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  • Writer's pictureAmanda Brown

Op Ed: Mayoral Forum Cancelations- Where are Brandon & Sheila?

On April 4, 2024, The New Park Heights SCDC Inc. and today April 8, the Southwest Partnership of Baltimore announced the indefinite postponement of their Mayoral forums. These forums were intended to provide local citizens with the opportunity to question the leading candidates for the Democratic party nomination for Mayor of Baltimore City, including Bob Wallace, Brandon Scott Thiru Vignarajah , and Sheila Dixon. The postponement was reportedly due to two mayoral campaigns choosing not to participate or the candidates being too busy. This decision sends a clear message to the citizens and Democratic voters of Baltimore.


The message conveyed is that the so-called 'leading candidates' do not prioritize being accountable to the voters . Their refusal to attend neighborhood association mayoral forums has become a pattern, resulting in numerous forum cancellations across the city. This behavior has only served to reinforce the media's assumption that only two candidates deserve attention, neglecting other qualified candidates who may not have the same level of name recognition.


It is imperative that the electorate, local Baltimore City media, and community associations demand an end to these information suppression tactics employed by mayoral campaigns. Candidates like Wallace have shown their willingness to face public scrutiny and engage with the citizens of Baltimore in open forums. This demonstrates a genuine concern for the city and its residents, as they answer unrehearsed, unplanned, and unscripted questions. It is time for all candidates to follow suit and show the voting public who they truly are and what they stand for.


The standards, ideals, and ideas of the candidates running for Mayor of Baltimore City are crucial factors that deserve the public's consideration. It is evident that both the current Mayor and former Mayor do not prioritize listening to the voices of the citizens. Their belief seems to be that they are entitled to re-election simply based on their past tenure in office. The media plays a real role in perpetuating this narrative by failing to amplify the voices of other candidates who are not part of the elite circle.


It is important to note that there are other candidates in the race who bring fresh perspectives and innovative ideas to the table. Neighborhood associations should not be complacent and should not shy away from organizing Mayoral forums. These forums provide a platform for all candidates, not just the incumbents, to share their visions for the city. It is through these forums that the public can truly hear great ideas from a diverse pool of candidates. Let us not allow the voices of the people to be silenced any longer.


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