Baltimore, MD - May 25, 2020 - For nearly 40 years, I had the honor of serving on the Baltimore City Council. I am appalled by the current state of our City. I’ve never seen our local leadership so out of touch with reality, unable to act and unwilling to lead. Never. The mayor and council president seem numb to the death toll, steadfast in pointing blame and more focused on passing resolutions and pursuing political quarrel than saving lives and actually changing the course of Baltimore’s history.
I join in claiming that the 2020 mayoral election will be the most important in a generation. If that fact has yet to resonate, take it from me - this is my 21st election - and I assure you Baltimore is at a juncture unlike any other.
Having assessed candidate after candidate, none have energized me and given me hope quite like Thiru Vignarajah. He’s a fresh name in Baltimore politics, a remarkable homegrown success story, and has visionary yet specific plans on topic after topic — his pillar proposal focused on crime. His crime plan is different, in style and substance, from anything we have seen from our elected leaders, including the other mayoral candidates. It does not pander. It has measurable goals and strategies to achieve them. I have had my ear to the ground. He, unlike other candidates, has real traction in diverse neighborhoods across the city. His plans, particularly on crime, are smart, concrete, detailed and realistic. Voters appreciate that he shows up, answers difficult questions, has impressive management experience, and offers expertise on Baltimore’s most pressing issue: crime.
Thiru and I have seen eye-to-eye on the Eye in Sky program -- the aerial surveillance program -- for years. While he denounced the manner in which the program was last attempted, highlighting the lack of community buy-in and constitutionality, he didn’t dismiss the idea entirely as he recognized the value it could have in building stronger cases for violent crimes. Instead, he outlined how the program could be made constitutional and better protect citizen privacy. He said what was right even when it wasn’t yet popular. That’s Thiru.
I endorse Thiru for Mayor because we need a change in City Hall; we need leadership that will work day-in and day-out for us. Jack, Brandon, and Sheila are my friends, but they are not what Baltimore needs right now. Endorsements of Brandon make no sense to me. The Eye in the Sky is a wildly popular program in Baltimore, and Brandon voted against the program at every turn. He was the Chair of Public Safety during the worst crime surge in Baltimore history — he had every opportunity to collaborate with the Police Department and launch crime-fighting initiatives. Instead, we watched as crime rates reached unprecedented levels year after year.
A vote for Thiru is a vote for real solutions, for vision and dedication, honesty and grit. A vote for Thiru is a vote to end pay-to-play culture and most importantly, to bring our city together.
Rochelle Rikki Spector (email@example.com) is a former Baltimore City Councilwoman who served the 5th District in Northwest Baltimore from 1977 until 2016. Paid for by Thiru Vignarajah for Baltimore, Tunji Williams, Treasurer