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Mayoral candidates take on Youth Town Hall in Baltimore City

Posted at 10:28 PM, Jan 30, 2020

BALTIMORE — The run for Baltimore City mayor has a wide field of candidates-- and today every one of them was called by the future to talk about their vision.

The Center for Adolescent Health’s Youth Advisory Board held a youth town hall at Bloomberg School of Public Health.

“Everybody was once a kid,” said 15-year-old organizer Lanae Williams. “Kids don’t really have a say in things.Today is giving us a say of what we want. It is something special.”

Most of the candidates running for mayor came out to answer the young people’s questions, but more importantly to hear their concerns.

“I want them to hear the pain I got actually,” said 17-year-old Richard McGraw. “Honestly, I want them to do Baltimore better because we got a lot of talent in Baltimore. It’s untapped because all these murders.”

16-year-old Dion Brendon said the lack of rec centers causes kids to fall through the cracks.

“The only place teenagers can really go is outside on the block,” said Brendon. “They are doing something they don’t got no business doing because they got nowhere beneficial that they can go to.”

Williams said that the justice system plays a role in everything.

“Kids out here in the streets, kids are taking drugs, what does that have to do with? Education, kids are getting suspended instead of being given opportunities. Kids are really out here just looking for something trying to survivors in a city they can’t survive in.”

Some in the crowd will vote in their first election-- for others this may be the only way they can get their voice heard.

“I just really hope that they listen to understand,” said Williams. “They don’t listen to go in one ear and out the other.”

There will be a Community Law in Action mayoral forum with a focus on the impact of laws on youth and civic engagement on Thursday, February 13 at 7 at the Green Street Academy.

The third forum is called “Farajii Muhammad, For the Culture on WEAA” on March 10 starting at 5pm at the Friends School focusing solely on education.