Stand Up, Fight Back, and Channel Outrage to Action
Last week, after three mistrials, State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby succeeded in winning the unjust conviction of Keith Davis Jr. on fabricated charges. Only one day later, Donald Trump issued his abusive, racist tirade against our city. We are as outraged by the conviction of Davis as we are by Trump’s hate-mongering barrage of insults. But outrage is not enough. It is past time to channel our anger into building new political structures capable of empowering Baltimoreans over individuals and institutions that have mislead our city for decades. Fighting back against a corrupt criminal justice system and the overt racism directed at our city requires fighting back against the structural racism that is embedded across Baltimore’s social and political life.
The events of last week demonstrate--yet again--the many ways that both Republicans and Democrats have failed our city. The racist redlining of Black neighborhoods was implemented by FDR’s supposedly progressive administration. The slumlords who profit from the evictions of family (like Jared Kushner) or poisoning Baltimore’s youth for generations with lead paint write checks to whichever politicians are likely to win elections, regardless of party affiliation.
The zero tolerance policing and the war on drugs that have devastated communities in Baltimore’s "Black Butterfly” were enacted not only by Republicans like Agnew, Nixon, and Reagan, but by Democrats like O’Malley, Clinton, and Biden. The same political figures who failed to hold the Morgan State police accountable for the death of Tyrone West are the same leaders who begged state legislators to grant Johns Hopkins a private police force. If we want different results, we must build power outside of the establishment institutions that have oppressed our city.
We, the people who make Baltimore great--the workers, elders, youth, students, teachers, parents, caregivers, organizers, activists, artists, and musicians--we know that we can’t keep electing the same establishment politicians and expect different results. Jack Young, Brandon Scott, and Martin O’Malley’s former chief of staff Matthew Gallagher will not challenge wealthy developers, Johns Hopkins, or the Baltimore Police Department.
If we want to put the needs of Black communities over the greed of Inner Harbor developers, if we are serious about giving young people agency over the resources they need to succeed, if we are committed to localizing a Green New Deal that will provide reparations and a remedy for environmental racism, then we need to challenge those responsible for these policies outside of the structures they dominate.
We are calling on you-- Baltimoreans with knowledge of and solutions for your neighborhoods-- to run for office with the Green Party in 2020. We share your vision of a Baltimore reenergized by the values of social justice, nonviolence, anti-racist environmentalism, feminism, and grassroots democracy. It’s time to stand up, fight back, and build power.
Our monthly working meeting will be on Sunday 7/21 from 4-6 p.m. on the 12th floor of the University of Baltimore Law Building (1401 N. Charles St.). We will meet at the tables just outside of the elevator lobby. Working meetings are a great opportunity to work on your BGP tasks with other fellow Greens.
When Bernard “Jack” Young took over as Baltimore City mayor after Catherine Pugh resigned in scandal he assured voters that he was not seeking the office in 2020. News is now circulating suggesting that Young will indeed seek the nomination, and that he is currently lining up funders behind a run. It seems as if Young runs his goal will be to use his sizable war chest in order to chase most potential challengers out of the race, leaving voters in the primary election with as few choices as possible.
Whether or not Young runs for a position he promised not to seek, the 2020 election is looking like the Baltimore Democratic Party establishment will offer voters much of the same old thing, well funded lifetime politicians who have been in charge for a long time, who have the power and influence to get other politicians behind them.
The Baltimore City Green Party does not think that the city can afford more of the same and encourages residents who believe that it is time to change the game to consider seeking office for 2020. We believe in Racial, Economic and Environmental justice and are guided by 10 key values that we think make a better Baltimore and Beyond.
If you are interested in changing the game and giving power back to the people of Baltimore take a look at our nomination process and get in touch today!
As you have probably heard, Mayor Pugh is on a temporary leave of absence as she recovers from pneumonia and deals with the state investigation into her Healthy Holly book deals with UMMS. Just this week, the the Baltimore City Council and the Maryland State Delegation have called on her to resign.
This is the latest example of the revolving door policy between wealthy institutions and powerful Democrats. While Kaiser Permanente purchased $100,000 of Mayor Pugh’s books and later received a $48 million contract to provide City employees with health insurance, poor Baltimoreans continue to pay ever increasing costs for medical care.
Meanwhile, and equally disturbing, Hopkins officials gave Mayor Pugh $18,000 in campaign contributions right before she pushed for a bill in the state legislature that would allow them to have a private unaccountable police force, despite the concerns of residents, students, and advocates.
The corruptions that undermine Baltimore are not limited to the most recent scandals. The decades of PILOT and TIF funding that have been given to developers are a legalized form of wealth transfer. This transfer of billions of dollars of taxpayer money to wealthy well-connected insiders is based on the same disregard of the people of the city, much like the UMMS and Hopkins pay-to-play scandals.
We Baltimoreans are left with little power to fight this corruption. The Mayor maintains significant influence over the board of estimates in the absence of any checks or balances; the City Council lacks any power to remove her without an indictment or resignation; no recall process or special elections exist for Baltimore residents to have a say in our City’s future. And the few in the City Government who do have influence are themselves appointed by or heavily influenced by the Mayor.
While this crisis is still unfolding, we do know that campaign finance law and ethics rules have been violated. We also know that Pugh is not the only one involved in this scandal, which is why we need to keep pushing to make sure the largely white male Democratic Party network involved in the graft and corruption are also held accountable.
At the core of this lies the fact that this was all done at the expense of Baltimore City residents. As thousands of copies of the books sit in warehouses or remain unaccounted for, City residents are struggle to meet their healthcare needs. This is why the Baltimore City Green Party calls for the mayor’s resignation and an expanded investigation into all people and parties involved. Indeed this as an opportune time to also call for Curt Anderson’s resignation, because we know that graft is not the only kind of corruption that the Democratic party machine protects.
There are absolutely changes that need to occur to the charter, and we look forward to robust debate about them in the council and during the petition process. The key values should be transparency, accountability and grass roots democracy where people are involved in the process of determining their future. That’s why we just released our call for candidates for 2020 this week and will be announcing more about plans for 2020 in the coming weeks. We believe now is the time for good people to come together and demand better.