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  June 3, 2014

Will Curfew Laws Make Baltimore City Safer? - TRNN Webathon Panel


Dayvon Love, Nick Mosby, Brandon Scott, and Kimberly Ellis discuss the youth curfew law in Baltimore and whether it will lead to an improvement in public safety
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biography

Dayvon Love is the director of research and public policy for Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle out of Baltimore Maryland. He's a champion debater and has considerable experience with grassroots activism in the Baltimore community.


transcript

Will Curfew Laws Make Baltimore City Safer? - TRNN Webathon PanelJESSICA DESVARIEUX, TRNN PRODUCER: Welcome back to The Real News Network. This is our live webathon in our new Baltimore studios. I'm Jessica Desvarieux.

PAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR, TRNN: I'm Paul Jay.

DESVARIEUX: And we are joined by our esteemed panel to discuss Baltimore, and specifically this youth curfew. It's quite controversial here in Baltimore. So let's introduce our guests and get right into it.

So now joining me on my right is Dayvon Love. He is the president of Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle out of Baltimore, Maryland. He's a champion debater and has considerable experience with grassroots activism in the Baltimore community.

Also joining us is Councilman Nick Mosby. He is the councilman for Baltimore's 7th District. And--surprise, surprise--he's a Democrat in Baltimore. No surprises there.

And also joining us is Kimberly Ellis. She's a Baltimore resident and community activist. She's a married mother of four. Two of her children actually fall under the parameters of this current law.

And, also, last but not least is Councilman Brandon Scott, who is the councilman of the 2nd District here in Baltimore.

Thank you all for joining us.

BRANDON SCOTT, BALTIMORE CITY COUNCILOR (2ND DISTRICT): Thank you for having me.

NICK MOSBY, BALTIMORE CITY COUNCILOR (7TH DISTRICT): Thanks for having us.

KIMBERLY ELLIS, ACTIVIST, BALTIMORE CITY: Thanks.

JAY: So thanks for joining us.

Dayvon, I'm going to start with you.

The murder rate in Baltimore is actually not as high in 2014 as it was in 2013, but it's somewhere in the high 80s. In 2013, there were 217 murders. In 2013, 235 murders [sic]. So, clearly--and his has been going on for several years--the community wants an end to this. So one of the political responses is this curfew, that young people are going to have to get off the streets.

So tell us a little bit what the curfew is, exactly, and then your take. Is this curfew going to make Baltimore a safer city?

DAYVON LOVE, PRESIDENT, LEADERS OF A BEAUTIFUL STRUGGLE: Well, I'm not as familiar with the specifics of the curfew.

One of the things that I will say is is that I think what's most important in protecting the livelihood of people in Baltimore is investment in communities. And I think one of the things that happens is that people think that when you think public safety, you have to be talking about police and you have to be talking about law and order. And so I think there needs to be a paradigm shift in terms of how we think about what it means, in terms of what it means to improve public safety.

And I think, unfortunately, what happens is is that there's kind of a spectacularization of the violence, of the deaths that happen in Baltimore City, when really there are much more systemic and structural problems and the violence is really the symptom of a much--structural, much more deep-seated problem. So we look at the issue of institutional racism and white supremacy in our society and the way that black youth in particular but black people in general were socialized in a society that doesn't allow us to be seen as human beings, you know, who have the right to the same things that our white counterparts are privy to in this society.

And so I think until we get to that fundamental understanding in grappling with that, then I think we're going to see a society that is going to be making policies that aren't grappling with the core issue that's [crosstalk]

DESVARIEUX: So, well, Nick, you actually voted for this legislation, is that correct, in favor of it.

MOSBY: That's correct. Yeah.

DESVARIEUX: Can you just break down exactly what's in the bill before we get into--.

MOSBY: So, basically, the bill, which is not a new thing to Baltimore City--I mean, Baltimore City has had a curfew law for, I believe, over 20-some years. This bill structured it in a little different way. It basically created tiers. So younger folks, under the age of 16, are treated treated differently than their peers, you know, older than them.

I think Dayvon's totally right when he talks about the systemic structural issues that are really at the root of this. When I look at the curfew law, it's not around public safety or lowering the murder rate, but it's around affecting children, who are sometimes ten, 11, 12 year old, that are out on the street at night at 12, one o'clock in the morning. Now, you know, clearly, if you see a child that young in the City of Baltimore, in West or East Baltimore, out on the street at that time, they probably have major family issues at home. So it's about trying to get to that child, trying to develop ways of maybe identifying services that are particular to that child.

But, you know, this whole thing about the sensationalism of the curfew law now, it's really been around for the past 20 years. It's just--you know, Brandon was actually the lead sponsor. I'll let him speak up about his bill. You know, his intent was that, you know, we shouldn't be treating a 17-year-old the same way we treat a seven-year-old.

DESVARIEUX: So what was the intent of the bill, Brandon?

SCOTT: So the intent is this. If we're going to have a curfew--and the curfew's been in effect for 20 years; they had it since I was ten years old. I'm the youngest person on the council. So the intent of this bill is, one, modernize the curfew and make it make old school common sense for the City of Baltimore.

JAY: So what was it, and what is it now?

SCOTT: So what it was is that even on a school night, young people in the City of Baltimore from one month to 16 years old could be out at 11 p.m. on a school night. If you know anything about the education system in Baltimore, you know that if they're doing that, they're not going to--the hours aren't there for them to properly be ready for school in the morning. Most of our young kids are up at 6:00, 6:30 in the morning. School starts at 7:00, 7:30, eight o'clock. So if we're going to have them out and you see them on a school night out there, it makes no sense.

Also, as my colleague said, if you talk to the young people, as I did when crafting this bill, they didn't even think that a eight-year-old and a 14-year-old should have the same curfew. So why should the adults do the same thing?

So what it does is all those young people from 14 to 16 during the school year--and I studied this across the country. I actually went to Kansas City, Missouri, last summer to look at how they do their curfew. Cities across the country have tier curfew based on age, but also based on the time of year. The school year should be different from when school is out.

So what happens is for us now, after the mayor signs, in 60 days from after the mayor signs in the City of Baltimore, young people from 14 to 16 who have a curfew of 10 p.m. during the school year, and it'll be 11 p.m. on weekends and during the summer time. Those 13 and under will have a 9 p.m. curfew.

And also I think it's important to mention that a lot has been sensationalized about us criminalizing kids and their parents. In actuality, what I did with this bill is I removed all criminal penalties away. Before, on the previous bill, people could go to jail for this. This is no longer going to be the case, because, again, like my colleague said, this is about connecting the most vulnerable children and their families to services.

JAY: Parents can be fined if kids are--.

SCOTT: In fact, parents can be fined.

ELLIS: Five hundred dollars. That's right.

JAY: And what if they don't pay the fine?

SCOTT: The maximum fine is $500. Last summer, we gave out three maximum fines out of over--hundreds that we gave out. Most families get the minimum $30 fine. That's something else that was being sensationalized by the opponents was that they're raising that fine of [$500], not telling the truth in the fact that that is reserved for the most egregious cases, kids that keep coming in or kids that come in and their parents--the kids tell a story of something so egregious that you have to, the government has to step in.

JAY: If a child, then, is picked up under this law, what happens?

SCOTT: Right. So what happens in the City of Baltimore my entire--since I've been ten years old, we've had what we call a curfew sensor. And what happened in the past when I was growing up is you were just dropped in a room until your parents came to pick you up. What happens today (and it actually now only happens in the summer, but now with this new legislation and new funding it's going to be year-round): they take them to what we're going to call a youth connection center, right now inside the school system headquarters; they come in, they talk to DSS, they talk to DJS, they talk to the school system, student support, so we can see what's going on with that young person.

I actually used to run the Nighttime Curfew Center in my previous job. And I've actually personally been able to connect young people. I had one young lady who came in who was pregnant and wanted to graduate from school. She thought she had to get a GED. Save for her not being picked up on curfew, she would have not gotten a high school diploma but a GED. These are the kind of things that we're doing here. We're not arresting kids. The kids aren't brought there in handcuffs. They're not even brought in an actual police car. They're brought in a police panel van. That's how they come to the center.

So this has never been--I have never, as the sponsor of this bill, uttered the words that this is about reducing crime in Baltimore. The City of Baltimore, we've made so much great progress in reducing violent crime, but still, yes, I could say that in my childhood we had years of 356 homicides. And since I've been on the council, we've had years of 197. That's still 197 too many. We still have to work at all of these problems from a multi--.

JAY: But a 16-year-old who goes to the corner store after ten o'clock at night could be picked up.

SCOTT: Could be picked up, could be picked up during a school night. During a school night they could be picked up during a school night.

DESVARIEUX: But what if they're picking something up for their parents, for example?

SCOTT: Well, that's actually something that was taken out of the bill. So in the past--and this was something that a lot of my community people had a problem with--young people [incompr.] some [incompr.] citizens would call the police and say, hey, look, man, there's a bunch of young kids going into the store. And, you know, it's 12:30, one o'clock in the morning. Under the previous legislation, that was actually allowed and the police officers could not bother them.

But a lot of constituents complained and said, well, if you're going to have a curfew, people should get up and go to the store for themselves. They shouldn't send their eight-, nine-, ten-, 11-year-old kids to the store.

JAY: There's a difference between eight, nine, and ten and 16.

SCOTT: Yeah, and 16. Right.

DESVARIEUX: Yes, absolutely.

JAY: I mean, I think it's pretty--I can't see anybody arguing that if an eight-, nine-, ten-year-old's--

SCOTT: You would be surprised.

JAY: --wandering around the streets late at night, there should be an intervention.

SCOTT: You would be surprised at what people will argue.

MOSBY: And we have to be honest that that's what--.

DESVARIEUX: Let's get Kim, 'cause she's actually a mother with children who are going to be affected.

How old are your children that would be affected under this law?

ELLIS: My youngest is 15. And my oldest just turned 17, so he'll kind of opt out of the overall curfew.

DESVARIEUX: So you just heard Councilman Scott's take on all this. What's your position?

ELLIS: Actually, I understand and kind of agree with the premise, the overall concept of having children who are outside and, you know, needing services and resources. I just think that the current manner in which we're going about it is a bit much for me and as a parent.

So you gave the example of a 16-year-old going to the store. If for whatever reason--I'm in the middle of cooking, where, you know, I do catering on the side--if they're helping me, whatever reason, he goes to the store and he's picked up, he doesn't come home. I live in Councilman Mosby's district. For me, that's a problem. If I'm worried about where my son is. I don't understand why, you know, they can't bring him home or, you know, make a phone call right where they are.

A lot of times, you have a lot of kids who aren't necessarily predisposed to having a lot of contact with police officers. It's very unnerving for me as an adult to be pulled over. You know, I literally can have an anxiety attack, just because historically and from my instincts, I never let my intellect override my instincts. And from an instinctual standpoint, I'm not real sure how that could very well go. So I'm always kind of on my guard. For children, it's even more so. And so when you have that interaction, what happens to the mental part of that, you know, the emotional part of that, the psychological part of that, of dealing with that interaction from someone who was an authority figure, you know, that they're told to respect, and they're telling them, you know, come with me, it's the middle of the night, for whatever reason? Target at Mondawmin Mall closes at ten o'clock. You know, if someone has a part-time job or, you know, for whatever reason your kids are out, especially in the summertime--.

SCOTT: They would be exempt.

DESVARIEUX: Kimberly makes a good point, though about why can't you just bring them back home [crosstalk] back home.

ELLIS: But when you say "exempt", when are they exempt? Are they exempt on the spot? Or are they exempt once they go through processing?

SCOTT: They're--so, just as it is today, the current curfew exempts young kids who are working, who have a work permit, young kids who are coming from a recreational event a city-sponsored event, a religious event, that hasn't changed.

ELLIS: But how do you prove that?

SCOTT: Well, they prove it because--this is something that we've been talking a lot about this week. So I probably as vice chairman of the Public Safety Committee get more complaints about the Baltimore Police Department than any elected official in this city. The one thing I've never gotten a complaint from them about is them enforcing their curfew, which they have been doing my whole life.

So what they do is typically--it's not like they--the police aren't all driving around looking for young kids. How it's enforced is that there's someone assigned in each district who has the panel van who drives around. And they're not going to Target on Mondawmin to pick up kids.

JAY: Does the curfew law create a probably cause for a search?

SCOTT: Say again?

JAY: If a kid is picked up under the curfew law,--

SCOTT: No, they don't--.

JAY: --is that probable cause, and now the police can also search the kid?

SCOTT: No, they don't search them. The kids are brought to the center, and at the center they turn over--they just turn--they put their property in a bag so that the kids don't say that, you know, [crosstalk]

JAY: And what if there's something illicit in the property?

SCOTT: If something's illicit in a property, then they have--then the parent--they have a discussion where the police [always sends in a parent, and they handle it?] [crosstalk]

JAY: But the police can not search the kids.

SCOTT: No, the police that pick them up don't--.

JAY: That's part of the--

SCOTT: Yeah, they don't--.

JAY: --it's part of the--it's actually [crosstalk] law.

SCOTT: No, it's not part of the law. It's how they enforce it. They are actually search by the school police at the center, not by Baltimore City police.

LOVE: I think, I mean, I think one of the things that's at the crux of the issue is the way that law enforcement is trained to deal with young people.

SCOTT: Right.

LOVE: And for me, that's a part--I mean, that is a part of my anxiety about the legislation. But for me, it's not specific to the legislation. It's really the law enforcement apparatus in general. And for me, I think it's really important that we focus on changing the way that law enforcement institutionally deals with young people.

Many of us in civil society are trained to criminalize young people. And I think sometimes people are imprecise about the way this argument is made, because the law is made race-neutral for the purposes of allowing law enforcement to act on the biases that they've been socialized to have. And so we have to have a conversation not just about the notion of targeting these youth and the particularities of how the law changes the way that they're picked up, because Governor O'Malley, when he was mayor of Baltimore City, actually arrested, under his--auspices of his office, 757,000 illegal arrests, right? And there were a lot of elected officials that were silent on that issue. So, for me, regardless of whether this law is enacted or not, we're looking at an institutional--we're looking at an institutional arrangement that is predicated on the notion of institutional racism being based on it.

And I think the issues that, you know, Ms. Williams brings up is really important in terms of thinking about how people's interaction with law enforcement affects the livelihood of young people. And I think the way we do that is, again, we have to force the law enforcement in our city to have that conversation. And there are some of us that are trying to push to get law enforcement to have that conversation, but that has to be the focus. It can't be, you know, white-led and -controlled nonprofit organizations using this issue as a way to get people to protest and be upset. We have to actually have specific ways of dealing with the institutional structure so that we're not just grandstanding so that people can get grant money, but that people can actually substantively address the issue that we're talking about.

MOSBY: And this is a very complicated issue. I mean, you know, at the crux of it, we're talking about the breakdown of the family and the breakdown of the community, right? You know, that's at the root of it. You know. So how do you address getting this out of the home, trying to impact those children and provide them with the best trajectory for their futures? And, you know, that's the main intention behind it.

Are there unintended consequences? Are there problems with it? Do we know that we currently have this issue between community distrust in the police and our young folks and the police and implicit biases in the police? Yes. All that is there, and it's been there for 40, 50, 60 years, and we won't break it down on this issue. But we're leaving [out?] children.

JAY: Okay. So why is this a police issue at all? Why is it--it seems to me what Kimberly's saying is it should be a community solution. Like, the kids should be taken back to the home. And [crosstalk] but why not resources where the community is rallied and organized to, even if it needs an intervention, why isn't it the community?

I mean, you know what? Just one sec. What Dayvon's saying about the police force, you know, there is a fundamental racism in the police force. We all know it. It's an issue that has to be addressed. But in the meantime, people want their kids to be safe. So then why turning to the police? Why not some kind of community solution here?

SCOTT: The police's involvement, basically, in this curfew, the police are basically just chauffeurs. They just drop them off. That's all they are. And we've had his discussion about folks asking me, why aren't the social workers, why can't the social workers pick the kids up on curfew? And I said that the answer to that is that you have to live in reality. You know, all of us know that social workers in the City of Baltimore take the police with them to the homes when they're going to see the kids. So then to ask those same social workers to go out in the street ten, 11, 12:30 at night, it's not going to happen. It's not going to happen.

And as one of our other brothers said on a radio show a couple of weeks ago, it's like the community, we--I'm for that. No one talks more about community involvement, especially the importance of community involvement of black men in the city and stepping up to do this more than me. But the problem is is that for whatever reason, there's not a big call for that--I mean, there's not a big group of people that do that. And in the event that we don't have that community structure, that we don't, government has to step in, because if something were to happen to one of these kids, there's two people on this panel that they're going to be looking at, and it's us two. We have to step in and do something.

I agree with you. It has to be a community. I know personally, myself, we do mentoring things to keep young kids off the street. We do that kind of stuff. But we need more of that. There are 2,000 kids--.

JAY: Well, Kimberly, if you could write a law, a policy that would deal with this problem--. So, just to be entirely clear, this isn't about, so much, reducing crime; it's about safety of kids late at night. And this is being rationalized in the media [crosstalk] crime [crosstalk] this has all to do with crime.

SCOTT: But [crosstalk] heard that from us.

JAY: Okay. Fine. So, Kimberly, if you were writing this, what would you have written?

ELLIS: Well, for me, to understand that statistically if you have interaction with a police officer, more than likely to have additional interaction with police officers. So that in and of itself sets up a dangerous precedent for young black minority children who are going through this program, even by, you know, saying it's a panel van that's coming to pick them up: it is still the police who are coming to get them.

Now, you currently have a curfew that was on the books that for whatever reason, you know, some may feel it didn't work appropriately, wasn't enforced efficiently, however. But it doesn't mean that you throw the baby out with the bathwater. While you're trying to see how this one may work, you're still impacting children.

And for me, I'm a community mom. Like, I'm not alone. So when you say that you don't have resources, I would have liked to have heard, you know, what kind of community mapping are out there, because there are so many different organizations. You have Coppin State University, Morgan State University, a lot of agencies that have fraternities, that have nonprofits, that have community boards that are active, that are looking for ways to come together to create, you know, environments that are conducive to the healthy upbringing of children, not to put them under military or martial law or, you know, because the parents are no longer able to control their kids. I take offense to that, because not only have I raised my children, I've raised children in the community.

A goddaughter of ours just graduated from Carver Vocational Tech. Why? We are a part of that village that raised her. I'm accountable to every child that is in my community. I feel that way. And I'm not the only one. He feels that way. He feels that way. So why not have a round table, have a discussion, and put different things on the table, think outside the box, but do not involve the police? I do not want my young black son to have an interaction with the police needlessly for any reason. I don't want that in his psyche, because it triggers things that go far back beyond this current moment in time. It's far surpassing that. And you have to understand that. You have to take that into accountability.

And as a mother of a black son in Baltimore, it would scare the heck out of me to not know where he is for one minute of any day because someone picked him up for whatever reason. And when you're saying you're going to figure it out, when are you going to figure that out? Are you figuring it out on the spot and you let him walk home?

SCOTT: Well, they do that, yeah.

ELLIS: Are you taking him somewhere? What about parents who are single parents who can't come and get their children, who can't pay their fine?

JAY: What do you make of the basic argument Kimberly's making, that if it's a police interaction, you are on--you're opening a Pandora's box of the whole nightmare of community-police relations to deal with the problem of kids being out late at night?

MOSBY: I think what we're talking about--and, you know, I truly respect and appreciate, 'cause we know each other, 'cause she lives in my district. But, unfortunately, we're not talking about parents or godparents--

SCOTT: Like her.

MOSBY --that--like, who she is and what she represents. You know, I'm sure that, you know, her son or her daughter, they're not out across town at one or two o'clock in the morning. They're probably home or they're probably somewhere in the structured environment that she's placed them.

I think that what we're trying to say here is that it's critically important that we get to these vulnerable children to ensure that they have the best chance at life. That's all that this bill is about. And when you have during the school day 15- and 16-year-olds that are out in the morning, you understand and know that they're probably on a path that's not going to be productive for their lives, or even for their community lives.

I get the whole argument that we have fraternities, we have schools, and we have all these other organizations. It's not a secret what this issue is. It's not a secret when you look at the statistics around young African-American men in a city, young men in a city like Baltimore. Yet we have all these organizations that haven't stepped up and collectively come together to address the issue. So we can continue to try to say, you put the cart before the horse, because maybe, you know, this is the wrong policy of introducing a police officer. But where have the community members been at, the folks who have been outraged about this particular piece of law that has been sensationalized and developed in a way that's not really the actual core /ˈkɒmpənsidi/ of what the bill is supposed to--intended to do. Yet where were they before that? You know, this stuff is not a secret, you know, when you talk about the homicide rate or we talk about education or we talk about poverty or we talk about what we put our children through on a daily basis. You know, at the end of the day, our children are doing nothing more but living from sins from generations ago. We're the adults stepping up and ensuring that we provide them with the best possible future and the best trajectory?

Now, is including the police the right way? Is it the only way? No, but maybe this is a point when we can start having serious discussions on how we can collectively come together and talk about our institutions, our organizations, and the other folks that actually care about these children.

LOVE: And, I mean, I think the honest discussion is around the extent to which law enforcement is equipped to do that, because I actually agree more with Kimberly on this point that law enforcement just systemically and historically and contemporaneously has demonstrated its inability to effectively deal with young people. You know, one person every 28 hours is killed by law enforcement in the United States, you know, a black person. So I think that's important, to keep that in mind.

And so a part--to me the part of the conversation is, you know, how do we transform the way that law enforcement does its job so that we can have an institution that actually serve the community. And I think that's really where the solution is. And I think those are the kinds of policies that legislators need to advocate for and address.

And one thing I will say that I think is important about the notion of community [involvement?] and investment: I do think that if we look at the current political structure, right, and those who are in leadership, right, unfortunately there has been more interest in investing in a particular style of law enforcement that is on the side of hyper-policing, particularly as it relates to black youth, as opposed to investing in the communities that are more equipped to deal with the young people there in these situations.

But, again, I mean, my whole position in this conversation is simply this, is that it's really important that we don't take a particular piece of legislation and make it as if it's something new. We all know that law enforcement engages in institutional racism, and a part of our responsibility as people in the community is to be proactive about the issue of institutional racism and how it deals with young people and not be reactive to legislation that really is just an extension of the status quo, right? It is already the way that law enforcement behaves. And so let's start from that position instead of what I think has happened in the media in terms of the sensationalization of it.

ELLIS: I just have a quick question with regard to you bill. So if the overall concept is to protect the most vulnerable populations, those who are out, you know, at such a young age, these children go to school. They have guidance counselors. They have other people who are around them to more or less see that there is an issue. A child comes into class that's, you know, dirty, a teacher knows that there's an issue. If they're hungry, a teacher knows that that's an issue.

SCOTT: Not always.

ELLIS: If they have an IEP. So going to the school and involving the school to find out what those issues are, to try to, you know, build wraparound services around the family and go at it that way, my main issue is the police interaction. And it's my main issue because we're building prisons whose main commodity are youth, are black minority, Hispanic minority youth. And when you say that and you're learning that they're--you know, prisons are traded on the New York Stock Exchange. They're big business. You have environments and towns that are fed off of a prison. So when you look at a business and you're looking at their commodity, how are you feeding that commodity? How are you getting that?

And the only thing that I see in my parental eye, as a mother and as a person, a learned person--. I'm not--you know, I'm vice president of a community board. I have a master's degree in human services. I'm not just looking at this from an emotional standpoint. From a practical standpoint, if you want to invest in your youth, then you meet them where they are and you give them the resources that they need to be successful.

Interacting with the police opens up that gateway for so much more damage, collateral or not, that I'm not willing to lose one of mine to being able to go back and say, okay, well, let's self-reflect; we did such and such and such and such, and this was the collateral damage; and so let's revamp it and do it this way. I wouldn't want that for my [crosstalk] wouldn't want that [crosstalk]

DESVARIEUX: Brandon, did you actually open this up to the public? Did you get people in the room discussing solutions?

SCOTT: Any time I do this, I go out into my district and I talk to my residents, but I also talk to young people. And the overwhelming majority support what we're doing. The overwhelming majority of the citizens that I've talked to support what we're doing.

But to answer your question, first and foremost I agree with you wholeheartedly. But to me this is not a if/or thing. [incompr.] We have to do both. We have to--.

JAY: Well, I've got a suggestion. One of the reasons we're in this big studio at The Real News Network is we want to organize town halls, discussions, debates about public policy. And I think what Dayvon raised is the starting point. Let's not just look at one piece of legislation; let's look holistically, comprehensively, with the object being, you know, both how to have a safer and how to make life better for the kids.

So are you guys all game to come back for a town hall?

MOSBY: Oh, definitely. [crosstalk]

SCOTT: Oh, yeah, well, definitely. I think we all are.

ELLIS: Definitely.

DESVARIEUX: Yeah? Alright.

JAY: So that's--.

SCOTT: 'Cause we all--at the end of the day, we all want the same thing.

ELLIS: Definitely.

JAY: So I think if we start with that as the objective, it's a whole series of town halls. We can break down because it's about the schools, it's about what happens on the streets, and it's about social services, and so on. And, of course, it's about chronic poverty. It's about many things. And it's all--you know, clearly it's about systemic racism weaving itself through all of this.

So all that being said, thank you very much.

SCOTT: Thank you.

ELLIS: Thanks.

DESVARIEUX: Yeah, thanks for joining us.

JAY: And we're going to do this town hall soon, maybe over the summer. And it's going to be a live stream so we can get people from the community who can't make it here can watch it and would be interactive with it. And it's something that we plan--we're here for the long term, the long haul. So we hope over the course of the next months and years we can help facilitate this kind of discussion about what public policy really would make Baltimore a healthier, safer city.

Thanks very much.

DESVARIEUX: Alright. Thank you.

End

DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.



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