Best Politician: City Councilman Brandon M. Scott

The bidding was fierce in this category, and Councilman Carl Stokes almost got the prize for his forthright denouncement of the mayor’s use of the word “thugs” to describe April’s rioters. But Scott gets the nod for not demagoguing the issue, instead offering a nuanced view of the underlying causes that lets no one off the hook. He’s been a hard critic of the police department and a practical reformer, ushering in online crime reports, for example. He also bounced back from adversity. After a fellow city council member crushed his long-planned restaurant grading system, Scott returned with a compromise bill, which passed. And Scott walks the walk, quite literally. In August he marched 35 miles from Baltimore to Washington, D.C. with the 300 Men March movement. Scott’s not a newcomer to this; he’s been with the group for years now, slowly nurturing. That’s not normal political behavior, so it deserves the award.

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