America’s ‘Inner City’ Problem, As Seen In One Baltimore Neighborhood

[Originally published by Forbes]


Baltimore, MD–Much was made about the campaign rhetoric from President Donald Trump on America’s inner cities. This is because he spoke about them in the blunt and sensationalized way that only he can.

“Our African-American communities are absolutely in the worst shape that they’ve ever been in before, ever, ever, ever,” he declared at one campaign stop. “You take a look at the inner cities, you get no education, you get no jobs, you get shot walking down the street.”

Similar statements during the presidential debates caused the press and social media to jump on him, often sarcastically placing his phrase “inner city” into scare quotes….[read the rest at Forbes]… Read more

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Baltimore Looks To Attract Syrian Refugees

[Originally published by Forbes]


The number of refugees escaping war-torn Syria is now 4 million, and the countries most inclined to accept them have been in Europe and Asia. By comparison the U.S.—which has long welcomed refugees, and still allows 70,000 annually from across the globe—has mustered an underwhelming response. President Obama announced last Thursday that the U.S. will receive a mere 10,000 Syrian refugees next year, and the State Department listed 190 cities where they could go. Notably proactive in welcoming them has been Baltimore, a traditionally black-and-white town that has rebranded itself as an immigrant hub…[read the rest at Forbes]… Read more

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Immigrants Help Reverse Baltimore’s Decline

[Originally printed in Governing Magazine]


For a few years now, a handful of cities have been trying to position themselves as more immigrant-friendly communities. At a time when some states have adopted tougher immigration laws that can make them less welcoming to foreign-born residents, cities like Detroit and Dayton, Ohio, have actively been trying to attract immigrants in the hope they’ll help drive new economic growth.

One of the most aggressive is Baltimore. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s efforts began in 2011, when she set the goal of attracting 10,000 new families over the next decade.… Read more

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The Immigrant’s Role in Urban Renewal

[Originally published by the American Interest]


When it comes to immigrants, Washington has long been divided about how many and which types to allow into the United States. But for one struggling city just north of the capital, there has been little ambiguity on the matter. Since 2011, Baltimore, Maryland, has been converted by mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s efforts to welcome immigrants. The results suggest that her strategy should be pursued by similarly declining cities, and acknowledged by the federal government as a local solution to a traditionally national issue.… Read more

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An Antiquated Ticket Law, Suspended but not Abolished

[Author’s note: I wrote this article in March but decided to momentarily shelve it. It criticized legislation then being discussed by Baltimore city council that would cap at 15% the amount Ticketmaster could charge for service fees above a ticket’s retail price. Ultimately the legislation was amended to remove that cap, effectively maintaining the status quo. The reason, said a legislative aide for Councilor Carl Stokes (who favored the cap), was because of intense lobbying by Ticketmaster. Here is the article as originally written. For updated information on the issue, here’s a Baltimore Sun article.]

Baltimore, MD

If you buy numerous Baltimore Orioles tickets in March for the series this September against the Yankees, and the O’s have a successful season, chances are you’re in for a windfall.… Read more

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The Road that Goes, Mercifully Enough, to “Nowhere”

[Originally published by This Big City


Baltimore, MD–Like with other planning-related narratives, the one told about America’s “freeway revolts” usually describes their effect on its most notable cities. One of the more famous of these revolts, for example, occurred in the 1960s in San Francisco, whereplans would have sent the Central Freeway from south of downtown to the Golden Gate Bridge, defiling several historic neighborhoods in-between. But because of protests it was only partially completed, and after damage from the 1989 earthquake, was further torn down and replaced with the tasteful Octavia Boulevard.… Read more

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Federal Immigration Policy Should Cater to Local Needs

[Originally published by the Urbanophile]

Baltimore, MD–Last Sunday, as the issue was being prepared for Congress, I was witnessing the remunerative effects of immigration firsthand on city streets just an hour north. This was while at Chicken Rico, a Peruvian hotspot in Baltimore’s Highlandtown neighborhood. After eating a plate of chicken and plantains–priced, as usual, at under $5—I stepped outside onto Eastern Avenue. This crowded thoroughfare is the center of Baltimore’s Hispanic community, which stretches a half-mile through the city’s southeast side, even merging into what’s known as “Greektown.”

But Highlandtown wasn’t always like this.… Read more

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A Bleak Narrative Behind the Title “Heroin Capital”

[Originally published by Welcome to Baltimore, Hon

Baltimore, MD–When NBC news announced last year that heroin use was on the rise nationally, it may have surprised those who considered the drug a relic of the Beatnik era. But it didn’t surprise residents in Baltimore, where struggles with it have earned the city, amongst other unflattering nicknames, that of the nation’s “heroin capital.”

This title was validated in 2000 by the Drug Enforcement Agency, when it determined that Baltimore had the highest per capita rates for heroin use in America.… Read more

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