The Accountability Reset (Part 2)

We don’t hold City Hall accountable because City Hall really isn’t in charge. It is time for a grand realignment of power that re-establishes City Hall responsibility for what matters most. If we re-create accountability, and create the conditions for strong leadership to emerge, then a vision for what our city can be in ten years — and a real plan for schools, police and transit — can finally emerge.

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Dan Sparaco
From Freddie Gray to Healthy Holly

We’ve been here before — in 2015, when an uprising demanded a reckoning with the very same broken, complacent establishment that gave us Healthy Holly. In 2016, when faced with a status quo that couldn’t to rise to the occasion, and couldn’t heal the city, we chose to elect a mayor produced by the failed institutional arrangement that 2015 was a revolt against. We can’t make this mistake again.

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Dan Sparaco
The Accountability Reset (Part 1)

Everyone wants to “change the narrative.” We can do that. But only if we change the institutions that keep producing it. In other words, if we want to stop being compared to The Wire, then we need to stop acting like it. 

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Dan Sparaco
A New Government (Part 1)

A fundamental reinvention of our government is necessary, starting with the City Council, which was never designed to find bold, lasting solutions to hard problems, and does not have the resources to take on the challenges its newer members want to tackle.

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Dan Sparaco
The Missing Reconciliation

Before there was Freddie Gray there was Michael Brown, and before there was 2015 in Baltimore there was 2014 in Ferguson, a small town in greater St. Louis. Two moments of unrest. Two very different responses. They have organized for change. Why haven’t we?

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Dan Sparaco
We Need Another Plan

Somehow, our new normal is three-hundred killings a year. The death count rises, our police department falls apart. Two things are certain. We need to wake up. And we need another plan.  This starts with understanding how we got here. We aren’t facing a crisis of leadership because we chose wrong in the last election. We’re facing a crisis of leadership because the choices were wrong, and we are still not demanding better.

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Dan Sparaco
Breaking the Smalltimore Silence

Plenty of people in Baltimore are dissatisfied with the state of our city, but few are willing to say so in public. In other cities, when leadership fails, people speak up about it. But here, things are different. Those without access or influence are ignored. Those who have access don’t speak up, because they are too embedded within the network of institutional relationships that control the city.

The people with access live in a place called Smalltimore, and their silence is the Smalltimore Silence. The time has come to break it.

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Dan Sparaco
Our City Right Now

Right now, Baltimore City is the worst-governed major city in America. For many Baltimoreans, its been twenty years since they've been as concerned about the city's future as they are right now. But our current challenges — including a police department in a tailspin and leadership that can't do anything about it — are just symptomatic of the real issue.

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Dan Sparaco