Thanks to the magic of photographs on social media, however, I can almost feel as though I was there. It’s not the same, but it helps.
Let me tell you what I see from looking at the pictures: the diversity of the people gathered in the room.
I think that Howard County is best served by public servants who empower the disenfranchised, lift up those who are often ignored or taken for granted. If we are on a journey to face our own implicit bias and dismantle institutionalized racism we will need to be willing to have uncomfortable conversations and listen to people who are different than we are.
That’s what will ultimately bring about a sense of “One Howard”. Sure, it’s messy, but it’s the real deal. Discussions of diversity amongst the comfortable and privileged look nice, but they can’t possibly change the status quo.
Why does this matter?
Whoever leads Howard County should be leading for all of its citizens. Good government is inclusive. All the good intentions in the world can only take you so far if your message is innately attractive to the white and privileged more than anyone else. It’s just common sense.
Both candidates have a body of work in public service upon which they can be judged. The public is welcome to review their actions and decisions on behalf of constituents. Diversity is not the end of the conversation when evaluating Dr. Ball and Mr. Kittleman. It is, perhaps, a lens through which we can evaluate how they work, who they work with, what they take risks to support.
Neither of the candidates is the Devil incarnate. But their visions are quite different. It will be interesting to see which vision is endorsed by our community.
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