You may have noticed that there is a LOT of money in the 1st district City Council campaign this time around. Three of the candidates have raised more than $100,000–only two other council candidates in the entire city have raised comparable amounts. All told, 28% of the city council campaign money that is going to be spent city-wide in the next two months will be spent here in Southeast Baltimore, even though our population is only 8% of the city total.
With genuine respect and appreciation for everyone running in the 1st district, of course it’s always fair to ask questions about funding amounts and sources in any campaign. That’s why that information is public–if only our city and schools spending as so transparent, we’d have a more accountable and effective government.
Thanks entirely to your generosity, we’ve raised a good amount of money–around $38,000 to this point. Let me say again–thank you. Your donations make a big difference–and we need your volunteer help as well. http://friendsofmarkparker.com/getinvolved
My rough calculations this morning are as follows: out of the total individual donations to our campaign, 39% have come from people in the 1st district, 66% from people in Baltimore, and 85% from people living in the Baltimore metro area. And, as of our campaign finance filing in January, 85% of our expenditures were within the city.
Those percentages reflect the community-rooted foundation of this campaign, and the relationships I’ve formed & the trust I’ve built locally throughout my life and particularly in these past 6+ years serving in Southeast Baltimore. They also reflect the circles in which I live and serve, which is fully reflective of the diversity of our community and our city–and where most of us don’t have a few hundred dollars, let alone a few thousand, to donate to political campaigns on top of our taxes, rent, transportation, etc.
As to the total amounts–while we definitely need more help, and anyone is most welcome to make a donation online at http://www.friendsofmarkparker.com–we are in line with our campaign budget.
When you start a project like this, you identify your goal and calculate the resources you need to achieve that goal. Our goal wasn’t to raise as much money as possible–it was to raise enough money to be able to put my public service experience and my message in front of as many 1st district voters as possible. That is to say, our goal is to raise as much money as we need to win. We’re on track financially to do just that–and we trust we’ll have made a strong case with our neighbors come Election Day.
I’d never want to be in a position where I asked my friends and neighbors for their trust and their financial support–as a pastor, a candidate, or a city councilperson–only to turn around and use those resources in a wasteful manner. That seems to happen plenty already in City Hall, and I’m aiming to help change that behavior, not make it worse. How you run a campaign is one of the best indicators of how you will govern–we’re doing our best to operate efficiently and responsibly with the funds you have entrusted to us.