TGR: POLITICS 2020: The Next Mayor of Baltimore

“The problem of the twentieth century
is the problem of the color-line—
the relation of the darker to the lighter races of men
in Asia and Africa, in America and the islands of the sea”.

                                                                   – W. E. B. Du Bois

By Doni Glover, Publisher
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(BALTIMORE – November 24, 2019) – While there certainly are some notable individuals who’ve dropped their names in the hat to become the next Mayor of Baltimore, I still think – unequivocally and unapologetically – that not one of them will be able to do the level of work as a Sheila Dixon.

Say what you want. Yet, pound for pound, I put her up against the best of the best. And she will continue to come out on top.

Korean American business advocate Julian Minn poses question to Dixon regarding laws governing liquor stores in Baltimore.

At present, the City of Baltimore is in the midst of the worst crisis we’ve ever seen. Between the murders, the lack of an education culture along with an under-productive public school system, and a beleaguered small business community – it seems as if our city on the verge of collapse.

When we find out that the Department of Public Works just learned it had $5 million in its coffers, it’s got to make one ask: Who is guarding the hen house? Last year, thirteen of our public high schools have zero students proficient in math. I wonder where such graduates will work. And don’t get me started on the state of policing in our beloved hometown; I can tell you this, it doesn’t take 7 or 8 years to get things finally right – contrary to what our officials are presently stating. Like Sheila Dixon, I think the job can be done within a much earlier time frame.

No one can argue that for one, Sheila knows the issues. And she also understands local government and the processes involved in getting things done. After all, when she was mayor, the city was run a hell of a lot better than it is today.

Well, that’s my 2 cents. Peep the video of her talk in Federal Hill with a group of concerned citizens and leaders, including Julian Minn, an advocate for Korean American business owners in Baltimore. This evening, Dixon was interviewed by the small but diverse group of people at a restaurant on E. Fort Avenue.

I must say, it was good to see the “Mayor for Life” of Baltimore in her element. Unlike others in the race, she is singularly focused on one political position – mayor – as she has been for the past several years. Is she running? That remains to be seen. However, it is quite certain that her sword is sharp and if she does get in the race, any and all – newcomers or not – will have a very formidable opponent.

Last time around, Sheila Dixon beat everyone who got in the race – despite a tilted playing field loaded with illegal campaign contributions, 1,800 voting irregularities that led to an unprecedented de-certification of the initial election results along with some 2,000 illegal chicken boxes that were accentuated with the rhetorical propaganda from a skewed local mainstream media that has consistently demonstrated it does not have a frickin’ clue as to what’s best for this city and the people who live here.

After 20 plus years of covering local elections, I’ve found that the candidates the mainstream historically tend to push on us in Greater Baltimore with a ‘Tom Brady pass’ – is white men in this, the Home of the Father of Segregation (Baltimore Mayor J. Barry Mahool). Everyone else ought to expect the guillotine in a city that is perpetually in denial of its most fundamental issue (but rarely discussed): institutional racism.

Over the years, I have learned that there are those in power who will facilitate development at North and Charles overnight without a blink, but will simultaneously ignore Penn-North for decades even though it was the epicenter of international media attention during the mayhem of 2015.

One would think that it was time to finally pay some overdue attention to Historic Pennsylvania Avenue … and East Monument Street after #FreddieGray. Both areas were amongst those hardest hit during the unrest. Yet, no one has done anything to improve these communities in East and West Baltimore.

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Although every politician in town showed up at Penn-North for the TV cameras from all over the world and used it as a platform for visibility, today Penn-North looks worse than it did then. And that’s pretty damn embarrassing.

Maybe that explains how Baltimore is still stuck on stupid as in the days of Jim Crow. While folks are feasting in one community, the other community is left outside in the cold … in a food desert … and a recreation center desert – while we’re at it. Go figure!

I can’t understand how we have some of the finest academic institutions in the world, and yet no one has figured out how to solve a fundamental problem that any kindergartner can solve. You have to spread out the resources so that everyone gets to eat. This selfish, nitpicking, and mindless type of distribution of resources is strangling Baltimore to death. And it makes no sense whatsoever.

Truth be told, the Lower Park Heights Community is long overdue for development. It should have happened at least 15 years ago. Today, interestingly, it’s as if there are no Black people left up there. The resources are finally getting there, but this is after years of people making an exodus out of the community because it became intolerable. Black people were similarly and strategically displaced in East Baltimore around Johns Hopkins, too. Many hoped to return, but that typically doesn’t happen. The same thing is happening in Poppleton and Washington Village/Pigtown around the University of Maryland complex. Black people, slowly but surely, are finding themselves living elsewhere.

The most poignant piece of evidence has to be our incredibly thoughtful subway system. To me, it is indicative of Baltimore’s warped way of thinking for the past 40 years or so. To me, it is the dumbest piece of mass transportation in the country. It is not egalitarian in nature, like the MARTA system in Atlanta. Both were constructed in the same era, but Atlanta’s makes all the sense in the world. It serves the entire metropolitan area. It kind of makes one ponder just what the architects were thinking here – and who was whispering in their ears as our one-legged subway was being planned. All I know is that if you live in East Baltimore or Northeast, the train typically comes nowhere near you. This subway goes from Owings Mills to Johns Hopkins. That’s it!

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Granted, we have a lot of issues, and whomever is going to be the next mayor will have their hands full. The one key element I am looking for, among all other traits, is who will love the people of Baltimore. All of the people!

I am looking to see who loves Baltimoreans. Our city needs a leader that understands the people and who will serve the people. We need a leader with skill. And we need one who is unafraid to walk through the community and be amongst the people. For me, that’s the only way you can serve the people; you have to listen to them.

What we do not need is any imitations. We need someone who is authentic and inclusive – not one who caters to a specific group, community, or political gang.

Nope! We can’t afford that. Right now, we have an influx of white addicts drifting through the community. They need help. We have vacants that instantly become abandominiums. They need attention. We have small business owners who are being run out of business due to a plethora of changes. They most certainly need help because they are the backbone of this and any society. And we have a city where education is no longer the key priority as drugs and crime have punished otherwise innocent babies who are now growing up with bitterness in their hearts. Murder is thru the roof and the family structure is – in many communities – non-existent. You wouldn’t believe how many of our teenagers are homeless.

With that said, I am going to keep trusting God that a strong leader will emerge in April 2020 who can get Baltimore back on the right track. I believe this in my soul. I don’t believe that God would put us here without some kind of hope. I just don’t.

God bless Baltimore! #Baltimore

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