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.

Emily Sullivan/WYPR

People of color have been barred from jobs and schools for wearing their natural hair for centuries, and legislation across the country — including Baltimore — is just now catching up. Baltimore City Council is considering a bill that would ban hair discrimination throughout the majority-black city.

 

AP/Patrick Semansky

The Baltimore City Board of Ethics’ plays a multifaceted role: it sets ethical standards for elected officials, keeps track of lobbyists and financial disclosures and is supposed to help guide City Hall employees away from unsavory influences.

But it’s also, according to many City Council members, woefully understaffed. The last time the Board of Ethics submitted an annual report, which demonstrates both an agency’s accomplishments and financial needs, was 2014. 

Jose Luis Magana (top image) & Julio Cortez (bottom image)/AP

 Days after the emotional funeral of congressman and civil rights icon Elijah Cummings, Governor Larry Hogan announced a Feb. 4 special primary to fill his seat – and Democratic candidates in the deep-blue 7th congressional district were off to the races. 

 

“The whole race has been very fast. It's been emotional,” Martha McKenna, a longtime Democratic campaign consultant and advisor to Maya Rockeymore Cummings, said. “It's been the kind of race where people talking to each other about... why they're supporting individual candidates has a lot of meaning because the whole election has come so quickly, over the holidays and into the new year.”

 

Maureen Harvie/WYPR

Playing a game of tag or tossing a ball on the streets of Baltimore is, thanks to current city laws, illegal. A new City Hall measure introduced by Councilman Ryan Dorsey is trying to change that.

Section 50-41 of Article 19 of the City Code makes it unlawful for any person to “play ball, fly a kite or throw a stone or other object or missile while in any street, alley, lane or other public thoroughfare” in Baltimore. Doing so could land you a misdemeanor and a $50 fine, thanks to another part of city code.

Emily Sullivan/WYPR

  

After former Mayor Catherine Pugh's self-dealing, City Council President Brandon Scott introduced a city charter amendment to adjust the makeup of the Board of Estimates at Monday's council meeting. The council also passed the Trauma Responsive Care Act and saw the introduction of Scott and Councilwoman Shannon Sneed's labor agreement bill. WYPR’s city hall reporter Emily Sullivan joins Nathan Sterner to explain what those bills are, and how they came about.

Credit Like_the_Grand_Canyon via Flickr


Baltimore mayoral candidates have raised more than $2.3 million towards a race that recent polls suggest is wide open, according to Board of Elections financial reports due late Wednesday night.

Mayor Jack Young has about $960,000 on hand and raised over $1 million total. A big chunk of that cash was raised during a $4,000-a-plate high-profile dinner fundraiser in October, hosted by restaurateurs Alex and Eric Smith of the Atlas Restaurant Group. His cash reserve, the largest of the crowded field, may help the incumbent hold onto his current seat. 

AP/Patrick Semansky

 

After a tumultous year of multiple elected officials stepping down amid corruption charges, Councilman Ryan Dorsey introduced a new bill that would prohibit those in office from accepting or soliciting gifts at a City Council meeting Monday night. City Council President Brandon Scott introduced resolutions to examine possible solutions to the opioid crisis in Baltimore. The Council also pushed Councilman Zeke Cohen's Trauma Responsive Care Act further along in the legislative process. WYPR’s city hall reporter Emily Sullivan joins Nathan Sterner to explain what these bills are and how they came about. 

Courtesy of the office of Councilman Bill Henry

Mayor Jack Young signed a plastic bag ban into law on Monday morning, marking Baltimore’s effort to reduce pollution and single-use plastics.

The Comprehensive Bag Reduction Bill was the council’s ninth attempt to ban plastic bags since 2006. Surrounded by the ban’s supporters at National Aquarium, Young said now is the time. 

Emily Sullivan/WYPR

The deadline to file a run for the mayor’s office of Baltimore isn’t until Jan. 24, but 12 candidates made their case to  voters at the first forum of the election season Wednesday night. The New Park Heights Community Development Corp. hosted the event. 

Emily Sullivan/WYPR

Baltimore’s “eye in the sky” surveillance plane program will return in May.

Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said at a Friday news conference the city will launch a privately-funded pilot program to place private surveillance planes in the sky to assist in violent crime investigations.

PATRICK SEMANSKY/AP

Baltimore’s Board of Estimates has awarded a $13 million contract to the company of a businessman connected to the “Healthy Holly” scandal.

At a meeting Wednesday morning, the board approved a noncompetitive contract worth more than $13 million for radio equipment under a long-standing master lease agreement with J.P. Grant’s financial services company, Grant Capital Management.

nickjmosby.com

Delegate Nick Mosby formally launched his campaign for Baltimore City Council President on Tuesday. 

In a campaign video, the Democrat highlighted his experience at City Hall as a former councilman and in the House of Delegates in Annapolis.

Emily Sullivan/WYPR

The Baltimore City Council approved Monday a bill to establish public campaign financing for candidates running for city offices. The Fair Election Fund would distribute matching funds to candidates who agree not to accept individual donations larger than $150 or donations from corporations, unions and PACS.

The fund’s proponents say it will give candidates who don’t receive hefty checks from corporations a fighting chance as well as boost the impact of donations from Baltimore City constituents.

AP/Patrick Semansky

It’s difficult to get voters to turn out for a special election, but the task of replacing someone as visible as Elijah Cummings might motivate Marylanders to cast their ballots in a special election primary this winter.

Former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh pleaded guilty to corruption charges on Thursday, a day after federal prosecutors unsealed an indictment accusing her of using a fraudulent children's book business to enrich herself and fuel her political career.

Pugh, 69, a Democrat who took office in 2016, acknowledged her guilt to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to defraud the government and two counts of tax evasion.

Kim Hairston/The Baltimore Sun

Former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh pleaded guilty Thursday to federal charges related to the sales of her Healthy Holly children’s books.

She entered guilty pleas in federal court in Baltimore to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to defraud the United States, and two counts of tax evasion. 

During a scheduled arraignment, Pugh appeared publicly for the first time since a news conference in March the day after she was released from Johns Hopkins Hospital after being treated for pneumonia.

AP/Patrick Semansky

 

A federal grand jury has indicted former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, seven counts of wire fraud, conspiracy to defraud the United States and two counts of tax evasion.

The indictment, handed up Nov. 14 and unsealed Wednesday, was announced by the U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur, the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the Internal Revenue Service.

Rich Pedroncelli/AP

The Baltimore City Council passed a plastic bag ban Monday evening, meaning those plastic bags found at the grocery store or your favorite takeout place will disappear next year. 

Emily Sullivan/WYPR

  

  The Baltimore City Council passed the Water Accountability and Equity Act Monday, paving the way for water bill discount programs and Department of Public Works oversight measures.

AP/Steve Ruark

For the fifth year in a row, 300 people have been lost to homicide in Baltimore.

Police confirmed the total on Thursday morning after the death of 21-year-old Donnell Brockington, of Aberdeen, who was found shot in the 2600 block of McElderry Street on Wednesday night. A man and woman, whose names have not been released, were killed in Thursday’s early hours in the 1900 block of McHenry St.

AP/Julio Cortez

Maya Rockeymoore Cummings joined an ever growing field of candidates today running to represent to represent Maryland’s 7th Congressional District, a seat last occupied by her late husband, Elijah Cummings.

WYPR

Mayor Jack Young said he plans to sign a bill that bolsters water bill affordability and transparency in the Department of Public works, but he will not sign a city council bill that bans gag orders in cases of police brutality and police discrimination.

PATRICK SEMANSKY/AP

The Baltimore City Council shepherded two highly visible bills toward law on their Monday, Nov. 4th meeting. WYPR’s Emily Sullivan discussed progress on the Water Accountability and Equity Act and a plastic bag ban bill with Nathan Sterner.

BARBARA HADDOCK TAYLOR/BALTIMORE SUN

T.J. Smith, a former Baltimore Police Department spokesman, formally announced his run for mayor on Tuesday.

The Democrat made the announcement on the 1400 block of Argyle Avenue, the same street where his younger brother Dionay was murdered in the summer of 2017. 

Surrounded by other families who lost loved ones to violence, Smith said the city needs fresh leadership to drive meaningful change.

AP/Patrick Semansky

 

The Baltimore City Council passed a bill on Monday that bans the use of gag orders in the settlements of all police brutality and discrimination cases and bolsters transparency throughout the city’s litigation system. 

AP/Julio Cortez,

 

Elijah Cummings returned to New Psalmist Baptist Church for one last time on Friday. 

It's the church where he sat in the front row for the 7:15 a.m. service nearly every Sunday for about 40 years. And just as steadfast as his relationship with the church was his relationship with hometown of Baltimore, speaker after speaker reminded the congregation.

 

AP/Julio Cortez

At 9:45 a.m. Wednesday, fifteen minutes before Morgan State University's Gilliam Concert Hall was due to open its doors, a massive line of mourners waited in line for their turn to say goodbye to Elijah Cummings.

AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

 

After months of rumors, Baltimore Mayor Jack Young confirmed on Tuesday he will formally announce a 2020 mayoral race this weekend.

The mayor confirmed his run to the Baltimore Sun after the Baltimore Brew published an article with alleged details of the Saturday campaign announcement. 

AP PHOTO Julio cortez

Elijah Cummings’ hometown of Baltimore is mourning.

The 12-term congressman, who passed away in the early hours of Oct. 17, was one of the earliest black leaders in Baltimore to achieve national standing.

Baltimore City Hall

City Councilwoman Shannon Sneed has joined fellow council member Leon Pinkett in the Democratic primary race to be Baltimore’s next City Council President and drive city legislation.

The freshman councilwoman announced her run for the office on Thursday.

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