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Commentary

Opinion: A Hogan Senate Bid? He Shouldn’t Run on Promise of Special Interest Money

At End Citizens United, our mission is simple. We want to protect the right to vote and get big money out of politics. That’s why we’ve been at the forefront this Congress working with allies to pass the For the People Act, a landmark anti-corruption bill that would protect the freedom to vote, end partisan gerrymandering, put in place ironclad ethics laws and end dark money so that billionaires can’t buy elections.

Surfside condo tragedy will surely spur new Md. legislation in 2022, but first we must convene a study group

Common Ownership Communities (COCs) refer to condominium associations and homeowner associations. The Department of Legislative Services estimates that approximately 1 million Marylanders live in nearly 7,000 such organizations. Maryland’s COCs differ by size, resources and services provided. And their members differ by income, race, age and just about every other relevant demographic. The issues they face also vary widely across the state by region, spanning areas including Deep Creek in Western Maryland, Baltimore City, Charles County, the D.C. suburbs and Ocean City.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Experimental treatments changed the course of the AIDS epidemic; we need the same approach to mental illness today

In 1988, at the height of the AIDS pandemic, playwright Larry Kramer exposed the Centers for Disease Control for slow-walking AIDS therapies. In a scathing open letter published in the Village Voice to Dr. Anthony Fauci — who was then, as now, spearheading public health policy — Kramer declared that after three years of effort, Dr. Fauci and the CDC “have established only a system of waste, chaos, and uselessness” and that “there are more AIDS victims dead because you didn’t test drugs on them than because you did.”

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Hey, DMV: It’s time to get back on the bus

I remember the morning of April 19 as if it were yesterday. The somewhat sunny weather, the top half of people’s faces — all crystal clear in my head. Not because of any major news event or personal crisis, thankfully. No, I will always remember the morning of April 19 because of how normal it ended up being compared to the apprehension I was feeling ahead of time; how a familiar experience brought relief after not knowing what to anticipate. April 19 was the morning I started riding the commuter bus into work again every day.

Gov. Hogan is working against Maryland families

We are two moms of Baltimore City public school children, and we speak for a lot of Maryland parents when we say the last year has been tough. Many of us have lost jobs, wages and loved ones. The child care supports that Tracie put in place for her military spouse’s overseas assignment fell apart, forcing her to work full-time while overseeing virtual learning for her elementary school child. And the pandemic caused the loss of over half of Stephanie’s income, leading to a stressful work search while overseeing her daughter’s transition to middle school online.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Landlords aren’t the enemy: Stop vilifying them, and start working with them toward housing solutions

Throughout the pandemic, housing providers have held a vital stake in keeping residents housed, whether it was through payment plans, late fee waivers or other prevention efforts. Housing providers have also spent countless hours and human resource costs facilitating access to rental assistance. And, at the same time that federal rental assistance wound its way through government processes, Maryland’s housing providers worked with United Way of Central Maryland to recruit housing providers for the Strategic Targeted Eviction Prevention (STEP) Pilot Program, which quickly provided residents with rental assistance through a unique model that allows housing providers to apply for bulk rental assistance that will benefit all of their eligible residents.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
A lesson and a legacy in the Capital Gazette tragedy

With the finding Thursday by an Annapolis jury that the Capital Gazette gunman was indeed criminally responsible for the brutal, calculated murders three years ago of five employees at the newspaper — friends and colleagues to those of us here at The Sun — the legal chapter of this horror story largely comes to a close. The shooter, whose only expressed regret was not killing more people, will most certainly be consigned to spend the rest of his life in prison at his sentencing, still to come. There is no longer any possibility that he will be sent to a psychiatric hospital, as he and his lawyers had been angling for, peddling a thin defense that he had a mental disorder that prevented him from understanding the consequences of his actions.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Our Families Deserve an Environment Free of Chemicals

Would you rather your kids be bitten by a mosquito or be exposed to cancer-causing chemicals in your backyard? This mosquito season, the Maryland Department of Agriculture is replacing its previously used truck-based pesticide, Permanone 30-30, with two similar pesticides after our organizations found alarming levels of the toxic “forever chemical” per- and polyfluoralkyl substances — PFAS — in a sample of Permanone 30-30.

Protecting voting rights must be Congress’ top priority

The devil is in the details. That’s a common expression often used in legislative bodies. Legislation is complicated. Advocates and opponents can make all kinds of claims about what a proposal does or does not do, often without fear of contradiction. Even some lawmakers can’t be bothered with the actual reading of bills that go on for dozens of pages in complex, often arcane, legal language.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
two white mailing envelopes
Baltimore’s abysmal mail service: Trump’s mess needs to be cleaned up

Life in Baltimore isn’t supposed to require constant suffering as in the Book of Job with a protagonist mercilessly tormented by forces beyond his control. Yet sometimes it feels that way. People work hard to improve schools, yet outcomes are often discouraging. An army of volunteers fight daily for better access to nutrition and health care, yet people still often lack both. Meanwhile, the homicide rate remains ceaselessly high even as well-meaning individuals fight the good fight, whether that involves city police risking their lives to track down a murder suspect in a shopping center or an intrepid civilian devoting himself to de-escalating conflicts in Cherry Hill only to be shot and killed himself.

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