Maryland Del. Aisha N. Braveboy (D-25) said she is ready to throw her hat in the ring by mid-September as a candidate for the next attorney general of Maryland. If she wins, the Prince George’s County-based delegate would be the state’s first African American woman attorney general.
A native of Washington, D.C., Braveboy said an undergraduate class at the University of Maryland College Park taught by Donna Brazile, an adjunct professor and vice chair of the Democratic National Committee, propelled her into a career in law.
“I took a class on the Voting Rights Act of 1965,” said Braveboy. “We looked at the laws predating the act and the impact of Jim Crow laws. I knew then that I wanted a career where I could push for equality for all people.”
Braveboy said since the recent Supreme Court ruling on the Voting Rights Act she will work to ensure Maryland residents are not disenfranchised by gerrymandering and redistricting. The attorney general advises the legislature on drawing the district maps based on the 10-year federal census.
“As attorney general, I would make sure the diversity of our state is taken into account in this redistricting,” said Braveboy. “Redistricting will become a more and more important part of the conversation in a state like Maryland which has a growing minority population.”
Braveboy said to curb crime in areas such as Baltimore and Prince George’s County, there has to be a restructuring to the juvenile justice system. She said many youth are not receiving the services they need to properly rehabilitate. Braveboy said many young offenders have a myriad of issues such as undiagnosed mental and physical health issues and substance abuse problems.
“Our juvenile justice system is broken,” said Braveboy. “We need rehabilitation centers and opportunity centers where youth can get job skills and resources to become productive adults and make a difference in their lives.”
Braveboy said one part of ensuring Black youth can become productive members of society and reach new heights is to ensure they can be properly educated.
“The only way to combat mass incarceration is to promote mass education,” said Braveboy.
As a Howard University Law School graduate, receiving her law degree from in 2000, Braveboy said she understand the importance of ensuring the state’s historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) receive the same level of government funding as their predominately White counterparts.
“Parity for HBCU’s is important,” said Braveboy. “Historically, HBCU’s provide access to higher education for people who could not otherwise attend college.”
After graduating from Howard University Law School in 2000, Braveboy was accepted to the Maryland and Washington, D.C. bar. She is also a member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, joining in spring 1996 at the University of Maryland College Park.
From 2000 to 2002, she worked as an attorney for the Federal Communications Commission handling wireless telecommunications transactions between providers purchasing airspace. She then handled public policy for the Prince George’s County Council dealing with predatory lending, poor development practices and sustainable economic development.
Currently, Braveboy works as an attorney in the Law Office of Gabriel J. Christian & Associates in Bowie, Md. as a real estate lawyer, handling some foreclosure and historic preservation cases pro bono.
Other potential Democrats seeking the attorney general seat include Del. Bill Frick (D-16), state Sen. Brian Frosh (D-16) and Del. Jon Cardin (D-11). Frosh, a five term senator, officially announced his candidacy for attorney general on July 30.
John Bullock, professor of political science at Towson University, said all of the potential attorney general candidates have similar backgrounds. He said their political networks, geographical location and name recognition will be the three deciding factors for victory.
“They are all attorneys,” said Bullock. “The real deciding factor will be the deepness of their connections.”
Bullock said Frick’s Harvard law degree may work in his best interest because of its prestige and large network. He said the network may help Frick as he continues to fundraise for his campaign.
He said Cardin will be a strong candidate because of his name recognition. Cardin is grandson of former Baltimore City Supreme Court Judge and former House of Delegate member Meyer Cardin and is the nephew of U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.).
Minority voters may tend to look more toward Braveboy, who as a Black woman and HBCU graduate, said Bullock. He said her background shows she may have a better understanding of the plight of Blacks and minorities in Maryland.
“Arrests for small amounts of marijuana, predatory lending and adequate education are all issues that impact Blacks,” said Bullock. “But they also impact other people as well.”