Baltimore voters will have the chance to choose two independent socialist candidates in November. Sharon Black has won official ballot status for the position of City Council president, and Andre Powell is running for mayor.
Black and Powell are mounting a platform that includes fighting for a $15 minimum wage; a comprehensive jobs program, not jails; and an end to police terror. Both candidates are members of Workers World Party and have been deeply committed to organizing support for the Black Lives Matter movement for the past two years.
Under the hashtag #Socialists4Baltimore, they are demanding that Baltimore put people’s interests before those of the banks and big business.
In comments on the campaign, Andre Powell, who will be filing for write-in status, stated, “We fought an uphill battle this summer, collecting over 8,000 signatures in some of the worst heat and weather conditions, in order to qualify.”
He elaborated: “We took our campaign to almost every neighborhood in Baltimore from Cherry Hill and Westport to West and East Baltimore. Despite the almost impossible threshold for independents to obtain ballot status, we did it! Thousands of people enthusiastically signed up, illustrating that the people of Baltimore want real change.”
Sharon Black emphasized, “We are entering the next phase of our fight — to engage with the powers-that-be, the current establishment, to turn around the present paradigm of the rich first and poor and working class people last.”
Black continued, “Council President Jack Young needs to answer to the people who want and desperately need a livable wage, and to those who are sick of public financing tax tricks that serve to deepen racism and segregation in Baltimore.”
Powell and Black noted the significance of their socialist campaign: “Our campaigns have virtually no funds. We have no big business donors or special interests backing us. But that will not stop us from launching an amazing, viable, volunteer-based, on-the-ground campaign. We expect to win. In fact, we have already won! Because our campaign is not about personalities or individuals or even solely centered around the ballot box, but about the life-and-death issues facing the people of Baltimore.
Mobilizing and organizing the people to exert their power is our ultimate goal, not just in November but year-round.”
Both candidates have announced their support and endorsement of Seventh District candidate Nnamdi Scott, another independent candidate, who represents the Ujima People’s Progress Party.
Read Black and Powell’s “Ten-Point Plan for Baltimore” here:.workers.org/wwp/baltimore-campaign-for-peoples-power/