Since I last corresponded with you on these pages, True Believers, I have attended a gaggle of campaign forums! Four, to be precise. They were sponsored by the Howard County African-American Coalition, Howard County PFLAG, the Ellicott City Democratic Club, and the Columbia Democratic Club. All for were extremely informative events and were well-attended by candidates.
Except.... there really could have been more turnout by the general public. Maybe at one of the four forums did the number of people who were actual voters with no dog in the fight-- not a supporter or critic of any candidate or candidates-- total more than ten. And that's sad.
One would think, and expect, that with all the to-do following the 2016 election, that these for a would be teeming at the doors with people. And from among members of the organizations sponsoring the forums, especially the Democratic Clubs, that has been the case. But on many of them-- not so much.
What's it going to take to get you off the sidelines and into the game? Google "Candidate forum (your town or community name here)", find a forum close to you, and go! Ignorance of this election is no election.
Remember some time ago when I said I wouldn't be endorsing anyone again for the 2018 primaries? Hahaha, was I ever wrong! The political winds have shifted in such a way that I feel additional endorsements are not simply appropriate. Indeed, they are merited!
My first endorsement in HoCoVotes 2018 has to do with the Board of Education race. I have previously endorsed Sabina Taj. I am now prepared to endorse a second candidate.
I had the chance to sit down with this person recently. It is rare when someone is so impressive with their insight, knowledge, and wisdom that they win me over at first meeting. Although, technically, it was the second meeting! But never mind that. Jen Mallo is worthy of one of your votes for Howard County Board of Education.
A Columbia resident and Wilde Lake High School parent, I find her priorities for the Board of Education to be right on target with what the HCPSS needs at this time. We elected the group who had the hard job of holding the former Superintendent accountable and calling shenanigans on her actions which, in my opinion, should have earned Renee Foose an indictment or several.
Now we need to send people to the School Board with the skills to help the others address the gross problems of inequity which currently beset it. With her focus on diversity and inclusion, teacher empowerment, and strategic planning, I strongly feel that Mallo has that skill set and will bring those skills to bear for the betterment of all of Howard County's children. I am happy to enthusiastically support her, and you should too. Click on the link provided above to learn more.
Now for a race, and an office, I know a lot about: Howard County Democratic Central Committee. Having served on that body for 10 years, I know what makes a good central committee member. And what doesn't.
Democratic Central Committee elections have always been a bit of a cattlecall. Over my experience, the number elected from HoCo has grown from 9 to 12 to-- new in 2018!-- 20. Plus, the committee is divided by gender, so all HoCo registered Dems will vote for 10 men and 10 women.
As some may know, there are a total of 30 candidates running, and 16 of them are running as a slate called HoCoForward. Experience in this race has shown me that 75-83% of people on a slate for central committee get elected. So one can expect a total of 12 to 14 of the slate to be elected. Though, I'm sure they're gonna try to get all 16 elected.
I have had the chance to speak with 15 of the 16 slate members personally. I saw Herbie Smith recently at the Columbia Democratic Club forum, and although we haven't met yet, I did take the time to learn about him on the website and he would seem like a good addition. So I will choose to endorse the entire slate of 16. However, I will add to this endorsement four more candidates who I believe will add additional, needed dimensions to the working group.
Since the HoCoForward slate contains members of well-known local political families, namely Ethel Hill and Mary Catherine Cochran, it seems odd to not add Margaret Weinstein to the committee. Especially as the Democratic Party in HoCo could use all the successful businesswomen it can get! Staying in the first District, I also endorse Dave Grabowski, whose family I have known in Elkridge for a long time. Dave represents the working-class white Democrats who, along with people of color, will represent the shining path forward for the Democratic Party on all levels.
My last two endorsements go to current members of the Central Committee. Specifically, Bob Ford, also a longtime Democratic activist who I feel has been a committed and dedicated Central Committee member, and Sue Geckle, whose connections and hard work with the Ellicott City and Western Howard County Democratic Club should not be overlooked. There are other very good candidates, but in this case I will leave the total number of endorsed candidates at 20.
If you go to the HoCoForward website (link above) you will note they have a "meet and greet" on Sunday, April 15 from 4-6pm. You should go! As long as you're a registered Democrat in Howard County. If you're not.....well, OK then!
Let's be careful out there.
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