Submitted to the AFRO by Former Mayor, Sheila Dixon

Dear Editor,

Baltimore is struggling but I have no doubt that the city will bounce back and become even stronger. I pray for Ex-Officio Mayor Bernard Young and wish Mayor Catherine Pugh a speedy recovery.   

Those that understand Baltimore know that you need to hold two opposing views in your mind at the same time.  Pockets of our city are doing well, while others are racked by gun violence. We grieve for the countless mothers and fathers who have lost loved ones to the senseless and unrelenting cycle of violence that knows no boundaries. Cranes dot the waterfront, while the wrecking ball races to keep up with blight and disinvestment in too many neighborhoods.  

We can use this defining moment as an opportunity to set aside our differences and recognize that we are all in this together. A problem that knows no boundaries requires a collective response that erases the arbitrary lines between neighborhoods, sectors and even jurisdictions.

Former Mayor of Baltimore City, Sheila Dixon. (Courtesy photo)

It is understandable that Baltimoreans are suffering from crisis fatigue. But the real threat facing our city is one of lower expectations for what government can and must do to address our most persistent problems.  

Baltimore is fortunate to have thriving civic, non-profit, religious and philanthropic partners. Recent history includes countless examples of collective action that have made a difference in Baltimore. As a former elected official, I always drew strength from these sectors, which serve as essential force multipliers in times of shrinking government.     

Just like many of you, I love Baltimore.  It’s where I grew up, got married, raised my two children, prayed, and learned the value and obligation of service.  Barack Obama said, “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”  Don’t give up on Baltimore. Now is not the time to retreat. I urge everyone, especially our young people, to lean in and help change the trajectory of a great American city.

Sheila Dixon, Former Mayor

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