In a city run by Democrats for decades and one that consistently votes Democrat, it seems somewhat perplexing that public-sector union AFSCME, or the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees, would feel the need to register more Democrat voters.
Yet, according to the Baltimore Sun, AFSCME organizers are combing the riot-torn neighborhoods of West Baltimore to register people to vote.
Joe Cox and David Otoo knocked on doors up and down Windsor Avenue and canvassed the football fields of Frederick Douglass High School on Saturday, hoping to register citizens to vote at a time when community activists say West Baltimore’s residents need a larger voice in their government.
The voter drive was organized by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees in response to the civil unrest in late April and early May after the death of Freddie Gray from injuries suffered in police custody. The organizers targeted the neighborhoods of West Baltimore, where Gray was arrested. AFSCME Maryland has done voter registration efforts before, but the unrest “put it into hyperdrive,” said Patrick Moran, president of the union group.
“Not only are our members demanding that we do things differently in the city, but the community is demanding that we do things differently,” Moran said.
It remains unclear what AFSCME hopes to accomplish by registering voters who, in all likelihood, will vote to elect the same politicians who have been governing Baltimore for the last 40 years.