↑ Dayvon Love
Encouraging news: Jill P. Carter is leaving her seat in the House of Delegates to head up the city's Office of Civil Rights and Wage Enforcement. The city needs a strong advocate for civil rights and fair wages. More encouraging news: Dayvon Love, the director of public policy at the think-tank Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle is looking to take over Carter's old job. Back in 2011, Love ran an unsuccessful campaign to unseat Helen Holton from her District 8 City Council seat. But as a member of LBS these past few years, Love has been a strident and impassioned advocate for reforming our city's power structures; he's fought to make sure everyone's voices are heard. This new gig with the House of Delegates could give him a bigger soapbox to stand on--and a ticket to the halls of power. He has proven that he's in this for the long haul. In a Facebook post last week, he said, "Whether I am selected or not, I will do the work of making Baltimore a better city."
The good news is the Ravens, after an abysmal 2015 campaign, played well enough this season to challenge the Pittsburgh Steelers for the AFC North title. The bad news is they closed out the year with a listless performance against the Cincinnati Bengals, yet another example of the team's inconsistencies. The game against the Bengals also marked the final appearance of wide receiver Steve Smith Sr., a key part of the Ravens' passing game and a fiery leader on the field. In addition to filling the void left in Smith Sr.'s absence, the Ravens front office has to spend the offseason coming up with a way to improve the defensive secondary, re-sign nose tackle Brandon Williams, and add depth to a roster filled with aging veterans. Which is to say the gains made in 2016 could only be temporarily. Here's hoping general manager Ozzie Newsome can work some magic.
Something's afoot at the Baltimore City State's Attorney's Office. The Sun reported last week that both Marilyn Mosby's chief of administration and chief spokesperson resigned. In a written statement, former spokesperson Rochelle Ritchie took some digs at her former boss. "I am thrilled to start a new chapter in my life where my 12 years of media experience will be appreciated and where I will be under respectable and seasoned leadership," she wrote. Then, Mosby retweeted a tweet about Aquariuses not having patience for people with tiny minds (later deleted). Drama! Seriously, what's going on with alll these vacancies at the SAO's?
↓ Boss Hög
Another year, another example of Boss Hög abruptly pulling the plug on a multi-million dollar project in Baltimore. This time it was the $1.5 billion State Center, a long-delayed project near Bolton Hill that called for 2 million square feet of office space and 2,000 residential units. Hög worried about the development's impact on state debt and said the project "has proven to be unworkable and unacceptable." On the recommendation of Comptroller Peter Franchot, the governor then suggested fast-tracking a study to put a new arena at the site. Soon after, the Hög administration pre-emptively filed a lawsuit against the project's developer, State Center LLC, to force the group to terminate its right to re-develop the land. Regardless of what happens in the courts, we worry that any Baltimore project that relies on state funds is not safe while Boss Hög is around.
↓ Mayor Catherine Pugh
The State Prosecutor's announcement that one of Pugh's former senate and campaign aides, poised to become a state delegate, has been indicted on multiple charges involving campaign contribution fraud, casts a pall over the new mayor's administration. Gary Brown Jr. could face prison if convicted, and he could, if he cooperates, reveal more. Pugh's campaign was accused of unrelated straw donations last spring, and brushed them aside after reporting $66,000 in "bounced checks." The latest revelations don't bode well.