I spent my day doing one of my favorite things: talking to students about capitalism. It’s a profit motive, and there’s only so much you can squeeze in terms of raw materials and the means of production, so how do you get the most out of labor for the least amount of money? It’s just the logic of the system, and it’s stark and important to see. (When I point out that they pay the college for credit hours so they can work for free at an internship, well, um, yeah.) The afternoon class didn’t do the reading, so that was a wash, and at that point I was ready to head home, slap some bike shoes on with this dress and these tights, and get on the bike to pedal out some frustration and anxiety. I headed downtown to meet up with the Occupy Baltimore folks and a meeting with Jay Brodie, President of the Baltimore Development Corporation; we have some questions for him about living wages, transparency, and making sure when public money is used for private enterprise that promises public benefit, we best see some of those benefits. I snapped this picture as he gave his response to the speakers before him, promising that this would be the first of many meetings with a delegation from the public. I could write now about my suspicions of alleged public engagement (if you’re following Martin Gusman’s hijinks, you’ll know why), or make some snarky comments about Brodie’s weird invocations of identity politics as a defense against criticism (actually, you can simultaneously be the child of immigrants and the figurehead of a shadow government), but really the event felt so much better and like so much more than this usual cynicism. Brodie came out of the building to engage in a conversation. Lots of folks turned out to make sure he did and to express their concerns with the BDC’s operations. There will be more meetings, and I think there really will be more transparency. These are good things. I rode back up the hill, enjoying the steady and rhythmic climb that just two months ago felt like it might kill me, alongside what will soon be a protected bike lane on Fallsway, and around the under-construction traffic calming features on Guilford, and thought to myself, yes, this’ll do, yes it will.