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Maryland Voices: Out of the polls

P. Kenneth Burns

What do most Baltimore City voters fear as they cast their ballots?  That Donald Trump will be elected the next president of these United States of America…North America.

“I don’t believe that Donald Trump and his supporters really believe that minorities should be here at all,” said Bobbie Henderson, an African-American voter from Cherry Hill.  She added that everything her ancestors fought for would be lost under a President Trump.

“I think when they say they want their country back, they literally mean it.”

Desiree Young of South Baltimore had an issue with what Trump says and how he behaves.

“A lot of the things he say doesn’t make sense,” she said adding that Trump’s temperament is “terrible.”

“And I wouldn’t want nobody leading our United States with that temperament; no.”

Craig Davis of Northwest Baltimore said he is scared by what Trump stands for.

“I think he stands for something that just isn’t good for us as a country; isn’t good for us as human people,” he said adding “we just need to start working together more.” 

“I think there is so much against us as human beings, as people.”

But Trump becoming president was not everyone’s greatest fear.

Christine Rice of Reservoir Hill fears that the election results will be disputed; disrupting the American value of transferring power peacefully.

“Every election when I see that power transfer happen, I cry a little bit,” she said.  “It’s a beautiful thing to simply hand over power to the next person because you agree that the people have spoken.”

Rice said she teaches seven-year-olds and her “greatest hope is that the results will not be disputed.”

The hopes of city voters

Some city voters have simple hopes.  Mara Leiba of Bolton Hill said she hopes “there is peace no matter who’s elected.”

Then there are others.

Colby Stinnette of Canton said her greatest hope is that the country gets back on track for the youth.

“[They’re] really who’s going to be running the country in 20 years,” she said.  “So, I’m hoping we can get our youth back on track and get better schools and better systems for them.”

Kareem Bailey of Northeast Baltimore said he hopes American will continue to be a place where people can continue to thrive.

“I feel like under Trump, that’s not gonna happen,” he said.  “I feel like under Hillary, she’ll continue some of the programs and things that Obama has already planned and done.”

Robert Mullin, also of Northeast Baltimore, said he hopes that changes will take place; particularly in the city.

“You’re looking around; things are falling apart in the city,” he said.  “Economically it’s a mess; you gotta enact change, you gotta do something; you gotta get rid of complacency.”

Bonita Freeman, who moved back to Northwest Baltimore eight years ago, is also hoping for a change in the city.

“You’ve got councilmen’s been sitting there for 25 and 30 years; I see nothing,” she said.  “I hope that there’s some young people who are going on the council that will do something different for Baltimore City.”

It’s important

Why did some city residents think it was important to exercise their civic duty?

Shannon McClain of Hampden called this election the most important one of her lifetime.

“We have two different candidates from our major parties who represent such different world views and have very different visions for our country,” she said.  “And I’m excited to vote in this election.”

Erica Young – Desiree Young’s daughter – said her vote spoke for her and no one else.

“My vote is important because it makes a change and we have something different in this world,” she said.  “Not just the same thing and not going by what someone says because they have money.”

Janae Fowler of West Baltimore said she wanted to do her part to ensure Hillary Clinton becomes the first woman elected president.

“We have two different candidates and interesting candidates,” she said.  “It will be interesting to see our first woman president.”

Kevin Thompson of Edmondson Village said his vote is important because of the mayor’s race and what’s at stake nationally.

“Status quo has been the same in the city for a long time,” he said.  “Catherine Pugh - who I did vote for - she’s fresh; she’s new.”

Thompson said he wasn’t voting for Sheila Dixon because “we’ve already been there and done that.”

“I definitely was not voting for Donald Trump because of who he is,” he added.

Preson Hall of Northeast Baltimore put the importance of his voting this year this way.

“It’s pretty much all we have.  I can’t complain if I don’t vote.”  

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