Dr. Leana Wen: A Blueprint for a Healthier Baltimore

In thousands of conversations with community members, businesses, grassroots organizations, and elected leaders across Baltimore, I have seen how our City continues to wrestle with deeply-rooted issues of poverty, racial inequality, and structural racism.  Here in Baltimore, there are neighborhoods just blocks apart where the life expectancy differs by 20 years. We have made significant strides in reducing infant mortality, and yet black babies continue to die at twice the rate of white babies across our city. Homicide continues to be the leading cause of death among 15-24 year olds in the city – over 90 percent of homicide victims in 2016 have been black.       These disparities tie intimately into the fabric of the work we do at the Baltimore City Health Department (BCHD). Since our founding over two centuries ago, our responsibility has always been to ensure the health of all of our citizens. But there is a higher standard to which... Continue reading
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Laslo Boyd: Terrorists, Refugees, & Politicians

Larry Hogan has demonstrated some impressive political skills.  Start with his victory in last year’s gubernatorial election.  While he certainly got a lot of help from Anthony Brown’s breathtakingly inept campaign, give Hogan credit for taking advantage of the opportunity. A year later, he’s riding high in public opinion polls and receiving praise from some unlikely quarters.   In Sunday’s New York Times, columnist Frank Bruni extolled Hogan for his popularity in Democratic Maryland, his less partisan approach to governing and the courageous way in which he has battled cancer.  Bruni was obviously charmed by Hogan, which is clearly another of his political assets. However, Bruni may have gotten a little carried away in his adulation.  For example, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake certainly must have been surprised to hear that Hogan had “taken care not to fuel” the intense criticism of her in the aftermath of the Baltimore riots.  Similarly, his claim of... Continue reading
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In Honor Of Chuck Ecker's Passing - A Sage for Centrism - Center Maryland's First Aggregated Column "The Common Sense Party" by Tim Maloney

My friend Chuck Ecker has a common-sense idea. He says we need a new political party, the "Common Sense Party." It is fitting that this idea comes from Chuck, because he is the embodiment of common sense. Chuck has been a teacher, coach and school administrator in Carroll and Prince George's counties. He was a deputy school superintendent in Howard County before serving two terms as the county executive. At age 75, he's back in Carroll County as school superintendent, invited home three years ago to clean up a messy situation there. Chuck is practical, capable and honest, the kind of guy you'd want to be guardian of your kids or trustee of your money. Chuck would have made a great governor. He was a politician without being too political, a Republican without being too partisan. Maybe that's why he didn't win. Just what would the Common Sense Party stand for?... Continue reading
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Laslo Boyd: A bit of Alabama, fleetingly, in Montgomery County

Of all the ways you might distinguish between America’s two major political parties, one of the most dramatic is their differing attitudes on the question of eligibility to vote.  Although it is an article of faith, explicit in our laws, that voting is the most basic of all rights in a democracy, Republicans and Democrats fundamentally disagree how easy or difficult it should be to exercise that right. The difference between the parties is not a close call.  All the states that have instituted voter ID laws in this country are ones with Republican governors and Republican majorities in their legislatures.   In a large number of instances, courts have nullified those laws as unconstitutional obstacles to basic rights, but Republicans keep looking for new ways to get around those decisions. As many have noted, voter ID laws are a solution searching for a problem.  The number of documented cases of in-person... Continue reading
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Summer of Survival: Thomas Bonderenko, Moveable Feast | A Center Maryland / Smart CEO Partnership

“I usually just say I’m twice a survivor,” says Thomas Bonderenko about his cancer diagnoses. If asked, he will add that he had lymphoma and colorectal cancer; his parents also died of cancer. But he’d much rather talk about Moveable Feast, the Baltimore nonprofit where he has been executive director and CEO since 2008. Read more... Continue reading
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