City's affluent, poor to decide council's Northwest members

Novices, incumbents vie in Districts 5, 6 and 7

Election 2004

October 28, 2004|By Matthew Dolan | Matthew Dolan,SUN STAFF

A preview of the 6th District race for Baltimore City Council that appeared in some Thursday editions did not list some of the public service activities of Stephanie C. Rawlings Blake. She also serves on the boards of the National Aquarium, Maryland Science Center, Living Classrooms, Greater Northwest Community Coalition, Parks and People Foundation and Baltimore Area Convention and Visitors Association.

Swaths of affluence and deep poverty cut across the three City Council districts of Baltimore's northwest reaches.

The 7th District, home to Druid Hill Park and the city zoo, is the closest of them to the center of the city. The race there pits two candidates who would be new to the council - Republican Owen Hanratty and Democrat Belinda K. Conaway. The latter is looking to continue a family tradition. Her father, Frank M. Conaway Jr., is clerk of the city's Circuit Court and is running for mayor as a write-in candidate against incumbent Martin O'Malley; her mother, Mary W. Conaway, is the city register of wills.

Hanratty worked at the International Union of Operating Engineers in Washington, but officials at the union said this week that he left that job this month. Hanratty did not respond to questions about his candidacy.

In the 6th District, current Councilwoman Stephanie C. Rawlings Blake, a Democrat, takes on Republican Melvin A. Bilal, an attorney. The so-called "eagle" district (labeled because of the wing-like shape of its borders) stretches from affluent sections such as Roland Park to less-prosperous areas such as Park Heights.

The 5th District, which includes Cylburn Arboretum and Pimlico Race Course, shares its northern and western borders with Baltimore County, and its neighborhoods run the economic scale.

There, current Councilwoman Rochelle "Rikki" Spector, a Democrat, takes on Dr. Terrence T. Fitzgerald of the Green Party. According to his Web site and city Republican Party officials, GOP candidate Elliott Cahan pulled out of the race and moved with his family to Israel. Party leaders said that they have not chosen a replacement.

District 5

Name: Rochelle "Rikki" Spector, 68

Party: Democrat

Occupation: City Council member.

Education: Forest Park High School; attended Baltimore Hebrew University and the Returning Women program at Goucher College.

Public Service: Baltimore City Council member since 1977. Past president and current Baltimore City Council representative, Maryland Association of Counties. Representative - National Association of Counties Board of Directors, Maryland Science Center, Comprehensive Housing Assistance Inc., Park West Medical Center, Epsilon Omega Foundation Inc. Member - Women's and Children's Advisory Board of Sinai Hospital, Northwest School-Community Partnership Safety Committee, Northwest High School-based Health Center Advisory Board.

Issue: "Since my district is mostly residential ... the most important issue is a good quality of life, which includes stable neighborhoods, quality public education, freedom from crime and drugs, and an attentive Baltimore City government to transportation and public works concerns."

Web site: None.

Name: Dr. Terrence T. Fitzgerald, 55

Party: Green

Occupation: Physician specializing in addiction medicine and medical director of Man Alive, an addiction treatment program with 600 patients.

Education: Creighton Prep in Omaha, Neb.; Stanford University; medical degree from the University of Nebraska.

Public Service: Past president of the largest union of salaried physicians in the country; 13 years active in Mount Washington Elementary School PTO; eight years as an officer of Fallstaff Middle School PTO; active member, Stop Slots Maryland; member, Baltimore Physicians for Social Responsibility; member, Social Action Committee of Baltimore Hebrew Congregation.

Issue: "The most critical issue for District 5 at this moment is the possibility of 3,500 slot machines at Pimlico Race Course, as [Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.] has proposed. Slot machines have high addictive potential and should not be placed in a city. Nor should this residential area be burdened with the traffic and other disruption that 3,500 slot machines will bring."

Web site:

District 6

Name: Melvin A. Bilal, 62

Party: Republican

Occupation: General practice attorney, specializing in clients who are preparing for parole.

Education: White Plains High School, White Plains, N.Y.; University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Public Service: Chairman of the foundation board at Coppin State University for 18 years; has served on Coppin's Board of Visitors, Johns Hopkins' Kennedy Krieger Institute, Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Maryland, the board of directors of Maryland Chamber of Commerce, Health and Welfare Council of Baltimore, the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Baltimore Museum of African-American Art; current board member, Provident Bank.

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