Maryland can do more to responsibly reduce the prison population

Maryland budget analysts had the right idea when they recently told legislators that the state could save money and adequately staff all correctional facilities by reducing the prison population and closing at least one prison. (Analysts recommend reducing Maryland’s prison population, Associated Press, Feb. 26, 2010.) The reality is that Maryland already is reducing its […]

A fund for Baltimore

Most suburban residents live in a metropolitan district in order to share the good things the city can offer. Sadly, we enjoy those benefits without paying a proportional share of their costs. Whether we use the urban setting for employment, or as a cultural, commercial, educational or recreational base, we rely on the city for […]

Real stimulation for only $25 billion

No, this is not an overly expensive trip to the Block, this is how we could create and or sustain 1,187,500 jobs, improve the quality of life, reduce congestion, manage growth, limit sprawl, protect and improve the environment, and increase opportunity for the 2.6 million people in Central Maryland. It’s a way to get one […]

Big solutions

We enter the New Year with startling economic developments that threaten the security of residents throughout the country, including right here in Maryland:  soaring levels of unemployment, high rates of foreclosure, and dramatic losses in savings and investments.  The scope of the recession—and the time and reinvestment required to recover from it—oddly gives us the […]

Rebuild schools, create (green) jobs for local communities

Imagine walking into a Baltimore City public school, noticing immediately the light streaming in through the windows, the attractive rooms where children are excitedly discussing their latest project, the sound of a flute coming from the music room.  Could this be a Baltimore City school? YES, IT COULD be, if Baltimore citizens and leaders team […]

History is in our hands

We are living in an extraordinary time. The country has elected its first ever African-American President who is also our first community-organizer-in-chief. The country is experiencing an economic meltdown as serious as any since the Great Depression. States and cities are experiencing budget shortfalls, while families, workers and communities are hurting. We know that the […]

Slash the city’s property tax rate by more than 50 percent over the next 25 years

The City of Baltimore finds itself mired in a classic Catch-22.  Property taxes in Baltimore City are more than twice as high as any county rate in Maryland.  That’s because to balance its budget each year, Baltimore City must levy disproportionately high taxes on its citizenry, which in turn induces more people to leave the […]

Learn from others

If we took the best ideas from across the world to Maryland, our state would be the best place for children and families in America. But this isn’t happening. For example, Missouri has developed the best model for rehabilitating delinquent youth. Youth are served in small, regional facilities; families are involved from the beginning. Recidivism […]

Treatment or incarceration? The costs of failure for Baltimore and beyond

Maryland legislators are trying to decide how to close the billion dollar budget gap. The choices so far are–raise taxes or cut spending. Enough said about raising taxes. But a good place to start cutting spending is the $76 million a year Maryland spends imprisoning people convicted of low-level drug offenses. Not only would we […]