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Power Rankings

Baltimore City Power Rankings

Debate, Preakness, Crabs, Freedom of the Press, and O'Malley.

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

Illustrations by Alex Fine


1 Debate

Last week, Baltimore writer Dwight Watkins’ Salon story about the pop-culture class divide and Tracey Halvorsen’s post “Baltimore City, You’re Breaking My Heart,” about her frustrations with crime in the city, sparked seemingly endless responses and conversations. The complex web of race, class, and civic issues are intractable and won’t be solved easily, but ongoing conversations can only help. It’s disappointing but not surprising that Il Mayore and City Council have been silent on the debate. How about a public town hall meeting?

2 Preakness

Last year InfieldFest booked Macklemore, who went on to go platinum and just won Grammys for Best Rap Album and Best New Artist. The just-announced headliner of this year’s InfieldFest, Lorde, won Best Song for “Royals.” We want to get whoever is picking these pop winners to give us their picks for the race before they start working A&R for a major-record label. Bonus: Organizers finally put down ill-conceived half-horse/half-douche infield mascot Kegasus.

3 Crabs

A bill pending the General Assembly would require markets and restaurants to accurately label where their crab comes from—and will make it illegal to misrepresent the origins. This is great news for people who want to eat Maryland crab, but BCPR suspects we’ll see a lot less Maryland crab and more “Maryland-style” (i.e., Louisiana) crab.

4 Freedom of the Press

A bill before the legislature would expand the protections offered by the “reporter’s shield,” which frees journalists from having to testify on sources. Previously, the law protected only those employed by the news media, but now it would include freelancers and bloggers. With the media landscape rapidly fragmenting, and important work being done by nontraditional outlets, the bill is an important step toward defending the fourth estate.

5 O'Malley

As more details of the largely failed launch of the state health care exchange continue to be revealed, the situation looks worse and worse for the governor and his rumored presidential bid. The latest news is that O’Malley approved five wage increases—including three merit-based raises—for Rebecca Pearce, the director of the exchange who recently resigned under pressure, during her 27-month tenure. Accountability begins at the top, Marty.

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