April 27, 2020
When we began our process of selecting a Mayoral candidate to receive our endorsement, we knew they must possess the single most important quality necessary to implement a reliable, affordable, and equitable transportation system for Baltimore City: political will.
Over the past five years, Baltimore has experienced unimaginable political turmoil. Improving our broken transportation system was one of many functions of government that was all but abandoned as each subsequent administration scrambled to address endless catastrophe and scandal. Even small instances of progress, such as Potomac Street, Roland Ave, or Monument Street, always seemed to draw an inordinate amount of scrutiny and became weird flexes of power against best practices in design.
The next mayor of Baltimore will enter into office with the enormous challenges of crime, gun violence, and education — challenges that even with improvements once in sight may now be exacerbated as we begin to emerge from a pandemic into historic economic instability.
Lack of transportation to school or employment has crippling effects for our most vulnerable residents. Our reliance on cars puts us further away from addressing the urgent demands of climate change and continues to create public health and economic disparities. Therefore addressing Baltimore’s transportation failures can not be placed in a queue behind other challenges, but must be seen as a solution to addressing them.
Brandon Scott understands addressing root causes is the path to creating lasting change. Through his performance at our mayoral forum, his response to our questionnaire, and his work on city council, he has demonstrated his commitment to building an equitable and sustainable transportation system. What sets him apart from other candidates is a clear understanding of the barriers to implementation and the conviction to overcome them. His experience as a neighborhood liaison and a young lawmaker made him adept at balancing the urgency for solutions that bring progress, without dismissing the real fears our long time residents may have about change.
He has a track record of courage and delivering results. He has the political will necessary to move Baltimore forward.
In early 2018, then Councilman Scott introduced and passed monumental legislation on equity in Baltimore. His equity assessment program law requires all city agencies operate through a lens of equity and mandates agency budgets to be weighed through an equity lens.
He has earned the respect of elected officials across the country, having assumed leadership roles in national organizations like Young Elected Officials and the National League of Cities. This willingness to learn from and collaborate with leaders across the country on progressive issues like transportation and land use means he is not only being exposed to the best ideas but helping to shape them. He has earned the respect of his colleagues on council and demonstrated thoughtful and decisive leadership through what feels like endless turmoil in city government.
He has a plan to get results. Scott has pledged to reform the Department of Transportation to be an agency committed to progressive ideas and efficiency by creating TransitStat. This data driven approach will be used to improve reliability of our transit systems, upgrade our Complete Streets infrastructure, and increase responsiveness to citizen requests for repairs. This will build on progress made by Director Sharkey, who came up through the CitiStat system as a young government employee and shares Brandon’s evidence-based values.
Moving transportation forward in Baltimore City will require courage and a conviction that Baltimore can succeed. Brandon Scott has demonstrated that courage and conviction through his history of public service and commitment to progressive ideals. This is why Bikemore is proud to endorse Council President Brandon Scott as our next mayor of Baltimore City.
Bikemore is also endorsing the following candidates:
Bill Henry, Comptroller
Zeke Cohen, 1st District
Ryan Dorsey, 3rd District
James Torrence, 7th District
Kristerfer Burnett, 8th District
John Bullock, 9th District
Eric Costello, 11th District
Phillip Westry, 12th District
Bikemore chose endorsements carefully, after candidate interviews, evaluation of candidate questionnaire responses, candidate forums, and an analysis of viability. In races where we didn’t endorse, we chose this path because we either lacked enough information to be confident in an endorsement or we feel the candidates with a viable shot of winning will all advance our transportation agenda. In these cases, we advise our constituency to seek guidance from other organizations to make their choices based on other issues important to them.
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This work is made possible through Bikemore in Action, our 501(c)(4) funded by hundreds of small donations from Baltimoreans.
Tagged: I Bike I Vote: 2020, I Bike I Vote