City Council President Brandon Scott, the Democratic nominee for mayor, announced a transition team Tuesday that he says will help him prepare to take on, and reshape, local government.
Scott is the favorite in the Nov. 3 election in which he faces independent candidate Bob Wallace and Republican Shannon Wright. Baltimore has only elected Democrats to lead it for nearly 60 years.
The nine-member team Scott assembled includes representatives from city nonprofit organizations, a union and the business community. Prominent Baltimore figures — such as former Baltimore Raven and philanthropist Torrey Smith — also were tapped.
The volunteer team plans to begin meeting this month, and will focus on generating proposals for rebuilding city government structures and ensuring efficient operations.
“We have a lot of work to do to rebuild trust in City Hall and make our city more equitable,” Scott said. “I need to surround myself with people who want to make Baltimore a better place and who I can trust to give me the best advice.”
Among those chosen for the task are people with deep ties to Baltimore who played important roles in both Scott’s life and his mayoral campaign.
Alicia Wilson, Johns Hopkins University’s vice president for economic development, was Scott’s campaign treasurer and longtime friend. They attended Mergenthaler Vocational-Technical High School together. As students, the two were involved in the CollegeBound program, which aims to prepare city kids for higher education. Cassie Motz — the CollegeBound director and a former aide to Democrat Martin O’Malley when he was governor — also will join the transition team.
Scott tapped Ricarra Jones, the political director for health care union 1199 Service Employees International Union, as well. Labor groups got behind the council president during June’s competitive Democratic primary, bringing him volunteers and donations in the last critical weeks. Jones' union contributed $6,000 to the campaign.
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Mike Hankin, the CEO of Brown Advisory, is expected to bring a business person’s point of view to the group. His Baltimore-based investment firm is responsible for $95 billion in client assets.
Democratic state Sen. Cory McCray is the only elected official on the team. He’s a political ally of Scott, and McCray’s younger sister, Danielle McCray, won appointment to Scott’s 2nd District council seat when Scott ascended to the presidency.
Other members are leaders of Baltimore nonprofits: Danielle Torain is the director Open Society Institute-Baltimore and Brittany Young is the founder of B-360, which aims to use bike culture to inspire more Black children to pursue a career in science, technology, engineering or mathematics. Also on the team is Wes Moore, an author and CEO of the anti-poverty organization Robin Hood.
Scott said he had not offered City Hall jobs to any of the team members.
He plans to make further appointments to transition committees that will address specific issues.
Wallace criticized the transition team announcement as “presumptuous and inconsequential” ahead of the general election. He, Scott and Wright are expected to face off Thursday at a virtual mayoral forum hosted by the NAACP and the Afro newspaper.
“Scott should focus on carrying out his duty as City Council president for the remainder of his term,” Wallace wrote in a statement.