Like Congressman Cummings before me, I’m a practicing attorney who has the skills and experience to fight for real justice in Congress. My record on civil rights, criminal justice, and voting rights speaks for itself. Over a decade before the murder of Freddie Gray or the cruelty and lawlessness of the Gun Trace Task Force were unmasked, I was fighting on the front lines for police and government accountability as an attorney and legislator.
I served as the Director of the Baltimore Office of Civil Rights and Wage Enforcement prior to my ascension to the State Senate. The late Congressman Cummings called me “The People’s Champion”, a moniker I carry with pride to this day.
As the People’s Champion, I will take the fight against racist policing, the failed War on Drugs, and mass incarceration to the halls of Congress. From ending cash bail to civil asset forfeiture and felon disenfranchisement, I will be a champion for all people, and will advocate and legislate to end unjust practices that target and exploit people of color.
The roots of crime run deep, but they aren’t complex. Crime, especially violent crime, flourishes where opportunities are scarce. Where people are sequestered in poor health and poverty, where trauma is left untreated and where people are viewed as problems and not citizens, the disease of violent crime begins to spread.
Decades of experience are conclusive: harsh punishment is no deterrent and vengeance solves nothing. Three strikes laws, mandatory minimums and the War on Drugs have not ended violent crime, only broken up families and destroyed lives.
Ending violence requires a public health approach: studying the spread of violence, addressing the underlying causes, and intervening early to stem the spread and prevent future harm. Being proactive, providing opportunities, and addressing the trauma lived by people whose neighborhoods are still overcoming violence not only drives down current crime rates, but heals people and communities to prevent future violence.