On Friday, August 14, 2015, Phil Tilghman of PAC-14 news interviewed Kurt Schmoke, President of the University of Baltimore and the City of Baltimore’s first elected African American mayor. Schmoke spoke to a full house of county elected officials and state and local government representatives.
Partnering for Baltimore
In speaking about the City of Baltimore, Schmoke said that public-private partnerships could be a great help in addressing issues, and highlighted the City’s efforts to place youth in jobs this past summer as an example of success found when the public and private sector are working together.
“A Public Health War on Drugs”
Schmoke noted the importance of confronting opioid addiction as a public health issue, recalling a policy-shift that he championed while serving as the City’s Mayor. Schmoke said there should be a war on drugs, but it should be a public health war.
“Your Zip Code Shouldn’t Be Your Destiny”
On K-12 education, the former Mayor said that parents should have the right of school choice. If a school is not performing, a parent should not be forced to send her child there, he said. In response to a question about the State’s education funding following the Thornton Commission, he said, “Your zip code shouldn’t be your destiny.”
“The University for Baltimore”
As President of the University of Baltimore, part of Schmoke’s mission for the institution is that it serves the City. Not only the University of Baltimore, but the University for Baltimore, to improve the lives of City residents and enhance the City’s economic development.
Schmoke became state’s attorney for the City of Baltimore in 1982 and was elected mayor in 1987. During his tenure as Baltimore’s mayor, Schmoke initiated a number of innovative programs in housing, education, public health and economic development.
This special feature of MACo’s Conference will be aired on PAC-14 news. Check back on Conduit Street for a link to the video.