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Mayor says citizens can be part of the solution or part of the problem

“‘Care more?’ How about caring at all and doing something about it! As a victim to a recent crime in the ‘affluent’ canton neighborhood, her statement appalls me. And I do help out in the community, Our Daily Bread, being one of the places I volunteer. So sorry mayor for having a day job, paying my taxes and being an upstanding citizen. I guess I was asking for it.”
– Rebecca Opfer

“I live in Upper Fells and despite the seemingly never ending series of frustrating, disturbing and heartbreaking crimes lately. . . I never once considered up and leaving. Until right now. I too read the ‘Baltimore You’re Breaking my Heart’ article and thought the author came off like she assumed a crime in her neighborhood was inherently more important than one in west Baltimore. She chose a few words poorly. However, that doesn’t even come close to how poorly our idiot Mayor chose the words above. Is she intentionally taunting the tiny remaining tax base we have?”
– Jennifer T

“We have so many community minded volunteers in our neighborhood, yet time and time again, we’ll organize a clean-up, DPW won’t show with the dumpster, we organize RPP renewal, the Parking Authority finds some way to botch the process, we ‘adopt’ vacant lots and are buried in red tape and PR spin from housing, we have streetlights out since Thanksgiving, but can’t get a call returned. If it weren’t for Councilwoman Clarke, I doubt we’d ever get anything done.

“There are smart and determined people in City gov’t, who must certainly be frustrated by local government that is so ineffective, so completely unaccountable, it’s basically become our biggest roadblock to progress. The Mayor’s comments come across as aloof and offensive.”
– MC2012

“I like her response. Hey, we’re doing everything we can, but all people do is bitch. Wanna help? Then show up and do something; don’t just jump on Facebook and Twitter and whine about it. I like it.”
– Scott Meek

“We deserve accountability when strategies devised to protect our neighborhoods, all our neighborhoods, fail. Everybody pays taxes. Neighborhoods filled with families that paid taxes have been decimated by drugs, gangs and crime. Children in poor neighborhoods breath crime, brutality and death everyday. Decades of crime have ravaged our communities, our schools, city tourism, city commerce and business investment and worst, community solidarity. Baltimore continues to suffer the consequences of entrenched poverty and segregation. Until these two issues change, all the snitching, COP-walks-at-7:00 pm-on-the-third-Wednesday-of-the month (Really?), and keeping our porch light on, will not reduce crime.

“The solutions require long-term, sophisticated, informed strategies. Devising and carrying out these solutions just doesn’t seem to be within the grasp of elected officials who come and go, mainly on the strength of their ability to discredit and slander their opponents, mostly, without accountability, with skills developed to ‘kill’ opposition and ‘spin’ issues, and with little knowledge of running a civil society.”
– janjamm

“Look how community leaders and activists, all who care deeply about their communities are treated by her office and staff. I remember asking for a meeting to mend fences with her office after the election since I personally voted and campaigned for her opponent. I was told ‘if you are not for us your against us.’ I even said ‘think about it and get back to me, I am sure there things we can work on together,’ I never heard back from the office.”
– Vic

“If you want to be safe in Baltimore, get to know your neighbors and go to police meetings (once a month in all districts) to talk to your police. If you do that, you’ll be bulletproof.”
– thatguysonheroin

“Exactly! Except when the daytime burglaries hit. Or the jogger muggings. Or the drunken in-street fights at 3am that the police will not respond to. Then, you’re SOL.”
– River Mud

“Would there be any other city than Baltimore that would turn its head away from the fundamental fact that the police department has not been audited for years.”
– axbca

“We are not the guys with the guns. The police are supposed to protect all residents from the bad guys – all residents regardless of race, household income, or geography. We should not be criticized because we are scared. We need more police officers and more patrols in our neighborhoods.”
– Lizzie 58
Residents call mayoral response on crime “dismissive”

“For years, we have been told that its just a case of drug dealers killing drug dealers. But that has never been true. I own a small construction company in Highlandtown. And usually have about 6-10 employees. Back in December of 2010, two out of eight of my employees were shot within the same month. One was shot while being robbed near his home. The other walked into the middle of an armed robbery in a corner store (he woke up in a hospital and didn’t even remember what exactly happened).

“Both shootings happened in the area between Baltimore Street and Monument St. I myself live just south of Baltimore St. And have had a murder on my block. A teen collapse from a gunshot on my (very small) block. And once saw a guy running down the street shooting at someone. And this is on a very small block off of Baltimore St. It’s pretty bad when a quarter of my employees had to be absent from work because of gunshot wounds (neither were drug addicts or criminals).

“SRB seems to view SE Baltimore residents as somehow spoiled and entitled. I think that we have the opposite problem. We actually take it for granted that people are shot daily on Baltimore streets. We take it for granted that people shoot heroin on our door steps. And many of us have gotten used to hearing about a friend or neighbor that ended up overdosing and dying. Yet SRB seems to view us as spoiled just because we expect to not have our neighbors murdered? How low does she want us to set our expectations?”
– petefrombaltimore

“I think one of the biggest problems with the mayor is that she doesn’t lead. Last night Commissioner Batts did exactly what a quality leader does: he stepped up, took responsibility, and apologized for the failures. Mayor Rawlings-Blake is quick to talk down to people she believes are assigning blame, but I’m not particularly interested in blame. What I am interested in is leaders who take responsibility for failures that occur on their watch. The distinction may be subtle, but it is critically important. And the mayor doesn’t seem to understand it.”
– Cory McCarty

“I wonder if the last police chief left because he didn’t want to be the mayor’s fall guy. This guy is really eating crow that should be directed at the mayor’s office and her blasé attitude regarding crime and her belief that Baltimoreans are uneducated fools.”
– Matthew Reisner

“I thought Batts’ performance was a cover-up for a kind of panic. He decided to just walk right into the spinning propeller and see if he survived. People admire and are impressed by that kind of bravado. But, I think it is a cover-up for a lack of ideas. . . The Mayor, on the other hand, seems unsure of herself, hurt and consequently, defensive. She seems to lack the people skills so essential to a political life. She comes in a side door, does not engage with the crowd, leaves by the same side door. I was trying to imagine Bill Clinton, whatever I may think of him, not walking into even a potentially hostile crowd, and shaking hands and talking face-to-face and just engaging the crowd. She spent most of her time writing something.”
– janjamm

“Maybe the meeting should have been black tie.”
– Steve Fedder, via Facebook

“SRB’s best moments last night were when she was talking about the kids who’ve been abandoned by their parents. That was a real person (and a real mom) talking. She just seems so robotic and oblivious when she gets into her talking points. And my god, when you say (a) and people hear (b), don’t visibly sigh and talk about how sad it is that people don’t hear (a). Because what people hear when you say that is that you think they’re wrong/dumb/whatever. Try saying (a) again in a way that people can understand better. This isn’t just Politics 101, it’s Communications 101.”
– mttwls

“I was also a little dismayed to hear from residents that a couple of folks were using this community meeting as an opportunity to hand out campaign literature. Folks who do not live in that part of town and have no reason for being there, other than to be crass.”
– Carol Ott

“The guy who kept shouting ‘Where’s Bernstein at?’ was with Nick and Marilyn Mosby. The Mosbys saw this meeting as a way to score political points for Marilyn’s fledgling state’s attorney campaign.”
– Matt Gonter

“‘Crass’ and ‘shameful’ to hand out campaign lit outside a town hall meeting about crime? I’m sure Bernstein and his campaign staff think so. At worst it’s just opportunistic. At best it’s smart campaigning.”
– mttwls

“While I agree that the comments came off as dismissive, the community needs to do more than have meetings, or throw money at a problem (30k+ in a gofundme account). Unfortunately the newer residents (about 10 years or less) in the southeast area, were sold a dream. That area has always been crime ridden with horrible schools. There are many down there who seem to be preoccupied with getting drunk, smoking pot and doing blow as opposed to getting involved in the entire community. The City does need to do more, and follow up, but so does everyone else. Time to work together.”
– Kelsey Farm, via Facebook
Cost of 911 emergency service far outstrips revenues received

“My last 911 call, for a robbery in progress, had a 45 minute response time. Read that again and let it sink in.”

– Steve Ball, via Facebook

“I thought the 911 surcharge paid for the infrastructure of the system, not the whole price tag of each call. If that were so, it would be like all pre-911 era calls were unfunded. I (wrongly) assumed the price for each trip by police and EMS came out of the respective agency’s operating funds. I’m confused because all fire department calls are theoretically emergency calls but the 911 fee can’t be expected to cover all their costs…it’s not like they cruise for fires like the police have beat.”
– GXWalsh

“MOIT blaming a computer system for being unable to track costs is pretty funny actually. Are they blaming the payroll system that they picked out? Whoever thought that up should have just taken responsibility for the issue and fixed it.”
– bmorepanic

“Where do people get this ‘city where the majority of residents live below the poverty line’ crap!? The vast majority of the people in Baltimore city are solidly middle class.”
– thatguysonheroin

“Median income (2012) is about $40,000 per household in Baltimore City. In the rest of the state, it’s $72,000. That’s the point at which half the households earn more and half the households earn less. 23.4% live in poverty, the average for the state is 9.4%. We have about 414,000 adults of working age (18-65), but only about 272,000 jobs, some of which are held by non-residents.

“Our current unemployment rate is about 10%, but its 7% in the statistical area to which we belong. As in the federal unemployment, those rates do not include people who have given up looking for work. For a three-person household, a family is entitled to some low income assistance (200% of poverty) when earning slightly more than $39,000. This is what $18.75 per hour looks like. This mythical household would pay about $7,000 in taxes, rent of about $1,500 to live in a two bedroom apartment where they don’t have to shoot their way out of the front door either, about $250 for utilities of all sorts and $600-$900 for food.

“Know what’s left for everything else? $312 using the low end of food costs. That’s to pay for transportation, insurance, medical, school items, clothes. Is this mythical family the poorest of the poor? Of course not, but they are the middle of our income distribution. 50% of our employed citizens earn less than that.”
– bmorepanic
Another piece of industrial Baltimore history succumbs to changing conditions

“We seem to be moving towards the type of job market that Washington DC has long had. Where half the city is wealthy from professional jobs. A quarter of the city basically serves the wealthy half by building their homes,cleaning their homes, and stocking store shelves for them,washing dishes at their resturuants, etc. And the remaining quarter is supported by welfare. Thats pretty much a Third World economy.”
– petefrombaltimore

“The powers that be should acquire the property, raze the buildings, and move the correctional complex out there. After all, there has been over 500 million allocated to replace the complex, and it would free up 27 acres of prime downtown real estate for redevelopment.”
– steve

“Steve. Your idea for a sparkling new prison sucks. We don’t want it. This strip of land is being revitalized now with the new Amazon complex. You can keep your prison downtown where it is now , where it belongs, next to where the crimes are committed.”
– Randall Amey

“Randall you are correct that the new prison will not be built across the street from the new Amazon complex. A much better place would be nearby at the closed Beth Steel Steel Mill site. Plenty of room and it will fly because of all the high paying public-sector jobs it will bring to the area. Prison related jobs come with a steady taxpayer backed paycheck, full health coverage, and State secured pensions – a win-win to get East Baltimore back to work!”
– Walter

“How regressive. We need to educate the children, put less of them in prison and create worthy jobs for them, instead you want steady prison jobs for East Baltimore? Should we also lock up more folks so prisons will never go out of style and we’ll always have public sector prison jobs? East Baltimoreans arresting East Baltimoreans and living off the carrion of East Baltimoreans – now that’s what I call a plan for East Baltimore.”
– ushanellore
Police expand special enforcement zones to curb violence

“It’s disturbingly ironic that ‘Hamsterdam’ actually seems like a ‘good’ idea at the moment.”
– greatestcity9

“I thought Baltimore was one giant Hamsterdam.”
– Andrew

“Blah, blah, blah. No mention of unfit parent[s]. No mention of the certainty of reducing the black market for drugs, and the accompanying turf-war murders by legalizing all drugs. No mention of the laced-with-fentanyl heroin overdoses, and the solving of that horrible problem (see my previous sentence). Just keep the perps moving from place to place.”
– davethesuave

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