Baltimore is ground zero in the fight for a livable, multi-racial, middle class future. We should be winning that fight, but we’re not.
Too many are losing faith. Four long years ago, the death of Freddie Gray taught the city that too many neighborhoods are being left behind. But since then it’s been four years of no progress.
It’s time for a new coalition — to build on our strengths as a city, to tell the truth about what must change, and to do more than talk about our unrealized potential.
The time to demand more from our leaders, and ourselves, is now.
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Everything changed on April 27, 2015, though we still don’t agree on what to call it. A riot? “The unrest?” An uprising?
Whatever we call it, the event destroyed politics as usual. Our establishment was busy looking the other way when a CVS burned at the corner of Penn and North. It shouldn’t have been a surprise. Not after decades of population decline and disinvestment — a trend that has yet to be reversed by our nonprofits, our foundations, our pastors, our politicians, our business community, our “anchor institutions.”
It’s been four years and there’s been no reckoning. We’re stuck with an unaccountable City Hall — an institution with no real responsibility for schools, police, transit, or neighborhoods. We’re stuck with unaccountable leaders who win elections no matter the results. And we’re stuck with a still-complacent status quo.
All this, plus a mayor lost to corruption, demands an accountability reset — an end to no-accountability government, and an end to our own low expectations. Because it’s now or never.