Carl Stokes’ life is a Baltimore story, begun in a neighborhood that thrived, with schools that excelled and jobs available after graduation. He is running for City Council President to return our neighborhoods to prosperity.
Carl grew up in Latrobe Homes and graduated from Saint Francis Elementary and Loyola High. After school, he went to work at the Enoch Pratt Library’s Central Branch on Cathedral Street, sorting and shelving books, until his senior year, when he worked at the Food Fair.
He enrolled at Loyola College and studied English for two years. He was asked repeatedly to manage a clothing store, and finally agreed, becoming manager of Everyman’s Son. Two years later, he purchased the store and went on to own three locations.
In 1987, Carl ran for City Council and was elected as part of a new, young group of city leaders who changed the city’s redistricting so that the council mirrored the make-up of the city. After two-terms, Carl left the City Council and became a Vice President at Mid-Atlantic Healthcare, one of the region’s leading providers of medical equipment and supplies. He remained active in the city, however, and was appointed by the Mayor and the Governor to the newly created School Board.
Led by what he learned of city schools and his frustration that they received an increasingly smaller piece of the city budget, Carl ran for mayor in 1999. While he spoke of the need to invest in education in order to prevent young people from becoming criminals, his opponent advocated heavy policing. Unfortunately, tough talk beat wise policy.
In 2007, Carl was a founder of Baltimore’s first all-male public charter school, Bluford Drew Jemison STEM Academy. The school was a year-round program with three meals a day, after school programs, and classes half-day on Saturday. Even with 20 percent of students classified as in need of “special education,” in one year, the students scored above every traditional Baltimore City middle school in statewide testing. In 2016, Carl and a team of dedicated community and education leaders, have founded another public charter school – The Banneker Blake Academy for Arts and Sciences. It also has extended day and year-round schooling.
Carl was appointed to the City Council in 2009. He was elected in 2011 and has served as Chairman of the Taxation, Finance and Economic Development Committee, where Carl has challenged inefficiencies and the waste of taxpayer dollars. He has implemented long-overdue audits of city agencies and fought Baltimore’s high property tax rate and ever-increasing water bills, asking “If you can’t tell us what anything costs, how can you justify what you charge?”
Carl raised two daughters Carla and Erika and is now a grandfather. He remains active in St. Francis Xavier Roman Catholic Church, helped start a basketball league that requires children to maintain good grades in reading and math, and was granted a petition to maintain a Sickle Cell clinic after it was set to close. He lives in the community of Greater Greenmount.