Brandon Maurice Scott opened his mayoral campaign office at a Cathedral Street storefront this afternoon, calling for generational change in city government
“Let’s be clear: The status quo train does not want us to win,” the 35-year-old City Council president told about 75 boisterous supporters.
“They’re going to do everything in their power to stop us. But we know that their money, their approval, their influence is diminishing.”
Alluding to other young elected officials by his side, such as state Senator Cory V. McCray (45th) and his sister, Danielle McCray, who was named to Scott’s 2d District Council seat in June, the candidate said:
“We’re all here because we’re the new generation. It’s time for the baton to be passed, and if they don’t want to pass it, we’re going to snatch it.”
Without directly naming names, Scott was taking aim at Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young, his elder by three decades and, so, too, his leading opponent.
(The other announced contenders in the 2020 Democratic Party primary, including former Maryland Deputy Attorney General Thiru Vignarajah and ex-police spokesman T.J. Smith, have never held elected office and are less well-known.)
A veteran of 23 years in local elected office, Young has amassed a campaign war chest of about $900,000, including $250,000 his treasurer said was raised in the last few weeks.
Scott is far behind on the money trail, reporting a cash balance of $143,000 in his last public report in January 2019.
“We will need everything from you. And that means we will also need your money,” Scott said to laughter today.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s a dollar or two or it’s five hundred. And we sure like $6,000 [the maximum legal limit]. We need every penny because we want to be different.”
26 Policy Proposals
When he was elected in 2011, Scott was the youngest member of the City Council. He quickly established himself as a leading figure in the debate over public safety during a period when the city’s homicide rate took a dramatic spike upwards.
After Young became Baltimore’s mayor in May following the resignation of Catherine Pugh, Scott took over Young’s position of City Council president, much to the latter’s chagrin.
As Council president, Scott has rolled out a 26-step plan for tackling Baltimore’s gun violence, corruption, troubled schools, social inequity and disaffected youth.
His proposals include a public-health-based violence reduction initiative and the creation of a city administrator to improve day-to-day government operations.
As key members of his City Hall staff cheered him on, Scott emphasized today the mechanics of getting his message across with door-to-door canvassing as well as collecting greenbacks for the campaign.
He announced a November 19 fundraiser at the Baltimore Museum of Industry that, he said, will not shun the “well-to-do” nor scorn other potential big givers, but is designed to attact regular folk with $40 tickets.
“This campaign,” he vowed, “is not going to be driven by big money, but by working-class people.”