IF YOU DO NOT VOTE FOR THIS KIND OF REDISTRICTING YOU GET WHAT WE HAVE IN BALTIMORE'S REDISTRICTING BY RAWLINGS-BLAKE LAST YEAR. SHE CLEARLY WROTE THE MAP IN FAVOR OF THE ENTERPRISE ZONE DISTRICTS.....CORPORATE CENTERS, GIVING THEM MORE VOTING POWER. SHE IS GIVING THEM ALL OF YOUR TAX MONEY AND YOUR PAY CHECK NOW, JUST WAIT UNTIL THEY GARNER MORE POWER! WHEN SMALLER COMMUNITIES ARE GERRYMANDERED INTO AN AFFLUENT AREA THEY ARE SILENCED. THIS COMMUNITY DOESN'T HAVE TO BE BLACK OR HISPANIC, IT CAN BE WORKING CLASS OR MIDDLE-CLASS. YOU CAN SEE IN THE ARTICLE BELOW THE DISCUSSIONS AROUND THIS MAPPING. MORE IMPORTANTLY FOR BALTIMORE IS BILL HENRY'S PROPOSAL TO TAKE THE NUMBER OF DISTRICTS FROM 15 TO 9. HE IS DOUBLING DOWN ON KEEPING ANY ONE COMMUNITY FROM HAVING POWER OVER THESE ENTERPRISE ZONE AREAS. THE BIGGER THE DISTRICT, THE LESS LIKELY THE AVERAGE PERSON WILL BE ABLE TO CHALLENGE INCUMBENTS.
THESE REDISTRICTING MAPS ARE SHOWING YOU THAT YOUR INCUMBENT IS WORKING TOWARDS A COMPLETE CONTROL OF THE CITY BY CORPORATE INTERESTS. WE ALREADY HAVE JOHNS HOPKINS WITH A POWERFUL HOLD......RAWLINGS-BLAKE IS SEEING TO IT THAT THESE CORPORATE ANCHORS ARE THE CENTER OF EACH DISTRICT.
VOTE AGAINST STATE REDISTRICTING MAP IN REFERENDUM!
TELL CITY COUNCIL YOU DO NOT WANT BILL HENRY'S 9 DISTRICT MAP! GET READY FOR TO PETITION TO REFERENDUM THE RECALL/RETROACTIVE TERM LIMIT BY ORGANIZING SIGNATURE COLLECTION GROUPS!
I ALSO WANT TO EMPHASIZE THE IMPORTANCE OF THE NEXT ELECTION FOR STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL. WE WANT A CANDIDATE THAT ACKNOWLEDGES CRIME WHEN HE SEES IT AND SEES REGULATION AS A GOOD THING. WE HAVE A DESPERATE NEED FOR THIS IN MARYLAND. THESE ARE THE CHARACTERISTICS OF A GOOD ATTORNEY GENERAL. NOTE HIS EXTENSIVE WRITING AND PUBLIC SHOUTING AGAINST WALL STREET AND THE LACK OF PROSECUTIONS AND PENALTIES! I ENCOURAGE EVERYONE TO WRITE MICHAEL GREENBERGER AND BEG HIM TO RUN FOR MARYLAND ATTORNEY GENERAL. HE IS NO DOUBT A CORPORATE LIBERAL, BUT HE IS RULE OF LAW AND THAT IS WHAT IS IMPORTANT FOR ATTORNEY GENERAL!
Michael Greenberger Law School Professor and
Director, Center for Health and Homeland Security
Phone: (410) 706-3846
Fax: (410) 706-2726
E-mail: mgreenberger @ law.umaryland.edu
AB, 1967, Lafayette College
JD, 1970, University of Pennsylvania
Biography | Selected Publications | In the News
GREENBERGER HOSTED THE FOLLOWING EVENT:
The Maryland Law Review and Center for Progressive ReformIn Collaboration with the Center for Health and Homeland Security and the Environmental Law
Program Proudly present
The 2012 Ward Kershaw Symposium
Too Big to Jail: The Roadblocks to Regulatory Enforcement
The Maryland Law Review will host the 2012 Ward Kershaw Symposium, "Too Big to Jail: The Roadblocks to Regulatory Enforcement," which will address the failure of the regulatory system to respond to the housing crisis, the BP oil spill, and other disasters in a proactive and effective manner. The regulatory system is meant to ensure that statutes enacted to improve quality of life and protect against potential dangers are fairly, efficiently, and effectively enforced across the country. From the mundane to the arcane, the regulatory system touches almost every aspect of modern life: banking, workplace safety, environmental protection, taxes, social security, food safety, the availability of medicine, natural disaster response, and many more. It is no surprise then, that when a disaster occurs, the media, politicians, and the public are quick to ask: where were the regulators? This question has only become more meaningful in recent years as incidents like the housing collapse, the BP oil spill, the Big Branch Mine Collapse, and salmonella outbreaks in multiple types of food have not resulted in many, if any, consequences from regulators. In light of these problems, this symposium will bring together scholars, practitioners, and regulators from different regulatory areas: health and safety, labor, banking, finance, and the environment, to discuss potential solutions to the current regulatory mess.
IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO STOP THESE ATTEMPTS TO LIMIT CONTROL OF GOVERNMENT AT ALL LEVELS. WE SEE INCUMBENCY BECOMING ENTRENCHED AND THIS REDISTRICTING IS LEADING THAT EFFORT. WE NEED TO ROOT OUT CORPORATE POLITICIANS TO REVERSE THIS CAPTURE OF POLITICS!!!!! PEOPLE WHO USUALLY SIT ON THE SIDELINES HAD BETTER STEP UP.....WE HAVE 80% OF BALTIMORE CITIZENS NOT VOTING.....CAN YOU IMAGINE IF THEY ALL CAME TO THE POLLS?
VOTE YOUR INCUMBENT OUT!!!!!
City Council face redistricting map, vacancy rule changes and election surprises
Last night, the Baltimore City Council got a glimpse of the Mayor’s Redistricting Plan that some say speaks to a political grab for her closest cohorts, while she says it merely reunites certain neighborhoods.
In accordance with the Baltimore City Charter, Mayor Rawlings-Blake submitted her proposed City redistricting plan to the Council last night, having it in on the deadline date of January 31 of the year following that of a census. This suggested map outlines the newly drawn lines of the City’s 14-council districts, as previously adopted in 2003 based on Question P. This plan had called for Baltimore City to go from its 6-districts of three council members, to the present single-member representation. During this reworking of Baltimore’s map, neighborhoods were divided based on population, geographical locations and more, leaving certain neighborhood associations splintered with more than one community association group to represent one neighborhood. Yet this shall soon be changed based on the past One Man, One Vote Supreme Court decision that led to the population-based redistricting process that we see today on a local, state and federal level.
The new plan, which seems to have increased the size and representation of Council District 11, represented by Councilman William ‘Bill’ Cole - questionably the Mayor’s closest advisor and cohort on the Council – calls for the divided population amount in each district to be that of approximately 43,500 residents. However with districts such as the 11th, which has more downtown business entities not occupied by counted residents yet owned by big business campaign donors than any other district in the City, would seemingly justify why this would be considered the most affluential district in the City? Since the 2010 Census information shall not be ready in time to be considered by the Mayor or the Council in terms of drawing the lines in a fair and comparative sense of representation, they must go by what the Neilson Claritas Census Block Group estimates for the 2010 approximate changes in city population over the last decade.
However some community members and organizations have reviewed the proposed map and changed district lines and have expressed their distain for such politics. “These lines were apparently drawn to give more financial incentive to some of the Mayor’s closest and favorite council members,” says Michael Eugene Johnson, President of the Paul Robeson Institute and candidate for the 9th district council seat in 2011. “The Mayor, and/or the Council once they put their spin on it, wants to punish those who have wronged them, giving political allies more affluent areas that are populated with likely voters, while also seeing to it that some have a more favorably mapped area, having greater incentives for land developers and business owners to give to those elected individuals.”
However speaking to those concerns, even to the more specific charge of trying to assist her long-time colleague, friend and current floor leader in the Council, Vice-President Ed Reisinger in the 10th district; the Mayor simply states that, “Baltimore has changed significantly in the past ten years. This new map reflects those changes while respecting our cultural traditions and heritage.” When pressed on how certain Council members felt about the proposed redistricting map, most seemed to hold their comments as they still have 60-days to make certain amendments and changes of their own before they then would have to re-submit their plan to the Mayor for approval. The last time this change was challenged by the Council in 1991, then City Councilman Carl Stokes, who later ran for Council President and lost, yet is currently back on the Council representing the 12th district, was said to be the architect of then Council President Lawrence Bell's backed plan, that won over the proposed plan of then Mayor Kurt Schmoke, which called for a more white based 3rd district, while Stokes and others backed a more African American drawn third district. However as they saw their chess moves play out successfully in the redistricting battle, their plan eventually backfired as the black candidate they thought would get in based on this redistricted map, George Brent, was beat out by now Governor,, yet then unknown 3rd district candidate Martin O’Malley.
As this proposed plan goes to the Council in the form of CB 11-0642 – Mayor’s Redistricting Plan – it shall head the Committee of the Whole, who Council President Bernard ‘Jack’ Young, last night chose to have be Chaired by 1st district Councilman James ‘Jim’ Kraft and Vice-Chaired by 7th district Councilwoman Belinda Conaway. For more information or input on this map you can go to the City’s website, call City Hall, go to the informational hearings on this proposed plan and see the Mayor’s proposed map here. Examples of the reunited neighborhoods the Mayor spoke of include the following:
Barre Circle, Belair-Edison, Carroll-Camden, Ellwood Park-Monument, Federal Hill, Franklin Square, Greektown, Guilford, Harlem Park, Midtown-Belvedere, Morrell Park, Park Circle, Remington, Violetville, and Washington Village.
Also introduced last night was a jointly sponsored Rule Change to the Council’s Vacancy Hearing governing body. This proposed change, submitted by the Council President and Councilman Cole, would reduce the number of elected officials participating in the vacancy nominating process and increase the number of community members involved, who would participate in the nominating process, that would then be submitted the full council for approval.
Rule 5-11; Vacancy: Would require the City Council President to appoint a 13-member nominating committee, within 7-days after the vacancy occurs, compromising of 11-community residents and 2-City Council members who shall represent the neighboring or “abutting” districts of the one vacated. Eight of the eleven community members would be “selected” from “officers” among the listed community, neighborhood or improvement associations of said vacant district. The other three members shall be “representatives” of businesses of said vacated district. Then the President would appoint the Chair of said Vacancy Nominating Committee from among the committee members. Public notice of the nominating hearing would still be at least 7-days before the hearing is held, with the hearing being held within the same 30-day timeframe after the vacancy occurs, currently listed in the Rule.
This proposed change goes contrary to the current Rule, which states that the President, along with all the standing committee chairs, with two other council members appointed by the President, making up the said vacancy nominating committee. However this process, decried by community leaders and members of the 9th district during the recent vacancy filling was labeled unfair and bias. The latest nominating process saw William ‘Pete’ Welch take the place of his retiring mother, Agnes Welch. The senior Welch, held the 9th district council seat for 27-years, while having her son serve as her Chief of Staff the entire time in office. Among the several persons submitting their names to the Council for consideration of this vacancy filling, was that of Michael Eugene Johnson, Abigail Breiseth and Dr. John Bullock, along with the younger Welch.
The rule that has stood the test of time for decades, is now seen as politically motivated and out of touch as these council members were not from the vacant district therefore should not be the ones discussing and/or deciding the outcome of the person chosen to fill this important role. It was previously understood that when the City had three council members representing each district, that when one retired, passed away or otherwise resigned the post, the other two remaining council members would have jurisdictional courtesy as to who they though would be the best fit candidate. However never being pressured to implement a new plan or rule since the council districts changed based off of Question P in 2003, which saw the then six, 3-membered districts turn into 14-single membered districts. However now certain officials feel something needs to be done. “After going through this process recently it was clear to me that the council needed to take a closer look at the nominating process,” Councilman Cole said. “I was pleased to work with the Council President on a process that puts the decision making into the hands of the residents.”
However not everyone is particularly happy with the proposed change to the rule as one group has asked, 'Who shall then be ‘selected’ from among the community members and/or business entities to represent this district, and who is to say the President would be correct in ‘selecting’ those individuals over the other community groups and businesses?' However the Council's Vice-President Reisinger says that he believes this is the best plan possible for now; with the nuts and bolts of who, what, when, how, etc…being worked out in committee or through the proposed public hearing on the bill which was suggested by 14th district councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke.
Yet it seems as though if she, along with bill sponsors Bill Henry Jr., Carl Stokes, Pete Welch and Rikki Spector had their way, they would probably not support this change, as they have introduced their own bill urging the Maryland State Legislators in Annapolis, to support adoption legislation giving Baltimore City the same right to fill Council vacancies through special elections, enjoyed by charter counties throughout the State. “As we recently saw community folk upset with the appointment process, some for the political patronage shown to some rather than others, while others were concerned about the advantage one would have by being appointed to this seat in the next election; we felt this would be the best solution to satisfy all parties involved,” says the bill's main sponsor Councilman Henry. “The state legislature must change this process, as history would show that the current state law governing other jurisdictions does not effect Baltimore City; thus the support for state legislation.”
This 1990’s ‘special election’ council change to the other 23-Maryland counties Henry spoke of apparently did not mention or include Baltimore City, as stated in a 1998 Attorney General’s decision. This history saw that when then Senator J. Pica was forced to resign his Senate seat in 1997, then Councilwoman Joan Carter Conaway was selected by the State’s Central Committee to fill his vacancy. Her vacancy on the City Council was then filled through the appointment of central committee member, Ms. Rita Church, who unknowing if she was willing to run for the seat, saw the City locals lining up for the 1998 city 'special election'. However the previously mentioned A.G.’s decision was handed down, disappointing many who planned a run at this council seat. Church did not run for re-election of the seat in 1999, however this decision was never rectified, though the decision made reference in its opinion that the State legislature fix this apparent oversight? Therefore if the 2011 legislative class of these 188-members decide to pass such legislation this year, it would then supersede any local Rule change done by the Council. Yet as he recognized the possible state process, Council President Young seemed more interested in the immediate change saying that, “The rule change that Councilman Cole and I are proposing would greatly increase transparency around the vacancy nominating process and ensure that voters living in the district with a vacancy have a seat at the nominating table.”
“While some council members are more concerned about a long term solution for a process unfairly implemented by a few, others are merely concentrating on fixing the immediate problem by addressing the concerns through means allowed by council members, while awaiting a possible change in the law at the State level,” said one senior City Hall staffer who wished to remain anonymous for this article. Yet with the Council concentrated on redistricting and this vacancy rule, or possible state law implementing special elections, who will watch over the hen house regarding other city ordinances and begin preparing to fix the budgetary problems soon to bear its ugly head in March? We concentrate on the problems at hand, when the future of Baltimore may be reflective in the recently proposed redistricting map. “This is certainly reflective of how Baltimore blacks are being pushed out of this City and seeing a more development-friendly Baltimore in districts represented by folk that don’t look like me and you," reflects the views held by Mr. M. Johnson. "The 11th is almost the entire city in terms of new business and development; you have the favorable proportions of Reisinger’s 10th district, while we see districts that represent places such as the historically black Morgan State University surrounded by the representation of who? Bobby Curran and Mary Pat Clarke! Where is the black representation of an economically empowering council district? There is none!"