Brooke's Life + Work

Brooke Lierman is an effective and passionate legislator, a mother of two, and a disability and civil rights attorney. After spending five years as a Member of the Appropriations Committee in the General Assembly, she assumed a leadership role on the Environment and Transportation Committee in 2019. She also sits on the Joint Committee on Ending Homelessness, the Oversight Committee on Pensions, and founded and co-chairs the Maryland Transit Caucus.

Brooke has successfully passed landmark legislation to invest in and improve public transit; end suspension and expulsion of young students; fund evidence-based gun violence prevention programs; aid sex trafficking victims; close loopholes in our family and paid leave laws and much more. In 2019, working with environmental groups and small businesses around the state, she passed the nation’s first statewide ban on Styrofoam food and beverage containers, and in 2020 she passed the HOME Act, banning housing discrimination based on the renter’s source of income.

She is a champion at constituent work, an advocate with state agencies on behalf of small businesses and organizations and remains connected to the communities she serves year-round. Amidst the health and economic crises created by COVID-19, Brooke has organized food relief for constituents and led the successful effort to bring World Central Kitchen (led by Chef Jose Andres) to Baltimore to feed thousands of Baltimoreans in need. As one community leader said,

“I always know that Brooke has my back.”

Brooke is running to ensure that in a post-pandemic Maryland, the Comptroller is leading Maryland’s efforts to raise up every family, community, and small business – in particular those who have been left behind. As Comptroller, Brooke will be a proactive champion for families, communities and businesses. Her creativity and bold vision will advance a long-term agenda that cultivates a more financially resilient economy, in part by addressing systemic disinvestment and racial inequity in communities across Maryland.

As the state’s financial guardian, Brooke will establish and lead a culture of modernization, transparency and purpose that leverages the full power of the Comptroller’s office to unlock opportunity for every Maryland resident, family and business. She will ensure that the data collected through tax filings is put to use for Marylanders, creating a new office of outcome analysis to confirm our state programs have their intended, positive effect and provide more transparency into the payment process for contractors.

 

A Lifelong Organizer

Brooke spent her childhood years in Washington, D.C., moving with her family to Montgomery County in middle school and graduating from Walt Whitman High School. After graduating from Dartmouth College, Brooke spent 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 that has had a profound and sustained positive effect on the lives of the low-income children it serves.  She still believes strongly in the power of mentorship.

She also worked as a field organizer for Senator Paul Wellstone’s 2002 reelection campaign, organizing rural counties in Southeast Minnesota. Brooke still carries Paul’s message that “We all do better when we all do better” in her political and personal political life. Brooke also worked as a field director for Howard Dean’s presidential campaign and later for the Kerry-Edwards campaign. This early experience organizing and working with people from all walks of life taught her the importance of working at the local grassroots level to organize for systemic change and build community and political power.

 

A Lawyer for the People

Brooke attended law school to work with and empower people to take charge of adverse situations confronting them and to fight injustice one client at a time.  While attending the University of Texas School of Law, she fought for clients in need of better housing as part of the Legal Aid Fair Housing Clinic. She was also president of the American Constitution Society.

After graduating, Brooke returned to Maryland and completed a clerkship at the U.S. Federal District Court in Baltimore and Greenbelt. She then joined the civil law firm, Brown Goldstein and Levy LLP, where she represents a range of clients, including workers whose wages have been unfairly withheld, disabled citizens seeking access to public facilities and wrongfully convicted Marylanders in pursuit of an equal education.

A Community Advocate

Brooke has always been an active participant in her community and across Baltimore to promote thriving neighborhoods. She worked as pro bono counsel for several community associations and a local church to create safe neighborhoods by shutting down dangerous bars and liquor stores.  This effort 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 bar that neighbors had been working to shutter for years – one of the few license revocations ever granted by the Liquor Board.  She also worked to repopulate the declining tree canopy in her neighborhood and elsewhere around the City – work she continues to care about to this day.  Brooke served on the Boards of the Downtown Baltimore Family Alliance (DBFA), an organization dedicated to supporting downtown families and the Citizens Planning and Housing Association, a citywide group devoted to empowering citizens and community groups to make grassroots change. She currently serves on the Downtown Partnership Board and the Board of the Baltimore Museum of Art. (And Brooke is a lifelong Orioles fan! #LetsGoOs)

 

As Comptroller, Brooke will work to:

Unlock Opportunity for Every Marylander

Brooke will modernize the Comptroller’s office and provide citizens with more transparent and accountable processes to understand how state funds are collected, spent and invested. She will promote policies and initiatives that close the racial wealth gap and increase upward mobility while using the Comptroller’s many field offices as hubs for resources in partnership with nonprofits to help working families and entrepreneurs thrive. Finally, Brooke will ensure our pension investments are made by managers who reflect the state’s diversity and our spending reflects Maryland’s progressive values.

Unlock Opportunity for Maryland Businesses

Brooke wants to ensure that businesses start here and stay here. She will ensure small and family-owned businesses can access the tools and capital they need to innovate and grow. She will push for investment in our workforce and public infrastructure, including education, transit, and broadband, to ensure a capable workforce can access jobs across the state.

Unlock Opportunity in Every Community

Brooke understands the importance of inclusive community development and as Comptroller, she will encourage investment in the tools, systems and infrastructure that promote healthy, safe and well-educated communities, cultivate a strong workforce and reduce reliance on public services. Brooke will ensure the Comptroller’s policies address long-standing, systemic disinvestment in communities of color to equalize access to opportunity and success.