Speaker

Zeke Cohen

Councilmember

City of Baltimore

Biography

Zeke has represented the First District on the Baltimore City Council since 2016.

He grew up in Northampton, Massachusetts, the son of a social worker and a psychiatrist. Zeke’s belief that “community comes first” was inspired by his mother’s stories of marching for Civil Rights and registering voters during the Mississippi Freedom Summer. After graduating from Goucher College, Zeke taught in West Baltimore and, as a teacher, was awarded the Elizabeth Lawrence Prize for Excellence. He attained a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from Johns Hopkins University. Zeke started his nonprofit, The Intersection, to help young people learn community organizing and civic leadership. He ran for office with the belief that democracy only works when everyone has a voice in the process.

In July 2019, Zeke introduced the Elijah Cummings Healing City Act, making Baltimore the first city in the country to comprehensively legislate trauma-responsive care. The bill, which was signed into law in February 2020, and the movement that propelled it forward were created to help Baltimore heal from our enduring legacies of trauma, racism and violence.

In April 2019, Zeke sponsored the Gender-Inclusive Single-User Restroom bill, which helps ensure our city is safe and welcoming for all communities by requiring all single-user restrooms to have gender-inclusive signage. It was the first bill in Baltimore’s history to be signed at a Pride Parade.

In 2018, Zeke introduced the Transparency in Lobbying Act. The law tightens restrictions on lobbyists and requires lobbying disclosure forms to be posted online.