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Mitchell: Hogan is right on State Center

As a former Baltimore City councilman and legislator, lifelong city resident, and neighbor to State Center, I was disheartened to read the recent editorial which completely mischaracterized West Baltimore’s State Center history and misleadingly and falsely placed the blame on the Hogan administration (“We need a State Center plan,” Aug. 11).

While State Center has the potential to be a flourishing economic hub for Baltimore, it has unfortunately been an eyesore and a point of contention for well over a decade, including all eight years of the previous administration. For far too long, residents of West Baltimore have languished under the empty words and inaction of both state and local politicians, as well as those motivated by financial gain rather than a genuine concern for the future of Baltimore.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “The time is always right to do what is right.” The State Center complex represents an opportunity to transform not only Midtown and my neighborhood in West Baltimore, but the entire city. Gov. Larry Hogan recognizes this opportunity. Having worked with Governor Hogan for the past several years, I have seen him sacrifice political expediency in exchange for doing what is right. And his actions to finally move State Center forward are no different.

While some chose to engage in a war of words and pay lip service to the community, the governor is firmly committed to working collaboratively with the city to fulfill the potential of this neglected property. It’s unfortunate that some are continuing to stall progress at State Center and spread misinformation about Governor Hogan.

By embracing the status quo, the State Center complex could potentially wait in limbo for another decade. It’s time stop the finger-pointing and political one-upmanship and take action on this long-delayed project. In order to move forward, we continue to remain focused on working together to finally make the redevelopment of State Center a reality.

Keiffer J. Mitchell, Jr., Baltimore

The writer is a senior adviser to Gov. Larry Hogan.

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