Sheila Dixon

59, Marketing director for the Maryland Minority Contractors Association; former Baltimore mayor She of the landslide victories. She of the crime reductions. She of the, ahem, indictment. Lately, political observers have been watching Baltimore's first female mayor for hints about whether she plans a re-introduction. She's been making speaking appearances, weighing in on issues and openly mulling a 2016 political run. "I'm not sure yet if I want to go back into public office or to establish myself as an advocate for the people in another way," said Sheila Dixon, a former teacher and international trade specialist. "I'm kind of weighing my options." In the past year, she has joined the board of the Maryland Foster Youth Resource Center, helped minority-owned firms gain city certification and -- most important, she says -- helped her son Joshua, 18, graduate from Mount St. Joseph High School. "With good grades," she emphasized. In her role with the Maryland Minority Contractors Association, she says she has helped about a dozen companies navigate city bureaucracy, enabling them to add jobs. "It's very intense, time-wise," Dixon said of applying for city certifications and contracts. "Now that I'm on the other side of it, I see what their challenges are." Forced from office in 2010 after a misdemeanor conviction, she says she lives her life by a simple motto: "I look at each day as a new beginning." Her pastor, the Rev. Frank M. Reid III, says her resilience is rare: "She is a strong woman. She's been through a lot ... that would have discouraged and stopped others." -- Luke Broadwater
Algerina Perna, Baltimore Sun photo
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