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Baltimore City Councilman Kristerfer Burnett, center, is sponsor of legislation to allow the city to implement public campaign financing in the 2024 elections. File.
Baltimore City Councilman Kristerfer Burnett, center, is sponsor of legislation to allow the city to implement public campaign financing in the 2024 elections. File. (Algerina Perna / Baltimore Sun)

For decades, Baltimore politicians have used the city’s resources and the connections that come with their jobs to enrich themselves while the people suffer. For decades, the city has been preyed upon by developers who abuse our shared resources to make themselves wealthy while our elected officials hold the door wide open for them. Investment in the city has been lopsided at best and is often downright destructive to families who have called this city home for generations.

The population of Baltimore is predominantly black, yet white residents receive the best of everything: schools, parks, restaurants and shopping. Compare Canton Crossing and Mondawmin Mall. The developers of Canton Crossing received tens of millions in tax incentives to build a robust shopping center on the waterfront anchored by Target, Harris Teeter and other high-profile stores and restaurants. Mondawmin Mall got a $15 million TIF to bring in Target, but the plan stopped there. No grocery store, no brand name shoe store, no boutique restaurants. This is just one example of the greedy corruption and unequal opportunity that has lurked in this city for too long.

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For decades, the politicians of this city have relied on the wealthy to make sure they win elections, and the wealthy have dictated what happens in the city ever since. We must take back control of our elections and we must elect leaders who are not beholden to wealthy interests. The Baltimore Fair Election Fund is a path to electing lawmakers who will put the people first (“Baltimore’s next step toward better government,” June 21). We can't wait any longer and at less than one tenth of one percent of the city’s budget, we can't afford to not create this fund.

Cristi Demnowicz, Baltimore

The writer is chair of Represent Maryland.

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