Mary-Ann Baldwin

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Mary-Ann Baldwin
Mary Ann Baldwin.jpg
62nd Mayor of Raleigh
Assumed office
December 2, 2019
Preceded byNancy McFarlane
Personal details
Born1956/1957 (age 64–65)
Pawtucket, Rhode Island, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
EducationUniversity of Rhode Island, Kingston (BA)
WebsiteGovernment website
Campaign website

Mary-Ann Baldwin is an American marketing executive and politician from the state of North Carolina. She is the mayor of Raleigh, North Carolina.

Early life and education[edit]

Baldwin grew up in Rhode Island and graduated from the University of Rhode Island.[1] She is married to Jim Baldwin and she has two children, a daughter and son-in-law.[2]


Baldwin communications[edit]

Prior to political service, she worked in the marketing field, including working as marketing director for several firms and managing her own consulting firm, Baldwin Communications.[2]

City council service[edit]

She served on the Raleigh City Council for ten years, from 2007 through 2017 during the mayoral terms of Charles Meeker and Nancy McFarlane.[3] While on the city council, she served as chair of the Law & Public Safety Committee and the Transportation Committee, and served on several other committees, as well as acting as the city's representative to GoTriangle, the regional transportation firm.[2] When Meeker decided to step down prior to the 2011 election, he approached both Baldwin and McFarlane to run for mayor in his stead, Baldwin however declined the offer to run, as she was dealing with personal issues she felt would interfere with her ability to effectively campaign and serve in the role as mayor.[4]

Mayoral service[edit]

On March 27, 2019, Baldwin announced that she would be running for mayor of Raleigh in the 2019 election to succeed McFarlane, who was stepping down as mayor in the midst of health troubles.[5] Baldwin came in first place, winning 38% of the vote.[6] A runoff was not requested by Charles Francis, the runner-up, and so Baldwin became mayor of Raleigh.[7] She assumed office December 2, 2019.

Response to COVID-19[edit]

Baldwin was mayor while the COVID-19 pandemic impacted Raleigh. On June 17, 2020, she made a proclamation that mandated masks.[8][9] Baldwin made a second mask mandate on August 13, 2021, due to the rise in the Delta variant that she later terminated on February 18, 2022.[10][11] Mayor Baldwin tested positive for COVID-19 on April 18, 2022.[12]

Response to George Floyd Protests[edit]

Baldwin was mayor during the George Floyd protests in Raleigh. While she was supportive of peaceful protests, some rioting occurred, so in response she declared a citywide curfew from 10 pm to 5 am.[13][14]

Tax Increment Grant (TIG) and Property Tax Increase[edit]

On May 4, 2021 Raleigh City Council approved a tax increment grant (TIG) policy which Mayor Baldwin voted in favor, despite taking campaign contributions from developer John Kane, who stood to benefit from the TIG.[15] [16] The TIG policy allows the city of Raleigh to provide up to $5 million per year (2% of the annual budget) in tax rebates to private developers, effectively shielding them from increases in property taxes due to rising property values.[17] A month later on June 1, 2021 Raleigh City Council passed an annual budget that included an increase in property taxes generating an increased $7 million per year which was supported by Mayor Baldwin.[18] Critics of the TIG policy point to the combined actions of increasing property taxes on Raleigh residents and providing tax rebates for select private developers as an unfair redistribution of wealth from average residents to wealthy real estate developers.

The increase in property tax rates came at a time when property values throughout the Triangle region were climbing due to national trends in the housing market and impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic.[19] While Mayor Baldwin led a coalition to increase property taxes for Raleigh residents, neighboring Durham County was working to implement a tax assistance program. On October 6th, 2021 Durham County tax office in partnership with the Durham department of social services launched a program to provide up to $750 of tax relief to qualifying residents as a means of combating gentrification and displacement of low-income residents.[20]


During Baldwin’s campaign, affordable housing was a key campaign issue. However, during her time as mayor, housing costs skyrocketed an estimated 42.5%.[21] Baldwin led a coalition strategy that primarily targeted increasing the housing supply and the density of housing through private market forces. Little effort was made to ensure affordable housing units were included when rezoning cases were brought before city council to increase density, with Mayor Baldwin repeatedly claiming that North Carolina state law prohibited inclusionary zoning. Critics of Raleigh City Council's housing policies point to the density bonus program implemented by Charlotte which allowed for height increases in existing zoning if private developers committed a certain percentage of units as affordable housing units.[22] Others criticized the housing policies as naïve, saying the private market strategy relied on the premise that providing any type of housing would inevitably lead to a stabilization of housing prices for all types of housing; a flawed premise as for-profit developers primarily construct luxury style homes beyond the financial means of working-class residents. The rising prices of housing and rental costs in Raleigh during Baldwin's tenure as mayor likely increased the rate of displacement and gentrification occurring within the city substantially. Housing justice advocates claim that this was the intent of Mayor Baldwin’s policies from the start.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Tauss, Jeffrey C. Billman, Leigh (March 27, 2019). "Exclusive: Mary-Ann Baldwin Says She's Running for Mayor to Lead Raleigh Into a Bold Progressive Future". INDY Week.
  2. ^ a b c "Mary-Ann Baldwin - Bio". Retrieved 31 March 2020.
  3. ^ Specht, Paul A. (July 21, 2017). "After 10 years on Raleigh council, Baldwin won't seek re-election". The News & Observer. Retrieved 6 March 2021.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. ^ Tauss, Leigh (10 December 2019). "Politics Ruins Everything: A Story About Nancy McFarlane, Who Happened to Be Raleigh's Mayor". Independent Weekly. Indy Week. Retrieved 30 March 2020.
  5. ^ Baldwin, Mary-Ann (27 March 2019). "It's official. #NotoriousMAB …". @maryannbaldwin.
  6. ^ "2019 election results". Wake County Board of Elections. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  7. ^ "'I'm really excited': Raleigh's new mayor-elect Mary-Ann Baldwin leads a city hall remake". ABC11 Raleigh-Durham. Oct 13, 2019. Retrieved Oct 15, 2019.
  8. ^ Pope Iv, Jonas; Johnson, Anna (June 17, 2020). "Raleigh to require face masks in effort to slow the spread of coronavirus".
  9. ^ "Emergency Proclamation to Require Face Masks - signed June 19, 2020" (PDF). City of Raleigh. June 17, 2020.
  10. ^ "Proclamation to Require Face Coverings Indoors". Raleigh. August 13, 2022. Retrieved June 1, 2022.
  11. ^ "Termination of Face Covering Order". Raleigh. February 18, 2022. Retrieved June 1, 2022.
  12. ^ "Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin tests positive for COVID-19". ABC11. April 18, 2022. Retrieved June 1, 2022.
  13. ^ Diaz, Jaclyn (October 30, 2020). "Raleigh, N.C., Sets Citywide Curfew Ahead Of Racial Justice Protests". NPR.
  14. ^ Burns, Matthew (October 30, 2020). "Raleigh mayor on protest; 'I am praying for peace and grace".
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External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by Mayor of Raleigh