From school boards to ed funds, here’s how tech figured in Baltimore’s 2022 Election Day decisions

With a gubernatorial race, the legalization of recreational cannabis, scrutiny of local police scrutiny and a term limit measure funded by the media boss in the Election Day poll yesterday, you may have missed the handful of election developments that reflected the importance of technology to Baltimore’s economy and governance. .

But technology and entrepreneurship were indeed embedded in many of the issues and choices Baltimoreans had to vote on this year — and in more direct ways than the kind of trickle-down effects we might expect when the Democrat Wes Moore travels to Annapolis to make history as Maryland’s first black governor.

Among the key contenders and potential winners of the open two-man race Council of School Commissioners seats to a pair of voting issues that could impact how we use our internet and communications infrastructure, here are some of the ways the topics we cover most frequently at Technically evident in yesterday’s races.

Ashley Esposito takes first place in close race against school board

Ashley Esposito. (Courtesy of Shae McCoy)

Admittedly, the first election for two places open to the Baltimore City public school board has not yet fully concluded, with the National Board of Elections noting at press time that 294 of 296 precincts have reported results. Yet current reports suggest that Ashley Espositoa former computer programmer for the State of Marylandwon first place with 28.9% of the vote, or 47,786 votes in total.

Patterson High School educator Kwame Kenyatta Bey followed closely at 27.5%, while once Google DEI recruiter-turned-eminent-critic April Christina Curley and old High digital port teacher Salimah Jasani caught 22.5% and 20.26%, respectively.

If the remaining results don’t drastically change the results, it means Esposito — one of the three aforementioned favorites with tech connections, as well as the group’s only working technologist — and Kenyatta-Bey will sit on the school board for the year. next. Although neither they nor Curley immediately returned Technical.ly’s request for comment, Esposito previously told us that the education pipeline is important to Baltimore’s tech future.

“When I look at Baltimore as a whole, I see our economy moving in the direction of becoming like a tech hub,” she said at the time. “If our kids aren’t ready to fill those roles, they’re going to be left behind and people from out of town Baltimore are going to come in and take those jobs.”

Question E on the way to banning the sale of the underground conduit system

While this city-specific voting issue was far less controversial than the Sinclair campaign funded by the boss behind Question K, whose proposed charter amendment setting term limits for various elected offices passed with more than 70% of the vote, Question E could have serious implications for the operation of Baltimore’s communications infrastructure.

In short: The question asked voters about another charter amendment that would prohibit “the sale, transfer, or franchise of the city’s underground conduit system for cables, wires, and similar facilities,” according to the board of elections. of State. As The Baltimore Banner reported last month, when the mayor by Brandon Scott the administration was planning a telecommunications consultancy contract which prompted some municipal Council MPs criticize, aging conduit system needs maintenance as mayor’s administration spokesman James Bentley said exceeded the profit he made from the leases to Baltimore Gas and Electric and others.

The question of the vote has brought to light a wider debate on whether or not these infrastructures should be privatized. For amalia deloneyvice president and chief digital equity officer for the Baltimore-based company Robert W. Deutsch Foundationthe 76.1% of voters in favor of the amendment “took a significant step” toward protecting a valuable public resource.

“This decision rightly recognizes that conduit is an essential aspect of municipal infrastructure that must be secured for the long-term public benefit,” she told Technical.ly via email. “With this vote, residents have said our digital future demands that we don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.”

Voters push Dante Barksdale Workforce Development Fund further into existence

Man in dark suit and red tie in front of American flag

Nick Mosby. (Courtesy picture)

President of the city council Nick Mosby scored a victory when 89.7% of voters chose “yes” to Question G, a charter amendment establishing indefinite Dante Barksdale Career Technology Learning Fund.

Rooted in Mosby’s own March 2021 legislation and named after a prominent Safe streets leader who was killed by the gunfire he sought to prevent, the fund would support apprenticeship and related workforce development programs at city schools and community colleges.

Mosby’s Deputy Director of Communications, Candance Greenesaid via email that passing the ballot question will set in motion a rollout plan that includes a City Council public ordinance “which sets out the specific implementation of the fund through city agencies and partners appropriate communities”.

“Once this order is introduced, a committee hearing will be scheduled and held to provide an in-depth discussion of how we will launch this program and provide public comment,” Greene explained to Technical.ly. “Then the committee with vote on the final ordinance, which is sent to the mayor for his signature to become law. Once it becomes law, the program will be administered with funding that was “set aside” by the passage and creation of the [fund].”

Mosby, who worked as an electrical engineer before entering politics, previously called the fund “the kind of political prescription that can create transformative change in our city.” Greene noted that Mosby intended “to integrate as much technology as needed into the administration of the fund.” Overall, Mosby aims for the fund to reduce the kind of poverty-fueled violence that has taken its namesake, among many others, by providing alternatives for at-risk youth.

“This is a tool that aims to address the many issues that we see as the result of underinvestment in the future of our city and its people,” Greene said.

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