Unlike Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, we do have regrets regarding the wisdom of sponsoring the Baltimore Grand Prix and similar events ("Rawlings-Blake: No regrets on the Grand Prix," Sept. 16).

First, let's be clear. The Baltimore portrayed in "The Wire" is the clearest picture of what has been happening in this city for decades. It is a bitter pill to swallow.


We've lived in Baltimore for 45 years, almost half a century. During this period we have served over a million meals, distributed at least 650 tons of non-perishable food to our neighbors and seen the suffering continue unabated.

Our neighbors have been victimized by developers, mis-educated in an under-funded school system and left to fend for themselves because over half the ZIP code is without work. We are surrounded by "abandominiums," and if it weren't for the drug trade there literally would be no city economy at all.

Now that is something to regret.

Grand Prix races, a lavish new casino and more bread-and-circus acts only benefit those who already have more than they need to live a decent life.

We want a Baltimore where people have work, affordable housing, compassionate health care and schools that offer everyone a fair shot.

What we get is the spectacle of supercars spewing sickening fumes, damaging our eardrums and blinding our vision as they circle the Inner Harbor.

Oh yes, we have regrets. But telling the truth about what is going on in Baltimore is not regrettable.

Willa Bickham and Brendan Walsh, Baltimore

The writers are co-founders of Viva House.