Sheila M. Finlayson

Experienced leadership you can count on!

Sheila M. Finlayson is an Alderwoman on the Annapolis (MD) City Council. She serves as chairperson of the Public Safety Committee and as a member of the Economic Matters and Rules Committees. She is also the liaison to the Education Commission. Sheila has worked very closely with the Annapolis Police Department in programming to help reduce crime, facilitating the Safe Streets program in several wards in the City. This program brings jobs and health awareness to the community while reducing crime. She is also a great strong ally for the Annapolis Fire Department and the Office of Emergency Management, promoting public safety.


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Sheila has been a consistent voice for bringing the community policing model back to the City. The model includes hiring of more officers and getting officers out of their cars and connecting with the community to develop positive relationships.

Sheila has developed a number of initiatives which includes Light of the City for Safety, which ask residents to turn on their outdoor lights from dusk until dawn, to shed light in areas that are normally dark and unsafe, and the Annapolis Youth Summer Jobs Program which assisted in the employment of hundreds of City youth. Permanent job opportunities have grown out of the program.

Sheila attended Morgan State University, earning a BS in English, and the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, earning an MS in Cultural Foundations. She taught English and public speaking in the Anne Arundel County Public Schools for 35 years, before retiring in 2007.

In 2015, Sheila completed the Academy for Excellence in Local Governance through the University of Maryland.

Sheila was elected President of the Teachers Association of Anne Arundel County and had a successful tenure advocating for the professional, economic, human and civil rights interests of educators. She served for six years as the East Regional Director for the National Counsel of Urban Education Associations, representing nine states, advocating for national education issues.

Sheila is an education consultant and a recognized pubic speaker addressing a variety of community, business and education groups. She is also a trainer and provider of professional development, presenting at numerous conferences and conventions at the local, state and national levels.

Sheila received gubernatorial and executive appointments for both educational and historical committees and commissions. She is a member of the Local Government Advisory, who advises the governors of the headwater states on Chesapeake Bay Cleanup.

Sheila is a trained political organizer and has managed numerous campaigns. Her most noted campaign was for the late Aris T. Allen. She co-chaired the committee to name Aris T. Allen Boulevard and chaired the committee to build the monument in his honor.

Sheila was a member of the Leadership Anne Arundel Flagship Class of 1998.

Sheila has a passion for helping the community and has served on numerous boards and commissions of cultural, civic, and historical agencies including Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, the Community Action Agency and the Banneker Douglass Museum.

One of Sheila’s proudest accomplishments came with the opening of the Bates Heritage Park. Sheila worked with Judge Essom Ricks and with alumni, community members and federal, state and local governments to bring the reopening of this community treasure to life.

Sheila M. Finlayson has served for nineteen years as a member of the Annapolis Chapter of the Links, Incorporated. She served as Chapter President, VP, Secretary and Chairperson of Services to Youth. Sheila served the Eastern Area four years as the Eastern Area Chairperson for Services to Youth and was the appointed National Chairperson for Mentoring. She recently served on the Steering Committee for the Eastern Area Conference in Richmond, Virginia.

Sheila is a member of Mount Zion United Methodist Church in Eastport.