CITIZEN ACTION:

‘Why I’m Running for Baltimore City Council’

by Delano Saillye Bailey
     WHY DO I THINK I’d make an excellent Councilman in the 6th Council District?
      The quick and fast response to this question is that I have prepared myself--or better yet, I have been prepared.
     The preparation began as early as elementary school. This is when I was exposed to a variety of students, not just African-Americans. I began selling newspapers, and on the weekends my brothers and I sold shopping bags at the Hollins Market. Those experiences were reinforced at home with a strong sense of family values and community values.
      Once out of high school (Douglass ’65) I was one of the first to be drafted and complete a tour of duty in Vietnam. My specialty was intelligence gathering but my gift was to see the world and the horrors of war. Before I could permanently get home, I was sent to Baltimore as a soldier to quell the urban riots.The sense of responsibility for others was being hammered into my soul.
      I first decided to run for city council in 1984. The political climate was such that no Afro-American had sat in the Council from the 6th district, although the majority of its population was African-American. Billy Murphy was running for Mayor at the time, and we thought some history was going to be made. It wasn’t. I was devastated! I lost my mom that year,too, and for awhile I lost my momentum.
      I functioned as the president of the Franklin Square Community Association. This organization was at the focal point of change in Baltimore. Our focus was housing; on one occasion we turned a junkyard into 66 new homes.
      As president of a community association I was given the responsibility of directing, guiding, and shaping the daily life of the community. I believe my strength was that we (my board of directors and myself) were able to put in place a perpetual organization that is still in existence.
      So now I say the reason I would make an excellent City Council person is because I see a city, I see a community, I see a neighborhood, but where are the jobs? The surge in stock prices and high-tech companies who led the way, haven't filtered down to the poorest communities. My intent is to bring into existence a functioning commercial district on Pratt Street, Baltimore Street, and other minority commercial districts.
      Baltimore can benefit from the transfer of skills and the vision of a successful leader. The power to change is there for the taking. Our communities need to be empowered to accomplish the necessary desires of the constituents.


Mr. Bailey works in the home health care field. He wrote this article at the request of this newspaper. Other political candidates who wish to be heard are encouraged to send their statements to: 30 West 25th Street, Baltimore 21218. Include photo if possible.




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This story was published on June 30, 1999.