Democratic candidate Erik Powery answers our questions on resources for young people, transit and more

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The third in a series of questionnaires answered by candidates for the Democratic nomination for mayor.

Property manager Erik Powery says he is running for mayor to improve Baltimore’s schools and increase opportunities for the city’s young people.

1. What will your administration do to help residents, businesses and nonprofits after the COVID-19 pandemic has passed?

We have to help residents by ensuring that they can feed their family. So we have to educate residents on all emergency services available. I will go to Washington to lobby for more assistance for our most vulnerable residents.

2. Baltimore mayors have grappled with the city’s violent crime for years, and since 2015, the annual homicide rate has surpassed 300 people killed. Why is your plan the best to solve violent crime in the city

Pastor White lives across the street from me. He has done great work in the community. We need all hands on deck: religious leaders, activists and youth leaders. I will have a Youth Administration under me: Youth Mayor, Youth Chief of Staff, Youth Director of Public Safety and Youth Peacekeeper. I will pay them $20 per hour to learn how city government works. They will be aspirational figures. Their friends will be inspired to more. My youth just have to make a pledge that they want to raise families in Baltimore.

3. The current mayor and police commissioner say the Baltimore Police Department’s plan to curb violent crime is working. And yet homicides in 2020 are around the same level as 2019. Do you feel the plan is working?

No. I do not see a plan.

4. How would you improve and expand access throughout Baltimore to public transit, bicycling, walking and other transportation options not based around single-occupancy vehicles?

Personally, I take BaltimoreLink, and all the rails including MARC and Amtrak. The transportation system is fair. We have to boost morale with bus drivers so they take their duty more seriously. I will quarterly test the bus schedules to see if the times are accurate. We should have a circulation that takes you from West Baltimore, to Balt-Penn, to the light rail, back to West Baltimore. New concrete sidewalks.

5. The area has been transfixed with the “squeegee kid” debate about window-washers on Baltimore streets. What would your administration do to connect people who are eager to work with well-paying jobs?

Squeegee kids will squeegee windows at our full service gas stations. We have to provide free vocational college to give our children the “skills that pay the bills.” Auto mechanics, carpenters, construction workers, HVAC, electricians, deconstructions, bricklayers, concrete pourers, painters, cosmetology, and associated skills.

6. While many major cities have seen population growth in recent years, the number of people living in Baltimore continues to decline. What are your main strategies for building healthy neighborhoods throughout Baltimore, and making sure that investment is not concentrated in just a few areas so that current residents can participate in any resurgence?

We, with laser focus, will get Northeast Baltimore up to speed. They need a decent supermarket and a bank. People will start moving in from all over the world if they even see the slightest commitment from us. These neighborhoods have been divested from, so this is why population declines. Residents say, “If you don’t care about me and mine, then I don’t care.” We also need a Circulator in Northeast Baltimore. The most affluent residents got clean Circulators running constantly. I will have a beautiful #RebrandBaltimore campaign with beautiful ads from the best and brightest advertising agencies in Baltimore. We will reach at least 99 percent by 2030.

7. The recent acquisition of Legg Mason by Franklin Resources, Inc., and merger of WillScot Corp., and Mobile Mini Inc., signal the end of two corporate headquarters in the city. While that may not mean much to a lot of citizens, the city’s big companies, as The Baltimore Sun Editorial Board recently noted, “populated the boards of many city arts, education and charitable enterprises” and had “been leaders in the business community.” Should the city be concerned by these transactions? What will your administration do to attract the next Legg Mason and keep it?

Train a better workforce. Attract more talented residents.

8. The Maryland General Assembly passed a bill to build new facilities at Pimlico Race Course and Laurel Park, and the bill is now awaiting Gov. Larry Hogan’s signature. Aside from keeping the Preakness Stakes in Baltimore, what, if anything, should the city push for when the new Pimlico is being developed?

To use the development for more events. The Preakness alone is not enough to justify the loss of revenue annually. How many new residents has the Preakness helped bring here? Very little. This area is not even a good representation of Baltimore.

9. We just passed the five-year anniversary of the Baltimore Uprising. What lessons did you learn from that?

Well I was there. I live in Coppin Heights. We should learn that if Freddie Gray had a career like most white 25-year-olds, he would not have been living in the projects and you can connect the dots. The BPD would have had a better relationship with the residents if they saw humanity in them. We must expand free vocational college.

There is an urban renaissance. But these white contractors from up north are going to #RebuildBaltimore, while indigenous residents end up in Carroll or Frederick counties or somewhere. Poor with less resources and assistance. I am Erik Powery, and I approve this message.

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