Second: New Faces and Ideas

July 25, 1991

Sarah Louise Matthews thinks better-off Baltimore City families should help solve the housing problem. "Open your garages for the homeless in the wintertime," she told a recent Mount Royal Democratic Club meeting.

Donna Beth Joy Shapiro advocates neighborhood revitalization and historic preservation. She owns a Victorian tea house in Waverly and is president of Baltimore Art Deco Society.

Bea Gaddy has won admiration for her two eastside soup kitchens. "I have become a professional beggar for food, clothing and housing," she says. If elected to the City Council, "I want to teach John and Mary self-help and self-worth."

There is no shortage of intriguing ideas and new approaches as 13 Democratic candidates battle for three City Council nominations in the Second District. That district includes some of the city's most depressed inner-city neighborhoods; it also includes such middle- and upper-middle-class areas as Mount Vernon, Bolton Hill, Charles Village and Guilford.

Over the past two decades, the district has generated much political talent. City Council President Mary Pat Clarke and former mayor and current mayoral candidate Clarence H. "Du" Burns are two of the politicians who have emerged from a historic alliance between the New Democratic Club of the Second District, a largely white, middle-class organization, and the black, working-class Eastside Democratic Organization. Subsequent political splits are now severely testing this tradition of interracial partnership.

Even though two council incumbents, Anthony J. Ambridge and Carl Stokes, look strong, a veritable donnybrook is shaping up. It was triggered by incumbent Jacqueline McLean's decision to give up her seat and run for city comptroller. The dominant organizations have been unable to agree on a joint endorsement for the vacancy and are divided between Paula Johnson Branch, who has campaigned for the council twice before, and Bernard C. Young, a Johns Hopkins Hospital employee. Meanwhile, Peter Beilenson, a Johns Hopkins physician vocal about urban health and social issues, is waging an energetic door-to-door campaign.

There are other candidates. They probably will not have a chance but may draw enough votes to affect the outcome. Among them is Michael Jankowski, a lawyer and businessman; Leonard E. Cannady, a former director of a mayor's station; Pamela Carter, who has worked hard on voter registration, and Kevin Brown, who ran four years ago. The Second District clearly is one to watch.

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