AAIHC on Howard County Candidates 2010
AAIHC (African Americans in Howard County) has issued some endorsements and statements on Howard County candidates. Here are a few excerpts:
House of Delegates, District 12b: (Very strange) Endorsement of Liz Bobo
This is perhaps the most difficult endorsement AAIHC had to make this time around. It seems that Liz Bobo has become part of a growing local segment of “reactionary anti-progressive liberals,” all having to do with opposition to affordable housing—with some in the group (not necessary Liz) even opposing the Federal Government approved health-care plan.
For affordable housing or having a decent roof over one’s head, especially African American and low-income families, (which is a critical issue in this election) is continuing to be an on-going long-term critical problem for Howard County. Liz has contributed to this problem, starting back when she served on the Howard County Council, in being the only Democrat voting against a developer (Rouse Company) who proposed an approved Montgomery County type affordable housing plan, chosen to be implemented starting in Columbia’s River Hills Village. We all now know that River Hill does not have affordable housing.
There just doesn’t seem to be any plan (including the upcoming re-development of the Wilde Lake Village Center) which would create affordable housing that pleases Liz. Moreover, affordable housing is the beginning of wealth building for Black families, a point reached by first renting, followed by purchasing real estate.
The opportunity for affordable housing in the up-coming Columbia downtown and the Wilde Lake Village Center, strongly fits the bill of wealth building for Black families and working class families, being made possible by a $50 million affordable housing trust fund created by the developer. This was created at absolutely “no cost to the tax payer.” The fund will be funded by businesses and residents moving into downtown Columbia—a true American way of people doing for “themselves” vs. having the Government to do for them.
Unfortunately for Liz and the county, nothing in Liz’s voting record, as to affordable housing, has had any “salutary” effects.
Liz has been steadfast in her other commitments in Annapolis—and others in Howard County as well. But the issues discussed are long standing ones in Howard County. And this endorsement is being given in the hope that Liz Bobo begin to mend her ways understanding that it’s far past time for “lip service” to African Americans and working class families to enjoy Jim Rouse’s dream of racial and economic justice throughout Columbia and Howard County—especially when it comes to economic development and housing.
County Council, District 4: Endorsement of Mary Kay Sigaty
We disagreed with many of Mary Kay Signaty policies the last time around, but she proved us wrong in becoming one of the most effective members of the Howard County over the past four years. Sigaty started off by being an activist, followed by a solid period on the Howard County School Board. From there she moved to the County Council where she has be an extremely effective Council member, especially when it comes to focusing attention on low achieving students in Howard County education. She has also become very effective at managing zoning throughout the County, to include approving the development of downtown Columbia. In fact, Mary Kay lives within a stone’s throw of downtown Columbia, right across the street from one of our low-income housing developments, the latter which she is very committee to.
And statement on challenger Alan Klein
Her opponent, Alan Klein, is a one issue person, where according the Baltimore Sun, “he promises a passionate fight against the county’s plan to transform downtown Columbia into an urban center.” He is very disingenuous. He says he supports “full-spectrum affordable housing,” but he has no rational workable plan for housing working families anywhere in the County, especially downtown Columbia. He opposes affordable housing in the re-development of the Wilde Lake Village Center, despite the fact that 90% of the employees there will be $10.00/hour workers. No mater the facts, the housing needs of working families in the county makes no appeal to the heart of Mr. Klien.
He taught at Thunder Hill Elementary, leaving after a short time because he found the school to be too “restricted” says a Sun article. He later returned to Howard County where he taught gifted-and-talented students, leaving after a “half year” according to a Sun article. Klien’s election literature doesn’t even mention health-care, especially Howard County’s “Healthy Howard” plan, in place until the Federal plan kicks in 2014. No successful growing county, especially Howard County, should suffer through Klien type of leadership.