Marilyn Mosby (Baltimore, MD)
Occupation: Baltimore City State’s Attorney
Steps towards becoming Baltimore City State’s Attorney: Years before I became the State’s Attorney for Baltimore City, I had the unfortunate occasion at 14-years old, to experience the trauma, the pain, the consequences of homicide when my 17-year old cousin was killed outside of my home in broad daylight, when he was mistaken for a neighborhood drug dealer. If it weren’t for the courageousness of a neighbor, who understood the greater good of the community and cooperated with police and testified in court, my family wouldn’t have received any sort of justice. Shortly after Diron’s death, I made up my mind to become a prosecutor. I wanted to do for others what was done for me and my family.
I currently serve as the State’s Attorney for Baltimore City where I oversee the prosecution of all crimes that occur in Baltimore City. The office currently employs over 200 attorneys and an additional 200 administrative and support staff. The Office of the State’s Attorney for Baltimore City is the largest local prosecutorial office in the state of Maryland and prosecutes over 40,000 cases each year. When I became the 25th State’s Attorney for Baltimore City, I became the youngest chief prosecutor of any major American city.
1. What is a quality that makes you successful in your career?
I believe my passion for justice makes me successful in my career. Every day, I lead with my passion to change the criminal justice system. A system that has historically and disproportionately affected so many communities of color. That passion allows me to continue to preserve and move forward despite challenges, opposition or naysayers.
2. What 3 tips would you give someone struggling to reach their goals?
I would encourage young people to believe in themselves, lead with passion and tune out negativity.
When I decided to run for Baltimore City State’s Attorney, I sat down with any and every politician, business owner, community and clergy leader to ask for their guidance and support in my endeavor. To my dismay, an overwhelming majority of those discussions ended with optimism for my vision but skepticism in my ability to carry out my vision.
Most of these skeptics went as far as to even discourage me from running for this position at all. After thinking long and hard about the skepticism of the cynics, I thought about the audacity of those fearless and courageous leaders woven throughout our history such as Thurgood Marshall, Rosa Parks, Charles Hamilton Houston, Dorothy Irene Height, Myrlie Evers-Williams, Congressman John Lewis, Fannie Lou Hammer and President Barak Obama—all of whom have been unwavering in their pursuit of justice and equality.
Having the audacity to believe in myself, I realized that I had to channel my confidence, deflect the negativity of ageism, sexism and racism, and ultimately, decide that as a wife and a mother raising 2 little girls in the heart of West Baltimore, a woman of faith and a former prosecutor with 6 years of prosecutorial experience and overall 80% conviction rate, that I not only possessed the vision but the passion and foresight to reform the criminal justice system. It is my hope that young people can be inspired by my story and success to achieve their own goals.
3. Name the top 3 goals you achieved?
The top three goals I have achieved are being a mother to two beautiful girls, raising a family with my college sweetheart and husband State Delegate Nick Mosby, and serving as Baltimore City’s State’s Attorney.
4.What inspired you to reach your goals?
I am inspired when I remember the courageous leaders woven throughout history who overcame many obstacles yet achieved so much. We are standing on the shoulders of giants. I am the benefactor of the courage and wisdom of our ancestors who have paved the way for me and for our communities. The courageous people in the past and in the present, who have and continue to make the ultimate sacrifices to put each of us in a better position in life, inspire me each day.
5. How did you overcome obstacles to reaching your goals?
I recognize the work I do each day on behalf of the citizens of Baltimore is bigger than me. My passion to reform the criminal justice system and provide a voice to the voiceless helps me to continue despite any obstacles or challenges that come my way. Moreover, my faith also inspires me to preserve. I recognize that my purpose is greater than my individual desires but my purpose is to pursue justice, inspire future generations and impact the community.
6. How do you keep your inspiration from decreasing?
I keep my inspiration from decreasing by focusing on the positive aspect of life – my family, children, community and purpose as State’s Attorney for Baltimore City. When I recognize the cause I am pursuing and the impact of my work on the citizens of Baltimore, I am constantly inspired to keep moving forward.
Thank you State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby for your time and wisdom!
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