Baltimore County Green Party statement regarding the “Community Conversation about Crime” hosted by Sen. Klausmeier and County Councilman Marks
The Baltimore County Green Party calls upon Sen. Klausmeier and Councilman Marks to denounce racist dog-whistle calls to cut off public transit from Baltimore City to Baltimore County. These renewed calls stem from an incident in which minors were charged with destruction of property and disorderly conduct on December 29, 2018 during which no person was injured. Placing or tightening a transit “noose” around Baltimore residents would not only prevent people from being able to get to work on time, often in a Baltimore County business, but also fails to recognize that each of us has the liberty to travel for any reason without being questioned by law enforcement or other residents. All to often in the past when black youth are involved in a crime the entire generation and race are targeted for collective punishment. We see how the public reacts very differently under such circumstances. White college kids who run amok after a sports championship are given the latitude of youthful indiscretions. In the 1990’s when a brutal murder occurred in the very wealthy Baltimore City neighborhood of Guilford the call was to close off the neighborhood from the surrounding communities with street barriers. The perpetrator was a grandson but that didn’t stop the wealthy enclave as seeing it as their ‘final straw’.
Instead of legislatively making life more difficult, such as restricting travel, Sen. Klausmeier is urged to focus on policies that would actually have a positive impact on the lives of Maryland residents, policies that she’s previously prevented other elected delegates and state legislators from having the opportunity to vote on. Specifically, we urge her not to block voting on legislation that would allow for at least a $15 minimum wage, although the Baltimore County Green Party acknowledges that even that is not a living wage in any area of Maryland. An actual living wage would allow parents and others involved in raising children and adolescents to work 40 hours per week, cover basic living expenses, and have time and energy to spend with their families. (Among other countless benefits.)
Adequate public transit, jobs with fair wages, and adequate funding of the public school system are the tools that reliably reduce instances of crime. Both Sen. Klausmeier and Councilman Marks are in positions to put effective policies in place, and we call upon them to fulfill their responsibility to do so without catering to the fears that serve as distractions that allow them to avoid actually serving the public.