Henrietta Lacks Day

Henrietta Lacks

On April 24, I introduced legislation to make October 4th Henrietta Lacks Day in honor of her death on October 4th, 1951.

Ms. Henrietta Lacks was a black woman whose cervical cancer cells were taken without her consent or her family’s knowledge or consent, while being treated at Johns Hopkins Hospital here in Baltimore. Further, her family has not received compensation for her genetic material. Since then, her cells known as HeLA, have been used to further our understanding and have been able to produce treatments and cures for diseases such as polio, cancer and HIV/AIDS.

We must remember the debt that we owe to Ms. Henrietta Lacks, and we must remember that her cells, that have furthered medical progress, were taken without her knowledge or consent.

Encouraging women to pursue construction as a career

Rachel Bryan figured she would wear pearls and a dress to an interview after she completed a pre-apprenticeship program for electricians 12 years ago.

“Wrong answer,” she said her trainers told her. “You want to dress like you’re going to work.”

It was one of the best pieces of advice she said she ever got.

While an feminine get-up would have been appropriate if she were interviewing for an office job, baggy jeans and boots were a better fit as Bryan pursued a career as an electrician.

Now a journey-level electrician and an international representative for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Bryan was one of six women who shared their stories of working in trades during a Saturday panel discussion about job opportunities for African-American women in construction.

Read the full story from the Baltimore Sun.

$15 minimum wage bill vetoed

On March 20th, 2017, the city council minimum wage bill, 17-0018, was approved by city council members with a 12-3 vote to increase the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Unfortunately, just four days later, Mayor Catherine Pugh vetoed bill 17-0018. Mayor Pugh believes that Baltimore City should wait on the state and other surrounding jurisdictions to increase their wages first.

It is disheartening and disappointing that hard-working families will continue to make the hard decisions between paying for their high water bills and buying clothes for their children. I still believe that raising the minimum wage is the city’s right because hard working families deserve it.

The fight still continues for residents in District 13!

City Council passes minimum wage bill

Shannon speaks at City Council meeting

The Baltimore City Council gave final approval Monday to a bill which would increase the city’s minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2022.

The council voted 11-3 in favor of the measure which exempts small businesses with less than 50 employees from offering the higher minimum wage until 2026.

City Councilwoman Shannon Sneed says she supports a $15 minimum wage to help tens of thousands of working families who are “working are working two and three jobs and they can hardly pay for their basic needs, and so I’m fighting for those families.”

Read and watch the full story from Fox 45.