In Baltimore, like in many other cities, it is simple to enumerate the challenges we face in trying to create a better future. It's also easy to get overwhelmed by these issues and to start doubting any possible solutions as not being comprehensive enough, as being imperfect, as being just drops in the bucket in terms of what our city needs.

Many such objections have been raised against the bottle tax intended to rebuild our deteriorating city school buildings. Certainly this tax will not solve all of our school infrastructure problems. However, it is a step in the right direction and, perhaps most encouraging, is part of a bigger plan to renovate all of our schools.

As a teacher, in order to continue doing my job to the best of my ability, I have to remain hopeful and ask my neighbors to stand by me with optimism. I ask the City Council to believe in the futures of our great kids and of our city and to pass this bill so that we can have great schools that we can talk about with pride.

Furthermore I will continue buying bottled products in the city and encourage my fellow city residents to do the same. During these hard times, we have to make tough decisions. Are we going to balk at possible solutions or are we going to stand together and let everyone know that education, our children, and our futures are worth the sacrifice? Right now, our students are the ones sacrificing by attending schools without science, computer or language labs; schools with leaking roofs and countless other problems. We need to change that. Our kids are working hard and making progress. Join us and let's make solutions together.

Kimberly Mooney, Baltimore

The writer is a Baltimore City school teacher.