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In the Media: Dixon Unveils Plan to Decrease Crime; "Black Girls Vote" Gets Women to Polls

Sheila Dixon.
Sheila Dixon.

A digest of Baltimore news from local sources.

From The Baltimore Sun: Sheila Dixon to Unveil Plan Aimed at Decreasing Crime in Baltimore

“Former Mayor Sheila Dixon will release a 7-page plan Monday that she says will reduce violence in Baltimore — using many of the same strategies she employed during her mayoral term when violent crime dropped.

“Dixon, the early front-runner in the city's Democratic primary election, wants to target gun offenders and increase police training. She says she also will invest more to address the city's joblessness and ‘public health crisis,’ which she says is at the core of the crime problem.

“Her plans include using ‘available and underused data’ to address crime trends, overhauling the police academy, and equipping every school with mentoring and tutoring services.

“'Our responsibility is to have a safe and healthy city,’ Dixon said Sunday in her campaign office. ‘This is not an opportunity for a learning curve. That's not disparaging to the other candidates who are running. We've got a huge job ahead of us.’

“Dixon's plan comes as Baltimore is experiencing the worst per capita homicide rate in history. There were more than 920 shootings last year and 344 murders. The dramatic rise in gun violence occurred after the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray in police custody — which sparked weeks of protests and a riot in April.”

Full Article

From The Baltimore Sun: Black Girls Vote Looks to Get Young Women to Polls

“Black Girls Vote was founded by Nykidra "Nyki" Robinson after a man was shot and killed over the summer in Hanlon Park, not far from her home. Registering people to vote — especially young African-American women — is part of the 33-year-old's plans to help change her Northwest Baltimore neighborhood and others. She wants to use the nonprofit to improve public schools, the job market and access to health care.

“‘It's a new year. It's time for new things. We can't sit back and make excuses,’ Robinson said. ‘Our vote is our voice. It doesn't matter if you don't have a GED, or if you have a PhD, we're all the same.’

“The group is made up of about 15 core members, all but one of them women. Robinson said. Their hope is that registering a voter will be the start of a relationship. They plan to stay in touch with the people they sign up, and find creative ways to remove barriers that could prevent them from going to the polls for the April primary or November election.

“They're collecting umbrellas to encourage people to vote even if it's raining. They're calling day care providers to see if they'll stay open later on Election Day, and asking grandmothers to offer to baby sit.

“Robinson said the group is not focused solely on young black women, but sees them as key. By developing relationships with African-American mothers, wives, daughters and girlfriends, she believes Blacks Girls Vote can help entire communities understand policy implications and how choosing candidates who represent their needs can bring change.”

Full Article

From The AFRO American: Baltimore Repaying Police Agencies $1.8M for Riot Control

“The city of Baltimore says it expects to reimburse other local police and fire agencies a total of $1.8 million for assisting during unrest following the death of Freddie Gray last spring.

“Spokesman Howard Libit said Thursday [Dec 24] the tally includes requests that have been paid and those still under review. He says he expects all requests to be paid. 

“The requests came from public agencies or volunteer fire companies in 16 of Maryland’s 23 counties. 

“The Anne Arundel County Police Department submitted the biggest request, for about $426,000. Department spokesman Lt. Ryan Frashure tells The Capital newspaper that the request hasn’t been paid yet. 

“Parts of Baltimore burned amid rioting and looting following the April 19 death of Freddie Gray, a Black man who was fatally injured in police custody.”

Full Article