Like so many of us today, I am sick and tired of being sick and tired.
I wanted to take a moment to share my thoughts on the protests we are seeing in, Baltimore and around the country, in response to the unjust killing of George Floyd at the hands of police and the ongoing racial injustices the black community has faced for decades.
As a 63-year-old native Baltimorean, I have lived through numerous tumultuous times in our nation’s history. I remember when schools, restaurants, shops, and sports were segregated. I remember the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert F. Kennedy, and the toll those tragedies took on our nation.
I have seen the explosion of drugs in underserved minority communities and I have experienced police brutality on a personal level and witnessed it on a community level. As a father of five children, I have had the same difficult conversations about the broken criminal justice system with my children as my parents had with my brothers and I over 50 years ago. Few, if any, of my white counterparts have had to tell their sons and daughters to keep their hands on the steering wheel at 10 and 2 o’clock when pulled over by a police officer.
What we’re seeing today is a boiling over of the pot. Every time we experience micro-aggressions, attacks, disrespect, and unfair treatment, not to mention unprovoked murder, it reminds us that America still does not value all its citizens in the same way based simply on the color of one’s skin. At some point, the anger, frustration and disappointment boils over and erupts — and that’s what we’re seeing today.
I support the peaceful protests that we’ve seen in Baltimore and nationwide, and I understand and support that anger. I support the right to protest for change and I know that this is just the beginning.
As a candidate for mayor of Baltimore City, I am committed to ensuring that every citizen is given equal access to opportunity and equal protection under the law. I am committed to making Baltimore a safer city where residents can work, thrive and raise their families.
As mayor, I will work closely with the police commissioner to reform the police department and criminal justice system in Baltimore. I will work to build mutual respect between the police and the communities they serve. I will listen to constituents, rather than simply maintaining the status quo.
Beyond that, I am committed to decreasing the inequality in our city by building a robust economy that embraces all our citizens. I will work to expand access to jobs by bringing new business to Baltimore and building an economy based on emerging industries and technology.
I will work with corporations to create jobs and economic opportunity in Baltimore, with a goal of bringing 100,000 jobs with livable wages to the city in my first term as mayor. I have already started the process of reaching out to CEOs of some of the nation’s largest corporations urging them to meet with me and discuss how they can help bring jobs to Baltimore.
The protests occurring today are impactful and important, but it is only the first step. Our local leaders must take action to implement long-lasting change, equity, and opportunity.
I love Baltimore and I believe in a better future for our city and our nation. We must be unified in our efforts to move Baltimore forward for everyone.
Candidate for Baltimore Mayor 2020