Racial Politics Subside in Cities ; Votes Today in Philadelphia, Baltimore May Deepen Trend

By Charles Cohen, | The Christian Science Monitor, November 2, 1999 | Go to article overview

Racial Politics Subside in Cities ; Votes Today in Philadelphia, Baltimore May Deepen Trend


Charles Cohen,, The Christian Science Monitor


Martin O'Malley is fond of saying his campaign is proof that the days of racial politics here are fading. After all, the Irish- American mayoral hopeful won the Democratic primary in this predominantly African-American and overwhelmingly Democratic city with 53 percent of the vote.

Gone are the days of 1995, when Mayor Kurt Schmoke won reelection using a bumper sticker with the African nationalist colors that read: "Schmoke makes us proud."

As voters in cities and towns across America head to the polls today, mayoral elections here and elsewhere will help define how big of a role race now plays in local politics. And increasingly, say experts, the rules have changed.

To be sure, race is still a factor, but black candidates can no longer depend on the solidarity of ethnicity to get in office. Cities where minority voters make up the majority, such as Oakland, Calif., and Gary, Ind., have elected a new breed of white mayors who promise to deliver services faster and cheaper.

"[African-Americans] want to have their lives free of discrimination and racism, but they want the services delivered that suburbanites takes for granted," says Keith Reeves, a political scientist at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania.

As a result, the overall culture of elections is revolving around mayors who function like municipal managers, focusing more on efficiency than ideology.

Jerry Brown, for instance, touted his experience as governor of California in his campaign in Oakland. Meanwhile, the steel town of Gary - one of two cities to elect the nation's first black mayor in 1967 - has turned to white Mayor Scott King to help draw new industry.

"[It's] a political gold mine," says Claudine Gay, a political scientist at Stanford University in California, of the emerging approach.

And the efficiency message resonates whether the candidate is black or white. Washington's new mayor, Anthony Williams, got elected on the promise to clean up the city's notoriously inefficient bureaucracy. Black moderates such as Dennis Archer in Detroit and Michael White in Cleveland are in the mayor's office because they focused mostly on the business of delivering goods and services, says Professor Reeves.

In this year's election, meanwhile, the power of practical politics is threatening to unhinge traditional party lines in Philadelphia, where Democrats outnumber Republicans 4 to 1.

Sam Katz, a white Republican, is in a tough battle with Democrat John Street, an African-American. While Mr. Street was relying on African-American allegiances, Reeves says, Mr. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Racial Politics Subside in Cities ; Votes Today in Philadelphia, Baltimore May Deepen Trend
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.