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Mayor Catherine Pugh gave her second annual state-of-the-city address touting declining crime in our city and providing a recap of her administration’s year long work on initiatives to move the city forward. Baltimore City has certainly seen it’s share of negative spotlight, marred by record killings and police corruption, but Pugh hopes that her work will result in a turnaround.

“Baltimore is a city on the rise,” Pugh said. “We will not turn back, we will not falter in our constant effort to move our city forward.”

In her hour-long address in the City Council chambers, the Democratic mayor did not announce any new initiatives but focused on highlighting existing efforts that she said are helping to improve Baltimore. She did, however, lay out the details of her violence-reduction strategy, new police support centers that will use technology to quickly dispatch officers to criminal hot spots and expanding the mediation program “Safe Streets” from four to 10 locations.

Pugh’s agenda in her first year in office was overwhelmed by crime as 342 people were killed in 2017 — a record level of bloodshed. She came into office with promises to address housing, education and employment, but was forced to focus most of her attention on fighting the increasing murder rate.

So far, across the board, violence is down this year and Pugh is hopeful that the “clear progress” she sees will continue.

In terms of helping the youth heal, she has plans to provide more resources to children who experience violence, she also wants the city to begin tracking students after graduation. The mayor also talked about adding more technology jobs to the city, redeveloping neighborhoods and adding 6,000 street lights by next year to brighten the city and, hopefully, make it safer.

Let’s all keep our faith and and hope as well for a safer Baltimore.

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