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 12th District includes Central and East Baltimore neighborhoods such as Broadway East, Greenmount West, Little Italy, Oldtown and South Clifton Park.

Look up your City Council district here.


Jermaine Jones (Handout)

Name: Jermaine Jones

Age: 39

Personal: Single, does not have kids. Lives in Oliver neighborhood

Education: Graduate of Parkville High School; bachelor’s degree, Syracuse University.

Experience: Community organizer for Laborers International Union of North America; president of the Metropolitan Baltimore Council AFL-CIO Unions; chief of staff and political engagement director for LIUNA Local 710; ran for Baltimore City Council (2016).

Endorsements: Sierra Club, Metropolitan Baltimore Council AFL-CIO, AFSCME Council 3, and the Metropolitan Area of Philadelphia/Baltimore/Washington Laborers District Council.

Notable donors: Baltimore Washington Construction & Public Employees Laborers PAC; Bricklayers Local 1 MD VA and DC PAC; Insulators International Political Action Committee; International Union of Elevator Constructors Local Union No. 7; International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 37; Courtney Jenkins, current president of Metropolitan Baltimore Council of AFL-CIO; Sheet Metal Workers International Association Local No. 100, PAC.


A: No, I don’t support the ballot measure that would reduce the size of the council from 14 to 8. I don’t support this ballot measure because, ultimately, it will hurt the quality of service residents receive. Each councilmanic is sized to have about 44,000 residents, and if we cut the districts down to eight, that would bring each district’s size to about 77,000. One of the primary responsibilities of a council person is ensuring that city services are delivered to residents, and in a city like Baltimore, which has infrastructure challenges due to deferred maintenance, trying to manage a district of 77,000 residents can be a lot for one person to manage.

A: To address the affordable housing crisis in Baltimore, we must attack it from many angles, legislatively and financially, and by educating the community. Legislatively, I would like us to strengthen tenant rights and protections against unjust evictions, discrimination, and substandard living conditions and establish an Affordable Housing Trust Fund to provide dedicated funding for affordable housing initiatives. Financially, we must provide tax incentives and offer low-interest loans or grants to developers and nonprofit organizations for affordable housing projects. Lastly, we need to engage and educate the community by going directly into neighborhoods and informing residents of new affordable housing initiatives and protections. When an affordable housing project is proposed, I will ensure that tenants and community members are involved in planning and decision making.

A: One of a council person’s primary powers/responsibilities is passing legislation. I would use this authority to pass legislation that will place a higher property tax rate on vacant properties that have been sitting. This will encourage those who sit on vacant properties to sell or renovate them to be rented. Currently, Baltimore City does not have the authority to do this, but there’s legislation getting passed this session in Annapolis that will grant Baltimore City the authority.

A: Yes, I support the proposed plan at Harborplace only under the condition that the developer enters into a community workforce agreement with the city, ensuring that a portion of the construction jobs will go to city residents and that the jobs generated from the project include health benefits and family-supporting wages. I understand that what currently sits there doesn’t help our city, and the Harborplace development has the potential to be a tremendous opportunity for both the city and its residents. But I also know that all development doesn’t benefit our communities, and having a community workforce agreement will ensure it is.

A: One bill I would like to introduce during my first year of the next term is to require Community Workforce Agreements on all large-scale development projects requesting financial assistance from the city. I chose this bill because I’ve come across too many development projects that TIFFs or PILOTs from the city have supported, but when you look at who is working on them, you will see that there are only a few Baltimore City residents. Residents and young adults in my district would like an opportunity to work on this project, and requiring a community workforce agreement will help make that happen.

A: No, I don’t support the Renew Baltimore efforts to cut property tax because it has the potential to cripple our city services during a time when it’s already struggling to manage. The plan is to make up for the lost revenue by increasing the number of new residents who anticipate coming to Baltimore due to lowering the property tax rate. The problem is that there are no clawbacks or plans in place if the increase of residents never happens, thus having the potential to cripple our city financially.

A: I am still deciding whether to resign from my current employer if I become a City Council member. Currently, my position as chief of staff/political engagement director of LiUNA Local 710 is my only source of income.

A: One thing the council could do better to support young people is to engage them, meet them where they are, and provide them with the support they need. If we fail to engage our young people, we risk potentially losing them for good, and the sooner we commit to engaging, the easier it will be. I would first provide families with access to resources, information, and support networks to address the diverse needs and challenges of raising young children and fostering healthy child development and well-being. We also need to address our young people and wellness issues by collaborating with health care providers, public health agencies, and community organizations to raise awareness, provide education, and advocate for policies and practices that prioritize and support early childhood health and wellness because it’s easier to build stronger children than to heal broken men.

A: Voters should elect me because District 12 needs a council person willing to do the work. I’ve been working to make Baltimore better for my entire adult life by fighting for our neighborhoods and working people, and when elected, I will continue to do so on the City Council.

Robert Stokes Sr. (Paul Newson/The Baltimore Banner)

Name: Robert Stokes Sr.

Did not respond to biographical questions or candidate questionnaire.

Education: Graduate of Paul Laurence Dunbar Senior High School; Morgan State University.

Experience: Served on City Council since 2016; campaign coordinator for former City Councilman Edwin Johnson; co-campaign coordinator for former Mayor Kurt Schmoke; mayor’s representative for Schmoke; liaison to former City Council President Lawrence Bell; Council assistant to Councilman Carl Stokes.

Notable donors: Chasen Companies; Comcast; Douglas Schmidt, founding principal of Workshop Development; Friends of Sam Cogen, Baltimore City sheriff; Eric Smith and Alexandra Smith from Atlas group; Oliver Investments; Douglas Paige, executive director of Baltimore City Liquor Board; Seawall Property Management; Severn Development; Tucker Group; Wheelabrator Technology; Association of Maryland Pilots; Baltimore Fire Officers Local; Constellation Energy Corporation; Eric Costello for Baltimore; Friends of Bernard Jack Young, former mayor of Baltimore; Friends of John W. Anderson, former sheriff of Baltimore.