Green Party nominates City Council candidates

Eight contenders speak at convention in library

March 14, 2004|By Tom Pelton | Tom Pelton,SUN STAFF

With voices raised against corporate welfare and one-party rule, the Baltimore Green Party held its first convention in the city yesterday, attracting about 100 people to a library basement to nominate eight candidates for City Council.

"The members of the City Council of Baltimore City ... should be on the streets of Washington demanding our money back, and demanding that the billions of dollars of federal money that go ... into the black hole of military spending be used instead for the health, education, transportation and general welfare of our citizens," said Dr. Terrence T. Fitzgerald, a physician nominated to run for the council's 5th District in Northwest Baltimore.

The small but earnest group, many wearing jeans and passing out photocopied fliers, listened to the candidates speak from a stage in the community room of the Govans branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library. Party members ate pasta salad in a hall decorated with green crepe paper and handmade posters reading "ecological wisdom," "non-violence" and "personal and global responsibility."

Although Democrats have held every seat on the 19-member City Council for more than a half-century, the Green candidates said yesterday thatthey were energized by their success in helping to pass a referendum in November 2002 that shrank the council by four seats and created single-member districts.

This year's election is Nov. 2. Myles Hoenig, 48, a public school teacher from Waverly who is running for the new 14th District in North Baltimore, said he wants to end the mayor's control over the city's Board of Estimates, which approves contracts, and to attain more citizen oversight of the school board.

"We need council members who were born with spines and who have kept them as adults," Hoenig said.

Matt Clark, 34, a woodworker from Upper Fells Point who is running for the council's new 1st District, said he opposes tax breaks for developers and the demolition of historic buildings.

Bill Barry, 61, director of the labor studies program at the Dundalk campus of the Community College of Baltimore County, proposed a minimum wage in the city of $10 and higher taxes on millionaires.

David Greene, 69, a retired physics teacher at Towson University, said he'd like to take power and profit away from drug dealers by allowing clinics to pass out small amounts of drugs to addicts.

Glenn L. Ross, 54, the president of the McElderry Park Community Association who is running for the new 13th District in East Baltimore, said the city needs to focus more on urban environmental problems, such as trash, rats and abandoned properties.

Brandon Welch, 36, an actor running for council president, said he wants less police brutality, more attention on removing lead paint and a council that will stand up to the mayor.

Paul Dibos, 41, a project manager for an architecture firm who lives in Charles Village and is running for the 12th District in Central Baltimore, said he wants better public transportation and a moratorium on demolitions in the city.

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