Having lived in Baltimore since 1979, I have seen it go from the economic engine of Maryland to a city in despair.
The riots in April only highlighted our predicament. Our youth are a product of three decades of total dysfunction and neglect.
For many of those years, Sheila Dixon, Catherine Pugh, Nick Mosby and Carl Stokes were in power. Elizabeth Embry was a prosecutor. All were or are in government representing the status quo. All the ideas that have come from them are just that — ideas without action. Yet beyond their jobs in government they have done little.
Baltimore needs a change — a radical change that positions Baltimore as a city beyond its vacant housing, a city with opportunity for business, jobs and education. For that to happen, Baltimore needs David Warnock, a progressive who will get things done.
Mr. Warnock has been a successful businessman creating jobs and opportunity. That alone makes him qualified compared to the rest of the field. But his vision, energy and passion took him to mentoring at-risk youth, starting a school, Green Street Academy, which has 650 students learning academics, earning certificates in trades, providing a support for those kids that breaks the cycle of poverty instead of perpetuating it. Ninety-five percent of students at Green Street live at or below the poverty level ("Mixed results for schools started by Baltimore mayoral candidates," April 9).
Instead of prosecuting victims of failed policies, he chaired the Center for Urban Families, providing a re-entry into society from prison for over 25,000 families. He testified in Annapolis to help stop the revolving door of imprisonment instead working with ex-offenders to provide them re-entry into society.
It's great to have policy platforms and 19-point plans, but candidates need to tell us what they have done. Tell Baltimore what you have done when it wasn't your job to do it. Show the commitment to make Baltimore a functional melting pot for white and black, rich and poor.
I admire and respect a person who works hard when no one is looking, who recognizes that public service is not a job, it's a passion to serve. For all these reasons, David Warnock has my money, my support and my vote.
Thomas J. Dolina, Baltimore