Incumbents representing Maryland’s 46th District, including delegates Pete Hammen and Luke Clippinger as well as Senator Bill Ferguson, have officially drafted House of Delegates candidate Brooke Lierman onto their “team,” seeking to fill all General Assembly seats in the 2014 election.
At a campaign rally at the Creative Alliance last Saturday, the three incumbents appeared together with Lierman, along with U.S. Representative John Sarbanes, who endorsed the whole group.
“Having now Brooke Lierman step up to be part of this team makes a lot of sense,” he said. “She’s someone who has really dedicated herself to the neighborhoods and communities of the 46th District.”
Sarbanes singled out the incumbents, too.
“Ferguson is someone who started with a deep love of education,” he said, adding that “Pete Hammen has made Maryland—I mean working with others—a leader when it comes to affordable health care…Luke Clippinger is someone who keeps community development in his heart.”
It was acknowledged at the rally that Delegate Brian McHale would be retiring in 2014 after 25 years in the General Assembly, and the incumbents thanked him for his service.
At several points in the rally, the incumbents pointed to Lierman’s pro bono work for residents concerned with incidents that had occurred at La Raza Cantina, a bar at Eastern and East avenues.
Lierman, a Fell’s Point resident, is a civil rights attorney with Brown, Goldstein and Levy LLP. There were a couple stabbings and other peace-disturbing incidents associated with La Raza Cantina, and Lierman argued that the establishment should lose its liquor license, which it did.
Ferguson described receiving an email from concerned residents that said, “We’ve had enough,” and referenced the incidents of violence “right in the center of place where families are living and thriving.”
“We knew Brooke Lierman was someone who had worked in liquor issues,” said Ferguson. “Without hesitation, she said, ‘I’m on it; I’ve got it.’”
Ferguson went on to say that he watched “a lawyer and a professional put on one of the single best cases I’ve ever seen in protecting residents and protecting a community.”
Today, Ferguson said, the former location of La Raza is being looked at as a place to expand programming from the Creative Alliance.
The group also stated its support for incumbent State’s Attorney Gregg Bernstein, who Clippinger called “the greatest state’s attorney in the state of Maryland,” despite the fact that he is an assistant state’s attorney in Anne Arundel County, working for Anne Colt Leitess.
“I’m going to be in trouble,” he commented, “now that I’m going to be in the paper talking about Gregg Bernstein that way.”
Lierman said that she believes the most gets accomplished at the grass-roots level, but nevertheless, “we need our state agencies to be working with our neighborhoods here in Baltimore—not against us.”
“I’m really proud to call Bill, Pete and Luke friends now,” she added, “but I really hope by next year I’ll be able to call them colleagues.”
Lierman touched on several goals, including ensuring “that all residents can afford a home,” that “every worker earns enough money to feed his family,” and to “make sure that our legislators are fighting to give every child in our city, our state, equal opportunity for success.”
She noted that her favorite political quote is, “We all do better when we all do better,” attributed to U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone.
by Erik Zygmont