In response to letter writer Kitty Deimel's comments about "where were the developers when these vacant houses were 'shoot up' housing for the neighborhood junkies" ("Vampire developers devour city farms," June 27), I'd ask her: Where were the neighbors when the junkies started taking over the neighborhood?

It's easy to blame city government and uncaring (except when it comes to money) developers for not cleaning up our neighborhoods and our city but where were we when the dealers moved onto our corners? Or when the windows of the empty houses were broken? Or the sides of buildings vandalized with graffiti?

It's not Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's job to pick up the trash we throw down. It's our job as residents to not throw the trash down in the first place and our job to pick it up when someone else throws it down. Shifting blame for the state of our neighborhoods lies solely on the residents that have allowed the decline.

Donald J. Nichols, Baltimore