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1 on 1 with Mayor Brandon Scott: Primary election, Key Bridge, and more

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Posted at 8:12 PM, Jun 06, 2024

BALTIMORE — WMAR-2 News sat down with Mayor Brandon Scott this week for a 1 on 1 interview, discussing a wide range of topics including the Key Bridge collapse, the primary election, the Harborplace redevelopment, and more.

We began with May 14. The roars of a Baltimore Peninsula crowd welcomed Mayor Brandon Scott to the podium; on primary Election Day, Democratic voters backed him again.

WMAR: "Polling had you and your primary opponent Sheila Dixon very close, within a couple percentage points, but the final result ended up being closer to 53 to 38 percent in your favor. What do you attribute to that?"

MBS: "Well, listen. I've said throughout this and I say all the time: only one poll matters when it comes to election politics, and that's election day. And that's what the message had always been for me: we're going to continue to tell the work that we've done and show that work. And hope that the residents would send us back into office to do that."

Much of that work, as the Mayor highlighted with WMAR, is a notable reduction in gun violence, including homicides and nonfatal shootings.

Scott's strategy has involved engaging directly with those most likely to be a victim or perpetrator.

What else is in store in a presumptive 2nd Scott administration?

MBS: "You're going to continue to see us investing in building up our neighborhoods in a different way. The same way we've done with Edmondson Village, with the Edmondson Village Shopping Center, and the uplands project we're doing in Park Heights with the Master Plan, you're going to see that continue to happen places like Coldstream Homestead Montebello, we just opened the first phase of a brand new Perkins Homes. People in Baltimore are going to continue see investment, not just downtown, but everywhere around town as we work to build a better Baltimore."

Alongside Scott on the ballot this November: the redevelopment of long-stagnant Harborplace. Voters will essentially approve or reject the proposal from west Baltimore developer David Bramble.

Scott hopes voters give it the green light. WMAR asked about the concerns of those opposed to the development:

MBS: "I wouldn't say a good chunk of people are opposed. I would say that a loud group of people are opposed. And the irony is, a lot of the members of that group were the loud people that were opposed to me. So if recent history has anything to say with it, we know that the voters will probably support it, too."

MBS: "I want the residents to hear me very clear on this: some of the things that are being talked about as part of the Harborplace development have to, and are going to happen anyway. The Promenade has to be done, because the promenade is in danger because climate change is real. We have to do that regardless. We are going to make sure that our downtown is more walkable, more livable and not just a four-lane highway people are driving through downtown. We want people to be in our downtown, be safe, because it's also our fastest-growing residential neighborhood."

The early morning hours of March 26 gave way to a sudden tragedy. The mayor got the call - a cargo ship struck and destroyed the Francis Scott Key Bridge.

Six construction workers, some residents of Baltimore City, died in the collapse.

WMAR: "What will Baltimore City's role be moving forward in the ongoing effort to recover, and hopefully get a new bridge up?"

MBS: "First and foremost, as you know, my Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs is leading the effort to raise money for the families. It is now over $850,000, they're in constant contact with them alongside the Esperanza Center and our partners at the state and other local governments in Anne Arundel and Baltimore. That will continue, because they are the most important people. Those families are the most important people, when it comes to the Key Bridge. They need support now, but it's not just about support now and in the immediate aftermath. It's going to be the support they're going to need over the longterm and we're going to stay connected with those families."

WMAR: We have Fleet Week coming up next week. We've got the debris out of the water, hopefully the ships can move in now. How big do you think that'll be to get that back to our city?"

MBS: "It's a big signal. Showing everybody that we, again, Baltimore has went through a tremendous tragedy. But again, Baltimore has risen, and it's going to be standing stronger when we have Fleet Week here to have those folks and those vessels come through."

WMAR: Father's day's coming up. It's your first father's day with Charm. How does that feel?

MBS: It feels good. I'm glad you said it's not my first Father's Day, because Ceron would call your station and complain to your manager if you said it was my first Father's Day."

MBS: It provides a different perspective for me. Now I have two male human beings I have to shepherd into the best version of themselves. And they bring the light to my day every day when I get to be with them both, and watch them interact with each other. Nothing can beat fatherhood. It's the best job I've ever had."

Mayor Scott still needs to win the general election in November to officially be elected to a second term.