Op-Alt: An open letter to the mayor

City Paper

Dear Mayor Rawlings-Blake,

How are you? I hope you’re doing well in light of the fluctuating weather we’re experiencing.

As you know, longtime Sen. Barbara Mikulski will be ending her political career in 2016. You’ve publicly said that you’re thinking “long and hard” about tossing your hat in the ring to take her place. It’s no surprise, considering you’ve previously mentioned wanting to become a senator one day.

After considering the pros and cons, I wish to enthusiastically support your candidacy. I want to assure you that there is no sarcasm intended. It is my sincere hope that you run a strong campaign and ultimately win the Democratic nomination (which will require you to beat U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen, who has already announced his intention to seek the office, and likely many others). In fact, I think you should declare immediately so that you can procure the money and support needed to win. SRB ’16! And while I’m sure your mentor U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings is pondering a candidacy between naps, I think you are the person to do it.

The numbers indicate that you may have a strong chance if you move swiftly. With Mikulski’s departure Baltimore will lose one of its mainstays in statewide political activity, and could use someone new to take the mantle and rally votes. The demographics seem to favor democratic turnout in 2016 as well (certainly more than they did in 2014).

Although Martin O’Malley (who says he won’t run for the position himself) will certainly be smoked like so much delicious Harford Road brisket in the presidential primary, he may still wage a strong contest here in Maryland. At a minimum he should break the lofty threshold of 0 percent that he got in a recent Iowa poll. Should you tie your candidacy with him—and call in a favor or two from Anthony Brown, the failed gubernatorial candidate you supported with time (but not money) on his hands—you may be able to steal a win. Go SRB!

Beyond demographic and strategic advantages, you have done an impressive job of acquiring credentials for yourself, and only at the cost of puny Baltimoreans and their troglodyte problems. Naysayers. As secretary of the Democratic National Committee, I’m sure you’ve cozied up to power players and big donors, stuffing mac-and-cheese balls into your designer purse at $1,000-per-plate meals between quiet promises and typical campaign rhetoric. And in addition you’ve risen to vice president of the Conference of Mayors, which has featured visionary leadership such as current president Kevin Johnson and former mayor of Los Angeles Antonio Villaraigosa. OK, never mind.

Your actions the past few years have truly shown a transformation on your part. On multiple occasions you’ve been able to show a consistent and utter disdain for those least fortunate, choosing to eject them from City Hall (almost on a clockwork like scale), barricade them out of spaces for warmth and security, and even destroy their encampments.

Simultaneously, you’ve aligned with questionable donors (not even kidding) populated your staff with flunkies and cronies, and pushed through massive changes to the city despite financial, environmental and personal objections. You managed to quietly and loudly kill reforms to how Baltimore’s government conducts itself on a level that would make former Detroit Mayor (and current inmate 44678-039) Kwame Kilpatrick blush.

In your time as mayor, you’ve shown yourself to be obstinate, indifferent to the citizens around you (implicitly and explicitly), willing to work with those who line your pockets, and solely focused on your own objectives. In short, you are perfect for Congress.

And what of the city you claim to love? Whatever will become of it without your nonplussed eyes and repeated tropes of “reckless and irresponsible” action? I can assure you that is—at least for our citizens—the best part.

Let’s be honest; barring seismic political shifts (or a major scandal involving a developer, lukewarm bottle of Pinot Grigio, and spray-painted Caribou) you’ll be Mayor for Life. But even if you pursue this route, the honest truth is evident in your actions, and that is this: You are not interested in this job and you’ve reached your limit. And to be frank, a mayor who goes along to get along serves no citizen of this city well.

However, your disinterest in being effective at your job here will make you an ideal fit for D.C. where the votes don’t count and citizens don’t matter. It’ll be a perfect fit for your lackadaisical outlook. And as a senator, you’ll only have to feign interest in people once every six years! And while I have concerns that Jack Young—your presumed successor—is unable to walk and talk policy without drooling on his driver's freshly pressed shirt, I have no doubt that he, or any other replacement, will come to the job with more vision, sincerity, and earnest interest in making Baltimore a world-class city than you ever did.

With someone legitimately interested in all of Baltimore, perhaps then we can meaningfully address issues of education, jobs (real ones, not those accidental ones that came through the casino you enthusiastically supported), housing, arts, and the environment. But we can’t get there until you are not here. All things considered, your greatest gift to Baltimore would be ending your service to it.

As a registered Republican I am unable to vote for you in the primary. However, I so believe in this venture that I will put my money where my mouth is and make a donation in your name should you declare. I'll even make a video of it and send it to you. Unlike Baltimore City, I won't need a part to make that happen. I’ll even sweeten the deal: Should you back down due to a Cummings candidacy, I’ll even support your run for the House of Representatives. The key point here is this: You don’t have to go to Washington, but you can’t lead here.

In conclusion, I hope you consider my peasant words as you look into your political future and achieve your destiny as a candidate for the United States Senate (or anything else but mayor). Do it for your family! Do it for your résumé! Do it for you! Do it for Baltimore!

Thanks,

Dennis

P.S. Whatever you decide, please take Bobby Curran with you.

Copyright © 2018, Baltimore City Paper, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Privacy Policy
52°