Brooke's Maryland Manual Biography is available here: http://msa.maryland.gov/msa/mdmanual/06hse/html/msa17084.html
Brooke Elizabeth Lierman was elected to represent Maryland's 46th Legislative District in the House of Delegates in 2014. Brooke worked hard over the course of her year-long campaign, knocking on over 14,000 doors and holding house parties in many neighborhoods to connect with constituents across District 46. From Cherry Hill to Canton, Fells Point to Federal Hill, Hampstead Hill to Highlandtown, she canvassed tirelessly and was able to share her message for a better Baltimore. The connections she forged throughout her campaign were evident in her success as the top vote getter in the General Election on November 4, 2014. She is a proud member of Team 46 and campaigned alongside Senator Bill Ferguson, Delegate Robbyn Lewis and Delegate Luke Clippinger. SIn 2014, she was endorsed by a diverse group of respected politicians, hard working community leaders and progressive advocacy groups. Since then, she has worked hard to be a fierce advocate for Baltimore City and the residents of her district. Brooke lives and works in Baltimore’s 46th district, and is dedicated to raising a family in the City. She is on the Advisory Board of the Downtown Baltimore Family Alliance, an organization dedicated to fostering and promoting family life in Baltimore's downtown neighborhoods, on the Board of Trustees of the Baltimore Museum of Art, and member of the Board of Advocates for Children & Youth. Brooke and her husband Eben Hansel have a son in pre-K and are looking forward to welcoming a daughter in fall 2017.
An Experienced Organizer
After graduating from college, Brooke worked for several years organizing for change at the grassroots level. She was an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer at the DREAM Program, a mentoring program that forms partnerships between college students and children living in subsidized housing, and that has had a profound and sustained positive effect on the lives of the low-income children it serves. She still keeps in touch with her mentees and believes strongly in the power of good mentoring programs. Brooke also worked as an organizer on the 2002 Senate campaign of Paul Wellstone, and the 2004 presidential campaigns of Howard Dean and John Kerry. Brooke was a DNC Convention Delegate for Hillary Clinton in 2016, and spent time in Pittsburgh working on Hillary Clinton's campaign. Through her early work on campaigns, Brooke learned the importance of working with citizens at the local level to organize for systemic change.
A Lawyer for Working People
Brooke went to law school to gain the skills to empower individuals to take charge of the adverse situations confronting them, and to work to fight injustice one client at a time. While in law school, she fought for clients in need of better housing as part of the Legal Aid Fair Housing Clinic. After graduating, she returned to Maryland and completed a clerkship at the U.S. Federal District Court in Baltimore. Brooke currently works as a civil-rights attorney at the Baltimore firm of Brown Goldstein and Levy LLP, where she represents a range of clients, from workers whose wages have been unfairly withheld to disabled citizens seeking access to public facilities and an equal education. She has also represented and worked with organizations like Baltimore Neighborhoods, Inc., the National Federation of the Blind, and the United Workers.
An Advocate for Communities at the Local Level . . .
Brooke regularly works with neighborhood associations and individuals throughout the City that are fighting to make their streets safer, cleaner, and greener.
Prior to being elected, Brooke worked as pro bono counsel to several community associations, advocating on their behalf in front of the Baltimore City Liquor Board. Her work led to the closure of dangerous bars that repeatedly violated the law and their liquor licenses and degraded the quality of life in surrounding neighborhoods. In 2012, she successfully represented a Southeast community in front of the Baltimore Board of Liquor License Commissioners to close down a local bar that neighbors had been working to shutter for years – one of the few license revocations ever granted by the Liquor Board. In June 2013, she successfully represented the Federal Hill Neighborhood Association (and other organizations) fighting the expansion of a license in the Cross Street area.
Brooke was also an executive board member of the Fell’s Point Residents Association, where she led an effort to work with the City to repopulate the declining tree canopy of Fell’s Point and surrounding neighborhoods. She also served on the boards of the the Downtown Baltimore Family Alliance (DBFA), an organization dedicated to supporting downtown families, and the Citizens Planning & Housing Association, a city-wide group dedicated to empowering citizens and community groups to make grass-roots change.
Now, although she represents Baltimore City at the state level, she has continued to be a champion for local communities, working to build more parks and playgrounds, increase access to mass transit, and to start and expand communtiy development corporations and work. District 46 residents and leaders know that when they need an ally, Brooke is there for them.
. . . And a Champion for Baltimore and on Progressive Issues at the State Level
Brooke serves on the Appropriations Committee, where she has championed the needs of Baltimore City and district 46. Whether it's passing a bill to secure an additional $4.5 m/year for park funding through Progam Open Space, ensuring our City School Students have access to free public transit to and from school, working to ensure our Police Department has funds to purchase important technology upgrades to help better serve our communities, or ensuring our non-profits and cultural institutions receive their fair share of capital bond funding, Brooke leads the way to support funding for Baltimore City. Brooke has worked in a variety of areas to push Maryland forward, including:
- Environmental: Brooke is a leader on ensuring that our clean water laws are enforced. From her position on the Appropriations Committee, she has been vigilant about ensuring that our agencies are doing their duty to clean up our waterways. She was recently selected as a Green Legislative Champion by the Maryland League of Conservation Voters. She has sponsored legislation to rid Maryland of the scourge of plastic bags and styrofoam containers.
- Criminal Justice: Brooke was a leader on the Maryland Second Chance Act, to allow certain convictions to be expunged to enable Marylanders to access housing and jobs. She has also worked hard to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline, by passing bills such as a prohibition on supsending and expelling our youngest children - like those in Kindergarten. Finally, she is a leader on bail reform issues, prompting the issuance of an Attorney General opinion in 2016 that led the Court of Appeals to implement a major rule change on cash bail.
- Working Families: The first bill Brooke passed fixed a loophole in Maryland's Family Medical Leave Act, to ensure that employers could not fire workers for asking to use their accrued leave. Brooke has been a champion for the Healthy Working Families bill (earned sick leave, passed in the 2017 session and vetoed by the Governor), and supported increased access to high quality daycare for families.
- Supporting our Schools: As a member of the Appropriations Committee, Brooke has been a leader on funding for City Schools. She lead passage of a bill to provide free public transit to City students on MTA busses, and was part of a team that worked to ensure that the State would help City Schools dig out of a large deficit in the 2017 session. She regularly communicates with the principals and teachers in her district.
- Transit Leader: When a constituent or City leader needs help with MTA, they call Brooke. In 2016, Brooke passed the first bill to overhaul the Maryland Transit Administration since its creation. Unfortunately, Gov. Hogan vetoed that bill. Undeterred, Brooke continued to lead on transit reform and ushered through a bill in 2017 to eliminate the farebox mandate recovery that hampers MTA's spending priorities. This bill, which has been discussed for over 20 years, will give MTA the ability to use its funds in the most efficient and effective way, to lead to a better user experience. As a member of the Appropriations Committee, Brooke is also able to shine a light on the relatively scant funding that MTA receives under the Hogan Administration versus what a truly excellent transit system would need to offer a first-class rider experience to others.
- Supporting Healthy Neighborhoods: Brooke has led on bills to support our neighborhoods, like increasing funding for the Baltimore Regional Neighborhood Initiative, an innovative and effective community development program; supported accessible integrated and affordable housing through bills like the HOME Act; and supported our entrepreneurs through her work on the Angel Investor Tax Credit bill.
To read a synopsis of some of the bills she has worked on and passed, click HERE.
Whether it’s ensuring that our parks are green and thriving, or that our City is walkable, safe, and clean, Brooke is dedicated to making Baltimore work for its families, and is passionate about fighting to ensure that Baltimore becomes a safer, cleaner, greener, and more livable City for all of its families.