• Make things work NOW

    We have to rethink the entire way to we fight crime and deal with our criminal justice system in our city.  We can’t do anything locally about stopping the war on drugs or ending poverty in America.  But we can reform local systems in our control to change people’s lives, build safe communities and make […]

  • BUDL students talk about Baltimore’s abandoned buildings

    Rows of dilapidated houses stretch onward like abandoned monoliths and signs of life are scarce; the only movement is the massive up-drifts of refuse caught in the wind. No, this isn’t a trailer for the latest sci-fi/horror movie; this is a stark description of many areas of Baltimore City where abandoned houses occupy valuable swatches […]

  • Uniting Baltimore through one connected park

    “Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably will not themselves be realized.” Daniel Burnham, 1846-1912, architect and urban visionary Imagine a Baltimore where everyone lived within a few blocks of a park. Where you could walk easily throughout the city in a safe green network that connects school […]

  • Young people need mentors and they will find them, but who will those mentors be?

    Whether we acknowledge it or not, all of us are mentors and models for the young people in our community just by being present in their lives.  But I believe we must fully embrace this responsibility. In my day job, one of the unfortunate but necessary tasks I must perform is criminal sentencing. Even in […]

  • Invite the neighbors to turn the town around

    It is no secret that Baltimore has more than its share of serious social and economic problems—ask anyone who lives here what’s wrong with this city and you’re sure to hear a litany of ills from violence in the streets, rampant drug addiction and HIV infection rates, unacceptably high numbers of children dropping out of […]

  • Putting kids first in child support

    Here’s an audacious idea.  Let’s recreate our child support system to put kids first. We say the State’s program is in the best interests of the child now, but our policies tell a different story.  Let’s restructure our policies to make sure they encourage parents to support their children rather then turn them away. Here […]

  • It’s about opportunity!

    Too many people in Baltimore are systematically denied the basic opportunities for healthy and productive development. Too many babies are born sick and too many children start school unprepared. Too many youngsters attend schools that aren’t academically, culturally or physically enriching and too many have no positive place to go when school is out. Too […]

  • The city and the neighborhood as school

    In light of the recent court decision about charter school funding, the old dichotomy about charter schools versus “traditional” public schools comes alive. The dichotomy is false. Charter schools can be neighborhood schools, if the outreach is to a neighborhood and a community. And traditional neighborhood schools can be like charters, if we trust them […]