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Power Rankings

Baltimore City Power Rankings

Photo: Illustrations by Alex Fine, License: N/A

Illustrations by Alex Fine


1 Gun Violence

This week, a 1-year-old infant was shot and killed in the Cherry Hill neighborhood, making him the youngest victim of gun violence in years and marking a new low in Baltimore’s gun-violence epidemic. Police Commissioner Batts held a press conference declaring the killing “unacceptable,” but until a broad agenda is enacted, aimed at reducing poverty, lowering unemployment, and removing guns, among other things, the violence in our streets will continue to reach ever-lower new lows.

2 Towson Baseball

Two months ago Towson University’s baseball program was slated to be shut down. Govenor O’Malley and pals came to the rescue with funding to save the program (but not soccer) and now, the Tigers’ squad has won its conference and is headed to the NCAA tournament. It’s an incredible turnaround that’s bound to be turned into a terrible, sappy movie. In the meantime, maybe they have a closer the Orioles could borrow for a couple months?

3 Public Events

First the 26th annual Pow-Wow was shut down, reportedly for overcrowding, then the EDM-focused Moonrise Festival with a star-packed lineup, including newly feline Snoop Lion, was canned, with organizers and cops trading blame for its lack of permits. And then this past weekend, Def Jam-sponsored video projections featuring Kanye West were at least partially thwarted by police. It’s been a shitshow that only seems to reinforce why we can’t have nice things, Baltimore. On the other hand, Deathfest was a huge success, with a stunning list of high-profile shows, reunions, and gigs by the likes of the Melvins and Down. BCPR suggests Charm City go all-metal, all the time.


As climate change increasingly threatens our planet, the ability to explain complicated science to the general public is more important than ever—without them, you get science-denying yahoos like WMAR weatherman Mike Masco, who has a certificate in “Broadcast Meteorology,” and calls global warming “the biggest scam in modern time” (despite a recent scientific study citing 97 percent consensus among actual scientists about its effects). That’s why it’s so disappointing to see Hopkins terminate its master’s program in science writing, causing Ann Finkbeiner, who organized the program and trained writers as notable as occasional CP contributor Deborah Rudacille, to resign. Who will save us from misinformed weathermen?

5 Stephanie Rawlings-Blake

While in Las Vegas for a conference, Il Mayore officiated the wedding of Lisa Harris Jones and Sean R. Malone, two of the city’s top lobbyists, who represent Walmart, among others. Il Mayore wasn’t the only one there—the guest list reads like a who’s who of Baltimore politics. The most shameful part isn’t that the city’s leader has such a cozy relationship with those who represent the interests of corporations (which are usually at odds with those of, you know, the people), but that she apparently has no idea of what’s so shameful about it.


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