Baltimore must implement laws, policies, regulations and practices that restore Black people and communities. (Courtesy of the Mayor’s Office)

By Nneka Nnamdi

My lived experience and research show that racism in public policy has damaged Black neighborhoods and disproportionately harmed Black residents wherever they may live. The interpersonal violence we see in the community is the direct result of the economic violence perpetrated by the city’s Black codes, Jim Crow, Ordinance 610, restrictive covenants, redlining, urban renewal, contract lending, land use and zoning, disinvestment, tax sale, subprime lending, etc. COVID-19 further exposed these deep wounds’ impact on housing and health outcomes in the Black Butterfly.

In response to these conditions, Mayor Scott ran on and other elected officials espouse a commitment to creating racial equity in the city. But there can be no equity without repairing the damage caused by the long list above. In order to achieve equity, Baltimore must implement laws, policies, regulations and practices that restore Black people and communities. As a part of the Mayor’s Business, Workforce and Neighborhood Development Transition Committee; the big idea I offered for his first term was to begin to dismantle and defund racism in city government and its agencies specifically surrounding real property. These are priority actions to begin that process: 

Creating racial equity will take fundamental change in the way the city government operates. We have to start with lessons from the past to build a doper future.

Nneka Nnamdi is the founder and chief operating officer of Fight Blight Bmore, an economic, environmental, and social justice initiative led by the community and informed by data to address the issue of blight

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