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 provided news analysis on 1A, The Takeaway, Here & Now 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.

Baltimore City Health Department handout

Baltimore city officials are urging residents to stay home and obey face masks requirements after an “alarming” increase in the rate of COVID-19 infections in Baltimore.

“The vast majority of you are heeding our pleas to continue to practice social distancing and wear your face coverings,” City Health Commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa said at a news conference alongside Mayor Jack Young on Thursday. “But the case data indicates that not enough of us are.”

 

AP PHOTO/BRIAN WITTE

Rebecca Wilson has been an election judge since 2004 -– but this November, you won’t find her assisting voters at the polls.  

“I consider serving in the polling place to be my patriotic duty, and I love doing it, but I will not volunteer for an unnecessary suicide mission,” Prince George's County’s chief election judge said.

Patrick Semansky/AP


  The Baltimore City Council may soon have more power in the city’s budgeting process, after Mayor Jack Young signed a charter amendment to grant the legislative body the ability to move funds on Monday night.

The Democrat’s approval means the amendment will appear on Baltimore voters’ ballots in November. Voters tend to approve such referendums; in 2016, every proposed city charter amendment passed. 

Rachel Baye/WYPR

The Orioles’ Monday night game against the Marlins was postponed Monday morning after a slew of Miami players tested positive for the coronavirus.

ESPN reports that at least 13 of the 33 Marlins players who have been traveling with the team, including two coaches, have tested positive. The outbreak is Major League Baseball’s first health crisis since games returned to empty stadiums last week after months of hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

 

Baltimore Mayor Jack Young issued executive orders Wednesday that suspend indoor dining services and require residents to wear masks whenever they leave their homes and cannot engage in social distancing. They take effect at 5 p.m. Friday.

Since Baltimore entered its phase 2 of reopening just over a month ago, the city has seen a near-double increase in new coronavirus cases, a dramatic rise of cases in people under the age of 40 and a disproportionately high positivity rate in southeast neighborhoods like Canton and Patterson Park. 

Drew Morris/Flickr


Baltimore City Public School leaders said Monday that they will delay the return to in-person classes until later this fall, saying the system must balance pandemic health measures with the need to get students back into classrooms.

 

“We were determined that our plan be data-based, both in terms of COVID-19 and the disproportionate impact of distance learning on our most vulnerable students — while avoiding any influence from attempts to politicize this situation,” Sonja Santelises, CEO of the school system, said in a statement.

Patrick Semansky/AP

The Baltimore City Council passed a city charter amendment on Monday night to establish a city administrator position that focuses on improving performance across city agencies. 

“I am excited about this momentous move toward professionalizing our city government,” said Council President Scott. “As always, transparency and accountability are my focus as a civil servant. I believe that the passage of this amendment will be an effective tool in the governance of our city.”

Jamyla Krempel

Trans activists and allies took over several blocks of N. Charles Street Friday to paint a new street mural reading “BLACK TRANS LIVES MATTER,” as reckonings over race and health continue to play out across the country. 

The mural, stretching from 21st to 23rd St., is on the same set of streets that many Black trans women perform survival sex work -- that is, the practice of trading sex for basic needs. Some of them have been killed or died from overdoses.

 

CHARM TV

The Baltimore City Council voted favorably on a prominent charter amendment to restructure city government on Monday night. WYPR’s Emily Sullivan and Nathan Sterner discuss what "good government" charter amendments may appear on Baltimore voters’ ballots in November.

Bruce Fingerhood/flickr creative commons

Parking meter enforcement will resume in Baltimore on Monday, months after the city suspended nonessential activities as the coronavirus pandemic first arrived in Maryland.

“As people continue to move around and be outside, it is important as we continue through Phase Two that we return many of our services to help our economy recover,” Mayor Jack Young said in a statement.

SCREENSHOT VIA CHARMTV FACEBOOK PAGE

Mayor Jack Young said Thursday that protestors who tossed a downtown Baltimore statue of Christopher Columbus into the Inner Harbor engaged in destruction of property and will be brought to justice. 

“We support peaceful protests. That is not a peaceful protest,” the Democrat said at a Thursday news conference. “When we find out who destroyed the statue they will be held accountable.”

Rachel Baye/WYPR

Gov. Larry Hogan hasn’t ruled out a 2024 presidential run, the Republican said on NBC’s The Today Show Wednesday morning.

The governor, whose public pushback of President Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic garnered significant attention from the national press, appeared on the program to discuss his upcoming political memoir, a telltale sign of presidential ambition.

AP/PATRICK SEMANSKY

Renters in Baltimore City who lost income due to the coronavirus pandemic can receive financial assistance under a $13 million renter relief program launched Wednesday.

Baltimore has a moratorium on evictions scheduled to expire on July 25. The program aims to prevent a wave of evictions by getting residents up to date on rent from April, May and June by sending rental payments directly to landlords. 

SETH WENIG/AP

  

The Maryland Department of Health issued a Saturday order requiring Advanced Pain Medicine Institute to cease all collection and processing of COVID-19 tests.

Secretary Robert R. Neall announced the ban after his department received a complaint about COVID-19 testing sites operated in coordination with APMI. An investigation found that AMPI did not have a required certification to perform tests and that some patients never received their test results.

AP Photo/Julio Cortez

  


  Former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh is due to report to an Alabama prison on Friday, four months after she was sentenced to three years in federal prison for conspiracy and tax evasion in the Health Holly scandal.

Pugh was originally scheduled to report for her sentence in mid-April, but the Democrat received a delay as the coronavirus pandemic escalated and prison officials throughout the country scrambled to adjust to the highly contagious virus.

Emily Sullivan/WYPR


  The Baltimore City Department of Public Works’ top official said Tuesday that stalled trash pickup services will soon improve as 112 employees return to work, after the agency suspended operations at a facility with cases of COVID-19 earlier this month.

“We understand and share residents’ frustrations,” Acting Director Martthew Garbark said during a news conference. “We did the right thing by quarantining workers to protect their families, their coworkers and everyone else.”

MARYLAND GENERAL ASSEMBLY/SCREENSHOT VIA WYPR

State legislators grilled top election officials on Tuesday about Maryland’s problem-filled June 2 primary, which included hours-long voting lines, delays for the arrival of Baltimore City mail-in ballots and temporarily deleted preliminary results.

Maryland State Board of Elections Administrator Linda Lamone, along with her board colleagues, appeared before the House Ways and Means and the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs committees to answer lawmakers’ questions and explain the errors.

Credit AP/PATRICK SEMANSKY


The Baltimore City Council adopted a budget for the next fiscal year that cuts $22.4 million from the police department’s $550 million budget, including nearly $7 million from overtime spending.

 

The cuts come days after protestors gathered outside City Hall demanding that the Baltimore Police Department be defunded altogether. The cuts are less than 5% of the total police department’s 2021 budget, which is 1.2% lower than the department’s budget from the previous year. 

Emily Sullivan/WYPR

Brandon Scott, Baltimore City’s Democratic mayoral primary winner, delivered his acceptance speech outside of his grandmother’s brick row house on Loyola Northway in Park Heights on Wednesday afternoon, surrounded by family.

“Our campaign was about proving to the world that a young black man who grew up in the forgotten Baltimore here in Park Heights could survive everything that you have to live through in Baltimore: the gun violence, underfunded schools living in neighborhoods where vacant homes live in areas where you know that you are not going to be recognized even as human by your own city government,” he said. “That somebody could survive all of that to be the leader of this city.”

 

COURTESY OF SCOTT CAMPAIGN

City Council President Brandon Scott claimed victory Tuesday night in the Democratic primary for Baltimore’s mayor, as the latest batch of election results brought the gap between him and former mayor Sheila Dixon to 1.7%.

“Tonight, we celebrate a hard-fought victory for the future of Baltimore,” Scott said in a statement. “From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank my family, my team, our volunteers, those who voted for a new way forward for Baltimore, and everyone who believes change is not just possible, but long overdue.”

COURTESY OF HENRY CAMPAIGN

Though ballots are still being counted in the Baltimore primary elections, City Councilman Bill Henry declared victory in the Democratic race for comptroller Monday night, after amassing more votes than longtime incumbent Joan Pratt can catch up to.

The upset marks the first time that someone new will serve as Baltimore’s chief fiscal watchdog since Pratt was first elected to the office in 1995.

COURTESY OF THE SCOTT AND HENRY CAMPAIGNS

City Councilman Bill Henry declared victory over longtime incumbent Joan Pratt in the race for city comptroller, while City Council President Brandon Scott’s lead over Sheila Dixon widened slightly in the Baltimore City Democratic mayoral primary Monday night.

Emily Sullivan/WYPR

  


  City Council President Brandon Scott has overtaken former mayor Sheila Dixon in the Baltimore City Democratic mayoral election by just 388 votes.

Up until a Sunday night voting count update, Dixon had maintained an edge over Scott in a crowded competition that was dramatically shaped by the coronavirus pandemic and civil unrest sweeping over Baltimore and the rest of the U.S. in the wake of the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police. 

Copyright 2020 WYPR - 88.1 FM Baltimore. To see more, visit WYPR - 88.1 FM Baltimore.

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Emily Sullivan/WYPR

City elections workers spent Thursday carefully separating City Council District 1 mail-in ballots from a mass of ballots from residents across the city at a hot warehouse in West Baltimore. The process delayed the counting of citywide mail-in ballots, which kicked off Friday morning.

A proofing error in the District 1 ballots rendered the initial results of the area’s Democratic council race between incumbent Zeke Cohen and challenger Paris Bienert and judge of the circuit court race unreliable. To attain accurate results, Baltimore City Board of Elections workers, working in teams of two, copied information from the original District 1 ballots by hand onto new ballots that can be accurately read by scanners. 

AP Photo/Matthew S. Gunby

The Maryland State Board of Elections is in Day Two of its efforts to determine winners in the primaries for city-wide and city council offices in Baltimore City.  Given the reports of problems with both in-person and mail-in voting, the Governor made it clear in his remarks yesterday that he would like to see State Elections Administrator Linda Lamone removed from her job.  Other senior officials have made even more direct calls for her resignation.

As for potential winners, Former Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon maintains a lead in the race for Mayor, although she has not declared herself the victor in her race for her old job.  Marvin James, the campaign manager for City Council President Brandon Scott, who is in second place at this juncture, issued a statement yesterday afternoon that said We believe Brandon Scott will be the winner after all of the missing votes have been accurately accounted for and counted.”

Joining Tom on the line to discuss these and other election developments is WYPR’s City Hall reporter Emily Sullivan.

AP Photo/Brian Witte


A day after the polls closed, there are no final results for the highly anticipated Baltimore City Democratic primaries, due to balloting issues and unanswered questions from the state and city elections boards – including a printing error that rendered ballots for the 1st council district unreadable. 

Incomplete in-person vote totals published Wednesday morning reflect earlier mail-in only data: 

Former Mayor Sheila Dixon’s lead holds at about 30% of the vote. City Council President Brandon Scott has 24% and former U.S. Treasury official Mary Miller has 17%.

AP Photo/Brian Witte


It was a very long Tuesday night for voters and candidates alike in Baltimore and across the state, after Marylanders headed to the polls to cast ballots in statewide primaries. In  Baltimore, voters chose their picks in three powerful citywide races. But because of issues with Maryland’s mail-in voting system, there are no firm results for those races just yet. WYPR’s Emily Sullivan talks to Nathan Sterner about what we know — and what we don't.

AP Photo/Julio Cortez


Tuesday is the last day that Maryland voters can mail in their primary ballots for this year’s elections. And if they want to go to the polls and vote in person, there will be fewer polling places available because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In Baltimore, where three citywide offices are being contested, there will be six in-person polling centers open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. for registered voters who did not receive their ballots in the mail or prefer not to mail in their ballots.

Emily Sullivan/WYPR

This weekend, demonstrators in Baltimore City joined thousands who took to the streets in cities large and small across the nation protesting the killing of George Floyd. In Baltimore, many of those who want justice for Floyd – a black man who died after a white Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly 9 minutes – expressed open wounds left by the death of Freddie Gray at the hands of police five years ago. WYPR’s Emily Sullivan reports. 

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