Letters To The Editor


November 14, 2005

Find slogan that fits the complete city

The Sun's article on the need to rebrand Baltimore fails to consider alternative perspectives to those offered by the image consultant's report, which seems to blame the books and television programs associated with David Simon ("Baltimore: The city in search of a slogan," Nov. 8).

People are aware of these media products because they are excellent, path-breaking works that look closely at the diversity and reality of our city.

Rebranding Baltimore as a happy-image theme park to attract tourists would only further isolate elements of the community from the public debate we should be having about our city and the form of tourism we want to promote here.

The city might consider making the process of rebranding a public project that would incorporate the quirky, funky, off-kilter voices of the people of the city.

Yes, the Inner Harbor will remain the central focus of tourism for the city. But the image of the city should seek to incorporate all of its neighborhoods, just as all of the neighborhoods should see the benefits of the income from tourism.

Waleed Hazbun


The writer is a professor of political science at the Johns Hopkins University.

Give Baltimoreans a say on new slogan

Instead of paying $500,000 to an out-of-town brand-meister to try to dream up a brand name for the city, why not use the money to run a locally based contest for the best idea ("Baltimore: The city in search of a slogan," Nov. 8)?

The Baltimore Area Convention and Visitors Association has a reservoir of more than 500,000 lively, local imaginations to draw from, many of whom, I'm sure, would be happy to try to come up with a catchy Baltimore brand for free or for a modest reward.

Also, since it is we Baltimoreans who will be living with (or under) the new brand, it stands to reason that we should have a big say on what it will be.

Herman M. Heyn


Anthem dubs city `Home of the Brave'

Nearly 200 years ago, Francis Scott Key gave Baltimore the best brand a city could ever wish for: "Home of the Brave" ("Baltimore: The city in search of a slogan," Nov. 8)

Although he wrote his poem (which was later to become the National Anthem) about the United States in general, it was written specifically about Fort McHenry and Baltimore.

In an era of homeland security and concerns about crime, "Home of the Brave" still resonates.

And a logo with the words "Baltimore: Home of the Brave" and images of the waterfront, a sailing ship, the 15-star, 15-stripe city flag and fireworks would link Baltimore to history, patriotism, waterfront recreation and celebrations.

See, that wasn't hard, and it didn't cost a half-million dollars.

Fred B. Shoken


Voters are rejecting Republican agenda

President Bush's flawed policies are slowly but inexorably dragging down the Republican Party ("Dems sweep races in Va., N.J.," Nov. 9).

As Democratic candidates make gains at the polls and the president's popularity sags, it becomes apparent that Mr. Bush's slide is a reflection of his failed policies at home and abroad.

It has become obvious to voters that the Bush-Cheney team is more concerned with benefiting America's upper class than helping the average taxpayer. And in the foreign arena, the decision to invade Iraq proved a major blunder for which the administration must take full responsibility.

Republicans still wield the power in Washington, but voters are gradually waking up to the realization that the GOP's course is wrong for America.

Albert Denny


Democrats' success establishes no trend

The attempt by Democratic partisans to spin the election results in Virginia and New Jersey as indicative of a "negative verdict on the president's increasingly shaky standing with voters" demonstrates a true ignorance of recent history ("Dems sweep races in Va., N.J.," Nov. 9).

Democrats need to remember that in November 2001, with President Bush enjoying very high approval ratings, Democrat Jim McGreevey defeated Republican Bret Schundler in the New Jersey gubernatorial race by a margin greater than Sen. Jon Corzine's 53 percent to 44 percent victory over Douglas R. Forrester on Tuesday.

In Virginia, Democrat Mark Warner's defeat of Republican Mark Earley in 2001 was little different from Tim Kaine's victory over Jerry Kilgore - and unlike in 2001, this time Republicans won the two other statewide races in Virginia.

If Democrats truly believe that the 2005 results offer a "preview of the 2006 mid-term elections," they may want to reconsider.

The Democratic victories in Virginia and New Jersey in 2001 were followed by historic Republican gains in the 2002 mid-term elections.

At most, Tuesday's election results can be interpreted as a public voting to maintain the status quo - which is hardly good news for the Democrats.

Todd Eberly


The writer is a graduate student in public policy at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Patriotic students deserve applause

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