Saying that Kurt L. Schmoke lacks the fire and aggressiveness to be an effective mayor, longtime community activist the Rev. Daki Napata says that he is running for the city's top job.
Napata, 39, made his announcement yesterday.
"I've become gradually disappointed at the present mayor and his administration," Napata said. "I had hoped to see a new era when he was elected. But it has become very clear to me that we need another type of mayor who is more aggressive, more available and unafraid to take more aggressive stands."
A Vietnam veteran and a Democrat, Napata is a resident o Irvington. He is married and has three children. He has been unsuccessful in past campaigns for the City Council and the House of Delegates. Currently, Napata says he is an organizing consultant and the pastor of the Minister Malcolm X New African Baptist Church, which holds many services at the Center for World Culture, 110 W. Mulberry St.
Over the years, Napata has participated in numerous demonstrations. Several times he has been led by police from City Hall. Just yesterday, he was at City Hall protesting with with a group of homeless activists.
During the City Council hearings on redistricting, he engaged in shouting matches with council members. In the past, he has worked for divestment from businesses involved in South Africa, worked with the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance and in various peace and civil rights campaigns.
He also has worked for the American Friends Service Committee, the Citizens Planning and Housing Association and the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance.
"My major task now is to do some major fund-raising and people mobilization," Napata said.
Napata acknowledged that his campaign is a long shot.
His opponents in the Democratic primary include several very well known candidates. In addition to Schmoke -- who already has raised more than $1 million for his re-election effort -- they are former Mayor Clarence H. Du Burns and William Swisher, the former city state's attorney.
Other hopefuls include political unknown Sheila Hopkins, and Gene Michaels, a perennial candidate for mayor.
Running in the Republican primary is Joe Scalia, a University of Baltimore law student.