Six months after the Baltimore riots, residents and community leaders recently met at a local church to discuss how Baltimore moves forward and remains positive.
Former Mayor Sheila Dixon, journalist Catalina Byrd, community activist Kwame Rose, State Sen. Catherine E. Pugh, City Councilman Carl Stokes and the Rev. Todd Yeary, pastor of Douglas Memorial Community Church, where the town hall meeting was held, were on hand for the discussion.
The event focused on the question of what is currently wrong with Baltimore.
Dixon described Baltimore as a “disconnected puzzle." Stokes agreed, saying, “There is no one Baltimore!” which made the crowd erupt with applause.
Yeary told those gathered, “There is still work to be done but it can only be done if we do it together,” stressing that a unified Baltimore makes a stronger Baltimore.
Kelli Singleton, 39, said she believed the event was “ a political runaround. It’s angry people from the community just talking.” She said she was very disappointed with the event because she felt like it go tno publicity so she expected nothing from it.
Bryan Perry, 43, said he liked what Byrd had to say because “when she spoke her answers went beyond political rhetoric.” He also said the panelists turned the meeting into a mayoral campaign event where every candidate or speaker was trying to promote his or her political platform.
“I kinda admire Nick Mosby for not coming and engaging in this political misuse of time,” said Amir Ali, 22, a student at University of Maryland Baltimore County. She said she believes the school system is the number one problem Baltimore needs to fix. She compared it to the system in her hometown, Englewood, N.J.