10:30 AM EST, January 25, 2013
Kim Trueheart, arrested for attempting to enter City Hall, is undoubtedly guilty ("Activist jailed, barred from City Hall," Jan. 24). She has often been witnessed attending meetings of the City Council and Board of Estimates where she regularly questions city leaders, including Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, on decisions that were seemingly taken in back rooms before the meeting started. She is an acknowledged advocate of open government who has demanded that Baltimore adhere to laws requiring disclosure of funding and policy decisions and the processes that led the them. She has even been seen in the offices of various city agencies, poring over records to learn the inner workings of our byzantine city government.
Ms. Trueheart is a self-professed advocate for our city's youth and a committed, involved, passionate citizen who is deeply concerned for the fate of our young people who is unwilling to be pacified with assurances that everything will be fine if we just trust the mayor. She is a serious, intelligent civic activist who does her homework and insists on bringing facts to light, regardless of the embarrassment they may cause the power elite.
It's unclear why Ms. Trueheart was banned from City Hall. Allegedly, she was being "disruptive." If it is disruptive to question the mayor's decisions or to demand that public records be shown to the public, or for taxpayers to enter public buildings or speak at public meetings, then Kim Trueheart is guilty because she dedicates her time and her personal life to just those activities.
But while Ms. Trueheart may be guilty, Mayor Rawlings-Blake is blatantly wrong. Baltimore needs more people like Ms. Trueheart. She is the type of citizen who should be praised and cherished as a model of what democracy can offer and a sworn enemy of the closed door, backroom dealing, imperial mayoral system Ms. Rawlings-Blake seems to favor. I hope all the citizens of Baltimore will take a minute to call City Hall and demand that for once the mayor do the right thing: Free Kim Trueheart and let her voice ring out for open government and improvement of our city.
Mac Nachlas, Baltimore
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