Catherine E. Pugh

Transforming Baltimore neighborhoods — and city government

Transforming Baltimore neighborhoods — and city government

Some are questioning whether Mayor Catherine Pugh’s “Violence Reduction Zones” are actually reducing violence and other crime or whether they’re just pushing it elsewhere. Others ask whether the enhanced services those communities are receiving, from trash clean-up to the boarding of vacant houses, are really meant to benefit residents or to foster gentrification. We think those critics are missing the point. What the mayor’s initiative represents is an effort to reset the relationship between the city government and the residents of some of its poorest neighborhoods. We shouldn’t underestimate the value of that in places where “city government” has long been synonymous with “overly...

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