City Council needs fresh blood — and Republicans

Reports are that less than 12 percent of eligible voters and about 22 percent of registered voters participated in the Baltimore primary election ("Election draws lowest turnout in history," Sept. 14). What a disgrace to a city with so many crucial problems!

Election returns indicate that we will end up with virtually the same City Council members. Continuity even goes to the next generation: Note Agnes Welch's son, Pete, is slated to carry on. The City Council, like any other organization, needs new blood and new energy to address the problems of loss of population, inadequate financial resources, the devastating effect of drugs, unmet needs of the city's youth, boarded up houses, the list could go on. We are in desperate need of new ideas and advocates for their adoption.

The city delegation to the Maryland General Assembly could take a major step in the upcoming 2012 session to improve voter turnout. They could work to have the date for Baltimore City elections be the same as for the Maryland gubernatorial and U.S. Congressional election. (Every jurisdiction in Maryland does that except Baltimore City.) With more at stake, more voters would participate. Besides, it would save the city money.

Being almost a one-party city also favors incumbency. As a lifelong Democrat, I hesitate saying it, but we need some Republicans or Greens or other parties in on council to produce fresh thinking to address the city's problems.

Millie Tyssowski, Baltimore

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