Women rule the roost with Moyer win
                                                            By KIMBERLY MARSELAS, Staff Writer

                                             When Ellen Moyer ran the Maryland Commission for Women in the late
                                             1970s, women couldn't establish their own credit and domestic violence
                                             was largely ignored.

                                             More than two decades later, the Democrat and community activist is
                                             poised to lead Annapolis as mayor, handle a $50 million annual budget
                                             and help run anti-violence programs through a 124-member police

                                             As Annapolis' first female mayor since the city was chartered in 1708,
                                             Ms. Moyer will be working with the first female-majority City Council, a
                                             female-dominated County Council and a state legislative delegation led
                                             by a woman.

                                             And the front runner for governor next year is the state's first female
                                             lieutenant governor, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend.

                                             Although some of that could change in the 2002 elections, the
                                             significance of it wasn't lost on Ms. Moyer's supporters.

                                             "Here we are in Maryland, Anne Arundel County," Maryland first lady
                                             Frances Anne Glendening told the mayor-elect's victory party in
                                             Eastport. "Now we have the first female elected mayor of Annapolis."

                                             Ms. Moyer joins a growing list of women who are leaders in the county,
                                             including outgoing school Superintendent Carol S. Parham, Anne
                                             Arundel Community College President Martha A. Smith and county
                                             Health Officer Fran Phillips.

                                             After it was clear that she and four female aldermanic candidates had
                                             won five of the nine seats on the council, Ms. Moyer promised some
                                             changes at City Hall.

                                             "It's going to be an interesting four years," she said, holding a bouquet of
                                             eucalyptus and pink roses. "Our natural place is to be working together
                                             ... Our style is a collaborative style."

                                             All of the women on the new council are Democrats, but Ward 1
                                             Alderman Louise M. Hammond backed Republican Herbert H.
                                             McMillan in the mayoral race.

                                             Halfway through the night, the developing bond between two of the
                                             women on the newly elected council was already apparent.

                                             Hearing by phone that she'd been re-elected, incumbent Alderman
                                             Cynthia A. Carter ran to embrace newly elected council member Classie
                                             G. Hoyle, D-Ward 3. When the council is sworn in Dec. 3, they will be
                                             first and second African-American women to serve on the council.

                                             While Mrs. Hoyle, who ran unopposed, said she was glad to see so
                                             many women win, she didn't feel as though she'd won her earlier primary
                                             simply because of her sex.

                                             Instead, she said she was able to build her own professional track
                                             record before running for office -- something women before her might
                                             not have had an opportunity to do.

                                             "What I hope I'll bring to the council is my experience in research and
                                             administration," she said. "It'd be nice to get more women in those types
                                             of administrative positions. That will be interesting to watch."

                                             County officials -- including County Executive Janet S. Owens, who
                                             announced at the victory party that "Women rule Anne Arundel County"
                                             -- said they're looking forward to improving their relationship with the
                                             city under Ms. Moyer's watch.

                                             "Ellen has done that very well already," said County Councilman Pamela
                                             G. Beidle, D-Linthicum, one of four women on the council. "It really
                                             looks like the women here are in charge, and I think that's because
                                             people are saying, "You're doing a good job.'"

                                             During a brief appearance at Ms. Moyer's party, former alderman
                                             Barbara Neustadt reflected on her own run for mayor back in the

                                             "Thirty years later, Ellen's done it," said Ms. Neustadt, the city's first
                                             female alderman. "I think it's wonderful. She deserved it. She knows the

                                             Ms. Moyer said that despite accusations by her detractors that she
                                             couldn't handle fiscal decisions, she feels most voters have moved
                                             beyond such insulting gender stereotypes.

                                             "That kind of got played up in the campaign," she said. "But I can do a
                                             good job. I'll be bringing together different viewpoints and listening to the

                                             For her part, Mrs. Carter hoped to quash any ideas that a council with a
                                             female majority might be prone to catfighting or petty bickering.

                                             "That's not going to happen," she said. "We already know how to handle
                                             those who are going to try that."

                                             Mrs. Carter also said having so many female winners in yesterday's
                                             election should send a powerful message to the city's women and

                                             "Once that glass ceiling is removed," she said, "they can take on
                                             collaborative efforts and solve problems in their own community."

                                            Published November 07, 2001, The Capital, Annapolis, Md.
                                             Copyright © 2001 The Capital, Annapolis, Md.