The Baltimore City Council began to undergo a monumental shift Tuesday as a number of younger, novice politicians were poised to win Democratic nominations that historically secure victories in November's general election.
The Baltimore City Council on Monday unanimously approved Federal Hill Neighborhood Association President Eric T. Costello to fill a vacant seat, but several members expressed concern over a process they said lacked true community involvement.
Fifteen residents of Baltimore's 11th District — which includes downtown, Federal Hill and Bolton Hill — spent Tuesday evening making their best pitches on why they should fill the vacant City Council seat left by William H. Cole IV.
The death of an East Baltimore man during an arrest has been ruled a homicide, and Cortly "C.D." Witherspoon and his bullhorn have been at the center of rallies calling attention to the issue. His involvement in such a high-profile case is no coincidence — a gifted speaker who has forged unlikely ties with activists such as the Occupy movement, Witherspoon has been increasingly emerging as an omnipresent agitator.
More than 70 candidates are vying for 14 seats on the Baltimore City Council — a job characterized by lengthy meetings, endless calls from residents about vacant homes and rats, and, in the city's strong mayor form of government, very little political power.