I attended a fundraiser the other night for Joseph T. "Jody" Landers. It is the second candidate fundraiser I've attended, the first being for Otis Rolley. Both men are smart, passionate about serving the city, and genuinely concerned over the future of Baltimore. Along with State Sen. Catherine Pugh, we have good, solid choices this year and can feel pride that Baltimore still attracts quality candidates.
However, I witnessed something at Mr. Landers' event that I have never seen before in any previous election, and it spoke louder than any slogan or speech. After the crowd departed the venue, I hung out and watched as Mr. Landers walked around the room and cleaned up. He carried around a large, plastic trash bag and went from table to table, disposing of empty plates while stuffing paper items into his pockets to recycle later.
I turned and asked his media director if Mr. Landers commonly did this. "Always," he responded rather nonchalantly. "Even when there's plenty of staff to do it he just can't help himself." It certainly left a quietly powerful impression on me. This nearly unnoticed act clearly demonstrates that, beyond what the cameras see, what the microphones pick up and what the banners proclaim, here is a man who insists on leaving a place better than when he arrived.
After what this city and this nation have been through in the last few years that's precisely the kind of character and resolve I'm looking for in the next mayor of Baltimore.
Ned Boyle, Baltimore