Campaign finance reform aids female candidates
Residents of Baltimore, as well as many of the city’s lawmakers, have expressed support in recent weeks for the Fair Election Fund. On Tuesday, Nov. 5, a Baltimore City Council committee unanimously voted to approve the bill (“Baltimore City council should swiftly enact Fair Election Fund,” Nov. 4). The repercussions of this bill are positive in several regards — especially for women.
Recent scholarship has suggested that women have a tougher time getting donations for their campaigns than men and that women tend to rely heavily on small donations. However, with the Fair Election Fund, small donations will have power. By matching said small donations via a public fund, the Fair Election Fund encourages more participation since voters will feel confident that their donations can finally impact local campaigns. This will both empower lower income voters and limit the influence of the wealthiest donors.
Because the Fair Election Fund’s matching program helps keep all candidates competitive regardless of whether or not they can rally large donors, female candidates will be emboldened and equally able to keep up with their competitors. This can lead to an increase in female voter participation and an overall more equitable representation of women in Baltimore. We need to encourage the participation of everyone in the democratic process — especially those voices that tend to get left out. By doing so, we will be fulfilling the purpose of democracy and ultimately creating a more efficient government for Baltimore that could end up setting precedents for similar systems across the nation.
The Sun biased in coverage of Kirwan Commission
Luke Broadwater’s opinion piece (“Larry Hogan is using an old playbook to attack a plan to transform Maryland schools. What does he hope to gain?” Nov. 8) placed on the front page of today’s “news”paper is a classic example of the liberal mindset which is rooted in the notion that if we (liberals) can think it, dream it, say it, write it, publish it and most of all legislate it, then by God, it must be.
The “it” this time is the Kirwan Commission initiative, which if enacted and funded, is supposed “to transform Maryland’s public schools into a world class system.” After the “Thornton Plan,” “No Child Left Behind,” “Race to the Top,” we still get stories on the front page of The Sun about declining reading scores. It seems we constantly spend more and get less.
North Point parkland should be preserved
As a regular Baltimore Sun reader, I found reporter Wilborn P. Nobles III’s article (“Olszewski encourages talks,” Oct. 14) enlightening and Chas Scheidt’s responsive letter to the editor (“Real story about sale of North Point is elimination of green space,” Oct. 24) thought provoking. In today’s political climate it is somewhat refreshing to note an article that isn’t driven by a political agenda, but rather opts to discuss an issue in which everyone has “skin in the game” — our open space and environment.
I am not a woke person and certainly do not have a monopoly on wisdom. Nevertheless, I cannot understand why the notion of selling open space designated as a Baltimore County park is under consideration at all. Doesn’t the state’s Program Open Space exist for the main purpose of acquiring additional open space and not selling off parkland that we currently own? The sale of even a blade of open space grass seems counterproductive.
Have not the citizens of Baltimore County expressed continued strong support for the value of open space in recreation and parks bond referendums every election cycle? Are these voices being heard or disregarded? Aren’t we encouraged every year to voluntarily contribute to the acquisition of local open space when paying our property taxes? Does anyone disagree that open space parkland is a vital piece of the environmental puzzle?
The many open space park gems we have in our county such as Oregon Ridge Park, Cromwell Valley Park and Honeygo Park to name a few, arguably could have presented excellent residential or commercial opportunities for an enterprising developer. Fortunately, our county and its citizens had their priorities in order and chose to value the environment over the dollar. Hopefully, things have not changed! North Point Government Center Park in Dundalk should not be for sale.