Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Good News

The best news of the day is that the State of Maryland does not use the caucus method to decide political contests. And, as proof of just how wonderful that is, today you have the opportunity to vote to narrow the field in the 7th district special election to fill the seat of the late Elijah Cummings.

Schools are closed in order to be used as election sites. Community members will be working the polls. This is a “one day only affair“ and you are invited. I know I’ve been seeing a lot of you talk about the importance of voting lately. Will you be voting today?

I keep reading that voter turnout is expected to be low. Prove them wrong, Howard County. Take a little time out of your day to exercise your right to be an active participant in our democratic system. Don’t leave it to somebody else.

It will take an exceptional person to follow Mr. Cummings to represent Maryland. Whoever eventually wins this seat has an opportunity to grow and learn and become the kind of seasoned, deeply committed public servant that he was. No one will begin there. But someone has the chance to become.  That person will represent you, your family, friends, neighbors, colleagues. Shouldn’t you be a part of that choice?

Here’s a link to the League of Women Voters Election guide. Most of the folks in my immediate circle have already made up their minds. If you are still weighing options, I’d like to put in a good word for Delegate Terri Hill. I’ve heard her interviewed several times on the Elevate Maryland podcast and I’m impressed both by her knowledge and attitude towards public service.  I’ve heard so many positive reports of her work since she was elected as a state delegate. I feel strongly that she would be an able and committed representative to all the residents in District 7.

Individual choices aside, the important thing is to show up and let your voice be heard. From an article in the Baltimore Sun highlighting Elijah Cummings‘ famous speeches:

Cummings recalled how his mother, a sharecropper, had witnessed Americans harmed and beaten while seeking the right to vote, he said.
“Her last words were ‘Do not let them take our votes away from us,’” he said, punctuating each word.
“Voting is crucial, and I don’t give a damn how you look at it,” Cummings said. “There are efforts to stop people from voting. That’s not right. This is not Russia. This is the United States of America.”
Cummings called voting the “essence” of democracy and pledged to “fight until the death” to make sure every citizen had access to the vote. Those without it, he said, cannot progress with the rest of society nor control their destiny.

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