Features

Sarah T. Hughes Center welcomes politican in residence

Sarah Callander

Features Co-Editor

Sarah T. Hughes Field Politics Center is revamping Goucher’s politician-in-residence program and it is pleased to present Councilman Brandon Scott as this semester’s politician. Dr. Mileah Kromer explains that the politician-in-residence program formerly focused on bringing a large national speaker to campus. With the new residency, the politician can chart his/her own path of how they want to interact with the students. This year, Dr. Kromer was looking for candidates who exemplified the core values of Goucher and the Hughes Center. Councilman Brandon Scott, presiding from the second district of Baltimore City stood out as an exceptional candidate for the position. At age 27, Scott was the youngest city councilman to be elected in the city of Baltimore. He is a native Baltimorean and attended St. Mary’s College of Maryland so he understands the worth of a liberal arts education. In college, Scott was a part of St. Mary’s Multicultural Advisory and African Heritage Month committees, he received the Service and Social Change Excellence in Service award, and was the Black Student Union President. He graduated with a B.A. in political science and was identified as a natural leader on his campus. As a councilman, Scott has sponsored legislation that focuses on children and families and public safety in Baltimore’s neighborhoods. Sponsoring a curfew law for minors in Baltimore is one of Scott’s most recent projects and it has received a lot of local and statewide coverage. Scott has also worked on mentoring programs like Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Central Maryland. “There are a lot of people who are really great politicians, but it takes a special person to mentor others,” said Dr. Kromer about the councilman. He also likes to keep in constant contact with his constituents by posting videos to his YouTube channel, “On Second Thought with Brandon Scott.” He also updates his Twitter frequently and sometimes it features pictures of his small dog, Sir Charles. For his residency, Scott expressed interest in speaking to students and then showing students his district. Last Wednesday November 12th, there was a showing of Live Young Blood, a documentary that delves into the struggle to reduce violence in Baltimore and its effects especially on young people. Brandon Scott was joined by the film’s producer and co director, Bobby Marvin Holmes, and John Bullock, Assistant Professor of Political Science and Metropolitan Studies at Towson University, to form a panel for discussion after the viewing. Scott also led a tour of his district for about 12 students, which gave students a chance to know Scott on a more personal level. Dr. Kromer stated before the tour, “Students have the chance to see his district while discussing the issues it is facing.” On the tour, Scott discussed issues like vacant properties, youth programs, decriminalization of marijuana, gun violence, neighborhood rehabilitation, county vs. city, education, open spaces for play and organization, small businesses, and developers, and city council’s effect on the district. “The number one thing is simply spending time with the kids,” Scott replied in response to a question on the best ways to reduce interpersonal violence in communities. Later this year students may also have the chance to sit-in on one of his public safety committee meetings. This allowed students to see Scott in his district and then in a more professional setting where he is tackling the issues legislatively. Dr. Kromer envisions that “Going forward, we see the program evolving because every politician will be different. Also we want opportunity for active interaction with the politician in residence. They should be accomplished but also amenable to this type of interaction.”

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