Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has it right with her simply stated goal of increasing the population of Baltimore City by 10,000 people by the end of the decade. It's simply put but nonetheless the exact right focus. Increasing the population of the city will add more "oars to row the boat," so to speak.

Her tactics with the Vacants to Value program in turning blighted housing into attractive up to date housing will attract many people, which in effect will moderate prices of that housing ("Vacants to value: growing Baltimore block by block," Nov. 11). More middle class people in the city will have a "High Noon" effect. More responsible people willing to stand up and essentially outnumber the "bad guys" in our town will reduce crime statistics. Adding more middle class families will improve the performance of the education system. Adding more people in the city will lessen traffic congestion, as a higher percentage of people will be located closer to the biggest job center in the region, Baltimore City.

Every department in Baltimore City should be linked and focus on achieving the correct goal of increasing the population of the city articulated by the mayor, and it needs to be expanded into the next decade as well.

Mel Mintz, Pikesville

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