This week’s City Paper, which came out the day after Election Day, includes 100-word suggestions from 100 Baltimoreans for solutions they’d like to see Mayor-elect Catherine Pugh and the new city council address in theit first 100 days in office (“100 Citizens, 100 Words, 100 Solutions,” Nov. 8).
The introduction to the cover-story connects it to OSI’s Solutions Summit:
And just in case our 100 solutions make you curious to read more, check out the Open Society Institute-Baltimore’s (OSI) sweeping Solutions Summit to see the specific recommendations citizens are generating there. OSI has been hosting half-day workshops all fall on topics ranging from jobs to criminal justice to behavioral health to come up with fresh ways of addressing some of Baltimore’s most entrenched problems. The series, for which City Paper is a media sponsor, culminates on Dec. 10, and is a reminder that Election Day is just the beginning, now the hard work begins. At the Summit, participants will discuss, debate, and vote to narrow the hundreds of solutions down to 10 or 15 priorities.
In addition, OSI Director Diana Morris and Tara Huffman, Director of OSI’s Criminal and Juvenile Justice Program, offered their own 100 word solutions:
Capitalize on federal funding opportunities
Baltimore has often failed to capitalize on many federal funding opportunities available to cities, including ones that could fund initiatives related to infrastructure, housing, and youth programs. In other cases, the city received federal funds but failed to spend them completely or use them well. A solution would be to hire a senior official reporting directly to the mayor who is highly knowledgeable about federal funding streams and has demonstrated success tapping such funds for cities. He or she would identify all opportunities for federal funding, oversee public agencies developing proposals, and ensure that the city uses funds received appropriately.
Diana Morris, Director, Open Society Institute-Baltimore
Require a racial equity impact statement
Be more intentional about using Baltimore’s annual budget –which exceeds $2.5 billion – to dismantle structural racism and make racial equity our collective new normal. For example, city leaders should evaluate all revenue generation and resource allocation decisions using a racial equity impact assessment, a conscious and transparent inquiry into how public decisions impact different racial and ethnic groups in Baltimore. Consistent and faithful use of such an assessment will highlight Baltimore’s hidden pipelines to poverty and provide concrete guidance to city leaders on how they can interrupt those pipelines and maximize opportunity at all city levels.
Tara Andrews Huffman, Director, Criminal and Juvenile Justice Program, Open Society Institute-Baltimore