Political Notes: Cross-Country Endorsement for Jealous; New Annapolis Lobbying Firm
By Josh Kurtz
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Sunday endorsed former NAACP President Ben Jealous in the Maryland gubernatorial election.
Jealous and Garcetti attended Columbia University together, and later, Oxford University, as Rhodes scholars. At Columbia, both men ran for student government offices and became civil rights activists.
“I’ve known him for over half my life and Maryland needs a governor with his progressive vision and strength of character,” Garcetti said in a statement. “Here in Los Angeles, we’ve raised the minimum wage, boldly expanded our transportation system, and made historic investments to end homelessness. Ben shares my passion for priorities like these, and I know that when he’s governor, he’ll build broad coalitions to bring progressive reforms back to Maryland.”
Garcetti’s endorsement comes as Jealous moves across the state highlighting initiatives aimed at addressing the opioid crisis, improving education, and reducing violent crime.
Jealous called Garcetti “a man who has shown unwavering courage in protecting and expanding progressive values,” and suggested that if elected, he would attempt to govern in the same way.
“We share the same vision that says hard work should be enough for every family to succeed,” Jealous said. “As governor, I’ll build broad, diverse coalitions to get Maryland back to doing big things again, and that includes placing a highly qualified teacher in every classroom, ensuring casino money funds education as promised, raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour and stopping healthcare premiums from rising by enacting a Medicare-for-All system.”
Garcetti, who is early in his second term as mayor, is a hot political commodity who is frequently touted as a candidate for higher office – governor, U.S. Senate, even the White House. His father, Gil Garcetti, was the longtime district attorney for Los Angeles County.
Annapolis Lobbyists Team Up. Lorenzo Bellamy, formerly of Alexander & Cleaver, PA and former Del. Gil Genn, most recently of Capitol Hill Strategic Advocates, have joined to launch The Bellamy Genn Group, LLC.
The two lawyers have over 65 years of combined government relations experience with international, federal, state and local governments.
“I have been looking to establish a firm with an innovative, resolute, and personalized approach to work intimately and collaboratively with clients,” said Bellamy, who will be the majority owner of the firm, in a statement. “With Gil on board, it’s the right time to use our experience and reputation to ensure success for clients in Annapolis and Washington, D.C.”
Bellamy hinted that a veteran of the Hogan administration with experience in government relations will be joining the firm soon.
In addition to legislative lobbying, Bellamy has represented many clients in procurement matters before federal, state and local agencies. He plans to build on his international business development and foreign entity representation.
Genn served as a member of the House of Delegates from 1987 to 1999, representing Bethesda and Chevy Chase and chairing the Criminal Justice Subcommittee. He is a former U.S. Senate staffer.
“Lorenzo and I will bring a collective synergy with decades of major success focused on a bipartisan approach to lobbying,” Genn said. “We will tirelessly fight for our clients’ goals and objectives, alongside them – not solely as lobbyists, but as trusted team players and advisors.”
The Bellamy Genn Group office is located at 220 Prince George St. in Annapolis, a stone’s throw from the State House.
“In addition to a high level of service,” Bellamy said, “we have planned ahead and have a valuable asset to give our clients in Annapolis – access to 3 free parking spaces!”