. My comprehensive vision for fostering healthier, more equitable communities will resonate with ordinary individuals grappling with these intricate challenges.