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A Newsroom in the Community Show

Real Talk Tho is an opportunity for people to discuss and debate real solutions to our city's intractable problems. What would effective policy look like and how do we get it implemented?

Join us in the search for solutions, develop the editorial work of The Real News and eat some great modern soul food.

Real Talk Tho takes place every 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month at Ida B's Table.


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Real Talk Tho: Special Election for 7th Congressional District

A field of 32 candidates — 24 Democrats and 8 Republicans — are looking to fill the congressional seat left vacant by the death of Rep. Elijah Cummings last October. Cummings died Oct. 17 at the age of 68. He had a rare form of cancer called thymic carcinoma. Maryland voters will have an important decision to make next year when they must pick who can best represent the 7th congressional district, which includes parts of Baltimore City, Baltimore County, and Howard County. At our Dec. 3 Real Talk Tho, The Real News Network will talk about issues that show why this election is so important, including the candidates’ positions on how to best represent Baltimore, the investigation into President Donald Trump, and the Green New Deal.

Real Talk in the Community: The 14th City Council District Early Forum

After decades of service on the Baltimore City Council, Councilmember Mary Pat Clarke is retiring.

“I regard the people of the great 14th as my extended and beloved family—and always will,” Clarke wrote in a May email announcing her decision. “But the time is right for a new generation to assume leadership and responsibility in our crucial corner of the City. The person we elect will contribute ideas and talents to the most progressive and diligent City Council I have ever had the honor to work with. The time is right to make the coming transition of 2020 the most promising possible.”

To help residents make an informed decision about who will next fill this seat, we are teaming up with citizens in Baltimore,, and the Greater Remington Improvement Association to present a forum for the 14th City Council District.

Baltimore’s primary election will be held on April 28, 2020.

Real Talk Tho: How Baltimore CeaseFire Cuts Violence In Half

Baltimore Ceasefire weekends have been held four times a year every year since 2017, when its organizers first decided to encourage people around the city to stop the violence and take part in activities that build community. Now there’s proof that they actually do lower the rate of gun violence experienced in the city.

Real Talk Tho: Is There a More Equitable Way to Fund Development?


Encouraging development without big tax breaks to developers is possible in Baltimore. While Baltimore has used hefty tax subsidies for wealthy developers to fund development in the past, there are more equitable approaches to stimulating growth that do not exacerbate the inequities that plague our city and could repair decades of racial segregation and discrimination: community land trusts.

To understand how community land trusts promote equitable development, help communities grow inclusively, and play a role in reparations, restitution and achieving racial justice, we will be joined by a panel who is successfully using the idea to transform the city.

This episode of Real Talk Tho was filmed on August 20, 2019

What Kind of Mayor Does Baltimore Need?

The mayoral primary is just six months away, and it’s clear the stakes are higher than ever for the person who wins the job.  Record high crime, unrelenting poverty, and flawed housing policies all add up to a city in crisis.  But who is best suited to address these issues, and what types of policies are needed to get Baltimore on the right track?

To answer these questions and to learn how possible candidates might respond, we will have an in-depth discussion with the Baltimore reporting staff of The Real News Network.  The panel will have already asked potential candidates a series of key policy questions and will be prepared to report back.  We also want to know what you think, and what policies are important to how you will vote.

Baltimore’s New Teachers Union President Says Schools are in a “State of Emergency”

“There has been a culture of fear and retaliation created in the Baltimore City Schools,” says the new president of the Baltimore Teaches Union in episode 10 of  Real Talk Tho

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