At the State of the City Address last week, Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott vowed to reduce youth violence, boost housing opportunities, and restart weekly recycling collection by the first quarter of 2024, Emily Opilo reports for the Baltimore Sun.
Which specific initiatives did Scott pledge to uphold in the coming year?
Scott touted several planned housing initiatives, including a $9.7 million investment in grant programs designed to bolster Black homeownership and 270 grants through the Buy Back the Block program, which offers $10,000 to renters to buy the property they live in or $20,000 to buy and renovate it. He also promised to spend $5 million on rental assistance and to prevent owner-occupied homes from being offered in the city’s annual tax sale for the third year.
To combat high rates of youth violence, Scott said the city would launch a summer program with activities for young people, including midnight basketball, pool parties, summer camps, and extended hours at recreational facilities. He also appointed the city’s health commissioner Letitia Dzirasa to lead a collaborative group focused on youth violence prevention in her new role as the deputy mayor for equity, health, and human services.
Anything else I should know?
Though typically hosted at City Hall, Scott moved the speech to the Middle Branch Fitness and Wellness Center in Cherry Hill, a $23 million recreation facility championed by the Scott Administration and opened in November.
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