(BALTIMORE – March 13, 2016) – We all know that polls give us an indication on what an election results could look like. They are not exact.
Last week, the Sunpaper’s poll suggests that Pugh is up 2 points on Dixon. This could be true. However, when it is all said and done, Bmorenews.com’s prediction is that Dixon wins by at least 10 points. We also believe there will be a great turnout, not what has typically occurred.
People are motivated. New City Council seats will be filled as some are stepping off. It is truly a time of great excitement for us political junkies and all those concerned with Baltimore’s well-being.
I think the riot has motivated a lot of people to get more engaged in the electoral process, whether it is voting or even volunteering for a candidate. Given that Baltimore was the center of the media universe almost a year ago, I think it is only human nature that all people in Baltimore will find more of a reason to vote.
Let’s be frank: Nobody wants another uprising. Maybe it’s fear. Maybe it’s our need for safety. I just think that a lot more people will vote than in some of the past elections where the turnout was dismal. I am reminded that pain is a great motivator. And, I think when the rubber hits the road, most people know that Sheila Dixon is the most likely of the mayoral candidates to hold this city together after years of benign neglect and unever development.
Who can forget the current administration and the Grand Prix, a failed enterprise that cost taxpayers $10 million at or around the same time when we couldn’t find a measly $600,000 for the recreation centers to operate? I sure can’t!
Then, there was the closing of the swimming pools in places like Gilmor Homes, the same area where Freddie Gray was arrested, in the August of 2011 when there was a record heatwave that summer.
I don’t think people have forgotten about these little things and, most importantly, how it made them feel: Like City Hall doesn’t care about us. That was the overarching sentiment in Sandtown. That was the sentiment, from what I’ve seen, in the Matthew Henson Community catchment area that extends to Easterwood Park and Coppin State. I saw similar neglect, including many dirty streets, all throughout Druid Heights and Upton while other parts of town look interestingly spotless.
It is this disparity in how the two Baltimores are treated that I think most plagues the minds and psyche of the citizenry. People wonder if anybody at City Hall has a clue. Further, from a black perspective, this is the first time since 1999 that voting blacks have a real chance to make a difference. I believe the Martin O’Malley political machine that wreaked terror on many black elected officials is severely weakened; and I think people finally have a chance to vote for someone who is going to serve them and not lockup every other person.
The way I see it, the civil unrest following the funeral of Freddie Gray just brought it all home … to Western District.
Karma’s a beast!
In short, people are tired of the same ol’ same ol’. For instance, my neighborhood hasn’t seen any investment for a long time. Gov. Larry Hogan’s recent visit where he announced some $600 million to fight urban blight might be the first attention we’ve gotten from an elected official in years. So, people want something more than what we’ve been seeing. And I think this is a part of the voting motivation.
I also think the pollsters who come up with these results quite often fail to call my neighborhood and neighborhoods like mine because the people I see most often tell me they have never been polled. I think a lot of these same people, generally speaking, love Sheila.
Quite often, pollsters fail to call black people in the inner-city. I have been asked many times this week if I got a call from a pollster. I did not.
My point is that media will paint a picture; that’s what it does. It’s up to the individual as to whether or not to believe it.
If the recent poll is accurate, we will soon see. But, considering the love for Sheila that I’ve personally witnessed all over town – coupled with this city’s need for a mayor who will both lead and effectively nurture the people, I think she will run away with this election. I think people know her heart and feel her passion to serve. As one who has followed her closely, I think she has grown and evolved into an even better leader. She has demonstrated poise, character and courage, especially in light of some of very ugly attacks.
To date, Sheila has not gone negative in her messaging.
Pugh will not be a pushover as she has implored the assistance of some pretty crafty operatives from outside of Maryland. Her presentation is pretty nice and her media background helps her to standout.
On the other hand, Sheila was born and raised here. She got married here. She is mother to a son and a daughter who were raised here and, beyond that, has an impeccable mastery of how a city operates …. from the streets to the suites. Even more, she has a lengthy track record of service where she touched many lives. Pugh will make a run for it, no doubt, in this her second attempt from her position as state Senator of the 40th.
However, at the end of the day, Sheila has the home field advantage and, I believe, will smoke the field: Dixon by 10. I think black voter turnout will outperform previous years because many will find comfort in having a true champion back where she belongs – much the way the DC embraced Mayor Marion Barry. Many have not forgotten how poorly she was treated, including being precluded from running in the 2011 election, and believe she deserves a bona fide chance to finish what she started …. to set the record straight.