Friday, October 23, 2020
Tre Ward, WBAL-TV 11
BALTIMORE — Candidates vying to lead the city of Baltimore took questions from the public, for one of the last times, before one of them becomes mayor-elect in November.
The Baltimore chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People hosted the forum, which focused on things like the economy, the coronavirus and crime.
Thursday night marked the last chance for Baltimoreans to directly question all four balloted candidates looking to become their 52nd mayor.
As the city grapples with rising homicide numbers, more than 265 so far this year as of Thursday morning, tackling crime was one of the main concerns brought up.
“This is why I am running. I’m frustrated just like you. I’m tired of asking mayors to deal with crime. I’m tired of passing laws that they should implement to make Baltimore a better place,” Democratic mayoral candidate and City Council President Brandon Scott said.
“I’m here to do the work of making this city better so that, for my children and my grandchildren, that I know the schools run the way that they should. We get rid of all those low-proficiency numbers that the streets are safe, so I know that my children and your children come home every night with the same amount of body part and pieces they left with,” Republican mayoral candidate Shannon Wright said.
The coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 450 people in Baltimore, so far, exposing inequities in communities of color, while the virus cripples the economy.
“I will go out as mayor and raise $1,000,000,000 fund or more, bring that fund back to Baltimore, and use it to rebuild our city,” Independent mayoral candidate Bob Wallace said.
“We need a national health care system for everybody, not just in Baltimore, but in this country,” Working Class mayoral candidate Dave Harding said.
While things seem to become heated at one point, it was quickly calmed with a mute.
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All of the candidates, though, hoping their words will be enough to become mayor-elect in November.
“I want to do it for now, for the future, and for my unborn children to live in a city that is the best Baltimore that we can be,” Scott said.
“And because of my leadership as the next mayor, the best days of Baltimore are absolutely, yet, still ahead,” Wright said.
Candidates also spoke on the city’s education system and addressed police reform.
Watch the full NAACP mayoral forum below