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Charles Village community residents have no need to be worried


I FEEL THAT I must respond to the Nov. 30 editorial, "Schism in the 2nd District."

It was an abomination riddled with innuendo and conjecture.

I thought that I was reading something prophesied by a psychic. The Sun can now read minds? Not only did it speculate about who we would or would not represent, it even manufactured the reason why. But I'm not upset.

I'm not upset because The Sun put a lot of credence into a strained relationship that developed as a result of the 1995 election between the New Democratic Club (NDC), whose titular head is former City Council President Mary Pat Clarke, and the Eastside Democratic Organization (EDO), whose titular head is former Mayor Clarence Du Burns. I'm not upset because The Sun thinks that we would discriminate against any organization in the district based on a relationship between political organizations. I understand the ignorance.

Everyone knows that politics makes strange bedfellows. NDC and EDO had an off-and-on relationships for years. So, who knows?

It may be on again in the future. Nevertheless, the relationship between NDC and EDO has never affected the quality of services provided to the residents of the 2nd District. And it never will. We do not discriminate against any community organization in this district.

That may be NDC's brand of politics, but it's not ours. We represent everyone, whether they want us to or not.

What I am upset about is that The Sun is using a community organization in our district to encourage racial discord, invoke fear and to try to intimidate the newest member of this delegation. Poor Charles Village.

I feel sorry for the residents who are buying into The Sun's rhetoric -- allowing themselves to be used to promote The Sun's racist attitude and to insult our intelligence by implying that Charles Village won't get a sympathetic ear from two of us; asserting that their only alternative is to befriend the newest member of this delegation, a member whom they clearly stated that they did not want and who they plan to try to defeat in 1998. Who's fooling whom?

We are confident that many of the Charles Village residents (particularly those with whom we have excellent working relationships) know that they have an ear in City Hall.

They know that they have three sets of ears that would listen and three voices that would speak on their behalf. But, I must admit that there are a few cowards who are feeding The Sun rhetoric and using The Sun as a voice because they don't want our representation. They don't have the courage to confront us face-to-face.

A very important lesson learned from my mentor, former Mayor Clarence Du Burns, is that, "In this business, because of bias and ignorance, not everybody is going to like you. And there will be those who will not want you to do anything for them, but do for them anyway. Take them with you anyway."

This delegation subscribes to that philosophy. We are committed to improving the quality of life for all residents, and will serve the district well as a team. We will not be divided and pitted against each other.

The actions of The Sun and a few disgruntled NDC and Charles Village leaders are placing the entire Charles Village community in an adversarial position with other organizations in the district.

Other organizations wonder what makes them think they should have their own personal/private representative. And using threats of running Mary Pat Clarke and Carl Stokes does not bode well, either.

This negative political posturing must cease. There are a lot of good things going on in this district, and a lot more that needs to be done.

Paula Johnson Branch


The writer represents the 2nd District on the Baltimore City Council.

Pub Date: 12/28/96

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