(BALTIMORE - Feb. 5, 2008) - Every four years Americans elect our President, and each election represents a serious and important choice. This year our country is facing difficult times: a shaky economy, two wars being waged by our over-extended military, and a sense that our position of leadership in the international community has been seriously weakened.
But challenging as these issues may be, we are blessed this year in having an exciting field of candidates vying to represent their parties in the November general election. As Democrats, we're particularly proud of the accomplishments of the individuals running in the Democratic primaries and caucuses.
As elected officials, we know first-hand the demands of campaigning, of making sure one's message is effectively communicated, of keeping voters' attention in the midst of constant distractions.
We also know first-hand the even tougher challenge of transforming campaign positions and rallying cries into laws and action that actually change citizens' lives for the better. That requires the ability to work together with those who don't see eye-to-eye with you, in your own party as well across the aisle. It requires the leadership to bring together disparate attitudes into a unified vision of what can be accomplished.
For these reasons, we are supporting Senator Barack Obama of Illinois for President. While all the Democratic candidates offer a significant positive change from the current Administration, we believe Senator Obama has the special combination of character and experience to lead us through the challenges we face.
Although some say that Senator Obama lacks the age or experience to be President, this is simply not true. Older than either John F. Kennedy or Bill Clinton were when they ran for president, he also has more years of elective experience than either Senators Hillary Clinton or John Edwards. In addition to his three years in the U.S. Senate, he served eight years in the Illinois State Senate. As a current and former member of the Maryland House of Delegates, we can attest to the State Legislatures as being the forum where a politician deals most directly with many of the most important issues in ordinary people's lives - such as education, health care, and public safety.
More than any other candidate, Senator Obama possesses the gift to inspire hope in those who have been turned off by the pettiness and cynicism of today's politics. He is motivating young voters in record numbers. Unlike too many in the partisan political world, he brings the ability to listen to views from across the spectrum and to coalesce these different needs into solutions that can work for our country as a whole.
To share a small example of the kind of leadership that Senator Obama offers: at an event last summer for Democratic activists, Mr. Obama was taking questions from the audience. One man asked the senator how he felt about gun control. Given the progressive bent of the crowd he was addressing, it would have been easy for Senator Obama to simply declare his history of support for gun control. Instead he told his listeners about the farmers of Southern Illinois, for whom hunting is an important tradition passed on from parent to child over the generations. Then he talked about the fears of parents in inner-city Chicago, whose children too frequently fall victim to handguns. He made the case that rather than shout simplistic slogans at one another, we can fashion solutions that protect our children while still respecting the different needs of a diverse society.
That is the kind of leadership we need: the ability to inspire and to point the way to a common future in which we can all participate and of which we can all be proud.
Op/Ed: This Wall is BLACK: When will the Bleeding of African-American Males End? by Marcus L. Murchison, Political Strategist
I also find it strikingly odd that the Baltimore Police Department was able to gain intelligence on a pact between the Bloods and Crips to take out police officers in Baltimore City, yet could not gain intelligence on the riots in order to be better prepared to control the chaos. Is this the boy who has cried wolf - what kind of sympathy plea was this? Charges have now been filed against the six Baltimore City Police Officers for their alleged roles in the death of Freddie Gray by State’s Attorney for Baltimore City Marilyn Mosby. These are not convictions, merely accusations that must be proven. The plight for justice must continue. Be wary of what fleecing could occur through plea bargains or a jury that just wants to go home.
Eventually the night will fall again on Charm City. The curfew will be lifted and the presence of Humvees and the shadows of guards will fade away. The media tents and trucks will come down and roll away; this will not be time for the two NACCP satellite offices to shutter operations and move on. This will not be a time for politicians, lay leaders and everyday citizens to leave their fight in the hands of the State’s Attorney. This will not be a time to defer the issues of Sandtown-Winchester another 30 to 40 something years. Life will return to normalcy. But a light will remain on this Black Wall.
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Op/Ed: An Open Letter to Black Voters: Let’s Not Rally around Martin O’Malley by Colin ByrdBy Colin Byrd
I don’t believe in coincidences, so I hope you’ll excuse me as I connect the dots on a few things that, on the surface, may appear unrelated.
On July 17, 2014, Eric Garner was killed by Officer David Pantaleo in New York, New York. New York was the setting of the Harlem Renaissance in which black writers, artists, and intellectuals moved to create a new black cultural identity characterized by group expression and self-determination. Read in Full >>
After the Cameras Are Gone #freddiegray (Dedicated to Khalil Green and The Stokely Project, Reservoir Hill)
But, despite this negativity, despite the lies, despite the truth that is glaringly obvious for the world to see … as Khalil Green so eloquently put forth in the most supernatural demonstration of extemporaneous oratory since MLK and Cicero, “I am optimistic …. I am optimistic that all of my black brothers and sisters are going to make it!”
The young brother who has every possible excuse to be a victim in a majority black city with majority black elected officials who have been bullied by the Maryland Democratic Party since the 60s told the world so proudly and so unabashedly so that he is going to be successful.
“I am not a statistic!”
“I AM NOT A STATISTIC!” Read in Full >>
Join Sen. Ben Cardin's Office, New Park Heights CDC, Bmorenews at Park Heights Community Awards, May 2, 2015, Zeta Center, 4501 Reisterstown Rd., Baltimore, MD 21215
Patricia Rideout-Howard - Community Advocate, President of NW District CRC
Deborah Woolford - Long time advocate and warrior for Park Heights
Teri Joyner-Johnson - Owner TJJ Arts Agency
Betsy Gardner - Liaison, Office of the City Council President
George Mitchell - President, Neighborhoods United
Saunie Tubman - Housing Coordinator, Park Heights Renaissance
Odessa Neale - Community Outreach Coordinator, Park Heights Renaissance
Viola Bell - Director, The NIA Center
Bishop Kevia Elliott - The Lord's Church
Councilwoman Sharon Green Middleton - 6th District
Delegate Jill P. Carter - 41st District
Leslie Yancey - Director, Zeta Center
Glenice Shabazz - Owner, Smart Steps Child Care Centers
Paula Fitzpatrick - Director, Grace Outreach Center
Pearl Clark - Secretary, Neighborhoods United
Israel Cason - Director, I Can't We CAN
Rick Fullard - President, Park Heights Development - Owner of the Yellow Bowl
The Park Heights Barber Shop - Mr. Til and Mr. Maurice
Hon. Ms. Lillian Sydnor - The Mayor of Park Heights Read in Full >>