Mayor Scott to Internet: “Ask Me Anything!”

Baltimore’s 52nd mayor, Brandon M. Scott, braved the internet site Reddit for his own “Ask Me Anything” conversation.

Reddit calls itself “the front page of the internet” and the message board hosts conversations suited to just about any audience. One popular offering has been for public figures to volunteer to go onto the site, announcing in advance their plans to do so with the wide-open invitation for board members to “Ask Me Anything.”

Mayor Scott took to Reddit on December 22, with his own AMA. Here are a couple of segments (among the 379 offered) we found interesting (formatted for clarity):

Q: Will you commit to revamping the Harbor, and using it as a showcase for local food? We don’t want chains, and Bmore needs to actually invest in its talent. Indoor food creates jobs and a year-round source of revenue, so tourism to the harbor is no longer seasonal. The Harbor’s the crown jewel of Baltimore, but it’s been horribly managed for years. Restoring it to its past glory and making it more appealing would bring in a lot of money and revamp the city’s image.

BMS: Absolutely and I talk about this often. The most important thing in reference to Harbor Place is that we first get it into the hands of a Baltimore-based entity who cares about our city and not just their bottom line. Moreover, we must totally rethink Harbor Place not as a place where tourists and residents come to visit chain establishments, but the best of Baltimore. Imagine being able to buy a KoKo’s Crabcake at the Harbor, vegan mac & cheese from Land of Kush, or a snowball from Ice Queens. Harbor place can and should be about showcasing the best of Baltimore.

Q: What will the city do about fighting against air pollution, specifically the BRESCO tower? Is it possible to achieve a zero waste plan in the city?

BMS: Under my administration, we are going to begin the work of moving Baltimore towards ZERO waste. This was never going to be a quick process and I am committed to making the tough structural changes at DPW and all of our necessary agencies for us to begin the move towards a zero-waste future. Our new City Administrator has experience leading efforts in Austin around zero waste and as we hire a new DPW Director, we will be searching for someone who understands and is committed to zero waste. I see this not only as an opportunity to leave Baltimore in a better, more sustainable place for future generations, but also as an opportunity to create jobs for our residents especially those who have had to bear the brunt of Baltimore’s systemic inequity.

Read the full Brandon M. Scott AMA thread on Reddit – but please be advised, it’s out there on the free-for-all internet, and there is adult language in wide use (though the Mayor handled all topics with grace).

Or, visit the Charm City subreddit for ongoing conversations about Maryland’s hub and port city.

Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties