↑ Devin Allen
The Baltimore photographer's work criss-crossed the nation in the midst of the Baltimore Uprising, landing one of his iconic shots on the cover of Time magazine. Anyone who stopped paying attention after that has missed stark images that capture life here in Baltimore and the spirit of its people. Well, now they can pick up "A Beautiful Ghetto," a book of Allen's work, due out in June, that starts with the uprising and goes on to show everyday scenes from neighborhoods in West Baltimore. As Allen posted on his Instagram, "A Beautiful Ghetto" started as a hashtag that then became an art show and is now the book, which is getting a release event at the Lewis museum on June 17. No one is more deserving of the recognition, and we can't wait to get our hands on a copy.
←→ Mayor Catherine Pugh
After 100 days in office, Mayor Pugh maintains an admirable balance between stern get-it-done realism and optimistic planning for a brighter future. Her State of the City address showcased this hopeful vision, with a strong focus on the school system and innovative ideas for job training and services for the homeless. But the mayor is missing the urgency many residents feel about the extraordinary pace of killing that has gripped the city for more than two years, with no end in sight. Praising the speed by which city lawyers hammered out a consent agreement with the Department of Justice is no substitute for developing and implementing an effective plan to cut the violent crime rate. Ignoring this problem will not solve it.
The Baltimore Business Journal reported last week that One Baltimore—former mayor $RB and Michael Cryor's phoney-baloney, post-uprising non-profit or whatever it was—has shutdown. Best known for cynically usurping the energy in the city after Freddie Gray's death, the organization tried to replace #FreddieGray with #OneBaltimore and essentially got plenty of good PR along the way and didn't do much. BBJ reported that OneBaltimore raised $682,896 and of that money, "$312,000 was spent on OneBaltimore-led programs, mainly youth summer employment, and $371,000 was spent on administrative expenses for OneBaltimore"—a great example of what Leaders Of A Beautiful Struggle has referred to as the "non-profit industrial complex." Good riddance OneBaltimore.
↓ Baltimore City Liquor Board
Neighborhood organizations and liquor board watchers were surprised by the March 13 announcement of a trio of bills changing how the liquor board works. One bill would allow the board to order mediation between licensees and neighborhood associations that challenge license renewals, which would tilt the balance of power even more strongly in favor of licensees. The hearing on that was Tuesday, March 14—the day after neighbors got word and the day of a forecast blizzard. "I will share that we dropped the ball in broader engagement re the legislative package," Commissioner Dana Moore told the Baltimore Brew. "We will address that going forward."
In the coming years, we can anticipate that our beloved but highly polluted Chesapeake Bay will appear even murkier, its wildlife even sicker, and local seafood restaurants even more expensive. In addition to cutting funds for the State, Agriculture, and Labor Departments, Trump's proposed budget slashes the Environmental Protection Agency. That means no more federal funding for the cleanup of the Bay, the country's largest program to restore a body of water. The cleanup is only halfway through, and the cuts endanger future efforts to keep the Bay alive. Nevermind that the watershed is home to 18 million people.