Harold S. Ginsberg: A path to the governor's mansion for Ben Jealous

Former NAACP President Ben Jealous has indicated that he will compete for Maryland's Democratic gubernatorial nomination and the right to square off against Larry Hogan in next year's general election. Mr. Jealous faces a daunting task. In order to take on the "deeply popular" Republican, he'll have to beat a slate of other Democrats while likely facing staunch opposition from Maryland's Democratic Party. (Balt. Sun)

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David Placher: Baltimore's bloated City Council

With Baltimore City's population continuing to evaporate and its never-ending annual budget cliffhangers, it is reasonable for voters to re-evaluate the arbitrary size of the 15-member City Council. In November 2018, voters may get an opportunity to reduce it to an 11-member body if 10,000 city voters sign the petition for the issue to be voted on in the general election. This plan may place pressure on the large and expensive City Council to show voters that its current structure is needed and that it can generate fresh ideas and pass bills that reduce the high crime rate, slash the burdensome property tax rate and help reform the mismanaged public school system. (Balt. Sun)

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Minor Sinclair, Solomon Iyobosa Omo-Osagie II, and Leila Borrero Krouse: Come to the table, Perdue

This much we know about working on the poultry processing line: It's not for the faint of heart. Conditions are arduous, cold, noisy, humid, slippery and dangerous. But that's about all everyone can agree on. Many of us have grave concerns about how the companies actually treat workers. We believe the pay is too low, safety measures are inadequate and workers often do not feel free to speak out about problems they see in the plants. When we voice these concerns, companies respond that everything is fine. (Balt. Sun)

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The violent legacy of Freddie Gray

Healing is preferable to hurting but much harder to achieve. That’s the lesson in Baltimore two years after the death of Freddie Gray, whose death in police custody set off riots and mayhem. Faced with a choice between escalating crime and aggressive policing, the city has spurned the advice of the Trump administration and stuck with a strategy that promises more pain and heartbreak. (Wash. Times)

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April 11 // Josh Kurtz: Political tidbits for the last day of session

Jaws in Annapolis are still dropped over Del. Charles Barkley’s interview late last week with the Naptown Pint blog over the controversial bill to enable Guinness to open a brewery and tap house in Baltimore County. Many stakeholders believe the compromise bill that emerged from the Senate on Friday is still flawed. However, it at least enables the state to save face and not lose a valuable economic development project, while at the same time expanding the number of barrels most craft brewers can produce annually – albeit in a tortured fashion typical of the tortured system that governs sales and distribution of alcohol in Maryland. (marylandmattersblog)

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Ethics in Annapolis

We certainly appreciate the caution at the end of Friday's news release from the Maryland U.S. Attorney's Office that the indictment of Sen. Nathaniel Oaks "is not a finding of guilt" and that he should be "presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty." But we would also presume that someone allegedly caught on tape accepting more than $15,000 in cash for the use of his prestige of office to support what turned out to be a non-existent affordable housing development would demonstrate enough embarrassment not to show up on the Senate floor three days later. (Balt. Sun)

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Facility will improve response to overdoses

The numbers on heroin and opioid overdoses can be overwhelming — and the latest signs indicate those numbers are still rising. There were 319 overdoses in Annapolis and Anne Arundel County between Jan. 1 and April 5, a 45 percent increase over the same period in 2016. Thirty people died of overdoses in those four months. Altogether, from 2013 to 2015, 351 people died from drug overdoses in the county, making Anne Arundel No. 3 in this category in Maryland — ahead of far more populous Montgomery and Prince George's counties. But later this month the county will be able to celebrate some good news. Robert A. Pascal Youth and Family Services is about to open a new "stabilization center" at the former state psychiatric hospital in Crownsville. Many hope this will be a game-changer. (Capital)

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Frank Patinella, Sharicca Boldon: How to end Baltimore schools' annual funding crisis for good

The passage of legislation required for the "Bridge to Kirwan" city school funding was due in no small part to the effective organization, advocacy and activism demonstrated by the Baltimore community. Thanks to passionate parents, students, principals, teachers and coalitions citywide, we have secured enough city and state funding to prevent a portion of the drastic cuts forecast at Baltimore City Public Schools for the next three years. This is evidence that the voice of the people can and does have an impact on public policy decisions, and we are grateful to the city and state representatives who took the time to listen. (Balt. Sun)

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