Local Politicians Remember Longtime Baltimore City Delegate Ruth Kirk

BALTIMORE (WJZ)—A longtime Baltimore City delegate is laid to rest. Ruth Kirk, who represented west Baltimore for 28 years, died of heart failure June 17.

Political reporter Pat Warren reports, friends and colleagues praised her dedication to family and community.

Baltimore Delegate Ruth Kirk is remembered for her no-nonsense determination, like locking horns with Governor Parris Glendening over the 2001 redistricting.

“I’m strongly going to meet with the governor again to hope to change his mind,” Kirk once said.

Her death brought friends and colleagues together Friday.

 “When she was fighting a bill on the floor, they were fighting a bill she wanted on the floor she stood up and she looked at somebody and she said ‘you kill my dog, I’ll kill your cat.’ But that was Ruth Kirk,” Del. Maggie Macintosh recalled.

A woman who pulled no punches, “Ruth Kirk always speaks what she thinks, and I don’t care about people liking me,” she once said.

“She was so transparently honest, she generated universal respect across the aisle, both chambers, didn’t matter party, didn’t matter race, didn’t matter religion, didn’t matter where you were from,” said former Governor Bob Ehrlich.

“My religion says she was a woman of valor and quite a human being, and we’ll learn from her and continue to learn from her,” said Del. Sandy Rosenberg.

She had an unfailing commitment to the people she came from, as recalled by former Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke.

“She moved around the community not trying to bring attention to herself but helping a lot of people as she went along,” Schmoke said

 “She commanded a tremendous amount of respect however she never lost that common touch with the people,” said Del. Keiffer Mitchell.

 “She was very enthusiastic about Baltimore City and as everyone has said here today she really had a lot of common sense,” said Patricia Jessamy.

Former house speaker Casper Taylor remembers her as a friend.

“I’m going to miss her personally for the rest of my life,” Taylor said.

Delegate Kirk was 81 years old.

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