Emily Sullivan | WYPR

Emily Sullivan

Reporter, City Hall

Emily Sullivan is a city hall reporter at WYPR, where she covers all things Baltimore politics.  She joined WYPR after reporting for NPR’s national airwaves.  There, she was a reporter for NPR’s news desk, business desk and presidential conflicts of interest team.  Sullivan won a national Edward R. Murrow Award for an investigation into a Trump golf course's finances alongside members of the Embedded team. She has discussed her reporting on 1A, The Takeaway and All Things Considered.

Sullivan has also reported on health and education for WAMU in Washington, D.C..  She got her start in public radio as an intern at WNYC.  Sullivan also interned at The Village Voice, where she produced a music festival.  She holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and women's, gender, and sexuality studies from Fordham University.

In her spare time, she enjoys biking, watching Jeopardy and defending the honor of New Jersey, her home state.

AP/Patrick Semansky

  City and state officials convened in Baltimore on Tuesday to discuss ways to prevent and treat childhood trauma, which affects more than half of the city’s children.

Emily Sullivan/WYPR

 

The city has put a busy business corridor in northeast Baltimore on a “road diet” — reducing the number of lanes for cars and installing floating bus stops and bike lanes. The goal is to make the stretch of Harford Road between Echodale and White Avenues safer not just for pedestrians, bus riders and bikers, but also for cars.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, road diets like this one can reduce crashes by an average of 29 percent.

Paul Sakuma/AP

 

Legislators in Baltimore have tried and failed to ban or highly reduce plastic bag use eight times in the last decade. A plastic bag ban bill appeared on the City Council’s docket for the ninth time this summer, and because of a progressive council it could finally pass, according to Councilman Bill Henry, the bill’s lead sponsor.

Baltimore City Hall

Baltimore City Council President Brandon Scott is pitching a wide-ranging plan designed to change the shape of city government. The proposal lays out a roadmap full of policy changes the council and other government officials can take to “deliver for Baltimore’s residents and bring greater transparency to the way we operate,” Scott said Wednesday.

Patrick Semansky/AP

According to the president of the United States, the city of Baltimore is a "disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess,” a place that “no human being would want to live.” 

Mary Rose Madden / wypr

 


AP/Patrick Semansky

Bryonna Harris, Jaionna Santos and Damani Thomas were eating lunch at Frederick Douglass High School when a hall monitor was shot.

 

The students, who are now rising seniors at the West Baltimore school, later testified at City Hall about the February incident, as well as about the trauma they have experienced both inside and outside their homes in their short lives. 

Emily Sullivan/WYPR

Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison released his new sweeping crime reduction plan Thursday that calls for improved response time and distributing more patrol officers in high-crime “micro zones” and includes visions for reforming community-police relationships.

AP/Keith Srakocic

 

Baltimore residents haven’t received a water bill since early May — and that will remain the case until at least early August, Mayor Jack Young said Wednesday. 

Emily Sullivan/WYPR

Two men were killed during a shooting inside a Charles North substance abuse clinic Monday morning, including the suspected shooter. Two others, including a Baltimore Police officer, were injured.

City police said they received a call at 7:09 a.m. from the Man Alive treatment center in the 2100 block of Maryland Ave. 

Emily Sullivan/WYPR

When violent unrest spread through Baltimore’s streets after the 2015 death in police custody of Freddie Gray, the Orioles did something unprecedented. For the first time in Major League Baseball history, the team played in an empty stadium, citing safety concerns.

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra chose to send a different message. Its musicians stepped outside of the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall and into the streets to play a free outdoor concert.

For the last few weeks, those same musicians are back on the same stretch of Cathedral Street. This time, they’re walking a picket line, after management abruptly cancelled all summer concerts and locked the musicians out with no pay.   

Baltimore city residents will have to start setting aside extra cash every month to pay their water bills. On Monday, a 10 percent water bill increase went into effect, the first in a three-year series that will raise bills 30 percent.

Emily Sullivan/WYPR

The worst attack on journalists in U.S. history was one year ago today -- when a man entered the offices of the Capital Gazette and killed five people with a shotgun. The journalists who survived say that dealing with their trauma and grief has not been a linear process. They also cite remaining sources of comfort -- like their connection with each other and ongoing community support.

 

WYPR’s Emily Sullivan talked to four journalists from the paper about the shooting’s first anniversary. Here is what they said.

Emily Sullivan/WYPR

Last fall, Baltimore voters approved a public financing fund for elections throughout the city. Now, the City Council is considering a bill that spells out the rules and regulations for that fund.

Official photograph

Those plastic bags you get at your local supermarket, or just about anywhere you shop in Baltimore City, could be a thing of the past under a measure City Councilman Bill Henry plans to introduce at Monday’s council meeting.

The bill would ban plastic bags altogether and place a surcharge of five cents on other bags — like paper or compostable bags —at the point of sale or during pick up or delivery. 

Emily Sullivan/WYPR

The Baltimore City Board of Estimates has approved a $25.9 million contract with the ongoing Charm City Circulator operators to continue overseeing the free bus service for the next three years.

Errands Plus, Inc., which operates the service as RMA Worldwide Services Chauffeured Transportation, took over operations in October of last year after Baltimore sued the former operator, Transdev Services, for allegedly overcharging the city tens of millions of dollars.

Emily Sullivan/WYPR

Baltimore residents who face the most severe impacts of increasing water bills are disproportionately black, according to a new study released Tuesday.

The report, conducted by the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, which is independent from the NAACP, comes as the Baltimore City Council considers the Water Accountability & Equity Act.

Emily Sullivan

Danielle McCray was sworn in as the 2nd district city council member by Mayor Jack Young in a ceremony Tuesday afternoon, capping the end of a series of office transitions that began after former mayor Catherine Pugh’s resignation.

McCray served as an aide to City Council President Brandon Scott when he represented the Northeast Baltimore district. She spent five years handling constituent and policy issues.

Emily Sullivan/WYPR

A new community garden for veterans experiencing homelessness or addiction and Sandtown-Winchester community members opened last week.

The garden spans three formerly vacant lots in the 1600 block of Baker Street. Now, there’s a circle of rocks for group therapy sessions, flowers, trees, and a paved, sloping sidewalk already loved by neighborhood kids on bikes and scooters.

Emily Sullivan

About a third of Baltimore city employees have regained email access as officials continue their work to restore digital services after the May 7 cyberattack that crippled the city’s computer system.

Around 90 percent of employees are expected to regain online access by the end of this week, and the city has developed two new workarounds to pay traffic tickets and water bills, city officials said during a news conference Tuesday.

Emily Sullivan/WYPR

The second district vacancy committee tapped Danielle McCray out of 14 eligible candidates Thursday for an empty City Council position, filling the final seat in a round of political musical chairs that began when former Mayor Catherine Pugh resigned.

McCray was the odds-on favorite to get the job. She had worked as an aide to City Council President Brandon Scott when he held the second district seat, handling constituent issues for five years, and knew the second district neighborhood association leaders who made up the bulk of the committee.

AP/Patrick Semansky

A pool of 22 candidates has hopes of filling the Baltimore City Council seat vacated when Second District Councilman Brandon Scott became Council President.

 A 13-member committee that includes council members Shannon Sneed and Zeke Cohen as well as a variety of second district neighborhood association leaders will select the future council member.

Lauren Watley, Baltimore County Government

“Excruciating,” “trying,” “the most difficult in recent memory” — that’s how Baltimore County Council members described the process of finalizing the $3.43 billion budget they passed Thursday morning.

The budget for the next fiscal year included the first income tax hike in more than a generation and other tax increases in an attempt to close an $81 million county deficit.

After ransomware attacks hit Baltimore City’s computer servers, the city’s lien system became inaccessible and kept prospective homebuyers from closing on properties. This week, the city introduced a “manual workaround” for homebuyers in limbo that involves paper and sworn affidavits.

Anonymous hackers breached the city of Baltimore's servers two weeks ago. Since then, those servers' digital content has been locked away — and the online aspects of running the city are at an impasse.

Government emails are down, payments to city departments can't be made online and real estate transactions can't be processed.

Emily Sullivan/WYPR

Ashley Merson has been scrimping and saving for a house for four years. She paid off her debts, got her credit score up and finally was able to make an offer  on a two-bedroom duplex house in Hampden -- and more than ready to leave her low-income apartment complex, where she, her young son and disabled brother squeeze into a one-bedroom.

But just as she was about to settle on that house, malware attacks on Baltimore City’s computer servers locked up the system, leaving her stuck in the apartment.

Emily Sullivan/WYPR

It’s been eight days since Baltimore City servers were essentially frozen after being attacked by hackers using ransomware. Officials said during a Wednesday news conference that complete restoration remains an ongoing process. 

City IT director Frank Johnson told reporters that his staff and a team of cybersecurity experts are working “around the clock” to recover service — but he could not provide a specific timeline for that recovery.

Emily Sullivan/WYPR

Single-stall restrooms in shops and restaurants around Baltimore could become gender inclusive — that is, not specifically designated for men or women — under a bill making its way before the City Council.

"All Gender," "Gender Inclusive," "Gender Neutral" or simply "Restroom" are all signs that could appear on single stall restroom doors under the bill, which would apply to publicly- and privately-owned establishments. Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and New York City have passed similar legislation in the last several years.

Emily Sullivan

Bernard C. “Jack” Young was formally sworn in as Baltimore’s 51st mayor Thursday afternoon, finalizing the passage of power that began when former mayor Catherine Pugh began a leave of absence in April. 

 

The swearing-in ceremony was not technically necessary -- Young officially entered the mayor’s office after Catherine Pugh resigned amid scandal one week ago. Instead, as Young and his team say, the ceremonial event at the War Memorial across from City Hall was meant to acknowledge the pain the city felt from Pugh’s scandal and to look ahead to a more stable future.

 

Patrick Semansky/AP

Computers in the Baltimore city government have been infected with ransomware, disrupting the city’s technology systems and rendering email and other digital communications unusable.

Hackers behind the ransomware demanded around $75,000 on Tuesday to release their grasp on the network. The incident is the second such attack in just over a year.

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