Photos From Before And During The HCPSS Redistricting Testimony On September 24th

I had a free evening so I decided to go out and get photos from the happenings surrounding the second round of testimony relating to the HCPSS redistricting plan.

I have photos from before the meeting with those opposing and supporting the plan…and a few photos from inside of the meeting (early on). Here are the photos I took (located on Facebook):

If I were to guess (because I did not actually count) I would say there was somewhere near 250 people outside protesting the redistricting plan…that is my best guess.

There were a few people there in support of the plan…holding signs that stated “African American Community Roundtable of Howard County Maryland, Supports Super Plan”. One of those supporting the plan was Larry Walker, the deputy pastor at Celebration Church in Columbia.

I almost was denied access to enter the meeting to get the few photos I took. I was originally told by a HCPSS staff member (I am guessing because he was wearing a HCPSS shirt and directing people in front of the building) that I could not enter to take photos of the meeting because I was not “part of the press or part of a news agency”. You can guess how happy I was to hear that last evening. I got lucky and ran into HoCoBOE member Chao Wu just before the meeting started. He was nice enough to walk me in the door and connect me with other HCPSS staff. I am guessing that they talked with others (including other HoCoBOE members) and I was finally allowed into the meeting to get photos.

One of the items on my to do list…find out what the rules are for “press” covering HoCoBOE meetings. While I agree I am not “the press”…I do want to better understand why the Baltimore Sun and other news agencies get access but Scott E’s Blog is told no at the door…and how to have that not happen again in the future (if it is possible).

If anyone has any suggestions for me…let me know in the comments.

There will be one more public testimony session (but that might roll into multiple days based on some numbers I am hearing):

  • Thursday, September 26, 6 p.m. (NOTE:Time changed from 7 p.m.)
    • Families currently zoned for Glenelg HS, Marriotts Ridge HS, Reservoir HS, River Hill HS
    • An additional public hearing has been added for Region III overflow only on Monday, October 7 at 6 p.m. Additional hearings for Region III overflow are being scheduled and will be added as soon as possible.

Scott E

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16 comments

  1. First, HCPSS eliminates on site registration for testifying. And then, they limited student speakers to 10, until people complained. Now, they are afraid of photo taking by the public? it is a public hearing, not a court room, is it not? What is HCPSS so afraid of? the people?

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  2. Same comment I made after Mall Walk, visuals are terrible! Photos show about 2/3 Asian and 1/3 Caucasian parents with signs that indicate most if not all are protesting being moved from River Hill/Clarksville schools — RHHS, CMS, CES, and PRES. This on a day focused on for Atholton HS, Hammond HS, Long Reach HS, Wilde Lake HS testimony. The only Black folks I saw were one nurse’s aid taking care of handicapped Asian child in a wheel chair and small number of supporters for some form of plan. Also again the leader of the walk and BOE protest lives about 5 miles from WLHS and RHHS in an expensive home in Ellicott City bought 2 years ago. This is about race and property values.

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    • No one is stopping minorities from showing up to these events, and yes, technically, Asians are considered minorities as well. If no other races show up, what can you do? I don’t know why you care so much about the visual representation. We are not shooting a politically correct commercial here. If you had read the CR 112, you will notice the language that proponents of this kind of redistricting IS based on race. If you had heard Larry Walker’s sermons online, you will know this IS about bringing down the property values of these areas. Can you fault people from wanting to protect themselves?

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    • Also, there was eye witness account of a Wilde Lake parent and a supporter of the plan, who was white, wore orange top, drove a dark minivan, screamed at an Asian family as she exited that she “can’t wait for them to go back to Asia”. This happened at around 8:45 pm. Now, can we talk a bit more of why race is not involved?

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      • ‘Eric’: I wasn’t going to go there but since you did. Intolerance breeds intolerance and contempt breeds contempt. My father was an immigrant and couldn’t tolerate anyone that came more than 25 miles from where he was born. Asian immigrants for past decade have come to Howard County with advanced degrees and money — they come from at least the top 5% of populations ($/intelligence) in homogeneous countries. Many are as xenophobic as 80 year old Trump supporters — and that includes towards blacks, Hispanics, and whites. The animosity during last fight on redistricting in 2017 was led by a predominantly Asian neighborhood feeding to CHS. It was Chinese immigrant group that wore red shirts and testified with MAGA supporters against an attempted Sanctuary Bill in HC. In New York City the 4 elite magnet (test in) HSs are about 65% Asian (out of 13% of population in the city) and they are fighting attempts to desegregate or modify entrance criteria there. Luckily the USA has a record of assimilation and hopefully their children and grandchildren (like me) will be more accepting of the pluralistic nature of our country.

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      • Wow… Talking about racism and stereotype. Just because you saw some Asians identifying with Trump, you assumed they are racist. Just because you saw mostly Asians and whites at protests against redistricting, you thought they are the racist from the Trump supporting group. I was never in those Trump events or anything on sanctuary city. But I was at the protests for redistricting. My reasons are not based on race. But since race is interjected into the debate, I called that out. Let’s not generalize and spread hate. There is too much of that already.

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      • Sorry Jim, your understanding of new Asian immigrants is racist. Racism, as defined by Webster’s, is “prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior.” If you think you have more tolerance because America is a pluralistic society, then you are truly ignorant of the population diversity and pluralistic nature of the Asian cultures. If you think the new Asian immigrants arriving in the past decades are all well educated thus, not understanding the struggles of the working class, then you don’t know enough of working class Asians. I think you would identify yourself as progressive, but I suggest you check your bias once in awhile.

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  3. Scott, I suggest making your own professional-looking press pass. Design something in Photoshop that has your photo, name, ScottE blog and Press Pass in big letters on it. Go to Fed Ex / Kinko’s and get it printed on to a card size that can hang from a lanyard. Laminate it, punch a hole, attach to a lanyard, and I bet you get in 99 times out of 100.

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  4. Hey Jim- I got my home for a steal at 938k with my dual working husband. Our Army retirements help with that 🙂 and this just in- you have no idea why I’m against this. And if you were really doing you’re fact finding, you’d know we had 4 walk leaders. Thanks for the notoriety though- you’re about as basic as they come!

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    • LSZ: I don’t think you are racist or elitist, and I should have indicated you are one of organizers. But do you realize almost every family living in our expensive County has 2 working adults? There are many who can’t afford a home in any school district for what is considered affordable housing in Howard County <$250k.

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      • Then maybe they should not be living in this expensive county. Livingvin Howard County is a choice, not a right. I would love to drive a Bentley and live in a $10 million dollar home. Does that mean I should ask other people to suffer because I choice not to live within my means? Think about what you are saying, yes Howard County is a rich county but there are other places people can live within their means without burdening other people that work hard to get where they are. And for someone to not believe it is about race, you sure to mention it alot in these comments.

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      • You are unbelievable. Some of ‘those’ people are teachers in your kids schools and HC Policemen and Firemen. Sorry they are a burden on you.

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      • And the police and firemen are mostly not considered poor, or FARM qualified. Go check out the FARM qualifications and you will see, policeman and school teachers on two incomes would never qualify for it. But let’s just assume they can and you want them to live close to their work, I get it. How nice of you! But when it comes to the kids, well, they can spend hours on the bus and you wouldn’t care one way or the other… SMH, when was the last time you looked yourself in the mirror, Jim?

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      • Legeia/luminal/esprit/…
        We were discussing house prices not FARM qualification— it is called working salary versus housing affordability. BTW saw your 9/26 hate rally post — ‘ For the community you are trying to break’ really? You live closer to Harpers Farm than Clarksville and bus ride is a wash. Enjoy your Mac-mansion. Roger OUT

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  5. There are actually many black families, including mine, opposed to this plan. It is unfortunate that that does not get highlighted. This is not a race issue. Black families in River hill do NOT want to move either!

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  6. Esther: RHHS is about 10% Blackband <2% FARM so my guess is Black students in RHHS come mostly from educated, affluent families. That is why socioeconomic status not race is one of many factors in redistricting.

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