Ryan O’Doherty, thank you for your interview on Baltimore’s vacant properties

I had an opportunity to meet with Ryan O’Doherty, Mayor’s Director of Policy and Communications in Baltimore City April 20. O’Doherty answered questions about the mayoral initiative, Vacants to Value, that I’m researching.

He surprised me and impressed me.

Granted, my expectations were low. I thought that O’Doherty would have two or three public relations-type quotes for me. I only went on the field trip because I wanted to provide a ride to a car-less classmate of mine.

I’m very glad that I went.

I recognize that O’Doherty sees Baltimore’s vacants from the governmental side of the issue. His perspective has to be positive and persuasive because the city government needs public support for the plan. Of course people are going to be displaced and displeased. There are going to be victims. But he can’t admit that.

I’m looking at the vacants problem through those negative aspects too. But O’Doherty shed light on the Vacants to Value initiative. He did a good job of explaining why the plan is gravely necessary. His arguments imply that Baltimore City’s government believes that the initiative’s benefits will far exceed those negatives, especially in the long-run.

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