The world knows Baltimore City for its crab cakes, Baltimore Ravens, and civil uprisings. Zac Dingle knows Baltimore for his memories as a child playing football and baseball, forming lasting friendships with his pals from Winston Middle School, and following his dad around the city as he mentored countless youth who had fallen into the juvenile justice system. He also knows Baltimore as a city desperately in need of effective and innovative leadership.

When asked about seeking an elected office, Zac’s response was somewhat predictable. “I’m a social worker. Running for public office wasn’t something I thought of every day. I was busy running my business. However, these last two years of increased crime, ransom of our city government, and an alarming rise in substance use has forced me to ask what more can I do to help this city that I love to my core. Late last summer, I saw another gut-wrenching headline about another youth being murdered in the city and decided I had to get myself more involved in what’s happening to people in this city.”

Dingle learned of the retirement of 4th district council member Bill Henry and decided he would elevate his spirit of service and seek the council member’s seat. He declared his intention to seek the city council office in December 2019. It was an easy decision for Dingle. “I have spent my entire life in this district. I established my business in this district twenty years ago, I have supported numerous youth from this district, my extended family continues to reside in this district, and I intend to remain in this district.”

Being a first-time candidate has not been without its challenges. For Dingle, figuring out how to communicate his message for how he envisions the district can improve and how to reach as many residents as possible proved to be a challenge. “I historically have not been that person that goes out in front of a crowd and begin talking. I prefer to be that person that remains in the second row, the one that is listening intently. Thankfully, my training as a social worker has helped me to overcome that apprehension and really get out there and let people know what I believe in and how I plan to govern if elected.”

The Dingle campaign has consisted of several rounds of literature drops on doors throughout the district, participation in various candidate forums, participation in summits on crime, conversations regarding mental health, mailings and phone calls to constituents, and events for food distribution. Mr. Dingle also plans to host several Facebook Live conversations on his vision for district 4 in the coming weeks leading to the election. “I want as many people as possible to understand that this district means everything to me and that I plan to represent everyone in this district. I have spent my entire adult life serving others and this is just me continuing to serve but on a larger platform. If elected, it would be an honor to serve my fellow residents and together we can restore district 4 to a district of innovation, economic prosperity, and personal and professional development. That’s the social worker in me.”

Zac Dingle understands service: at age 19, he served as a combat medic in the United States Army, 92 Bravo

Zac Dingle understands business & economics: he has owned and operated Jumoke, Inc. for more than 20 years and employs 60+ individuals

Zac Dingle understands education: he has established partnerships with the Morgan State University School of Social Work and established the first-ever trauma-informed scholarship for a deserving college student

Zac Dingle understands youth: his company has provided residential, mentoring, and life-skills services to thousands of youth

Zac Dingle understands mental health: a trained and licensed social worker, Zac routinely addresses issues of mental and substance use disorders, and other psychosocial factors

Zac Dingle understands advocacy: as chairperson of the Maryland Provider Advisory Council from 2010-2017, he routinely advocated for better outcomes for residential treatment centers and youths served in the state of Maryland

Zac Dingle understands his 20+ years of experience in the district 4 community and talking about what he has done for others and will continue to do for others makes HIM the right person for the office of city council.

Article by Brenda Wade

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