(Photo source: Facebook: Barbara Robinson)
(BALTIMORE – June 19, 2018) – Great people do not have to tell people they are great. Their works speak for them.
It is no secret. I do not care for Barbara Robinson. For the uninitiated, she was selected by the Democratic State Central Committee to replace Catherine Pugh when Pugh landed in City Hall. Nick Mosby, around the same time, was selected to fill Robinson’s delegate seat after Pugh assistant Gary Brown was denied a delegate seat when it was revealed that he put $18,000 into Pugh’s campaign war chest … illegally. Although that investigation on where that $18k came from was silenced, many questions linger. But, that’s another story.
With Tuesday’s primary election a week away, Robinson is not my favorite cup of tea because of her character. A few years back, she hired me to help promote a fundraiser she was having in Pigtown. I did my job in typical fashion. However, the turnout was low. Long story short, it took this woman 3 years to pay me. She felt as though more people should have attended her event, but it was not my fault. Truth be told, it’s all about planning.
Additionally, I have watched as Robinson has paraded around as if she made a difference in the Greater Baltimore Black Chamber of Commerce. I have been affiliated with this organization since Ray Haysbert founded it. I cannot tell you what Robinson did to move the organization forward. If anything, I saw her repeatedly use the organization to promote herself in the political realm as a business advocate.
Now, Robinson is in the fight of her political life as Delegate Antonio Hayes vehemently seeks to unseat her. I have watched Hayes for the past 22 years or so earn his stripes in Annapolis and at City Hall. He can articulate the issues. He does his homework. And he serves the people.
I can fondly recall when the Freddie Gray unrest exploded in 2015. Hayes corralled his colleagues to deliver food, water and medicine to the people who lived around Penn-North, including those who lived at the seniors’ home at Penn-North. He has repeatedly told me how state Senator Joan Carter Conway graciously assisted him in his efforts.
Further, I have watched Hayes take care of his grandmother, and his mother – for that matter – who recently passed. He was subjected to a heap of adversity throughout his life but has never cried about it to me. He just went about the business of serving the people. Besides, with a great aunt like Annie Hall, he was consistently surrounded by love. For those who do not know, Annie Hall is the President of Penn-North Neighborhood Association and is thoroughly involved in the business of improving the Penn-North community.
So, beyond a shadow of a doubt, I wholeheartedly support Hayes. In no way am I suggesting that he is Jesus’ little brother, but to say the least, he has my support. I also love his genuine support of small business and his peacemaking skills are to be respected. Given the many issues among politicians, Hayes has consistently toiled to find ways to work with people, including difficult people.
Marvin “Doc” Cheatham has repeatedly told me how he implored Hayes to help out James Mosher Baseball. And Hayes did help out the oldest black little league in the country. However, Cheatham is one of those people who just pushes and pushes. Those of us who know him know that his intentions are ultimately good, but Cheatham can often be a bit demanding. In any event. Hayes has done more for James Mosher Baseball in a couple of years than many other politicians have done – some of whom are nearly twice his age.
No pushover, Hayes comes from one of the toughest neighborhoods in Baltimore, i.e. Whitelock Street. While he has a relatively calm demeanor, do not disrespect him.
And that’s exactly what Westley West, a delegate candidate on Robinson’s ticket, did this past weekend. West put his hand in Hayes’ face right in front of a voter.
Additionally, West was witnessed pushing a female candidate who was also working the polls this past weekend for Hayes. Not cool!
As for Robinson, I guess she was impressed with West’s sign game. However, you can have all of the signs in the world, all of the money, and all of the endorsements. But, if you cannot control yourself at the polls, how in the world can we expect you to act upon making it to Annapolis?
Robinson has some questionable behavior as well. During her first run for delegate, one of her campaign workers called my number talking in a threatening manner.
It was the first and only time that has happened to me.
Truth be told, I wasn’t sure if she directed it or if her campaign manager, Julius Henson, did. Regardless, it has left a sour memory I will not soon forget.
Going to Annapolis to represent the people is a privilege that is earned. Nobody owns a seat. So, if a person wants to represent a constituency, they had better be on their best behavior. Making verbal threats, not paying workers, and physically putting hands on someone are not traits we want to see in our elected officials – whether it’s Barbara Robinson, Westley West, or even myself – if I should one day choose to run for office.
Early Voting this year has given us all yet another chance to see candidates’ true character. While politics can be the cruddiest game ever, it really does not have to be – especially when people put in the necessary work. Yet, some people will always think others are stupid, will try to get over, and will do anything just to have a title – including sell their souls to the devil. Even more, one has to question whether these candidates actually do the job? What impactful legislation have they pushed? What is their track record thus far?
In my honest opinion, Robinson and West both spell a lack of progress for the future of the people in the 40th state legislative district, a district I grew up in. This community deserves the best, people of the ilk of the late Sen. Troy Brailey. Brailey was the quintessential example of a public servant. According to his daughter, Alice Torriente – Civil Rights icons E. D. Nixon, A. Philip Randolph, Bayard Rustin, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. all frequented their West Baltimore home. And so did Jackie Robinson, Willie Mays and Ossie Davis.
You want to talk about greatness? Then all one needs is to reference Sen. Brailey and the impact he made on the 40th and Baltimore overall. That is why Easterwood Park was renamed after him when he passed. Now, that’s real greatness!