Baltimore is my hometown and I have lived here my whole life--graduating from Western High School and I am proud to send my daughter to Baltimore City Public Schools. My father, who grew up in public housing, taught me that a good education is the way up and the way out to a future full of opportunity. In 1992, I earned my Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio. I earned my Juris Doctor from the University Of Maryland School Of Law in 1995 and was subsequently admitted to the Maryland Bar and Federal Bar. In 1995, I was honored to be the youngest person ever elected to the City Council representing communities in West and Northwest Baltimore. While a member of the City Council, I chaired the Budget and Appropriations Committee and advocated on behalf of the City Council during budget negotiations with the Administration, ensuring that constituent concerns had a strong voice in the City's annual budget process. From November 2007 to February 2010, I served as President of the City Council before becoming Baltimore's 49th Mayor. From 1998 to 2006, while serving on the Council, I also served full-time as an attorney with the Baltimore Office of the Public Defender, representing many low-income and underprivileged clients in Southern District Court. There, I witnessed first-hand the tragic impact of drug addiction on Baltimore families and learned the inner-workings of our criminal justice system. All of these experiences, including my up-bringing by two wonderful parents, have taught me the importance of honest and passionate public service.