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Short List in a Twist?

Posted 5/31/2006

I’ve gotta know, why are you letting Jess Harvell maim the music portion of your newspaper? Besides Mr. Harvell’s poorly written reviews of local bands and shows, it seems he has taken it upon himself to render the Short List completely useless, by limiting it to one band per night (or less). Such a move not only inconveniences your readers, but more importantly hurts local bands and clubs, especially those that can not afford to have their show schedules advertised. This all leads me to wonder, why did you ever replace Bret McCabe with Jess Harvell? Maybe the next person who reports on our local music scene should be a part of it.

Dana Murphy
Baltimore

Music editor Jess Harvell responds: Every week, City Paper’s calendar editor spends a lot of time compiling that week’s musical events and breaking them down day by day. As the name implies, the Short List is now devoting a few extra words to the shows that we actually think City Paper readers might most like to spend their hard-earned cash on, whether it’s one per day or 10 or 100. If you really miss the old Short List, read through the Clubs/Concerts section of the Baltimore Weekly and imagine a few bad puns mixed in with the band names.

Mayor’s Race Fever—Catch It!

In regard to Erin Sullivan’s article (“The Next Mayor Is . . .”, May 17), the field of potential mayoral candidates could be quite full, but the issue of what Baltimore really wants and needs in a candidate was not fully addressed. Baltimore needs a mayoral candidate who understands what the voters truly care about. According to recent polls by Baltimore’s Safe and Sound Campaign, city residents really care about the opportunities available to its children.

When asked how Baltimore should spend its $60 million-plus surplus, city residents overwhelmingly supported expanding opportunities for children, youth, and families. Ninety-one percent of all polled and 95 percent of women support funding to expand outreach to pregnant women to make sure their children are born healthy—and 83 percent of city residents and 86 percent of women want funding to continue and expand after-school programming. Eighty-four percent of African-Americans polled said that in the gubernatorial race they would be much more likely to support a candidate who pledges to increase and improve services for children. Also, 90 percent of those polled in Baltimore “believe it is important to make sure that city services for children in this community such as after school programs, education, job training, school readiness and health care are available.”

So, what kind of leader does Baltimore need? Baltimore needs the kind of leader who will support initiatives that ensure that babies are born healthy, that every child enters school ready to learn, that every student in Baltimore can read by the age of 9, and that our children and youth have safe, caring after-school programs. Baltimore needs the kind of leader who believes that when you have opportunity life turns out better. Baltimore needs the kind of leader who is willing to back up that belief with funding that provides opportunities for our young people.

Currently, the city budget for fiscal year 2007 is in the hands of the City Council, several members of which may one day want to be our mayor. Baltimore’s Safe and Sound Campaign, a coalition of taxpayers, community groups, school leaders, and others, has asked that the budget include $5.4 million of surplus to be designated for programs aimed at providing opportunities for children, youth, and families. It is now up to our current mayor and members of the City Council to effectively represent its constituents in the budget process and insist that $5.4 million for opportunity be included.

The next mayor will need to be a true leader with strength, integrity, and, as Frank Conaway put it in the article, “guts.” Luckily for voters, they will each have a chance to prove his or her mettle in the current budget debate. In the coming weeks, nearly all of the potential mayoral candidates mentioned will have a chance to show the citizens of Baltimore what matters most to them, and we should pay attention.

Emily Gallagher
Baltimore

I want to congratulate Erin Sullivan for her awesome article “The Next Mayor Is . . .” which was honest and convincingly humorous about individuals who have their eyes on the prize of wanting to be the next mayor of Baltimore.

As I see it, there are many poor black people who do not know that there will be a primary in September between Mayor Martin O’Malley and Montgomery County Executive Doug Duncan. As of May 22, 2006, I have not seen any yard or window signs in my Southeast Baltimore neighborhood about the upcoming Democratic gubernatorial primary.

It is alleged that former Republican president Ronald Reagan once said he did not need black folks to win an election. Are white political candidates in the state of Maryland taking poor black folks for granted? Do white candidates believe it is a waste of money to post yard signs or bumper stickers in poor black neighborhoods?

As an Afrocentric feminist, I want the next mayor of Baltimore to be a black woman.

Right now, Ms. Shirley Franklin is the mayor of Atlanta. She was elected in 2001. Franklin is the 58th mayor of Atlanta, a major Southern city. I am proud of Shirley Franklin’s leadership in Atlanta.

Baltimore is similar in many ways to Atlanta. A black woman could manage Baltimore City effectively as a businesswoman.

In her book Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center, bell hooks wrote: “Before we can resist male domination we must break our attachment to sexism; we must work to transform female consciousness. Working together to expose, examine, and eliminate sexist socialization within ourselves, women would strengthen and affirm one another and build a solid foundation for developing political solidarity.”

I want City Council President Sheila Dixon to be the next mayor of Baltimore City after September 2006 and beyond 2007. No one has paid me to say that.

Larnell Custis Butler
Baltimore

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