Time to engage in some Right Mindfulness. The four-mile jog this morning definitely helped reframe my thinking…a pouring of a fresh, hot cup o’ perspective.
So let us focus on Maryland's District 12 today, my home district. But first some quick thoughts:
Yesterday, I attended the Thurgood Marshall Democratic Club of Howard County candidate forum/endorsement meeting. It was an absolutely gorgeous April morning and, although woefully bereft of my coffee, spirits were high. Prime parking near the hotel that was hosting the gathering was tight…but another driver waved me into a spot, although we arrived at roughly the same time. As she drove past, I realized the driver was a candidate. We briefly exchanged pleasantries. Total class act.
This positive energy continued through TMDC President Ethel Hill’s opening remarks and County Council member Courtney Watson’s statement. The peaceful easy feeling ended abruptly…like a car door being slammed on the third phalange…when Lisa Markovitz (County Council District 1 candidate) stated: “village centers should be retained, if possible.” [Emphasis mine]. Cue record screech sound effect. This is where the reasonable-seeming mask, and it is a mask, is coming off that campaign. Maybe it was a verbal gaffe on her part…but I think it reveals a window into a “let’s go back to the past” mentality that is bad for area merchants, bad for local shoppers and bad for Howard County as we seek to support existing residents and businesses…and attract new ones…to help keep our communities vital.
Let us return to District 12. No sense in allowing the ill humors to gain a foothold. Here are my endorsements for the Democratic Primary Election. There are three of them (the 12th is a multi-member state legislative House District that elects three Delegates).
There is a question that pollsters ask, there are a few variations but it boils down to: “Does Candidate X understand the problems of people like me?” I believe that Brian Bailey not only gets the challenges that families deal with in our district, but that he will be a capable advocate for our families in Annapolis. I’ve been to multiple forums and he consistently presents a thoughtful plan for addressing some of the most pressing concerns facing Howard and Baltimore counties…ranging from education to job creation to transportation to environmental issues. I hope that voters in our district take a good look at Mr. Bailey’s platform and consider the wide range of support that he is receiving from several progressive organizations. I’ve been around candidates long enough to sort the wheat from the chaff, the sincere from the phony, and the workhorses from the showhorses…I believe that Brian Bailey is the real-deal, ready to roll up his sleeves, and toil for the 12th. I stand four-square behind Mr. Bailey and I hope he is nominated in June and elected in November.
Several months ago, I would have thought it unlikely that I would write the following words, but I am supporting Clarence Lam as well. I had some early concerns about his positioning, but he has proven to be a formidable candidate. He must have a teleporter because he is all over the District. He is smart, hard-working and has an impressive background as a health care practitioner (Dr. Lam is a “board-certified physician in preventative medicine at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health”) and as a public policy expert, having worked at the federal and state levels. He is also active in the local community through multiple organizations. The potential is there for a distinguished career in public service and that is why I support Clarence Lam for Delegate.
I wanted to endorse Dr. Terri Hill earlier, but something held me back. Perhaps some reflexive contrarian impulse kicked in when the Democratic establishment lined up in support of her candidacy (author’s note: I have a general predisposition in favor of insurgent campaigns). That said, focusing on her stellar qualifications, her broad and deep knowledge about health care, and her commitment to social justice, I am convinced that Dr. Hill would be a great state legislator. Harvard smart with an easy-going personality and accessible communications style, Terri Hill is ready, from “Day One” as the saying goes, to be an excellent representative for the 12th District.
If I had a fourth vote, it would be for Adam Sachs. A low-key fellow with some bold progressive ideas…with the moxie to quote Lou Reed as he did at a recent forum…it would be interesting to see what someone like him could do in Annapolis.
In the interest of riding this endorphin wave for as long as possible, I am not going to comment at length on the other six Democratic candidates at this time. I have already written about disbarred attorney Michael Gisriel. I think Cohen is a complete non-starter. The others (Ebersole, Stewart, Dongarra and McGuirk-Spence) all have positives and negatives, some have more of the latter than the former. But that is a discussion for another day, if necessary.
Stay tuned, as more will follow.