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.

JOSE LUIS MAGANA/AP

Voters in Maryland’s June 2 primaries will be sent mail-in ballots, while some will have the option of casting a ballot on election day at one to four polling places per county, the Maryland State Board of Elections said in a Thursday afternoon meeting.

The decision is a departure from last week’s meeting, in which the board recommended there be no in-person voting in June because of the novel coronavirus pandemic. 

AP/Patrick Semansky

  


  Members of Mayor Jack Young’s administration would have spent Wednesday morning explaining their official preliminary budget to Baltimore’s spending board -- but because of the novel coronavirus pandemic, that proposal has become “largely irrelevant” according to the city’s budget director.

 

Instead, Robert Cenname used the Board of Estimates meeting to explain Baltimore’s fiscal outlook to city officials, warning them that the budget must be almost totally revamped before it is finalized in May.

 

Emily Sullivan/WYPR

Campaign headquarters are usually filled with the nonstop motion of excited volunteers and harried election staff. But on a recent Sunday, Shannon Sneed, who’s running for city council president, sat alone at her headquarters’ conference table, making calls to voters as campaign volunteers and staffers followed suit in their own homes.

Under the novel coronavirus pandemic, the nature of local campaigning has changed: On any other sunny weekend afternoon, the freshman city council member and her team would have been knocking on doors throughout the city to connect with voters. Instead, Sneed and every other candidate in major city races have cancelled the usual barrage of rallies, fundraisers and door-knocking outings in order to limit the spread of the virus. 

Maryland State Department of Labor

 


   About 3.3 million Americans, including 42,000 Marylanders, filed for unemployment benefits last week, surpassing the previous record from 1982 by more than four-and-half times. 

 

The Labor Department's data from last week is one of the first official signs of how many people are suddenly out of work: last week’s claims are nearly five times the amount of those at the peak of the Great Recession, according to NPR.

 

“Nearly every state providing comments cited the COVID-19 virus impacts,” a department spokesperson said in a statement. “States continued to cite services industries broadly, particularly accommodation and food services.”

Emily Sullivan/WYPR

Food insecure Baltimoreans can pick up healthy meals at more than 50 designated grab-and-go meal sites throughout the city, and no one will ask for identification or other personal information, city officials say.

YouTube

Gov. Larry Hogan discussed Maryland’s first death from the novel coronavirus and handed down additional emergency orders that are effective immediately during a Thursday morning news conference. 

Hogan first announced the death of a Prince George’s County man in a tweet Wednesday night. The man was in his 60s and had an unspecified underlying health condition and no known travel history.

 

“This man was infected by community transmission,” Hogan said Thursday. “Unfortunately, we are only at the beginning of this crisis. While this is the first death in Maryland, it won’t be the last.”

Emily Sullivan/WYPR

There are five cases of the novel coronavirus and the first evidence of community transmission in Baltimore, city officials said Wednesday. 

“Baltimore is moving to a new phase of response,” said Mayor Jack Young, who announced during a news conference he was placing the city under a state of emergency.  

AP/Patrick Semansky

Gov. Larry Hogan issued a proclamation Tuesday that moves the April 28 Maryland primary elections to June 2 due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. 

 

The decision affects both Maryland’s presidential and local primaries, including primaries for mayor, city council president and other offices in Baltimore City.  Early voting will begin May 21 and run through May 28.

 

The 7th congressional district special election to fill the remainder of the late Elijah Cummings’ term will still be held in April, using solely mail-in ballots.

YouTube

Gov. Larry Hogan took unprecedented action by closing all bars, eat-in restaurants, movie theatres and gyms starting at 5 p.m. Monday in order to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus and protect public health.

“We should continue to expect the number of cases to dramatically and rapidly rise. We have never faced anything like this before,” Hogan said. “This is going to be worse than almost anyone is currently understanding.”

 

Rachel Baye


 Progressive state senator Mary Washington has suspended her campaign for the Democratic mayoral primary, saying she needs to fully devote her time to 43rd legislative district constituents as the novel coronavirus pandemic and its public health and economic impact worsens.

 

“The extraordinary events of the past several weeks have drastically changed our way of life in Baltimore and across the nation. During this unprecedented time, I am deeply committed, first and foremost, to standing by the people of the 43rd District as their State Senator,” Washington said in a Monday statement. 

Emily Sullivan/WYPR

Baltimore Mayor Jack Young has suspended some services at of the city’s senior centers and issued recommendations that include cancelling large events through the end of March.

As of Thursday afternoon, Baltimore had no known cases of the novel coronavirus. The recommendations came shortly after Gov. Larry Hogan announced the first of non-travelrelated coronavirus in Maryland on Thursday.  

WYPR

As more coronavirus cases spread throughout Maryland, the head of Baltimore’s emergency management office responsible for developing a citywide plan to respond to the virus has been placed on leave.

Lester Davis, Mayor Jack Young's spokesperson, told WYPR on Thursday morning that the director of the Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management David McMillan had been placed on leave. He declined to provide specific details. The MOEM did not immediately return a request for comment from WYPR.

AP

State health officials have confirmed Maryland’s first cases of the coronavirus disease COVID-19 affecting three residents of Montgomery County. 

The three were infected during an international cruise. Officials have not specified where that was, citing privacy reasons. But Dr. Travis Gayles, the chief health officer for Montgomery County, said in a news conference Friday the cruise was “not affiliated with Baltimore.”

Flickr.com

We begin today with a look at the results of a new poll released this morning by WYPR, the Baltimore Sun and the University of Baltimore on the race for Baltimore City Council President.   This new voter survey comes on the heels of another WYPR/Sun/UB poll released yesterday that's given us one of our first insights into the status of the race for Baltimore mayor.  Tom is joined in the studio by WYPR's city hall reporter Emily Sullivan for a review of key findings in both polls.

The conversation was livestreamed on WYPR's Facebook page.  Watch the video here, from the beginning until 08:45 into the feed.

CREDIT NICKJMOSBY.COM

Almost 40% of Democratic primary voters say they’re unsure who they’ll pick to become the next Baltimore City Council President. But among those who say they have decided, Delegate Nick Mosby has a nine-point advantage, a new poll released by WYPR, the Baltimore Sun and the University of Baltimore finds. 

Mosby enjoyed 26% support in the poll, followed by former City Councilman Carl Stokes with 17%.

WYPR

As the race for Baltimore City Comptroller heats up, incumbent Joan Pratt says she knew nothing of the $20,000 federal prosecutors say former Mayor Catherine Pugh laundered through the Pigtown store the women co-owned.

“I was not the accountant. I was not the bookkeeper. I was not a check signer. I did not deposit checks,” Pratt said during an appearance Wednesday on WYPR’s Midday.

About two-thirds of likely Baltimore voters say they believe a lot of politicians are involved in schemes like former Mayor Catherine Pugh’s “Healthy Holly” scandal, but “just don’t get caught,” a new WYPR, Baltimore Sun and University of Baltimore poll finds.

The voters were asked, “Is what former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh did worse than what other elected officials do, or do a lot of them do similar things but just don't get caught?” Sixty seven percent said other politicians do similar things.

The race to win the Democratic primary for Baltimore City mayor is defined by a large pool of undecided voters, with former mayor Shelia Dixon enjoying a small lead, followed by Brandon Scott and Thiru Vignarajah, according to a new poll from WYPR, The Baltimore Sun and the University of Baltimore.

Emily Sullivan/WYPR

Former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh will face three years in a to-be-determined federal prison after she pleaded guilty last year to four federal charges including tax fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow adjourned Pugh’s sentencing hearing Thursday without setting a date for the former mayor to report. But she said it must be no later than April 13.

AP Photo/Steve Ruark

Former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh was sentenced to three years in prison on Thursday, capping off a self-dealing scandal that was first brought to light in March of last year.

The Democrat, who turns 70 next week, confirmed that the fraudulent selling of her self-published “Healthy Holly” children's books amounted to a federal charges last year, when she pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to defraud the United States and two counts of tax evasion.

AP/Patrick Semansky

The Baltimore City Council met for the last time this month on Monday night. WYPR’s Emily Sullivan and Nathan Sterner discuss a charter amendment to change the makeup of city council, an ordinance that would require the city to abide by state recordkeeping standards, the repeal of a portion of city code that bans play in the streets and changes at the Board of Ethics.

Emily Sullivan/WYPR

The man who allegedly punched City Council President Brandon Scott has filed his own police report, alleging it was instead Scott who assaulted him during an altercation before a mayoral forum earlier this month.  

Through a spokeswoman, Scott categorically denied the allegations. 

Aaron Henkin/WYPR

State and city officials broke ground Tuesday on a project to revamp the historic Lexington Market in downtown Baltimore.

The country’s oldest continually operating public market has seen several revamps over the last few decades. This project, which drew on input and financial assistance from the community, private sector and state and city governments, will replace the market’s south parking lot with a modern warehouse-style building that will host 50 to 60 food vendors, old and new. 

Emily Sullivan/WYPR

 

Baltimore Mayor Jack Young has challenged the city’s Department of Transportation to a 50-day pothole challenge: that is, repairing 5,000 potholes in 50 days. DOT is game, according to Director Steve Sharkey.

The initiative is part of Young’s broader Clean It Up! campaign.

Patrick Semansky/AP

The Baltimore City Council passed a $2,500 property tax credit to make homeownership more feasible for the lowest-paid rung of city employees at its Feb. 10 meeting. Councilman Bill Henry introduced a charter amendment that would reduce the size of the City Council and add at-large members. WYPR’s city hall reporter Emily Sullivan joins Morning Edition host Nathan Sterner to explain the proposed changes and their timeline.

Emily Sullivan/WYPR


 The country’s largest healthcare worker and property service unions endorsed Brandon Scott for Baltimore City Mayor, Shannon Sneed for City Council President and Bill Henry for City Comptroller on Friday.

 

The Service Employees International Union 1199 and 32BJ cited Scott, Sneed and Henry’s support of a $15 minimum wage for all workers, efforts to expand and protect the right to unionize and their pledges to make Baltimore’s wealthy institutions contribute their “fair share” to community services. 

 

WYPR


  An administrative oversight from Baltimore City Comptroller Joan Pratt led to official greenlighting the sale of 15 city-owned lots to her church for $15, according to a Wednesday report issued by Baltimore Inspector General Isabel Mercedes Cumming.

 

Pratt is a congregant and board member at Bethel African Methodist Episcopoal Church in West Baltimore’s Upton neighborhood.  She is also one of five members of the Board of Estimates, which governs city spending. She voted for the sale in November 2017. The Office of the Inspector General report called the move a conflict of interest.

 

Emily Sullivan/WYPR


  Kweisi Mfume pulled ahead of a crowded field of 24 Democratic candidates in the special primary election to fill the late Rep. Elijah Cummings' seat on Tuesday, paving the way for a April general special election win in the deep-blue 7th congressional district.

“Experience matters,” Mfume, 71, said during a Tuesday night victory speech in northeast Baltimore. He earned 43 percent of Democratic votes.

Jamyla Krempel

The polls opened to some light rain Tuesday morning in the special primary election to fill the late Congressman Elijah Cummings’ seat representing Maryland’s 7th Congressional District. One West Baltimore elementary school saw a slow but steady stream of voters, though not everyone had their minds made up before casting ballots.

Emily Sullivan

Voters in Maryland’s 7th Congressional District are heading to the polls on Tuesday to cast their ballots in a primary race to determine who will carry out the rest of Congressman Elijah Cumming’s term. 

The 7th District has about 510,000 voters, 52 percent of whom are black. The district spans from just over half of Baltimore City to Howard and Baltimore Counties. Democrats outnumber Republicans more than 4 to 1, meaning Tuesday’s Democratic winner is likely to win April’s general special election.

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