From Jerome Hersl, Campaign Manager, Harford Campaign 42:
The Mayor & City Council of Havre de Grace, Maryland, is an all white male group in a town that is 52% female and 25% racially & culturally diverse. In order to achieve a better Democracy, political power needs to be shared and shared in a sustained lasting manner. For whatever reason, the sustained sharing of political power among diverse groups in Havre de Grace is being suppressed.
It is without doubt, that diversity is a priority with the current elected officials in Havre de Grace. They are a dedicated group of elected officials, but they are not diverse and thus political power is not inclusive. In order to show their support for diversity, they must make a tough, civil and unselfish decision that will bring forth change. Campaign 42 respectfully requests the current Mayor & City Council members up for reelection, to consider recusing themselves from the upcoming election. In addition, the Mayor and all City Council members should take on pro-active, unprecedented actions to encourage women and minorities to register and run for office in this upcoming election. There are many qualified individuals, both women and minorities, that could do a fine job as Mayor or City Councilperson.
Politicians run for office because they feel that they could “best” serve the people at a particular time. In this particular situation, white male candidates, who represent approximately a third of the population in Havre de Grace, should not say they best serve the people by hoping to keep the status quo of an all white male, Mayor & City Council. A white male running in this election only encourages keeping in place the factors which lead to suppression of diversity. A Mayor or City Councilperson up for re-election, who steps aside for diversity, shows true patriotism and honest concern for woman and minorities.
Harford Campaign 42
Background on Campaign 42: Harford Campaign 42, informally known as “Campaign 42” is an independent, non-partisan, grass roots, public awareness campaign that is being conducted in Harford County, Maryland. The mission of the campaign is to make the public aware of the lack of gender, racial and cultural inclusion in our City Halls, and the benefits of having such inclusion. The Campaign will also establish a Commission to encourage, recruit, mentor & sustain candidates that can bring professional leadership and more diversity to the City Halls.
The Campaign has adopted a Branch Rickey/Jackie Robinson theme. Black athlete Jackie Robinson – Number “42” and Brooklyn Dodger President Branch Rickey, a white man, worked together and exemplified superior sustained leadership when breaking the color barrier in baseball. The campaign honors their legacy by following their example and adopting Jackie Robinson’s “42” as a symbol to bring professional inclusiveness to our City Halls. The Commission will be known as the “Rickey Commission”
The Harford Campaign will be centered around the upcoming elections of the three (3) municipalities of Harford County. For the municipality of Havre de Grace, with an election on May 5, 2015, the campaign will be known as “Havre de Grace Campaign 42”. The other two (2) municipalities, Aberdeen and Bel Air, with elections on November 3, 2015, the campaigns will be known as “Aberdeen Campaign 42” and “Bel Air Campaign 42” respectively. Each municipality is unique in its social and political personality in dealing with gender, racial and cultural inclusion. These unique municipal personalities bring a challenge to Campaign 42 and the “Rickey Commission”. At a later date, Campaign 42 will focus on diversity within the “Elected Official Pool” of Harford County Government
The achievements and lessons learned in Harford County will be applied in developing a Campaign 42 National Model. There are 35,000 municipalities and thousands of county councils/commissions in the United States.