Baltimore Green Party’s City Council Candidates
Welch * Clark * Barry * Greene * Fitzgerald * Dibos * Ross * Hoenig
Brandon Welch, City Council President
Brandon Welch is a 36-year-old artist/activist who in 2000 founded DareDevil p.r.e., a performance organization dedicated to artistically combating hatred and lending a voice to the unheard. He has written and performed several one-man shows, and toured nationally and abroad. Among other things, Welch’s campaign will emphasize citywide lead paint removal, job training and placement for teen-agers, increased drug treatment slots, and legislation that would allow residents to vote on whether they want liquor stores in their neighborhoods. He also would like to see teachers have a chance to develop a unified city teaching strategy; increase police accountability and foster a better working relationship between law enforcement and residents; and switch Baltimore’s fleet of diesel-engine vehicles to cleaner-burning biodiesel.
Quote: “The Green Party is the best chance for the people in this country to participate in a representative democracy free of global imperialism, domestic fascism, and corporate interests.”
Matt Clark, District 1
Matt Clark wants to halt new construction, especially on the waterfront, in favor of rehabbing existing properties. He would tie these efforts to job training and use green technologies, recycled materials and local workers and professionals. The former president of the Upper Fells Point Improvement Association also advocates for community policing (officers walking their beat), alternatives to cars (more public transit, bike lanes, some pedestrian-only streets), electing the school board instead of appointing it, paying teachers better salaries, and strengthening the city’s recycling program. Clark also recognizes that the City Council lacks the power to make a significant impact on city policies, so he is also fighting for government reform.
Quote: Clark says the current system of city government “lacks the checks and balances fundamental to democracy, and has created a City Council which can provide constituent services but not change the way things are done.”
Clark is “the only candidate for the 1st District Council seat who has promised to work to change the City Charter so that elected representatives have the ability to make a difference.”
Bill Barry, District 3
For the past seven years, Bill Barry has been Director of Labor Studies for the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) at the Dundalk campus. He has also spent 20 years as a union organizer and five years as a stay-at-home dad. Barry would eliminate “extravagant PILOT (payment-in-lieu-of-taxes) programs, which offer generous financial loopholes to wealthy developers.” He proposes a city minimum wage of $10 per hour for any business with more than 10 workers, to keep more wealth in the city instead of having it extracted by large national corporations. To improve accountability, Barry would decentralize the school system, transferring decision-making power from North Avenue to principals; and require that school board members must have children in city public schools.
Other issues he supports are taking the profits out of the drug trade by decriminalizing drugs like marijuana and cocaine; expanding the public transportation system, including neighborhood shuttle buses and bike lanes and trails; and increasing funding for home ownership programs.
Quote: “The biggest issues in Baltimore are the dominance of one party for decades, and the creation of a kind of third-world city, neglecting city residents and city workers. The revenues that Baltimore City gets are funneled toward the Inner Harbor area, for wealthy residents and tourists, while citizens of the city are asked to do with less. The city states that it spends only 5% of revenues on neighborhoods.”
David Greene, District 4
David Greene is a 69-year-old social activist and retired teacher. He has degrees in physics and electrical engineering, and has taught chemistry, mathematics and physics. He has taught at Goucher College, Towson University and Essex Community College, as well as St. Timothy’s School and Upward Bound, a program that helps low-income students prepare for college. Greene wants to encourage more business ownership by city residents, to keep wealth in the city, and would make non-resident business owners pay their fair share of taxes and observe fair rental guidelines. He also wants to take the profits out of drugs by making certain addictive drugs available at little or no cost to addicts. He says this would reduce petty street crime and eliminate the incentive to hook more people on drugs. Greene advocates for the formation of an automobile insurance co-op that a city feasibility study showed would reduce automobile insurance premiums by 25 percent in the first year and more in subsequent years.
Quote: “I feel very strongly that we should take the profits out of drugs Š It is so much more profitable for society to provide education and jobs than to endure the drug warfare. With the street trade removed, drug treatment might begin to be successful.”
Dr. Terrence T. Fitzgerald, District 5
Dr. Terrence T. Fitzgerald is a physician and medical director of an addiction treatment program with 600 patients in Baltimore City. He is married with four children who were educated in Baltimore public schools.
Dr. Fitzgerald wants to see funding for city schools that is on par with what is spent in surrounding counties. He would also like to see the system democratized, so that teachers have a say in creating educational policies, instead of just having policies imposed on them from the top down. He wants to reform the addiction treatment system to eliminate the six-month waits that some of his patients experience before they can enter a treatment program. Dr. Fitzgerald’s campaign will also focus on the city’s decaying infrastructure, vacant housing, and neglected parks and recreation services.
Quote: “At the same time that our cities die, unimaginable tax cuts are being given to businesses and to the rich. We cannot be content to carve up a few crumbs that are left for cities like Baltimore, while our national treasury is robbed. Elected local officials must take the lead. THIS is the role I see for members of Baltimore’s City Council.”
Paul Dibos, District 12
Paul Dibos is a project manager for an architectural firm specializing in the sustainable design of educational and institutional buildings. Born in Mexico City, he was raised in Baltimore City and County, and graduated from the Gilman School in 1980. Dibos would like to bring principles of sustainable design and sustainable development to Baltimore’s city planning.
Sustainable design means creating buildings, parks and public spaces that not only have a minimum impact on the land, but in some cases can even remediate the environmental damage and degradation caused by traditional development. He would support a moratorium on demolitions in the city until a comprehensive architectural review is done. He considers Baltimore’s architecture both institutional and residential one of its greatest assets, and so would provide incentives for the renovation and re-use of buildings. Dibos also sees opportunities for Baltimore to emulate cities such as Pittsburgh, Chicago and Seattle, which are already using sustainable design as a development tool.
Quote: “I believe the most powerful action we can take as citizens of the United States is to deliver the Œgovernment of, by, and for the people’ back into the hands of citizens and away from corporate interests. I have been fortunate to travel the world and to recognize that one of the world’s most pressing problems is how to provide real opportunities for the poorest among us to make a decent living Š I am accepting no contributions from corporations or lobbyists; I will place the needs of my constituents at the forefront.”
Glenn L. Ross, District 13
Glenn Ross has been a community activist for more than 25 years. From his neighborhood association in McElderry Park, Ross has advocated for better environmental health and fought the destruction of neighborhoods in East Baltimore.
Over the years, Ross has organized and coordinated working relationships with more than 140 community organizations, local businesses, religious organizations, and family support agencies in order to develop successful educational and training programs. Ross has served as Coordinator of the Mayor’s Campaign for a Cleaner Baltimore, co-founder and organizer of the Southeast Stakeholders Coalition, and Community Organizer for Safe and Sound Succeed by 6. In 2001, the City Paper named Glenn Ross “Baltimore’s Best Community Activist.” The roadblocks to successful, pro-community development that Ross has encountered lead him to believe that we need to “change the game” in terms of politics in East Baltimore. The Green Party, with its 10 key values and its commitment to cleaning up elections, was a perfect match for him.
Quote: “My history as a citywide community activist has always been addressing the issues of trash, rats, abandoned properties, community despair, education and leadership skills, to name a few. Dealing with just these issues can change social behavior in our city today.”
Myles Hoenig, District 14
Myles Hoenig, 48, has been a public school teacher for more than 10 years, and currently teaches at a Baltimore City public school. Hoenig is a board member of Maryland TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages). A longtime activist on many community issues, he spent four-plus years as president of the Waverly Improvement Association. Hoenig has worked with communities to fight development that is not in their interests. He proposes requiring a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between developer and community representatives before a Planned Urban Development (PUD) goes to its final review by the City Council. He also supports a Charter Amendment to make the Board of Estimates more representative of the people, so that the Mayor does not have absolute control of the board’s decisions. Hoenig would also like to require that City Council hearings be held on location, in order to maximize citizen participation. He also advocates for citizen oversight of the school board.
Quote: “As one who has been working to protect the community and forest of Woodberry, I am intimately involved in land development issues. Bottom line on this is that communities should have near veto power of development in their neighborhood and full access to the decision-making process. I will elaborate on this if you give me at least 3 hours!”
If you want to meet or interview a candidate, or to volunteer to help on a campaign, please email [email protected] or telephone 410-662-8169
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