We Belong by Dave Heilker for 12th District, Baltimore City Council

(BALTIMORE – June 4, 2019) – I’m Dave. Because I know it’ll come up, a lot, I’m biracial (black and some brand of middle eastern) and I was adopted, at 4 months old.

I grew up in Northeast Baltimore City, in the Hamilton neighborhood, and attended Baltimore City Public Schools until my parents moved to Baltimore County, where I went to and graduated from Baltimore County Public Schools.

As a musician, I spent a number of years in Baltimore’s underground hiphop and punk rock scenes, developing a sense of social justice born out of the countercultural themes in the art I observed and created.

The most common of these themes was a sense of belonging and inclusivity. For someone who lived my whole life in the center of the “too white for the black kids, too black for the white kids” Venn diagram, these themes spoke to me on a cellular level. Belonging and inclusivity.

I’m running because we need more leaders in Baltimore City who work to include the people who their policies impact the most. We need leaders who will build smarter, more resilient neighborhoods from the bottom up, not the top down.

We need leaders who aren’t afraid to get creative when they are presented with an obstacle.

I’m running because, as a community organizer, I’ve come to believe in the collective power of neighbors coming together to achieve success.

Baltimore is bigger than any one district or community, but we must come together as neighbors and get our hands dirty to improve our neighborhoods without leaving anyone behind.

With your time, talent, and votes, we can make common-sense improvements in District 12 and across Baltimore that will make ours the city we all believe we have the potential to become: inclusive, intelligent, hard-working, healthy, and prosperous. That’s the Baltimore City where We Belong!