(BALTIMORE – July 23, 2022) – The Maryland Primary Election is over. Most of the winners are known. From the Democratic perspective, the winner of the primary typically wins the General Election because Maryland is a 2-to-1 Democratic stronghold.
Now that the deed is done, there is so much to unpack.
From the dominance of tickets to the impact of unions to one of the biggest questions of all: What happened to frontrunner and Comptroller Peter Franchot’s campaign?
I personally want to take a moment and salute all of the people who had the guts to put their names in the ring. Whether it was Clerk of the Court or Democratic State Central Committee or the Board of Education – I am proud of each and every one of you. And there are many others out there who appreciate your efforts to be politically engaged as well.
Running for office is one of the hardest things to do in America. There is so much sacrifice involved – sacrifice that immediately impacts any and every one around you, especially family. Put differently, without your immediate family’s support, whew…. I don’t know. It’s just not a good look. It also takes money. I’d say a good $50k for a delegate slot. Some say $80k, which speaks to a broader issue of the ability to raise money. Some people have that je ne sais quoi and some don’t. It takes studying and practicing speeches in the mirror. It’s late nights and early mornings. And it’s knocking on doors. I’d say running for office is one of the most brutal, unforgiving, and underappreciated things in the world.
If we have learned nothing from the past 20 years of politics, let us at least know that we, the voters, have to be engaged in the political process far beyond the voting process. We must volunteer on campaigns. We must help raise money for candidates because if you don’t, someone else will tempt them.
Yes, we have to put money into campaigns. We must! That’s non-negotiable. If we do not financially support our elected officials, we become the problem. Running for office requires money. Period.
I know people who vote and I know people who think politics is straight BS. Here’s the hit: We can think what we want, but if we do not master our political power and take a seat at the table, then we get pimped and sold down the river. Thus, we must be aware of the issues and who the players are. And we must get their cell numbers. Always get the cell number. We must formulate goals and strategies. And we must strengthen our alliances – such as the Baltimore-Prince George’s connection.
For too long, my beautiful Black people have been playing checkers while the big dogs have been playing poker. Remember, we are either at the table or we’re on the menu. Black people put way too much effort and energy into politics for the meager return we consistently get. We really have to master “the ask”.
Get involved. Don’t complain. If one elected official is hard to connect with, find another. There are so many opportunities but we have to build a rapport with our elected officials first. We can’t wait until we need them to build a relationship. And that means that we have to become better organized in our respective communities.
I live in Sandtown. I see people all the time come home from work and go into their beautiful homes and never stick their heads out until the next morning. We can no longer afford to stick our heads in the sand. There is too much going on around us all hours of the day and night. So, we have to re-connect in our very own neighborhoods first.
We all know the problems: addicts, dirty cops, crime, murder, poorly performing schools, vacants ….
If Baltimore City is truly going to become all it can be – even in a pandemic, then we all have to come together and re-claim our communities block by block … ‘cause this right here ain’t hittin’ on nothin’! This is not the city I grew up in. It’s like a house full of kids running rampant with no adult supervision. Like my Daddy used to say, “We can do better than this!”
Again – big ups to all of the people who ran for office whether you won or lost. Stick-to-it-tiveness is everything!