Minorities bear some responsibility for lack of diversity on Columbia Association board

April 04, 2011

In the recent Howard section of The Baltimore Sun Larry Carson, when reporting on the upcoming Columbia Association elections, stated "that the CA board will remain an all white body for at least one more year in a town that celebrates diversity." ("What next? Watson has several paths to consider," April 3.) This is correct, but it is not the whole story.

When I decided not to run again this year for the position of the Village of Long Reach's CA representative, I first told two local African-American friends and asked each to announce this at their respective primarily African-American churches. I also stated that I would be willing to talk to any potential candidates to discuss the responsibilities, duties and few perks involved in campaigning and serving if elected.

No one stepped forward. Only then did I tell this to Ed Coleman, now the only candidate for the position, and then later to my village board. Do not misunderstand me — I think Mr. Coleman, with his history of serving on the village board and on CA's Financial Advisory Committee, is an excellent candidate and will serve well. But I was attempting to bring some ethnic diversity to the CA Board. If ethnic minorities wish to participate in their representation, then they must stand up and be willing to campaign and serve if elected.

Russ Swatek, Columbia

The writer is the Village of Long Reach's representative on the Columbia Association board.

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