Over the last three months I have been listening at dozens of community meetings. I have been listening at your doorsteps. And I have been listening in our telephone conversations and zoom chats. Baltimore’s beauty is hidden under the narratives around trash and crime and corruption. We want an end to these problems. We want better schools, better health care, more activities for children and youth, and more amenities in our neighborhoods.
- I believe we can dramatically drop the murder rate by funding anti-violence strategies that proven to work. Proven strategies are underfunded right now and too many Baltimore agencies are too weak to provide the level of coordination needed with law enforcement to properly implement the strategies that do work. As your delegate, I will fight for more funding for the strategies that work and more support for agency coordination, particularly among state and city agencies.
- I believe we can end corruption in Baltimore by changing Baltimore City’s regressive property tax structure. The pay-to-play system in Baltimore is supercharged in part by developers’ needing tax breaks to make their projects work. Let’s slash property tax rates by 61% to $0.86 per $100.00, an approach similar to what Boston and San Francisco took to turn their economies around. This would improve affordability and make Baltimore less dependent on big subsidies to fund development in wealthier neighborhoods, while residents and small businesses get little to no support.
- I believe we can end trash in our streets by hiring more people to pick it up. Unemployment in some Baltimore neighborhoods is in excess of 20%. As your delegate, I would work to establish or expand a Conservation Corps for Baltimore—a state-funded program to put thousands of Baltimoreans, especially returning citizens, to work on projects with environmental benefits. Franklin Roosevelt successfully did this for our country in 1933 after the Great Depression. His program provided the dignity of work and opportunities in vocational education in environmental conservation for more than three million Americans. We can do it too. For Baltimore.
I also support a bottle and can deposit program for the state of Maryland. Redemption centers need to be easy to access with public transportation and businesses should not be required to take bottles back through their stores.