Time to Act in Baltimore
Because it’s time for solutions, I sent the e-mail below to the Coalition for Public Safety. When our elected officials fail to lead, it’s up to us to show them the way.
Coalition for Public Safety
Dear Ms. Leonard:
I am writing you to urge the Coalition for Public Safety to convene an urgent summit in Baltimore, to bring together the nation’s leading criminal justice and economic experts to put forward solutions that can be implemented today to save lives, restore order and create sustained prosperity.
As you may know, July was Baltimore’s bloodiest month in 43 years. The record 45 homicides surpassed a 25-year high set just two months ago. My hometown is witnessing a 60 percent increase in homicides over last year — 189 to date compared with 119 in 2014. Too many of my neighbors cannot see the American Dream because they are stuck in a nightmare — and in a war zone.
And there’s no end in sight. Our entire justice system is overwhelmed. Our elected officials in Washington are missing in action. Despite endless promises and soundbites, no one is moving swiftly to address unwarranted disparities. There is no accountability demanded for the billions in federal and state resources dispatched to Baltimore — $6 billion from 2003 to 2013 — to fight poverty. Distrust between law enforcement and citizens is near its worst. And laws on the books exacerbate violence and crime, rather than deter and alleviate them. Similarly, no urgency exists, at the federal level, to jump-start private sector economic growth to increase U.S. competitiveness and empower individuals with jobs and a bright future.
The striking inaction has moral and human costs that are impossible to calculate. We’re losing an entire generation of our citizens.
As former Deputy Legal Counsel to Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr., helping to engineer and implement his criminal justice reforms, and a speechwriter to former Attorney General Eric Holder, I know that we can turn the tide. From dismantling the War on Drugs to taking more steps to address youth violence, from bolstering community policing efforts to restoring integrity to the justice system, from giving parents and kids an escape-hatch from failing schools and creating more jobs — there’s a new, better and different approach that can work.
We need the ideas and consensus for immediate action that a summit — and your leadership — can provide. For too long, we’ve heard words without results. The people of Baltimore, Maryland and our country deserve more — to stop the war in our streets and secure paths to redemption, security and opportunity for all.
Let’s work together to lead a new day in Baltimore. And thank you for considering lending your thought leadership to the crisis in our city.
Chrys Kefalas is a consistent conservative, an accomplished business leader, and a lifelong champion of opportunity for all Americans. Be a part of his campaign and join the fight!