Statements by Candidates for President of the Baltimore City Council CAMPAIGN 1995

September 06, 1995|By VERA P. HALL

Eight years ago, I won a seat on the Baltimore City Council along with a host of other new faces. There was a new mayor, Kurt L. Schmoke, and a new president of the City Council, Mary Pat Clarke.

The 1989 elections were a watershed in Baltimore. That election marked the beginning of a new spirit in Baltimore politics.

That new spirit quickly evaporated in an adversarial confrontation between Mary Pat Clarke and some members of the council. That acrimony split the council and, in many ways, we have never recovered.

The Baltimore City Council needs a president capable of uniting the council, someone who has proved that she has the experience, commitment and leadership ability to bring people together for the good of the city.

In this race, I am that person.

Baltimore, like all large cities, has its share of problems. Crime and drugs, a declining tax base and the quality of our schools are problems the next mayor and city council will have to work on together.

I am running for president of the Baltimore City Council to lead the council in that challenge. I want to work with the next mayor in a cooperative manner to seek solutions. Our problems will not be solved by government alone, however. We need to bring together the leaders of Baltimore's business, clergy and neighborhood organizations with elected officials to attack these problems.

Much of our effort must focus on children. There is an African proverb that says, ''It takes an entire village to raise a child.'' I believe that. Where our children have gone astray, we must intervene early. Where drug dealers would corrupt our children we must act with force to punish them to the fullest extent of the law. We must hold parents responsible for their children. It is not the job of the school or the city to raise children, but it is our job to help.

Our schools must bring teachers, administrators, parents, students and the community together to work on problems.

As a former teacher and administrator in the Baltimore City Public Schools and as a parent whose children went to those schools, I bring a unique insight into the problems of education.

As president of the City Council, I will convene a summit of Baltimore community leadership to work with the council on solutions to our problems. I will also organize the council so that once every other month, the entire council will spend a day in one of the six councilmanic districts doing volunteer work to help the community. I want the council to be an example to the community of what the responsibility of citizenship means.

Baltimore's problems cannot be solved overnight. The solutions we will seek will not come easily. But I am convinced that if we elect a president of the City Council who can unite the council and work with the next mayor we can make a giant step forward.

I am the person who can do this. I would be pleased to have your vote.

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