Baltimore is not the same place after the April protests and violence. Many businesses are still recovering and our city image awaits the trial of suspects in death of Freddie Gray.
The growth of the Latino population has soared in recent years stimulated by the effect of “driver’s licenses issued to undocumented immigrants”, This fact has been the main cause of the influx of many Hispanics, mostly to the East Coast, transforming the care and attention of Anglos in a very positive way.
The long-sought inclusion is bringing positive changes for our community. It is a very good time for the Latino community and its organizations to be part of this integration. Looking at the future, we can participate in the recovery of Baltimore and its crime prevention efforts, these efforts will attract many to our city. The support and vision of Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, who along with Mayor Stephanie Rawlings have agreed on a common agenda to bring real benefits to Baltimore residents. These benefits aim to rank our beautiful port city among the very best in the country. It’s time to break old patterns.
We can cite the management style of Veronica Cool as an example of support not offered to Hispanics. Veronica Cool, who despite being the Hispanic liaison appointed by Governor Martin O’Malley in his first transition team, with the goal to include Latinos in State government, has resulted in low Latino outreach. Similarly, the former Governor’s Hispanic Committee member, Mrs. Mary Welch who was in charge of the commission for many years, left a huge gap in project implementation for the Hispanic community and ended with an absolutely precarious balance.
That leads us to believe that it is unacceptable that people of proven ineffective record in community organizations should not manage our resources, and what it is worse, this management has been done with the consent or approval of some people. The appointment of the new police chief who knows in depth the reality of Hispanic families, is a critical tool in preventing and educating residents and future generations. We are contributing to the creation of a dynamic society, which is only possible with the participation each of us. We are definitely making a difference.
Erick A. Oribio