Friends School of Baltimore's Student News * Founded 1938

The Quaker Quill

Friends School of Baltimore's Student News * Founded 1938

The Quaker Quill

Friends School of Baltimore's Student News * Founded 1938

The Quaker Quill

At the end of their final Collection, the class of 2024 streamed onstage for a final dance, and shouts of SEN-IORS!
Class of 2024's Last Collection [Brief & Video]
With heartfelt speeches and whole-class choreography, seniors said farewell to their teachers and underclassmen.
Members of Friends Schools class of 2025 pose for a photo before their first prom.
Photos, Dancing, Memories - and Don't Forget the Food [Brief]
Missed prom? A Quill correspondent and first-time attendee recaps everything you need to know.
Friends juniors prepare for the 2023 Homecoming dance.
'Back to the Future' at Friends School [Brief]
Homecoming 2023 threw students from the '80s to the future, as DJ Ok got everyone on their feet, and even faculty busted a move.
Fans line up for snowballs from a Kona Ice truck during a break in the rain on Scarlet and Grey day.
Scarlet & Grey Day Hits the Quarter Century Mark [Brief]
On a recent rainy Saturday, Park and Friends School sports teams faced off in a series of contests, cheered on by hundreds of soggy fans.
On the final day of Spirit Week, seniors dressed in Friends School colors - scarlet and grey - for the annual Pep Rally.
A Silly, Spirited Week [Brief]
Leading up to Rivalry Day, students dressed up to show their school spirit - and sense of humor.
A senior accesses the Common App landing page for the University of Delaware. As college deadlines approach, the class of 24 is sleepy and stresses.
Seniors Feel College Pressure as Early Deadlines Approach [Brief]
The mood in senior hall is tense, as sleep-starved teens scramble to finish their essays - along with a heavy load of mid-semester schoolwork.
The Morgan State University Marching Band processes down the Friends School driveway, lined with cheering crowds of students, from preschoolers to 12th graders.
In a Year of Tragedy, Morgan Band Concert a Particular Gift [Brief]
Friends students expressed gratitude for the marching band's energetic performance - especially so soon after a shooting on the Morgan State University campus injured five students.
In Orioles fan and 12th grade dean Josh Carlins office, Friends memorabilia and a recent Baltimore Sun front page celebrating the teams winning season have pride of place.
Fans Dress for MLB Success on Friends' 'Orange Thursday' [Brief]
Led this season by an exciting core of young, up-and-coming stars, the Orioles have won back the hearts of many Friends School fans.
Award-winning novelist Jenny Offill visits the 10th grade English class of Rob Traviesso - her own former student.
Upper School Author Visit Brings Reunion [Brief]
Novelist Jenny Offill spent a day on campus meeting with students at the invitation of her own former student - English teacher Rob Travieso.
Senior Maeve Reichert, head of the literary magazine Mock Turtle, talks to potential 9th grade recruits during the 2023 clubs fair.
Highlights From Upper School Clubs Fair [Brief]
Dozens of clubs showed their stuff and courted new members at the high-energy, candy-fueled gathering on the quad.

A Loyal Base Matters Most [Opinion]

Door-knocking for Brandon Scott’s mayoral campaign showed me it’s more powerful to have a few die-hard supporters than it is to have many lukewarm ones.
Photo by Irina Sitnikova on Unsplash
The Baltimore waterfront, pictured at dusk. The city’s mayoral race may come down to a popularity contest, but I’m trying to do my part.

The power of a loyal base has risen to become the most powerful influence in our society.

In business, a loyal base is everything. Any business needs customers who return for whatever service or good the company offers. This is the principle small businesses used to thrive on. However, mainstream businesses like Apple, Google, Meta, X, etc. have all created loyal bases in the past 10 years. 

But the real rise of the power of a loyal base lies in politics. As I’ve interned on our Mayor Brandon Scott’s campaign this past fall and spring, and read books like Why We’re Polarized by Ezra Klein, and It’s Even Worse Than it Looks by Norman Ornstein and Thomas Mann, an overarching theme has shown up: the power of a loyal base. 

In the current Baltimore mayoral race, Mayor Scott trails former mayor Sheila Dixon in every poll and voting metric. How could this be? Shelia Dixon is a civil criminal, and her policing tactics in her mayoral times were Draconian. Why would anyone in Baltimore want her to be mayor? 

Now let’s look at the current presidential race. Here, I don’t need to introduce the candidates. But how is Donald Trump, a man who encouraged an overthrow of the government, held illegal documents, and is currently in criminal court in Georgia, going to be elected president? (I am not trying to compare Dixon to Trump; they’re on two different planets of being problematic) 

The answer I keep returning to for both races, Mayoral and Presidential, is the power of a loyal base. In Dixon’s case, the draw is less obvious than for Trump’s MAGA supporters. I’m not sure why Dixon has a loyal base in East and West Baltimore. But she does. 

In my experience knocking on doors and attending fundraising events for Scott, it’s pretty clear that few people are die-hard Scott supporters. People vote for him because he’s not a criminal, or he’s young and he has some good policies. But they are not die-hard supporters. They simply support “not Shelia,” or someone younger than Dixon.

Dixon, on the other hand, has cultivated a loyal base. She may not win 50% of the vote, but she’s got a guaranteed 40. Scott does not have that luxury. That is why he is losing in the polls. He lacks a loyal base. 

The same could be said for Joe Biden, on a more extreme level. Many people who support Biden simply support him because he’s not Trump, or he’s the democratic candidate. But this lack of a loyal base seeps out into the polls. 

A Hopkins professor and mentor of mine, Dan Schlozman, made me think when he said: “You cannot win an election if the people who support you don’t vote.”

If you don’t have a lot of big supporters who you can count on to go to the polls and vote for you, you run into serious problems. 

It is possible that 50% of Baltimore City doesn’t want Shelia Dixon to be mayor. But if she can get more people to vote for her than vote for Brandon Scott, she will win the election. It’s a simple business principle that is now being applied everywhere you look: it’s more important to have a smaller group of big supporters than a bigger group of less enthusiastic ones. 

So, when you go out to your local bakery or coffee shop, or you go on Instagram, YouTube, or even Google, I hope you simply understand that they want to make you a die-hard supporter. Same thing with any small business. Just be mindful and thoughtful about what this means for you.

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