I really do try to think the best of Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake — as, for instance, when I voted for her in the 2012 election. Her periodic walks through Baltimore's streets ("Mayor strolls to show safe streets," June 5) make that so difficult.
The very fact that Ms. Rawlings-Blake's walk is newsworthy is itself important: Why is it news that a mayor chooses to stroll through the streets of Baltimore? Is this not what William Donald Schaefer did every day of his working life? Yet today we have grown so accustomed to a mayor who cloisters herself in City Hall and among the finer folk in town that to actually hit the streets is cause for the media to cover the event as if some visiting dignitary has come to town. And which streets does she choose to stroll as a means of demonstrating that Baltimore is a safe place to be? Downtown and the Inner Harbor. That's right, a "public safety walk" that starts at that den of urban decay, the Atrium, crosses the street to Harborplace (I don't think that's where they filmed "The Wire") and ends when it begins to sprinkle rain, all the while being escorted by police cars. You can't make this stuff up. Truth is stranger than fiction.
Mayor Rawlings-Blake has lost touch, is out of touch and is beyond the reach of any of us regular citizens. She exists in a taxpayer-funded abstraction, a world of her own creation in which Baltimore starts at President Street and ends at Light Street and everywhere you go you're either being driven by uniformed individuals or surrounded by armed guards as you walk. I have to believe the reporter who covered this event appreciated its absurdity and the absurdity that he was there to cover it. Both he, the police officers, Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts and the mayor herself had so many better things they could have done with their time.
Mark Thistel, Baltimore
To respond to this letter, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name and contact information.