Become a digitalPLUS subscriber. 99¢ for 4 weeks.
News Opinion Readers Respond

Mayor, council sell out city youth

I am writing in response to Tuesday's Baltimore Sun article "Baltimore City Council approves budget." The lack of attention and care that Baltimore's youth are receiving is appalling. In 2009, approximately 9,000 summer jobs were funded for Baltimore City's youth, whereas the article states that this year there will only be about 5,000 summer jobs. This is not good enough. Closing the budget shortfall by making deep cuts to youth programs is hurting our children. They deserve better.

By employing Baltimore's youth we can keep them off the streets and from being victims of crimes or gang violence. And more importantly, we can give them opportunity. With this new budget passed, Baltimore's youth will work fewer than 20-25 hours weekly. Young people who are available and willing to work should have the opportunity to be employed.

While it is too late to change the cuts made to summer jobs for youth in the city's budget, perhaps the city is willing to come up with creative solutions to help employ our young people. The city could partner with developers and request that they hire 10 youth for every $1 million they receive in tax deferments and benefits. In turn, the city could recognize these businesses as good corporate citizens for assisting the city's youth and giving them a chance to succeed.

In addition to the cuts made to summer jobs for our youth, the $1 million cut from the city's budget for recreation centers is also inexcusable. The Baltimore City recreation centers give our youth opportunities, inspiration, guidance and a safe place to thrive. Cutting funding for such critical programs is a grave error. These cuts are penny wise and dollar foolish. If we really embrace the belief that children are a precious resource, and if we really want to invest in strengthening our neighborhoods, then we must start with Baltimore's youth.

David Maurice Smallwood, Baltimore

The writer is a candidate for City Council in Baltimore's 8th District.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • CIA interrogators should not be punished
    CIA interrogators should not be punished

    I strongly suggest anyone who agrees with letter writer Max Obuszewski's idea to punish the CIA personnel who did their job under the direction of our government read about the torture inflicted upon our own troops in past wars and conflicts ("Failure to punish the CIA torturers means they will...

  • Revisit 'old-school' police programs
    Revisit 'old-school' police programs

    The recent influx of citizen unrest due to a rash of officer-related homicides has left the American citizenry skeptical of the greater good police departments bring to communities nationwide, especially that of traditionally violent neighborhoods that tend to have a majority of minority...

  • Torture can never be justified
    Torture can never be justified

    The Senate report's summary of the "enhanced interrogation" techniques the CIA used on terrorist detainees after 9/11 reads like something from a horror novel ("CIA strikes back after Senate torture report," Dec....

  • Obama is right on Cuba
    Obama is right on Cuba

    Bravo to President Barack Obama for undertaking the normalization of relations with Cuba ("Cuba releases Alan Gross; White House announces plans to re-establish diplomatic relations with Havana," Dec. 17).

  • Cuba and North Korea
    Cuba and North Korea

    President Barack Obama has done what's been needed for decades — changing our policies toward Cuba ("Cuba policy draws critics, new battles on Capitol Hill," Dec. 17). Now, what about North Korea? Burying your head in sand over "undemocratic regimes" is dangerous. It's time for us to...

  • Why a sweet tooth can make you sick
    Why a sweet tooth can make you sick

    Thanks for running Barbara Sadick's article "Scientific team sounds the alarm on sugar as a source of disease" (Dec. 5).

Comments
Loading