Before he has signed one piece of executive legislation, or prior to his first full day in office, Dr. Calvin Ball has already managed to meet with success as the Howard County Executive. His success traverses a single political win and reaches back to the collective campaign – albeit ancestrally – which was waged by those who overcame the seemingly impossible odds to be counted as a person, to be granted citizenship, to be considered eligible to provide service to a nation that once refused to extend to them a genuine space of hospitality. Through the countless hopes and prayers and sit-ins and marches, we arrive at a new horizon that has forged a better day.[caption id="attachment_3520" align="alignright" width="300"] CREDIT PHOTO COURTESY CALVIN BALL FOR HOWARD COUNTY EXECUTIVE[/caption]
On December 3rd, at the inauguration of Dr. Calvin Ball as County Executive, Howard County has brought to fruition in Maryland what were the hopes of African slaves, turned African American citizens who only longed to be counted, merely to be heard, and just to be tapped for service. As chairman of the Howard County Human Rights Commission, I wish to congratulate Howard County Executive Calvin Ball on being the first African American to be elected as County Executive in our county's storied history.
With more than 12 years of experience on the Howard County Council, representing District 2, Mr. Ball has demonstrated that he possesses the appropriate skills to lead our county forward. Given our nation's present political climate, in which we are witnessing a resurgence of racism and xenophobia, Mr. Ball exhibited great leadership, coupled with his fearless political adeptness by introducing a proposal to make Howard County a sanctuary for undocumented immigrants. For him, this action was not the product of a political strategy, but rather an ethically driven action, doubtlessly informed by Executive Ball’s read of scripture such as the 25th Chapter of Matthew's Gospel, where Jesus said, "Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me." In Mr. Ball we witness and welcome a transparent view of his American values. Therefore, just as we have seen him stand for the marginalized immigrant, I am fully confident that he will stand strong for the citizens of Howard County.
In conclusion, I believe that Howard County’s new horizon has already inspired a renewed hope that collectively, under Executive Ball’s leadership, our citizenry will join together in order to advance towards the moral center by raising the best and the brightest ideas to propel Howard County onward. Again, congratulations Executive Ball. We wish you even greater success.
Rev. Dr. Robert A.F. Turner
Senior Pastor, St John Baptist Church &
Chairman, Howard County Human Rights Commission