Pugh says mayor is her 'dream job'

Posted at 8:11 PM, Apr 29, 2016

Fresh off her nomination for mayor, senator Catherine Pugh sat down with Kelly Swoope to discuss her vision for the city and the challenges that lie ahead. 

"Having worked for William Donald Schaffer, I know what a mayor can do, how a mayor can change the trajectory of its city, how the mayor is the cheerleader for the city. The one who brings everybody together.  This is my dream job," said Pugh. 

It's her time served in the community and her experience, experts say, that led Pugh to capture the nomination Tuesday night.  But she's well aware of the challenges she and the city face. Pugh says Baltimore needs rebranding.

"Every time you look up we're on the stage for negative things, the shooting what occurred the other day from the hedgehog guy.  We're on the national news but nobody is talking about the Baltimore Marathon, the lighting festival that brought thousands and thousands of people from across the country to Baltimore," she said.

Education, continuing the crime fight and getting people back to work are at the top her agenda.

"Change is taking place in Baltimore," she said. "You can't see it immediately.  We will build 29, 23-29 new schools in this city, community focused schools."

"I believe that our police commissioner is on the right track in terms of how we sensitize the community to the police department and more importantly police to the community, but we also need police officers living in our community," Pugh said.

Pugh says there are 77,000 unemployed people in Baltimore, and that needs to change.

She supports efforts like the Port Covington project in south Baltimore promising jobs and new development.
Pugh says she understands tax incremental funding or TIFS very well. The public financing method is used to subsidize development and infrastructure, but she wants it to be fair.

"Even when we're giving TIFS to areas like Port Covington, recognize that, that is adjacent to areas like Cherry Hill which is in the top ten areas of unemployed in our city so we want to make sure there is an agreement," she said. "I would hope that there's agreement in police under this administration as to who's going to be working in Port Covington."

"It's about how we can be more inclusive as a city and how we balance wealth and opportunities," Pugh said. 

Baltimore is often described as a city of the have and have nots. Pugh has a different vision for charm city.

"Many of those people who live in those communities, the folks who invested in their neighborhoods own their own homes and they're not going anywhere.  What they want is the same kind of investment that we do in our downtown neighborhoods and communities and that's the kind of Mayor I'm going to be."

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