The Blame Game

What’s wrong with Baltimore City government? For the answer – all you have to do is read the article, “ Beleaguered city residents seek end to crime surge,” 11-1-17.

There’s a blame game going on between the career politicians – namely, the Mayor of Baltimore City and the members of the Baltimore City Council whereby each side is blaming the other for the rise of crime in Baltimore City that continues to escalate to record-breaking numbers without any real relief in sight.

As the writer points out, Councilman Brandon Scott hastily called into session a meeting of the Baltimore City public safety committee to discuss the Mayor’s crime plan. However, a major player, namely Mayor Pugh declared her administration would not participate. Because of such short notice she felt a more pressing need was to focus on keeping the children and families safe on Halloween – a reason that elicited criticism from Councilman Scott. Here’s the ironical part. In providing more justification for not attending, Mayor Pugh referred to the last time Councilman Scott called such a hearing back in July when city government agencies were in attendance. Their extensive preparation for the meeting was wasted as they were dismissed without a chance to comment.

More irony stems from the fact that Mayor Pugh, back in August 2017, named Drew Vetter, the former Chief of Staff for Police Commissioner Kevin Davis, to serve as director of criminal justice to help coordinate a violence-reduction strategy. Yet, the epidemic in violence has worsened instead of improved and the morale of the police rank and file is the worst in the history of the Baltimore City Police Department.

Unfortunately, it’s going to take more than “Baltimore’s second weekend ceasefire,” 11-2-17, to bring calm to the storm of violence. Wake up, Baltimore, before it is too late. What is really needed is for the citizens of Baltimore City to elect “ethical politicians” who are willing to serve their constituents instead of themselves.

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



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