For Immediate Release 9/20/2019
On Thursday, Governor Hogan swooped into Baltimore with a pair of shades and a gaggle of TV cameras in tow to offer a “crime plan” for Baltimore City– a plan with whom neither Attorney General Frosh or Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby had been consulted. The centerpiece of Hogan’s strategy? A State Police helicopter flying aimlessly over Baltimore City to help spot crimes in progress.
“You can’t arrest your way into prosperity,” Maryland Democratic Party Chair Maya Rockeymoore Cummings said. “We should be focused on eliminating systemic inequality and institutional racism in Baltimore by improving economic opportunities for adults and educational outcomes for children in the city’s most impoverished neighborhoods. When Hogan starts working with local leaders to make that happen we will see progress.”
Whether it is on school performance and construction, failed mass transit, or crime reduction, Governor Hogan is quick to point the finger but slow to take responsibility. Under Hogan’s administration homicides in Baltimore have risen by 51% (1,314 homicides). And he is currently withholding $7 million dollars from the Baltimore Police Department– while he has spent the past month fundraising off of victims of gun violence in Baltimore.
According to a study by Prosperity Now, approximately 63% of Baltimore’s population is black. Whites make up 28% of the City’s population and have a median household income of $62,751 while the median income in black households is just $33,801. Prosperity Now found that “the unemployment rate for Black households in Baltimore is over three times the rate for White households.”
Hogan has done little to reduce these disparities, and in many instances has exacerbated them– driving Baltimore residents deeper into poverty. In the absence of action from the Hogan administration, Maryland Democrats have been hard at work trying to improve the socio economic conditions of Baltimore City:
- Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby established a Crime Control and Prevention Unit that has created programming dedicated to reducing truancy, introducing children to careers in the field of criminal justice, and creating pathways for first time felony drug offenders to receive an expungement in exchange for hundreds of hours of community service, job and life skill training, and two years of steady employment. State’s Attorney Mosby has also stopped prosecuting all low-level marijuana offenses.
- Del. Nick Mosby and Sen. Jill Carter sponsored the Ban the Box Bill to get rid of the box asking if an applicant to a new job has ever committed a felony in an initial job application, which reduces recidivism and hits an untapped skilled labor resource. Hogan vetoed the bill.
- Sen. Bill Ferguson created a Workforce Readiness Grant Program for Maryland community colleges worth up to $250,000 per campus.
- Sen. Cory McCray introduced and passed a $15 minimum wage bill that will bring all Maryland workers closer to a living wage. Hogan vetoed the bill, but it was overridden by the Democrat controlled General Assembly.
- Sen. Mary Washington and Del. Nick Mosby sponsored the Delinquent Water Bill Tax Lien Ban to permanently ban the tax lien foreclosures in Baltimore on houses and religious properties exempt from taxation.
When all of Baltimore’s residents have access to reliable transit, jobs, safe and secure housing, quality education, and equal treatment under the law the City will see a reduction in violent crime. Maybe the governor can fire off the bat signal when he spots a crime in progress from his State Police helicopter– in the meantime, Democrats will continue to pursue policies to address the real issues in Baltimore City.
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