Rita Church is a Democrat and a lifelong resident of Baltimore City. She is running to help the people of the 45th Legislative District raise their voices and seize the potential of every person who lives here.
Ms. Church is the President of Teach Educate Assist Mentor, Inc. (T.E.A.M.), an organization dedicated to serving the deeply impoverished neighborhoods of East Baltimore. She has served in this role since 2008. She, is also a case manager with the Baltimore City Department of Social Services (BCDSS), a position she has held since 2014. Prior to working with BCDSS, Ms. Church was a case manager for Catholic Charities where her work focused on the specific needs of clients with disabilities, those facing acute housing crises, and children.
During her 20 years of professional work and activism, Ms. Church has seen the impact of legislation and policies that have promised more than they have delivered to the residents of East Baltimore.
Her campaign will develop the following themes:
- Putting students first in education. It’s not enough to say one supports education if every legislative session ends with fewer teachers and more rotting schoolhouses. We are not providing our students the best we can offer. Every student must have access to the resources that prepare them for the world.
- Making the streets safe and vibrant. Every person in Baltimore should feel safe on their own block. Pedestrians should be able to cross a street without fear of a speeding car. Children should be able to ride their bikes and play outside without being victimized or recruited into the sorts of jobs we would rather they not have. Neighbors should feel secure on their stoops and porches.
- Providing healthy, affordable housing. No one, however little money they make, should spend more than 20% of their gross income on housing; and no one should be forced to live in a home that is poisoning them because their landlord chooses to ignore the law.
- Driving economic development at the neighborhood level. Every neighborhood should be able to support the basic amenities that people want – a grocery store, a laundromat, a barbershop, a hair salon, and a few restaurants. No one should have to walk seven blocks only to find cheap processed food. Development money from massive projects has still not trickled down into East Baltimore. We need to start putting economic activity in places where people live.
Ms. Church has been inspired to a career in public service by the example of her mother, Rita R. Church, who was a lifelong community activist, a founder of the Coldstream-Homestead-Montebello Community Organization, and a member of the Baltimore City Council representing East Baltimore from 1997 to 1999.
Ms. Church is the CEO of the Rita Church Foundation, an organization dedicated to supporting education and ending poverty. She believes her candidacy is an extension of the work she has already begun with the Foundation.