A hard truth about being Baltimore's mayor is that there is almost never a good time to declare progress. Whenever there is good news to report, it will almost inevitably collide with a fresh tragedy.
That's what happened to Mayor
For a mayor, there is a fine line between trumpeting the kind of genuine progress that makes Baltimore a more desirable place for people to live and appearing to stick your head in the sand to deny the fact that the city remains one of America's most violent. Ms. Rawlings-Blake's remarks strike an even more sensitive chord because they resurrect an old complaint about whether City Hall pays too much attention to tourist areas like the
It's worth remembering what prompted the mayor's comments. Reports this spring of a mass disturbance downtown on
In fact, hundreds of thousands of people from throughout the region did go downtown this summer — for
The police can't ignore the rest of the city just to keep the Inner Harbor safe — and they didn't — but it's also a fallacy to claim there is no connection between what happens in the neighborhoods and what happens downtown, as some of the mayor's recent critics have done. Tourism is vitally important to the city's economy.
The mayor's decision to mention the success of this summer's big events is not a matter of her seeking credit or ignoring Baltimore's other problems but instead an attempt to counteract some very damaging negative publicity the city faced.
That said, every murder, shooting, robbery and assault in this city is a tragedy, and no matter how much crime has dropped under this mayor and her recent predecessors, it still takes a terrible toll. As Greater Baltimore Committee President