Time for “Straight Talk”

The headline, “Citizens see city in crisis,” 6-4-17 portrays the stark reality of Baltimore. One of the salient points made in the article and which I agree with is that the deterioration of Baltimore City including its governmental system, education system and police department did not start overnight and is not going to be solved overnight.

This tragedy has been evolving for at least 30 years. The reason, in large part, is due to a series of mayors, a group of city council people, and a number of police commissioners who can be characterized with a void in ethics and courage. The overriding sentiment of gloom and despair will prevail until the city officials and law enforcement leaders are willing to speak the whole truth and give “straight talk” to the citizens of Baltimore City.

“Straight talk” calls for the mayor and police commissioner to fess up that they are at least 500 to 700 police officers short and it will take several years to fill the vacant positions. It calls for a leader in the Baltimore City public school system who will have the courage to tell the truth about the deplorable conditions in the schools and will have the vision to make the changes which need to be made that will allow students to become meaningful, productive citizens in the Baltimore community. This includes the implementation of the Teamwork in Action: Tutor/Mentor program. And, the “straight talk” calls for shock therapy to be utilized. If I were governor, I would call out the National Guard for a 3 week period in order to supplement the Baltimore City Police Department and give citizens relief from the killings, shootings, and robberies taking place every day and night.

Lisa Abrams asserted in her letter “Wanted: a plan for action,” 6-7-17, people want action now. And, Farajii Muhammad, a radio show host on Morgan State’s WEAA questioned how effective her community outreach endeavor would be, “Pugh issues ‘Call to Action’ for Baltimore citizens,” 6-8-17.

When the “straight talk” I am suggesting is spoken and executed, we will see hopelessness change into hopefulness.

Ralph Jaffe
Teacher and Democratic candidate for governor in 2018 primary election
Baltimore

 

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