City election offered few choices

November 09, 2011

Ho hum is the only thing I came up with when I received my elections reminder card last weekend about yesterday's elections. I have never seen such a pitiful list of "contenders" for major political offices. I am normally "charged up" with at least one candidate on the list when I review the ballot box choices, but not this year.

I know it has been challenging journey for Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake to fill the shoes of Sheila Dixon — to have to continue someone's else's legacy, and create a "brand" of one's own simultaneously. However, I still do not get the sense that the mayor is really connected to Baltimore residents — not the poor, vulnerable and disenfranchised neighbors that live in the worst parts of the city.

I'm not sure about the council president choices either or this "list of write-ins," which is best ignored. Why? If they didn't take the time to join the race in a timely manner to present perspectives on how to run this city then why in the world should we vote for "write-ins?" Who are these people anyway? I'm sorry that no one stepped up to the plate to contend against Joan Pratt either. There doesn't appear to be anything wrong with her administration (besides the $56 million deficit), but better to have a new face in the "game" — as I'm afraid of government officials in the "king's seat too long."

As an African-American woman, I am reluctant to show up at the polls, but unless I exercise my voting power, I, my people, and the Baltimore community at large have no hope at all. I urge all of us to keep voting anyway, pray for change, and pray for our leadership in Baltimore.

Verinda Birdsong, Baltimore

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