Mayor Pugh, Council Vice Prez Middleton Re-Launching Baltimore City Women’s Commission

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Baltimore’s mayor and council vice president are seeking 19 women to join a commission being reinstated to advance the female cause.

The city has opened up an application process for the Baltimore City Commission of Women, a body of female Baltimoreans entrusted with addressing problems typically faced by women (prejudice, discrimination), ensuring gender equality in the workforce and advising government agencies “on all matters involving women’s lives,” according to the City Charter.

Members appointed by the mayor serve unpaid four-year terms. To be eligible, an applicant need only be a female Baltimore City resident over age 18.

“It’s open to all women who are interested,” said Lauron Thomas, an executive assistant in the mayor’s office.

Mayor Pugh said in a Facebook post that the commission “will be an inclusive community resource comprised of individuals who believe in equal rights, opportunities, and access to services for all women.”

It was City Council Vice President Sharon Green Middleton who had the idea to restart the commission after it “just kind of fell apart” in previous years, Thomas said. She said Middleton approached Pugh about re-commissioning the body. (Middleton wasn’t immediately available to comment Thursday.)

The Maryland Commission of Women, a body that works with the state government to expand opportunities for women, asked that the city commission focus on women aging out of the foster care system, issues affecting elderly women and political engagement of Baltimore’s female constituents, Thomas said. “However, we are leaving that open for [city commission members] to decide what they want their agenda to be.”

The city is taking applications until Friday, Feb. 9. Applicants are asked to submit a resume, a letter making their case for membership and contact info. A panel of members from “various community organizations” will review the applications and recommend their picks to the mayor, the application page says.

Perhaps not by coincidence, the application process has opened two days ahead of the Baltimore Women’s March downtown.

Ethan McLeod
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