Common Cause Maryland Launches Campaign to Get Baltimore City Candidates on the Record About Democracy Reforms

Today, Common Cause Maryland is launching a new program to ensure voters know where Baltimore City candidates stand on practical solutions to the challenges facing our democracy. The Our Baltimore 2020campaign will focus getting every candidate for Mayor, Comptroller, and Council President to respond to a survey on the need for democracy reform in Baltimore City. 

“The outcome of the 2020 election will determine the course of the City for the next four years,” said Joanne Antoine, executive director of Common Cause Maryland. “The election must focus on how to change the political system in Baltimore City so that every resident has a voice and is truly represented in government. The ‘Our Baltimore 2020’ campaign ensures voters know where candidates stand during a time when many still lack trust in local government. Every issue that matters to Baltimoreans — from access to clean water, living wage, solutions to violence and corruption — all hinge on common sense reforms outlined in this survey. If real progress is to be made, Baltimoreans must know how their next Mayor, Council President, and Comptroller is going to make working in the best interest of every residents of Baltimore a priority.”  

Leading up to the formal launch of the campaign, Common Cause Maryland reached out to every candidate for Mayor, Comptroller, and Council President urging them to respond to the survey. So far, Liri FushaSean GreshCollins OtonnaErik PoweryYolanda Pulley, Brandon ScottThiru Vignarajah, Joan Pratt Leon Pinkett IIIDan Sparaco and others have already responded, and more candidates are expected to respond soon.   

The Our Baltimore 2020 survey is broken up into three sections:   

  • Questions on candidate’s conduct during the campaigns, including pledging to highlight democracy issues like open government and transparency, identify and resolve conflicts of interestand releasing five years of tax returns.  
  • Questions on where candidates stand on specific policy reforms and legislation, including adequately funding the Baltimore City Office of the Inspector General, funding the Fair Election Fund, and greater transparency within the Board of Ethics. 
  • Optional question on what the candidates will do in their first year, including how they plan to build on reforms currently being considered or discussed by the Council (examples: changing the structure of City government, ranked choice voting, efforts to engage the public and make it easier for them to participate, and more). 

The 2020 survey aims to elevate democracy as a priority issue for candidates which can ultimately lead to future reforms on ethics in government, money in politics, and more 

The 2020 Our Baltimore survey and campaign can be found at