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

Nightlife relies heavily on drug use. No wonder drinking and drug use is rampant.

I’m a I’m a 22-year-old female college student, so my Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights must involve applying 8 coats of mascara, straightening my hair, and trying on 18 “outfits” before opting for two pieces of fabric that only dolls consider shirts and skirts.

After hours of this productive routine, I love to go to a club or bar where I demonstrate my class by pounding back as many drinks as possible (is there any other way to look attractive?), developing drunken tunnel vision and deciding that my time is best spent “dancing” (aka spazzing like someone with an IQ of 50 trying to imitate an adult entertainer) on top of a shaky table.

What happens next?

Save your neighborhood economy. Just shop at three independent businesses a month.

The 3/50 Project encourages citizens to do the right thing by spending $50 a month in three locally owned businesses of their choice.

(Image courtesy of http://thegreennw.com/)

The genius behind this project is that “for every $100 spent in locally owned independent stores, $68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll, and other expenditures. If you spent that at a national chain only $48 stays here. Spend it online and nothing comes home.”

“If half the employed population spent $50 each month in locally owned businesses, it would generate more than $42.6 billion in revenue.”

So what’s the key of economic recovery in your neighborhood? YOU!

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