Mass urban poverty in Baltimore has been ignored by the city’s democratic leadership for a long time.
The city of Baltimore, Maryland, has been led by Democrat mayors and Democratic city council members for almost 50 years, and corruption within the city has run rampant. One of the first notable offenders was William Donald Schaefer, a previous Mayor of Baltimore, who enlisted many allies who obtained funding for repair projects only at the approval of Schaefer, and only those that offered benefits to him or his cronies. The Brookings Institution reported in 1986 that “only projects that had been endorsed by [Schaefer] were funded, and only in the neighborhoods most loyal to City Hall. Many funds earmarked for the poor were diverted to other favored uses. For instance, the Baltimore City Paper revealed that $15 million from a program to provide rent subsidies to low-income families was diverted and used to build housing for the elderly. The reason was that the elderly people normally vote Democratic. Another $15 million earmarked for disadvantaged school children was spent on other things, including salaries of politically influential school bureaucrats.
More corruption occurred in the 1970s when the Deputy Public Works Director for the City of Baltimore was put in jail for rigging bids on City contracts. In the 80s, corruption raised its ugly face again when the federal government shut down Baltimore’s Urban Development Action Grants program due to many bid-rigging abuses.
The next mayor of Baltimore, Kurt Schmoke, who was elected in 1987, was found to have squandered $25 million in HUD funds, and the citizens of Baltimore remained blind to the corruption, and re-elected Schmoke for two more terms! Mayor Schmoke was one to have a “soft-on-drug” policy, so crime rose, and by the end of the 1990s, Baltimore’s crime statistics showed that the city’s murder rate was six times that of New York’s!
Mayor Martin O’Malley, Schmoke’s successor, did nothing to stop the crime figures, which rose to 80% higher than average large cities. More jobs were lost, but the Democratic rule continued. Sheila Dixon, O’Malley’s successor was convicted of embezzlement and perjury, continuing the Democratic corruption.
It seems that no matter what the trouble is or why there is trouble, Democratic rule always comes to the forefront. There are many, many cities like Baltimore: crime-ridden, broken down, drug-infested, poorly run, becoming more and more devoid of jobs and middle-income families. They are almost always Democratic-governed cities. Years of democratic leadership, voted in by ignorance and apathy, caused the crime and poverty in Baltimore, Maryland.
Photo credit – Brandon Bartoszek