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 8th District includes West Baltimore neighborhoods such as Forest Park, Franklintown, Edmondson Village, Uplands and Irvington.

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Name: Bilal Ali

Age: 72

Personal: Husband and father

Education: Bachelor’s degree, psychology, University of Baltimore; master’s degree, psychology, Coppin State University; doctor of healthcare administration, Virginia University of Lynchburg

Experience: Maryland House of Delegates 2017-2019; president of residential health at Clinical Management Development Services; Democratic Central Committee member

Endorsements: City Council President Nick Mosby; Council Vice President Sharon Green Middleton; City Councilman Robert Stokes; City Councilman Antonio Glover; City Councilwoman Danielle McCray

Notable donors: Former Del. Talmadge Branch, former Del. Jay Jalisi, state Sen. Charles Sydnor, former Del. Tony Bridges, state Sen. Antonio Hayes.

Name: Christian B. Allen

Age: 55

Personal: Married to Donna M. Prisock, 4 children.

Education: Graduate of Loyola Blakefield; attended Frostburg State University

Experience: Lifelong resident of Baltimore City, home owner and taxpayer. Neighborhood association member,

Endorsements: My mother, father, wife and children

Notable donors: None.


A: No, do not support the proposed ballot limit the size of the city council. We need to keep where it is to assure some level of responsiveness to the community. A larger council would concentrate the power to a few power brokers.

A: Make a concerted effort to bring owners of abandoned/vacant houses to a point of fixing them up or losing them. Use the one to time grant for COVID to rehabilitate those houses and make them available for low income housing or to help with the homeless population

A: Either tear them down or use the COVID grant to rehab and help deal with the lack of low income housing/and homeless citizens.

A: No, I do not. I was at the opening of Harbor Place in 1980, it was fantastic, partly because it was a place for everyone to visit, it was public. This current proposal seems to make it private and limit public access to something that has always been public. I understand the need for redevelopment but not at the expense of public open spaces.

A: I would introduce the Uniform Infrastructure Construction Bill. Meaning any work done on any street when it all possible be coordinated. BGE, SEWER, water, paving all be done at the same time to prevent needless resurfacing and on going construction.

A: Maybe freeze them where they are, because if you lower property taxes then other means must be used to replace that money, more red light cameras, more bag fees.

A: I am currently employed in the field of video/film production as a technician/producer. In this capacity I have the ability to pick and choose when I work. I do plan to continue but It will not conflict with the job of councilperson. Serving the people will be my top priority.

A: Pressure the schools to expand after school STEM programs and sports instead of cutting those programs back. Also push for those programs at the rec centers that are open. I volunteer at the Goodnow Community Center, they have an impressive after school program teaching video production to middle school students.

A: I am not a politician looking to continue the status quo for the citizens of the 8th district. I am a live long resident of the 8th district, home owner and tax payer, I am saddened by some of the things occurring in the district. Crime needs to be a top priority until you get a handle on all forms of crime, efforts made in other areas will be eroded by the crime issue, Sanitation is another issue that needs serious attention, attracting businesses and new residents will be impossible. New energy and strategic thinking are needed to bring a new sense of citizenship to the 8th district.

Name: Jeffrey David Allen

Did not respond to biographical questions or candidate questionnaire.


Name: Paris Gray

Age: 37

Personal: Married

Education: Graduate of McDonogh School; attended, but did not graduate from Indiana University

Experience: Four years as community outreach coordinator in the 8th District of Baltimore. Established the District 8 Job and Resource Fairs and Edmondson Ave. Task Force.

Endorsements: Metro Baltimore AFL-CIO, Sierra Club, AFSCME Maryland, outgoing City Councilman Kristerfer Burnett, CASA

Notable donors: Liam Davis, Councilman Ryan Dorsey, school board Commissioner Ashley Esposito, Councilwoman Phylicia Porter, Councilman Zeke Cohen, Councilwoman Odette Ramos.


A: I do not support the ballot measure to reduce the council size as it would hinder council office’s ability to address constituent concerns. Shrinking the council without sufficient support is not a viable solution. This ballot measure seeks to dismantle city government not enhance it.

A: To ensure adequate affordable housing in Baltimore, I would consider various strategies. Firstly, I would safeguard and expand the city’s existing inclusionary housing laws to ensure inclusivity in all publicly funded housing projects. Additionally, exploring alternative housing subsidies for those in need is essential. Securing funding for the affordable housing trust fund and partnering with state and federal entities to enhance support for Baltimore residents would be a priority. Moreover, I would explore ways to strengthen community land trusts to further enhance affordability within communities. Through these measures, I aim to address the housing needs of Baltimore residents effectively and promote equitable access to affordable housing options.

A: To reduce the number of vacant properties in Baltimore city, we need to address the issue from multiple angles. I would advocate for implementing a vacant property tax, which would incentivize property owners to either develop the property or sell it to someone who will. Additionally, I propose expanding the city’s IN REM foreclosure process, which gives the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) the authority to acquire abandoned properties and collaborate with communities on determining the best outcomes for these properties.

A: I support the redevelopment of Harborplace as its current state is no longer viable. My support for the project hinges on ensuring tangible community benefits for all Baltimore City residents, not just those near the waterfront. I have fond memories of visiting Harborplace with my father as a child and believe the new development should create similar experiences for children in the Edmondson Village, Upton, and Oliver communities. For my full support, the project must include affordable housing, job opportunities, environmental sustainability, support for local businesses, and robust community engagement.

A: I plan to introduce legislation to enhance transparency and increase annual contributions for PILOTs (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) agreements with major institutions in Baltimore City. The current system’s lack of sustainability is evident from the substantial loss of over $100 million in tax revenue to PILOTs in FY 2024. By boosting annual contributions for PILOTs, we can generate additional revenue to fund vital programs that prioritize job creation, and neighborhood development, and benefit the residents of Baltimore City. The bill will also mandate transparency in future MOUs and PILOT agreements, ensuring a transparent, participatory, and equitable process that includes input from all communities.

A: I oppose Renew Baltimore’s proposal to cut property taxes due to the lack of immediate revenue replacement planning and its impact on essential city services. Services like trash pickup, recycling, pothole repairs, and illegal dumping cleanups would suffer from the revenue loss. Increasing the city’s population significantly to offset this loss is a long process that requires thorough discussion among lawmakers and citizens, not just a ballot measure. While I support the goal of increasing Baltimore’s population and lessening our property tax burden, it should not come at the cost of essential services. Instead of an unprepared tax cut, alternative measures like raising annual contributions from institutions with PILOTs should be considered to ensure equitable neighborhood development, attracting residents to the city and reducing our overall property tax burden.

A: I am committed to serving full-time as the next City Council member for the 8th District.

A: One initiative the City Council could pursue is establishing a Youth Advisory Council that engages youth, elected officials, and diverse stakeholders from Baltimore. This inclusive approach would empower young people by giving them a genuine voice in decision-making processes. Reflecting on my participation in the Squeegee Collaborative meetings, I witnessed the benefits of open dialogue between stakeholders and youth. Rather than reactive measures, the Council should proactively create mechanisms to support and advocate for youth, aiming to prevent challenges before they arise. This proactive approach ensures that the voices and perspectives of young people are valued, contributing to a more inclusive and supportive environment for Baltimore’s youth.

A: 8th district voters should elect me because I have a proven track record of community engagement and service. Over the past four years as the community outreach coordinator for the 8th district, I have actively worked with community associations, organized events, and addressed constituents’ concerns. My dedication to public service and collaboration with residents has earned me a reputation as a committed advocate. From participating in mentorship programs to organizing neighborhood cleanups and tackling issues like illegal dumping, I have demonstrated my hands-on approach to community improvement. Through initiatives like the Edmondson Ave Task Force, I have shown my commitment to combating blight and enhancing the district. With a recent history of engaging with constituents and offering practical solutions, I am prepared to provide responsive leadership as the next councilman of the 8th district.

(Julia Reihs/for the Baltimore Banner)

Name: Joyous D. Jones

Did not respond to biographical questions.


A: Should the measure go to referendum, I would support the will of the people. My primary concern would be that all residents are equally and adequately represented.

A: I support economic equity and the recently enacted Inclusionary Housing Ordinance that mandate’s 10% of affordable housing units for new developments in Baltimore. I will also advocate for strengthening this goal and I will fight for the rigorous enforcement of this policy.

A: I will fight for the use of the remaining American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Baltimore allotment of $641 million dollars for the repair & rehabilitation of existing vacant houses. I support the training of local young people and the partnering of these residents with local minority contractors to rebuild Baltimore. I will continue my current efforts with Habitat for Humanity to restore local housing stock by local residents. I support the Nehemiah Project model of using federal, state and local funds to promote homeownership for legacy residents who currently rent.

A: I oppose the plan to demolish the Harborplace Pavilions for the building of a high-rise structure for private use. I believe in the maintenance of public space for public use.

A: I will introduce a bill to expand the current Drug Court and press for its adequate funding. Drug Court provides judges and prosecutors with an alternative to incarcerating non-violent offenders. This will facilitate a new policy of drug treatment upon demand. This will also attack the root cause of crime and homelessness throughout the city.

A: I support reducing the burden of Property tax while maintaining an adequate level of city services. I also will sponsor legislation to exempt Baltimore senior 70 years old and above from local property tax, if they have resided at the residence for greater than 25 years.

A: I will be a full-time council member and my current community work as a minister and retired nurse will complement my efforts in City Hall.

A: We need to enact an immediate moratorium on public school closings in Baltimore city and we must promote a policy of partnering other city functions like recreation and parks without school programs and buildings. We must place more resources and vocational education and apprenticeship programs. I support the restoration of home economics instructions, music and the teaching of basic life skills.

A: The voters of Baltimore’s eighth district should elect me because I bring a wealth of experience as a retired nurse and a lifelong community activist. I will fight for the constructive change because if we continue to do what we have always done we will continue to get the same results. We can do a better job and We will. I intend to faithfully attend association meetings throughout the district and bring their concerns back to City Hall. My staff in City Hall will “ANSWER THE PHONE” when constituents call my office. Citizens deserve to speak to a real human being and not an automated voice.