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.

See a clip of the interview

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Baltimore is segregated by race

large patches of dark green small patches of medium green and large patches of light cream on a map of Baltimore City

I spent seven hours in a part of Baltimore City and saw dozens and dozens of people. One person was Asian. Two people were Middle Eastern. Everyone else was Black.

By the time I drove into the Inner Harbor for work, it was weird to see white people.

People argue that segregation is over. Sure, de jure segregation is over. No law states that Black people must live or remain in certain areas. But de facto segregation thrives.

Look at this map of Baltimore City that is colored to show where concentrations of Black or African American residents live.

See map and more

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