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How to deal with Baltimore's crime

Governor Larry Hogan talks about state help for the Baltimore City crime plan. Erin Cox, Baltimore Sun video)

The pressing reality of violence is on the minds of every resident, every worker and every traveler to Baltimore City. The random nature of violence seemingly knows no bounds (“1 dead, four injured in shootings in Baltimore Sunday,” Dec. 3).

Whether you are visiting, walking the promenade of the Inner Harbor, doing business in Fells Point, or standing on corners of East or West Baltimore, people do not feel safe in our city. What can be done to stem the tide of violence in Baltimore?

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First we need to recognize and acknowledge that violence impacts every neighborhood and every resident. Second, our response to violence must be citywide with the participation initially of 10 percent of our city’s residents. That translates to 60,000 persons with at least 5,500 from each councilmanic district. We have to break down neighborhood, organizational and political boundaries and forego charismatic personalities.

Third, those 60,000 concerned residents should meet in one of our downtown stadiums. Each person would leave with a charge and a commitment to disrupting the cycle of violence in his or her district in support of this citywide action.

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Fourth, the overarching goal is to increase the civic engagement from the 10 percent goal to 20 percent. With 120,000 people engaged in disrupting the cycle of violence, we would create a community revolution so overwhelming it would stem the tide of violence in our city.

What would this community revolution do? One, it would break down the spirit of isolation where residents feel they are powerless to stem the tide. Second, it would demand that the resources of our government be focused upon the root causes of violence and take corrective action. Third, it would transform our city from passivity into a city that takes action in a massive way. And fourth, it would harness the tremendous assets and resources of our city into a positive goal: Make Baltimore violence-free!

Rev. Alvin C. Hathaway, Sr., Baltimore

The writer is pastor of Union Baptist Church.

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