Ad introduces Rawlings-Blake

Campaign adwatch

August 25, 2007|By Sumathi Reddy

City Council President Stephanie C. Rawlings-Blake, a longtime council member, airs the first television ad of her campaign starting Monday. The ad is introductory, focusing on her family, background and goals.

This is the second television ad in the four-way Democratic primary. The 30-second spot will be aired on all four major network local affiliates through the Sept. 11 Democratic primary, according to the campaign.

What the ad says: The ad begins with 1970s footage of Baltimore and childhood photos of Rawlings-Blake, including one with her father, the late Del. Howard P. Rawlings. "Baltimore was changing, and civil rights activist Pete Rawlings taught his daughter to take great pride in her city," says the male narrator.

The screen cuts to Western High School and a yearbook photo of Rawlings-Blake. "Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. From Western High School, to college, then law school," the narrator says, as a photo of her law school graduation appears, with her father in it.

Footage of Rawlings-Blake working in City Council chambers appears, with the text "Elected 1995."

"She became the youngest ever elected to City Council, now City Council president," says the narrator.

Rawlings-Blake is shown standing in front of community members at a town meeting as she says, "Strong gangs and weak schools will not be our legacy."

Next she's shown painting with children at a local school. "Expanding after-school activities, working to reduce dropout rates," the narrator says as the screen cuts to a silhouette of her walking in a high school hallway with two teenage girls.

Rawlings-Blake is shown with her husband and daughter, blowing bubbles at a picnic. The narrator says, "A young mother with her eye on Baltimore's future." She's showing standing outside City Hall, smiling. "Keep Stephanie Rawlings-Blake as City Council president."

The facts: There isn't much to fact-check here because the ad is introductory and biographical. In 1995, at age 25, Rawlings-Blake was the youngest person to be elected to the City Council. She is now City Council president, elected by her colleagues in January after the former president, Sheila Dixon, became mayor.

Improving the school system and fighting gangs are part of her platform. Expanding after-school activities and working to reduce dropout rates are also part of her vision.

Analysis: This is a straightforward, positive introductory ad for Rawlings-Blake. The ad lays out her upbringing, making the connection to her father, a well-respected public figure who was head of the House of Delegates' powerful Appropriations Committee.

Voters are reminded of her experience, as she's shown in the council chambers, and the fact that she was the youngest elected council member. And she tells voters about two key pieces of her platform, improving schools and fighting gangs. She's also shown interacting with the community and her family.

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