Shannon is a Democrat running for Baltimore City Council District 13
(Additional reporting by Christian Bielski)
Q: Background info
I was born and raised in Philadelphia. At age 17, I came to Maryland, and have been here ever since. I’ve worked at FOX 45, WJZ, and even did a stint with the BGE Marketing department.
Q: Do you think there are two Baltimore’s, why or why not? How would you try to reconcile them?
There’s definitely two Baltimore’s, I think we’ve all seen proof of that. We’re sitting in Butchers Hill/Uppers Fells at this moment..most people here live on a good income. If you go a little further in the district, people are under-employed and under the poverty line.
Education is a MAJOR piece in reconciling them. We should put much more money in our education system. Education is a launching pad for everything.
Q: Were you for or against the proposed Red Line?
In this area, I was for the Red Line. We have HORRIBLE parking ::laughs:: It’s always a question of getting home before 5pm and getting a parking spot, or not getting home until after 6pm, and having to park blocks away. It shouldn’t be that way.
Q: How would you help improve the transportation system?
I sometimes ride the MTA, and it can be a challenge, especially in the morning. Sometimes two or three buses will pass me by due to being overcrowded with school kids and people going to work. Opportunities such as the Red Line, having buses that come on time, and bike lanes and share programs would be a HUGE start.
Q: How often would you like to see city agencies audited?
I would love to see them audited every year, but according to our Comptroller, we just don’t have the money. Money drives everything..but we need them. I’m for the legislation Councilman Costello has put on the General Election ballot for more audits.
Q: How would you propose making the Charm City Circulator cost effective?
I’m not a fan of the Charm City Circulator at all because it doesn’t go into areas such as Belair-Edison, or Armistead Gardens. I’m looking for something that will serve EVERYONE. If we can come up with a way for folks to maybe pay $1 to help expand the service, I may reconsider my position.
Q: What was going through your mind during the unrest of 2015?
I felt it was a sad day for Baltimore City. However, I feel it’s had an impact nationwide. This goes back to your first question, Nick. There ARE two Baltimore’s. I was at home watching in disbelief.
Q: Now that the Baltimore Six have been acquitted, how can Baltimore heal?
I feel that we’ve already started to heal. I can only speak to East Baltimore, where our Major has been out in the community before the riots trying to bridge the gap between police officers and the community. I’m raving about the East District, but you need to carry it throughout the Southeast District, the Western District, etc. We ALL want safe streets, we all want to make sure we can get out of our cars safely at night.
Q: Do you support the Port Covington TIF, why or why not?
I’m glad they’re here, but I want to make sure that EVERYONE has the opportunity to obtain jobs there. For me, it’s a waiting game to see if the old council made the right decision.
Q: Light City was a huge success this past year. How would you help cultivate Baltimore’s Art & Entertainment district?
Bring it to East Baltimore! It would be great to have an extension of it in other parts of the city. I would’ve loved to see maybe something in Highlandtown coming down Fayette Street or Eastern, because they flow right into the Inner Harbor.
I’m not complaining at all. I felt it was beautiful. It brought people from all over the state to our great city. People weren’t just experiencing the art, they were buying items in shops and eating at our restaurants. It helps our bottom line.
Q: Do you support the $15 minimum wage?
Q: What is the biggest challenge in your district?
Jobs. I’ve knocked on countless doors and that’s the most common complaint I receive, I can’t legislate jobs myself. It’s making sure that people receive the proper education, and possibly apprenticeships to help them provide for their families.
Q: If elected, what is one core issue you will fight for?
Anything that puts Baltimore in a positive light. That includes the $15 minimum wage, and clean streets.
Q: Why should people vote for you?
I think I’ve proven over the years that I’m a part of my community. I’ve NEVER given up on where I live, even after the last primary election. I didn’t take my toys and go home..I still showed up to my community association meetings, and helped with various projects. That’s who you need as a city councilperson.
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