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Baltimore Councilman calls for compassion for squeegee workers

squeegee boys
Posted at 3:32 AM, Jul 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-12 03:32:00-04

BALTIMORE — A Baltimore City Councilman says the narrative on squeegee workers in the City needs to change.

Kristerfer Burnett represents District 8 in West Baltimore. During Monday night's City Council meeting, Burnett gave a lengthy statement about his accounts with squeegee workers. He believes most of people's experiences with the young people are positive.

"I'm not trying to minimize anyone's negative encounters or the tragedy that happened last week," Burnett said. "The circumstances that led to that are all deeply sad. But, I also want to highlight that a lot of the incidents that occur are isolated."

Burnett says he's personally never had any bad interactions with squeegee workers. Burnett says he hears calls for more law enforcement to crack down on the young people, but he says this is a "tired response" and makes young people less employable.

"If these corners were filled with white kids who squeegee, the narrative would be different," Burnett said. "I want to remind people of the circumstances that bring a lot of these young people to these corners. Most of which, if not always, are out of necessity to survive challenging circumstances in their families."

Burnett touted the Squeegee Alternative Plan from the Mayor's Office. Burnett says most of the young people he's encountered graduate high school, get other jobs and move on.