Baltimore Prosecutor Mosby: Hardship Became Inspiration for Reform

When Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby decided to run for her current office, she reached out to community activists, politicians and business leaders, eager to share her ideas. Almost all of them, she said, discouraged her from seeking election.

“I was told I was too inexperienced, that I couldn’t raise enough money, that my decision to run could not only disrupt but potentially destroy my husband’s political career,” she recalled during a speech Sunday in Philadelphia. “For me, as a young black woman, to run against an older white male incumbent, powerful, with the ability to raise close to a million dollars, the skeptics wanted to know: How could I have the audacity?”

It was a line that drew cheers from the largely female crowd of more than 500 people gathered at an NAACP empowerment forum, part of the organization’s 106th annual convention. Mosby ignored the advice and was propelled to victory. At 35, she is the youngest chief prosecutor in any major American city.