Rhetoric From Rhonda ~ Annapolis Capital Punishment

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Rhetoric From Rhonda

In another of her occasional contributions to this blog, reader Rhonda Ellis herewith provides her thoughts on Tuesday night's Democratic Unity Fundraiser:

Democratic Fundraiser Hits Key Issues

The Oct. 6 fundraiser at Loew’s Hotel was an impressive show of unity among Democratic state and local political leaders. I was particularly thrilled by Josh Cohen’s speech, which sought to build bridges not only among party regulars, but across all sectors of Annapolitans.  Of note, he acknowledged the economic disparity within the city and cited the importance of breaking the “cycle of crime” that is often fueled by want and disengagement by offering economic, job training and similar opportunities. 

Although remediation is a long-term endeavor, I am glad that the issue is on Mr. Cohen’s radar. When I moved to Annapolis several years ago, I was struck by this economic disparity, especially in contrast to Gaithersburg, my former hometown, which is ethnically diverse and economically more homogenous.

The approach of providing job training to reduce crime, among other measures, reminds me of a news story by Walter Pincus in the Dec. 10, 2007, edition of The Washington Post about Maj. Gen. Douglas Stone, who was in charge of the detainee operations in Iraq.  All prisoners in detention were accused of being insurgents, and most lacked education and employment experience.  Maj. Gen. Stone began offering voluntary basic education, civic and vocational classes and interestingly “demand for classes stripped” the number of teachers available.  “One result already seen is that moderates in the prisons [were] identifying extremists, thus facilitating their segregation from the rest of the population.”  Many of those involved in the education program went on to be successfully rehabilitated into Iraqi society as law-abiding citizens.  In general, I believe that most individuals are essentially good, want to contribute positively to society, and want to be valued for that contribution.  Why not offer the opportunity?

LISTEN TO CP Publisher Paul Foer on 1430WNAV at 8:15 every weekday morning.

Join us every Thursday 8-9 am for our Sip N' Blogs normally at ZU Coffee, 934 Bay Ridge Road, Annapolis, Maryland, in the Giant Shopping Center. Special guests will be:Oct 8--Mat Silverman, Ward 5, Oct. 15--Josh Cohen, Oct 22--Chris Fox (at Sly Fox Pub)
Oct 29--Dave Cordle. Stop by on your way to work for your morning latte and meet other local activists. Zu now has a drive-through window!


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