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Vote David Harding for mayor of Baltimore | READER COMMENTARY

David Harding, Working Class Party candidate for mayor of Baltimore.
David Harding, Working Class Party candidate for mayor of Baltimore. (Handout)

There is another candidate for mayor of Baltimore in the November election — David Harding (“Voter guide: David Harding, Mayor, Baltimore City,” Oct. 5). Dave is the candidate of the Working Class Party and a longtime friend of mine. We and other volunteers worked for many months to get more than 14,000 signatures from people around the state of Maryland to allow another party on the ballot. When I said the two big parties don’t represent the interests of ordinary working people, some were particularly eager to sign the petition.

Dave works in computer operations at the Maryland Health Department and has been a union activist there in the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). He worked many years ago at Bethlehem Steel where he was also a union activist.

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Dave and I have both lived here for decades and see the same problems many others do — inadequate schools for most children, continually breaking water and sewer mains as residents pay higher and higher fees, a lack of affordable housing, racial injustice that never gets addressed which leads to much higher poverty and unemployment for some in the black community. Part of the Baltimore population lives near the poverty line, people whose health was poor long before coronavirus struck.

There’s an obvious answer to all these problems: money. And where can we find it? Look at big companies like Under Armour or Whiting-Turner or big institutions in Baltimore like Johns Hopkins. They get money and tax breaks from the city. That is the money that should be taken to meet the needs of the population. That’s what this new party will say.

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We also will say we won’t have our hands on any money until working people are ready to make a fight for it. And that means the whole working class — black and white, employed or unemployed or retired, young or old, women or men, born here or born elsewhere.

Voting in an election is not enough to change the population’s situation. But with their votes, people can say they agree with this perspective.

Cathy Permut, Baltimore

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