May mark the beginning, the very beginning

I received this blast email from the Howard Park Community Association:

Subject: House Bill 1136: Regulating opening and closing times of Liquor Stores in the Liberty Heights Corridor

 
Our bill passed at 11:48 p.m. Monday night, one of the last bills to be enacted by the 2017 General Assembly. When it takes effect on July 1, no liquor outlet in the Liberty Heights corridor can open earlier than 9 a.m. or close later than 9 p.m. On behalf of my 41st District colleagues and myself, we are excited about this success and look forward to working with you to make more improvements to the Howard Park community. —Delegate, Sandy Rosenberg

Howard Park Civic Association: This is a huge victory for our community, and may mark the beginning, the very beginning, of the change we need in our business district.    

Then I read this op-ed about Robert Kennedy’s visit to the abject poverty of the Mississippi Delta:

Mr. Kennedy was convinced, especially after his time in Mississippi, that poverty programs are most successful when they are informed by the voices of poor people themselves. He trusted the families he met there, and later in Appalachia, blighted city neighborhoods in the Northeast and the fields of California, to know what would help them the most.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/12/opinion/what-mississippi-taught-bobby-kennedy-about-poverty.html?_r=0

I’d like to think I’m walking down the same path as Senator Kennedy and listening to people, whatever their race or income.

Solving the problem and asking why not

I want to share with you my opening and closing remarks at the League of Women Voters 41st District candidates forum last night.

             At this event two elections ago, an audience member asked us if we could help a member of the Islam community obtain a funeral license.

             Embalming is not permitted in the Muslim faith, but it is part of the required training under state law.

             Working with my 41st District colleagues, I passed a bill that solved the problem.

             A few years ago, I heard from the Sher family. They close their used car business on Saturday to observe the Jewish Sabbath.

             Now that car titles and other transactions are submitted electronically, they can’t do this work on Sundays, when the Blue laws require used car dealerships in Baltimore City to be closed.

             Working with my 41st District colleagues, I passed a bill that solved the problem.

             We have worked together in all of the neighborhoods of the district for the past 12 years.

I began my closing statement by referring to an event I attended yesterday afternoon.

             Orientation for the Governor’s Summer Interns Program was held at the Shriver Center at UMBC, named for R. Sargent and Eunice Kennedy Shriver.

            That prompted me to end my talk by quoting Robert Kennedy.

            “Some people see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were…”

            Someone in the audience spoke out, “And ask why not.”

           Like a Baptist church, I thought to myself.

           Afterwards, that person introduced herself to me. She is a daughter of the late Rev. Vernon Dobson.

           Rev. Dobson; Congressman Parren Mitchell, whom I worked for; and Walter P. Carter, whose daughter I proudly serve with, were the leading civil rights activists in Baltimore.