Curt Anderson

Curt Anderson
Curtis Stovall "Curt" Anderson
Member of the Maryland House of Delegates
from the 43rd district
In office
2003 – present
Preceded by Ken Montague, Michael Dobson
Constituency Baltimore City
Member of the Maryland House of Delegates
from the 44th district
In office
January 12, 1983 – January 10, 1995
Preceded by Torey Brown, Frank Robey
Succeeded by Ann Marie Doory
Personal details
Born October 12, 1949 (1949-10-12) (age 62)
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Divorced
Relations Shani Davis, cousin
Children Ambre Anderson, Curtis Ian, Damien, Christian
Residence Baltimore, Maryland
Occupation Attorney
Religion Christian

Curtis Stovall Anderson (born October 12, 1949) is an American politician, lawyer and former broadcast journalist. Anderson was first elected to the Maryland House of Delegates in 1983, is the chairman of the Baltimore City Delegation,[1] and past chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland. After serving 12 years, he was elected again in 2002. Anderson was also a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1992 (Clinton) and 2008 (Obama).



Anderson was born on October 12, 1949 to Leonard Curtis Anderson and Jean Stovall in Chicago, Illinois. His father, a graduate of the Morgan State College, moved the family to Baltimore, in 1952, to take a job as the Dean of men at Morgan State and assistant rector at the St. James Episcopal Church. Anderson's parents divorced in 1957 and he and his two sisters were raised by his mother.[citation needed]


Anderson attended primary schools in Baltimore and Glencoe, Illinois. In 1964 he entered the Baltimore City College. He was the captain of the football and track teams[2] and won a scholarship to Rutgers University. Anderson majored in political science and made the freshman and varsity football and freshman track teams. In the fall of 1969, Rutgers played Princeton, in the 100th Anniversary of college football; the first game being played by Rutgers and Princeton in 1869. Anderson saw limited action in the game and left Rutgers at the end of the semester. In 1973 he entered Morgan State College where he earned his bachelor’s degree in political science. He also played on the legendary “Ten Bearslacrosse team,[3] the only black college lacrosse team in America.[4][5] In 1982, after, his television career, he entered the University of Baltimore Law School where he earned his Juris Doctor.[1]

Television career

Curt Anderson interviewing Muhammad Ali, 1978

Prior to running for the House of Delegates Curt Anderson anchored the news at channel 2, WMAR-TV, and channel 11, WBAL-TV, in Baltimore, Maryland. Anderson was first hired by WBAL in 1976 as a reporter where he regularly covered the state legislature, Baltimore City Hall, produced features and even boxed a round with Muhammad Ali[6] as a feature story in 1978. In 1980 he was hired by WMAR-TV to be the station's weekend anchor and reported on such events as the Wayne Williams trial in Atlanta (1981) and the Cuban refugee influx in Pennsylvania. In April 1982, Anderson was let go by WMAR-TV following a 90 day labor strike.[7]

After the strike at WMAR, Anderson was let go from his television job and ran for the House of Delegates while entering law school. He won a seat served for 12 years before running for the Maryland Senate and losing in 1994.

Legislative career

Sen. Decatur Trotter, Del. Curt Anderson and Rev. Jesse Jackson during a Maryland Legislative Black Caucus meeting in Annapolis, Maryland (1988)

After serving seven years in the Maryland General Assembly, Anderson was elected chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland.[1] As chairman he sponsored and saw passed Maryland's Minoirty Business Enterprise Act. One of the benefits of this act for minority business was increased participation in major state projects like the building of Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Nearly 20% of the contracts let for the construction of the new ballpark went to minority owned businesses. After 12 years in the House, Anderson ran for the Senate in 1994 but was defeated in the democratic primary. He practiced law for the next 8 years. In 2002 he made a run for the House of Delegates. As before he was a non-incumbent running against four incumbents for three seats. Unlike his first race in 1982 where he beat all the incumbents and finished first, this time Anderson finished third with a razor thin 100 vote margin of victory over 4th place finisher incumbent Ken Montague. In the 2006 general election campaign, Anderson joined with 43rd district incumbents Senator Joan Carter Conway, and Delegates Maggie McIntosh and Ann Marie Doory to defeat a field of 6 other challengers.[8]


Since his return to the legislature in 2003, Anderson has been well known for his opposition to the introduction of slot machines in Annapolis.[9][10] Delegate Anderson organized protests against slots, wrote newspaper editorials[11] and took to the airwaves at several local radio and television stations to solidify opposition to bringing organized gambling into Maryland. In spite of strong support for slots by then Maryland Governor Robert Ehrlich, Anderson and his colleagues prevailed and a pro-slots bill never made it out of the House of Delegates though similar bills had passed the State Senate. In 2005, however, all that changed; both chambers passed different pro-slots bills. In the House of Delegates the measure passed by a 71–66 vote. In 2007 new Governor, Martin O'Malley, hinted at some marginal support for slots as a possible new revenue source. Although Anderson and O'Malley share party affiliations, Anderson remained a staunch opponent of bringing slots into Maryland.[12][13][14]


Curt Anderson is also the chairman of the House Judiciary's subcommittee on criminal justice,[15] the House of Delegates' Special Committee on Drug and Alcohol and former chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland's committee on crime and justice. In 2003, Delegate Anderson was appointed to and currently serves on the Maryland State Commission on Criminal Sentencing Policy.[16] His experiences from these positions as well as his background as a criminal defense attorney led him to the conclusion that most crime is just a symptom of the larger problem that society faces: drug addiction.[citation needed] In the 2007 session of the Maryland General Assembly, Anderson, therefore, introduced measures[17] to increase drug treatment[18] funding while requiring the state's courts to refer first time misdemeanor drug users to treatment. The initiative mirrors those adopted on the west coast under California Proposition 36. Anderson's other bill in the drug area represents a major change in Maryland drug policy, HB992, would have repealed the state's without parole provisions from the sentences of second time non-violent drug felons.[19] Referencing the fact that nearly 90% of those incarcerated in Maryland for drug felonies are of African-American descent, Anderson has sought to create a racially equitable solution to the drug problem.[20] The Maryland State Commission of Sentencing Guidelines is also considering changing sentencing guidelines for low level felony drug offenders.[21] Although the bill passed both Houses, it sits on the Governor's desk and could be the subject of the new Governor's first veto.[22] Additionally, Anderson was the House of Delegates floor leader on legislation that would automatically expunge the records of the thousands of young men who have been arrested in Baltimore City without being charged with a crime.[23] In 2006 more than 21,000 people, mostly African-Americans, were arrested in Baltimore City and then released hours later without being charged with a crime. Existing Maryland law would allow them to have their records expunged of these arrests but not without signing a written waiver of rights or waiting for three years. HB-10 would make the expungement automatic with no waiver, no fee and no waiting period. It passed the Maryland House of Delegates on March 7, 2007, by a vote of 130-[24] and signed into law on April 10, 2007.

Governor O'Malley, flanked by Speaker Busch and President Miller signs House Bill 6(2008) into law.


Anderson also sponsored legislation that would require the state's forensic laboratories be strictly monitored. The bill, which was signed by the Governor in 2007, proposed to ensure that the scientific reliability of forensic testimony could not be challenged due to a lack of appropriate standards and basic protocols.[25] (became law Chapter 147)[26] That same year he was also the primary sponsor of HB 1071, creating child fatality review teams for the prevention of child deaths (became law Chapter 264)[27]


During the 2008 legislative session Anderson sponsored the Custodial Interrogation Act which requires law enforcement officers to electronically record interrogations in murder and rape cases that resulted in confessions.[28][29] The bill was signed into law by the Governor in May 2008.


During the 2009 session of the Maryland General Assembly, Anderson introduced two bills aimed at strengthening Maryland's drunk driving laws: HB330 (Manslaughter and Vehicular Manslaughter -Penalties) and HB 212 (Preliminary Breath Test – Evidence).[30] Anderson was the primary sponsor of HB66, revamping and updating Maryland's theft statute.( Chapter 655)[31] he also sponsored several gun bills designed to decrease violent crime in Baltimore.[32]


Governor O'Malley signs the BLUE Alert executive order, June 2010

Anderson was the primary and sole sponsor of House Bill 1473[33] – Maryland's "BLUE Alert" system. A system similar to that of the AMBER alert but is activated when police officer has been killed or seriously wounded and the offender is still at large. Anderson's BLUE alert bill passed the House of Delegates with a 138–0 and passed the through the Maryland Senate with a 46–0 vote.[34] Governor O'Malley signed the bill into law in May 2010, but then moved up its effective date by signing an executive order implementing the BLUE Alert system on June 22, 2010.[35]


During the 2011 legislative session, Anderson was the sponsor of House Bill 241.[36] Aimed at public safety, this bill added shotguns and rifles to the list of weapons for which a mandatory sentence is required. The bill also increased the sentencing to 15 years in prison.

Activist in the Democratic Party

Curt Anderson canvassing for Barack Obama in Columbia, South Carolina, Jan. 26, 2008

Since entering the political realm Anderson has been active in the Democratic Party. He has been a member of the Mount Royal Democratic Club, the New Democratic Club (NDC2) and co-founder of the 43/44 Democratic Club all in Northeast Baltimore. In 1992,[40] Anderson ran successfully as a Clinton delegate, from Maryland's 7th congressional district, and eventually cast his vote for Bill Clinton at the 1992 Democratic National Convention in New York. In 2003,[41] he was co-chair of "Maryland Electeds for Howard Dean" and ran as a Dean delegate (Md 7th congressional district) in the Maryland presidential primary.[42] Howard Dean had withdrawn from the race but Anderson made a strong showing, finishing just behind the John Kerry delegates.[43] In July 2004, Anderson traveled to his home state of Illinois and spent a week campaigning for Barack Obama, who was running for the United States Senate. In 2006, Anderson took an active role in helping the Democratic party regain control of the Maryland Governor's mansion. He campaigned door to door for Martin O'Malley, Mayor of Baltimore, who was trying to unseat Republican incumbent Governor Robert Ehrlich. Anderson has also run Baltimore City-wide campaigns as well. He chaired Carl Stokes' mayoral bid in 1999, he spearheaded Question P in 2002 and was campaign manager for Larry Young, a candidate for President of the Baltimore City Council in 1987.
During the 2007 session of the Maryland General Assembly, Anderson recruited many of his colleagues to endorse Illinois senator Barack Obama for President of the United States, in December 2007, Anderson was chosen by the Obama Presidential campaign to appear on the ballot as a male delegate for Obama from Maryland's 7th congressional district.[44] Anderson campaigned in South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland and Ohio[45] for Obama, knocking on doors and phone banking.[46] Anderson's oldest son, Curtis, was chairman of the Norfolk, Virginia for Obama campaign.[47] In May 2008, the Maryland Democratic Party selected Anderson as an Obama PLEO delegate to the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado.[48]


  • 2008 Legislator of the Year- Office of the Maryland Public Defender[49]
  • 2010 Most Influential Maryland Legislators (Top 20)[50]
  • 2010 Legislator of the Year- Maryland Fraternal Order of Police, Maryland Chapter Concerns of Police Survivors[51]


  1. ^ a b c "Maryland Manual On-Line". Maryland Archives. Retrieved 2007-02-23. 
  2. ^ Strasburger, Editor The 1967 Green Bag. place of publication unknown, 1967.
  3. ^ Harrison,, Miles Jr.; Chip Silverman (2001). Ten Bears. USA: Positive Publications. p. 185. ISBN 0-967992-21-4. 
  4. ^ Hill, David (2008-08-28). "Baltimore Delegate Curt Anderson knows about firsts". Baltimore Examiner. Retrieved 2008-09-01. [dead link]
  5. ^ Eisenberg, John. "In Black And White, For The Silver Screen – A Lacrosse Story". Black Athlete. Retrieved 2007-04-23. "A Ten Bears movie would focus just on Morgan's team." 
  6. ^
  7. ^ Saunders, Adrienne (2004-04-08). "Delegate Anderson Overwhelmed on House Floor". Capital News Service. Retrieved 2007-03-01. 
  8. ^ "Official 2006 Gubernatorial General Election results for Baltimore City". Maryland State Board of Elections. Retrieved 2007-02-22. 
  9. ^ "Slots Legislation Faces Opposition In House". WBAL TV. 2004-01-30. Retrieved 2007-03-11. 
  10. ^ "NAACP Slots Forum". NAACP. 2007. Retrieved 2008-12-05. 
  11. ^ Anderson, Curt (2004-05-25). "The Cost of Legalized Gambling". Commentary (The Philadelphia Inquirer(local news-Montgomery County)). 
  12. ^ "Our View". Delmarva Daily Times. 2007-01-13. Retrieved 2007-03-11. 
  13. ^ "O'Malley's Tax Plan Faces Opposition". WJZ-TV. 2007-10-04. Retrieved 2007-10-04. [dead link]
  14. ^ "Senate Bill 3". Maryland Department of Legislative Services. Retrieved 2009-02-02. 
  15. ^ "Maryland House of Delegates: Judiciary Committee". Maryland State Archives. Retrieved 2007-02-25. 
  16. ^ "Commissioners". Maryland State Commission on Sentencing Guidelines. Archived from the original on 2007-10-10. Retrieved 2007-03-12. 
  17. ^ "Delegate Curt Anderson". Maryland State Department of Legislative Services, Office of Information Systems. Retrieved 2007-03-12. 
  18. ^ "Drug Policy News". Drug Policy Alliance. Retrieved 2007-03-12. "Clearly, the current practice of using prisons as a catch-all solution for social problems cannot continue." 
  19. ^ Lazarick, Len (2007-03-24). "House Rejects Parole for Drug Offenders". Baltimore Examiner. Retrieved 2007-04-11. [dead link]
  20. ^ "Report Shows the Racism Behind Drug Sentences". Law Professor Blogs Network. Retrieved 2007-03-17. "Repealing the minimum-sentencing laws would allow judges to require treatment, particularly in the case of a low-level dealer who sells drugs to support an addiction" 
  21. ^ "Draft Minutes". Maryland State Commission on Criminal Sentencing Policy. Archived from the original on 2007-10-24. Retrieved 2007-03-21. "the Commission should develop a system of diversion from incarceration for low-level drug offenders" 
  22. ^ Rein, Lisa (2007-05-08). "Bill Could Shorten Some Drug Dealers' Prison Time". Washington Post. Retrieved 2007-05-14. "Advocates for repealing fixed terms say locking up nonviolent offenders instead of treating them is ineffective" 
  23. ^ Sherman, John (2007-05-08). "Erasing Arrests". WBAL-TV. Retrieved 2007-05-14. 
  24. ^ "House Bill 10". Maryland Department of Legislative Services. Retrieved 2007-04-21. 
  25. ^ BILL INFO-2007 Regular Session-HB 879
  26. ^ "Senate Bill 351/HB789". Maryland Department of Legislative Services. Retrieved 2009-03-02. 
  27. ^ "House Bill 1071". Maryland Department of Legislative Services. Retrieved 2007-05-11. 
  28. ^ "HB6". Maryland Department of Legislative Services. Retrieved 2008-03-21. 
  29. ^ Smith, Van. "Fess Up". Baltimore City PaperServices. Retrieved 2008-05-21. "Instead of calling for cameras to be used when suspects in custody are being questioned in 18 crime categories, as initially proposed, he told the committee the bill now requires it in four: murders, rapes, and first- and second-degree sex offenses." 
  30. ^ "Delegate Curt Anderson". Maryland Department of Legislative Services.$.htm. Retrieved 2009-02-04. 
  31. ^ "Delegate Curt Anderson". Maryland Department of Legislative Services. Retrieved 2009-04-15. 
  32. ^ BILLS SPONSORED BY – Delegate Curt Anderson
    District 43 – 2009 Regular Session
  33. ^ "House Bill 1473". Maryland Legislative Services. Retrieved June 28, 2010. 
  34. ^ "HOUSE BILL 1473". Maryland Legislative Services. Retrieved January 30, 2011. 
  35. ^ Kartalija, Jessica. "Blue Alert System Begins In Md.". WJZ tv. Retrieved June 29, 2010. 
  36. ^ "House Bill 241". Maryland Legislative Services. Retrieved April 16, 2011. 
  37. ^ "House of Delegates Results". Maryland State Board of Elections.  Retrieved on Dec. 15, 2010
  38. ^ "House of Delegates Results". Maryland State Board of Elections.  Retrieved on Mar. 3, 2007
  39. ^ "House of Delegates Results". Maryland State Board of Elections.  Retrieved on Mar. 3, 2007
  40. ^ Maryland State Board of Elections
  41. ^ Politics1 – P2004: Profile of Gov. Howard Dean (D-VT)
  42. ^ Chesire, Mark (2003). "Commentary: On Second Thought – Will Maryland Matter?". The Daily Record. Retrieved 2007-05-11. 
  43. ^ "2004 Presidential Primary – Official Results: Male Delegate to the National Democratic Convention". Maryland State Board Of Elections. 
  44. ^ "2008 Presidential primary candidates". Maryland State Board Of Elections. Retrieved 2008-01-07. 
  45. ^ "Maryland Democrats Go to Ohio for Obama". Baltimore Examiner. Retrieved 2008-03-05. [dead link]
  46. ^ "Obama’s surge could change Md.’s political future". Baltimore Examiner. Retrieved 2008-02-15. [dead link]
  47. ^ "Hampton Roads for Obama Event". VB Dems. Archived from the original on 2008-01-07. Retrieved 2008-02-15. 
  48. ^ "Maryland Democrats Complete Convention Delegation". Maryland Democratic Party. Archived from the original on 2008-05-08. Retrieved 2008-05-13. 
  49. ^ "Defender of Defenders Award". Office of the Maryland Public Defender. Retrieved 2008-10-02. 
  50. ^ Poll (April 2, 2010). "Where Does Your Legislator Rank? See the list.". Maryland Gazette of Politics and Business. Retrieved April 10, 2010. 
  51. ^ "Maryland Chapter Concerns of Police survivors". Maryland Fraternal Order of Police. Retrieved 2010-08-02. 

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