The mayor: Blowing up The Block
Kevin "KAL" Kallaugher's take on then-Mayor Kurt Schmoke's plan to dismantle The Block. (Kevin "Kal" Kallaugher / The Baltimore Sun / May 14, 2012)
Enter the cartoon. In response to my expressed intent to move against The Block, Kevin "KAL" Kallaugher drew a two-frame cartoon that appeared in The Sun. One frame showed me standing before a club on the block, pushing an exploding device to blow it up. The last frame showed several tiny blocks falling down all around me. The message was clear: If we shut down The Block, we would just spread the businesses from one compact site to locations throughout the city. Existing law, in fact, was on the side of KAL's message. Shortly after the cartoon ran, I withdrew the legislation. We decided on other enforcement options as an alternative to "blowing it up." This represented just one of many times when an item in The Sun caused elected officials to pause and reconsider before taking action.
Kurt Schmoke is the dean of the Howard University School of Law. He served as the mayor of Baltimore from 1987 to 1999.