Meet one of the youngest candidates for Baltimore City Council

Meet one of the youngest candidates for Baltimore City Council

The article originally asserted Dayvon Love was the youngest candidate in this year's elections.  Since publication, the Indyreader has learned that there is another candidate, Devon Brown, 21, who is running for the seat in District 12, making him the youngest candidate in this year's elections.

In a West Baltimore shopping mall Monday evening, around twenty five supporters gathered to hear one of the youngest candidates for elected office in Baltimore, Dayvon Love, 24, declare his intent to run for the City Council position for District 8.

Love will be vying for the seat of long-time incumbent Helen Holton, who has held the position since 1995.  Last Fall, after pleading no contest to violating a campaign finance law, Holton was removed by her peers from the City Council’s taxation and economic development committees 

According to prosecutors, Holton asked two developers to pay for a poll during her 2007 re-election campaign. At the time, she was also charged with felony bribery.

A senior at Towson University, Love is a proud product of Baltimore City Schools.  In 2008, he shared the title to a national debate championship and placed near the top in subsequent competitions, attaining the highest honors given to any African American in those venues.  He has been active in the Baltimore Algebra Project, a youth-led social advocacy group, as well as the community organization Baltimore CAN.  The Baltimore Algebra Project advocates, among other things, for fair funding of local public schools.  In particular, they have campaigned for several years to persuade the State of Maryland to follow through on a court-ordered payment of more than a billion dollars to Baltimore City Schools, which continue to be unfairly under-funded for years.

Along with increased funding for education, Love says his platform centers on policy reform in several key areas.  He advocates for “access to industrial and vocational training” to tackle problems with education and job placement among the youth in the city.  Love would prefer locally owned and Black owned businesses over larger ones, and require living wages and benefits for such companies to operate in Baltimore.  He would fund “alternatives to incarceration,” a tremendous problem in Baltimore, especially among young Black men, including “comprehensive rehabilitation for those that have been incarcerated, and extensive prevention programs for the youth.”

He says he would advocate for the creative use of the tens of thousands of vacant properties owned by the City, including making them available for urban gardening, and subsidising their sale for use by small local businesses.  Love wold also expand transportation and assited living services for the elderly.

Morgan Mosley says what sets Love apart from other candidates is that he is “intelligent, mature and driven.”  For Mosley- who says he was shocked to learn that only 15% of the City’s budget goes toward schools- education reform is the single most important issue.  “Unfortunately, there are few opportunities for youth in Baltimore City to achieve the potential they are capable of,” he says, “A lot of people blame it on race or mentality but a lot of it is because of a lack of resources to help the youth.”

Another supporter pointed out the example Love could set for young people in the city.  “Crime, violence, neglect of education, neglect of the school system, these are some of the topics that Dayvon is very concerned about.”  

With only a few months to go, the race will certainly be an uphill battle.  Love is not phased though, and says he plans to utilize grassroots support he has among the youth to knock on doors in his district.  

The Democratic primary for City Council seats, as well as the office of Mayor and other offices, is September 13th.  The winners of the primary will likely win in the general elections on November 8th as well, as Baltimore has a strong tradition of electing Democrats to local office.