Glendening makes pitch to neighborhood leaders CAMPAIGN 1994 -- THE RACE FOR GOVERNOR

August 03, 1994|By Thomas W. Waldron | Thomas W. Waldron,Sun Staff Writer

In his effort to woo Baltimore, gubernatorial candidate Parris N. Glendening met with more than two dozen neighborhood leaders yesterday to hear their concerns and to seek their influential support.

Mr. Glendening, a Democrat, told the group that he understands the city's problems, having tackled many of them in his 12 years as Prince George's County executive.

He vowed to make urban schools his No. 1 priority, encourage city investment through property tax breaks and push for community policing.

And in a nod to the assembled group, he said the best state government is a decentralized one that works closely with neighborhoods.

Mr. Glendening -- who will need city voters to become the first governor from the Washington area since 1867 -- was repeating urban themes he has sounded often in his gubernatorial campaign.

He has been endorsed by Baltimore Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke. And he has worked hard to cultivate Baltimore's community leaders, frequently touring city neighborhoods over the last few years.

Yesterday's meeting at a Charles Village church in North Baltimore attracted activists from across the city.

The candidate took off his gray suit jacket for an informal, hourlong issues discussion during which he asked for suggestions for solving the city's problems.

Community leaders quizzed Mr. Glendening, a longtime college professor, on everything from the explosion in the number of unwed mothers to a possible change in the procedure for appointing members of the city liquor board.

Mr. Glendening, 52, said he had no simple answers for solving the problems associated with unmarried parents, but said long term solutions will come through education and economic opportunity.

He also stepped carefully over the issue of liquor board appointments, which are now a legislative perk. Any change in the law, he noted, would require state lawmakers' approval.

His answers seemed to impress some listeners.

"It sounds good. I feel much better about him than I did," said Stuart Macklin, a leader in the Park Heights community who made a plea for help with crime and schools.

When he had to leave for another campaign stop, Mr. Glendening promised to come back for more discussion.

Recent polls have shown Mr. Glendening leading his three main Democratic rivals, state Sens. Mary H. Boergers of Montgomery County, American Joe Miedusiewski of Baltimore and Lt. Gov. Melvin A. Steinberg.

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