Baltimore County Council
Danielle Nicole Singley
Westview Park, Baltimore County
I am a program manager of the Baltimore County Department of Aging. Specifically, I have been the manager of the Home Team for approximately 10 years. The program utilizes staff and volunteers to provide services to eligible homebound older adults who wish to remain independent in their home for as long as possible but are at risk of social isolation and/or food insecurity. We have a wonderful team of staff, volunteers, and food pantry partners active in all areas of Baltimore County who provide direct services and access to various supports. More information about the program can be found online or by visiting www.baltimorecountymd.gov.
Bachelors of Sociology, University of Maryland, College Park
I have worked within Baltimore County Government for almost 10 years, which has given me insight on how programs within local government are implemented on a day-to-day basis. I serve on the Baltimore County Federation for Public Employees union board. Additionally, I serve on executive board of the Randallstown NAACP as chair of the Task Force on Revitalization of Security Square Mall in Woodlawn and testified in support of the West Baltimore County Redevelopment Authority. Prior to that, I along helped a local disability advocacy law center bring attention to the overuse of "focus rooms" & other isolation tactics in BCPS, which removed the child from the classroom for prolonged periods of time and was often used as a punitive measure, without parental consent or the parameters of an individualized education program, and disproportionately affected black boys as young as 5 years old with suspected ADHD.
Why are you running for office?
I am running for office because District One needs proactive, conscientious leadership that truly reflects the diversity of our Baltimore County Community and is comfortable addressing complex issues directly with the new ideas, a vision, and fortitude to implement a plan of action and see it through from start to finish.
What do you see as the most pressing issue Baltimore County faces and how would you address it?
The most pressing issue facing Baltimore County is apathy towards our government officials, elected leaders, and government systems and vice versa. Depending upon which zip code you reside, many communities are completely disengaged with our political processes due to unresponsive, disconnected leadership and government processes skewed to only favor affluence and the political elite while devaluing majority black/African American communities, communities of color and anyone outside of those "favorable" parameters. Many of our neighbors throughout Baltimore County, but specifically District 1, have lived through the same complex, persistent issues for decades such as food desserts, increased rat activity, blighted, deteriorated commercial areas and neighborhoods, potholes and aging infrastructure, lack of recreational options, illegal dumping, trash accumulation, housing & transportation insecurity, illegal activity, declining schools, and an overall lack of innovation from our leaders to resolve these issues.
What plans do you have to help the county and its businesses successfully emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic?
Many businesses have struggled to emerge from the pandemic due to a variety of reasons including rising costs of supply and demand nationally and internationally, changing dynamics of our workforce with more employees demanding a and a shift to online purchasing. Many businesses have closed, our communities are becoming increasing blighted and many of our neighbors are shopping in Howard County, resulting in a loss of revenue for Baltimore County. It is important for the Baltimore County Department of Economic and Workforce Development to work in tandem with the Department of Planning in establishing a well throughout Master Plan and community plan for each defined area in District 1 and proactively solicit larger corporations and market incentive programs and grants to assist smaller start-up businesses. The community plan should include specifications to increase partnerships and build the capacity of area non-profits focused on business development, community revitalization and environmental sustainability.
What are your views on the future growth and economic development in the county?
On the one hand, the west side of Baltimore County, including District 1, is seeing an increase of blight and commercial deterioration. On the other hand, we are seeing overdevelopment, deforestation, and a loss of green space. The focus of development and revitalization needs to be on blighted commercial areas and housing, and assisting residents with rehabilitating older homes, not cutting down trees and removing our natural habitats. Baltimore County needs to produce community plans for each "defined community" with input from community members, business owners, environmental advocates, housing experts and planners to ensure a cohesive plan of action without displacing community members. Further, Baltimore County needs to implement the plans, starting with Security Mall. Baltimore County should consider a property tax cap based on a sliding scale income, and hold property owners who abandon businesses, leave them blighted or allow them to deteriorate and degrade communities accountable
What role can the county government play to improve education in county schools?
I believe Baltimore County government can play a major role in improving education for Baltimore County schools through funding the Kirwan Blueprint and focus on teachers and students, not on the hiring of more administrator roles in Towson offices. Restructuring the school system to include the establishment of community schools will empower Principals, teachers, and staff to allow for more control of what happens in the school building and bring in specific services needed for each school. I believe administrator offices should be relocated in schools and that they should be required to substitute in classrooms as needed to ensure they remain in touch with the day-to-day operations of local schools. S
What efforts do the county need to make to address systemic racism in government services?
To address systemic racism, it is imperative that Baltimore County acknowledges the sins of our past just as Germany did for the Holocaust. On-going training for Baltimore County staff to learn about the myth of white supremacy, systemic racism and how it affects communities. The training must begin with an overview of the history of white supremacy and systemic racism in the United States, Maryland and Baltimore County, its impact on the black/African American community, and specifically its impact on multi-generational black descendants of American slavery. Next, it should include how the myth of white supremacy and systemic racism has impacted other communities of color. After the initial training, each Department should have a focused training to describe how the Department historically participated in perpetuating institutionalized racism and implicit bias, discriminatory practices past and present and how it harms communities of colors, benefits other communities, and currently affects Baltimore County.
Do you think there needs to be additional oversight to the Office of the Inspector General or changes to the structure of the office? If so, please explain.
Currently, I do not think there needs to be additional oversight of the Office of the Inspector General in Baltimore County. The office is still relatively new, and I think whenever you have someone in a leadership role challenging the status quo, you will have push back to weaken the effectiveness of their role. I believe that until there has been a specific unjust cause to justify the need for more oversight, we should allow the Inspector General to do her job.
What steps must the county take to improve public safety?
Obviously, those who commit violent crimes and are an immediate danger to the safety of others must be arrested and taken off the streets. However, to truly improve public safety and the quality of life for all, Baltimore County must have a multi-faceted approach that includes investing in our communities, recreation and schools, job opportunities, a community policing model, prison reform, and common-sense laws that allows police to focus on violent crime instead of petty crime such as the selling of cigarettes. Prison reform is a major focus of my campaign because the United States is a civilized society and therefore, we must hold true to the standards of a civilized. Those who are arrested and spend time in prisons will likely be released at some point in their lives, and it is imperative that they are prepared to re-enter society with the skills to succeed and ability to thrive.
How is climate change impacting the county and what can be done locally to address the effects?
Baltimore County must ensure development adheres to the Adequate Public Facilities law that requires all development to allot 1,000 ft of open space per dwelling or pay a fee that goes towards the funding of greenspaces elsewhere. Development must occur on commercial or older residential properties in need of revitalization, not open spaces. Baltimore County must expand the capacity of the Baltimore County Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability and ensure those responsible for illegal dumping throughout our communities are ordered to clean-up the area and pay a fine. Baltimore County must also register all small businesses who facilitate "dump-runs" to ensure large items are disposed of properly. Baltimore County must limit the establishment of new gas stations that are within a 3-mile radius of another gas station and ensure our storm water drains remain trash and debris free.
Baltimore Sun Media's voter guide allows candidates to provide their background, policy and platforms on issues, in their own words. Any questions or feedback can be sent to email@example.com, or read more about the questionnaire process here.