Our civic dialogue with Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott continues as he convenes with Nestor once again in Ocean City at the Maryland Counties Conference to discuss Baltimore’s triumphs and challenges.
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Brandon Scott, Nestor Aparicio
Nestor Aparicio 00:00
What about W en st Towson? Baltimore, Baltimore positive or positive down here at the beach. We’re in Ocean City, Maryland. So brought to you by our friends at the Maryland lottery 50th anniversary year 25th anniversary wn St. Our friends and winter nation 866 90 nation do what I did a year ago. Get yourself some windows and our friends at Rascon global who have given me the crab mallet with the beer bottle opener on the side. It has not been christened to cost this I promise it will get there. This guy’s Coco’s man and I’ve already promised out. Senator Van Hollen is coming by he said he’s gonna do Coco’s at some point. Again, our newest sponsor, coconut shrimp over there with that, that blueberry raspberry.
Brandon Scott 00:41
Let me explain some All right, go ahead and talk to me. When I go to Coco’s I don’t look at the menu. I sit down they bring me a double crab cake platter because that’s the only thing I ever had a CoCo. So that’s
Nestor Aparicio 00:51
your first mistake. As the mayor, you need to expand your horizons on that menu, because there’s other things on their menu. There’s other
Brandon Scott 00:57
things on the menu. But you go to a steak house to steak. If you go to Coco’s the crab King. I go to Oriole Park to see baseball
Nestor Aparicio 01:08
dogs and do other things. You know, I’m saying
Brandon Scott 01:11
I go to see orange today. I see. I see no.
Nestor Aparicio 01:15
Oh, well, look, I’ll give you the tough question. But you got to think you will say about the lease. I know you’re staying for me, give me all that but like desta
Brandon Scott 01:21
desk, I’m not worried about it. Listen, we have a fantastic governor and his team. We have a great MHC leader and Craig Thompson. They’re gonna get the deal done working with Angelo’s is in the family. We know that John wants to be here. It’s not a worry. For me. As I’ve said a billion times at this point. I got 99 problems and Oreos ain’t one of them. They’re gonna be here. I know that the governor is fabulous team are going to get the deal done.
Nestor Aparicio 01:48
Have you already taken the October knights? Like Second? Third, Fourth Fifth? Are you realizing like there might be a buy? I mean, we don’t play baseball for a cup. I looked at the skits my birthday that the ravens are going over. I’m thinking like, once we’re in the ravens are gonna be good and September we’re gonna win a couple games again, easiest. October is going to be a month and I’ve been it’s gonna be crazy. 32 years I’ve been a sports guy before we even had the raven
Brandon Scott 02:13
and stallions back then
Nestor Aparicio 02:16
that I was in Vancouver for that. But this is going to be a time and I think the next couple years the ramping up in the Orioles. And we’re Lamar is. It’s a real time of prosperity. Yes. And they don’t have that right now in New York with the Yankees. Oh.
Brandon Scott 02:30
And they sure don’t have it with the Knicks. So
Nestor Aparicio 02:35
listen, I haven’t had you on in a while. I had no debt on for a while. I mean, Wes, everybody, the state in the city and coming over here to Ocean City what you hear about our city, and I don’t want to go in for this or that. And then the orange Celtics, my wife and I are going down to Earth Wind and Fire in the city. Was it best to Baltimore last night or Barry Manilow last night? I got Artscape you got now Rogers? Is she coming in and you know,
Brandon Scott 02:59
got to see me live next weekend.
Nestor Aparicio 03:01
But but the city itself crime down? I mean, there are some measurable things that happened and then Sherry Oh, here we go again. But do you have a lot that you can say we’re making progress in it? Yeah. Listen,
Brandon Scott 03:12
there are many cities out here that are running 20 plus percent reductions in homicides, right. We look to our sister city in the south in DC where you see their violent crime is up 34% versus ours being down. And we’re in something that we should recognize that we still have a long way to go. But we have to recognize that progress because that is significant progress, significant progress in reducing carjackings down 35%. And people are coming to downtown. You’ve been at CFG bank to see all the time people are always there like Oh, I think that we just have to get folks out of this myth that no one’s going to come. I went to the preseason game. It was 50,000 people there the Orioles when you saw those back to back weekend series we had with the spankings and the the metropolitans or whatever they call from New York, and you saw the amount of people there how the city looked on Sunday Night Baseball, how the city is vibrant. The CFG is reinvigorated that part of downtown. It’s become one of the major concert venues on the East Coast. I was there celebrating on August 11. The birth of hip hop hip hop’s birthday, we’ll LL Cool J and Queen Latifah and rock Kim the god MC himself with a crowd full of people. It’s a great time. It’s a great Yeah, he did a great, great performance is a great time to really get on the bandwagon of the city. Because folks are there and I’m hearing it from the folks here. People who are from Hagerstown and Cumberland in Southern Maryland, where I went to college and St. Mary’s who say they love coming to Baltimore, they love coming to the game. They love coming to eat, and they’ve been seeing the changes that have happened over the last couple of years. And we just have to make those folks who are naysayers do one of two things. Either come to see the changes or shut up and allow the folks who are coming to enjoy themselves to enjoy themselves. out and let them be miserable by themselves.
Nestor Aparicio 05:02
Well, for the city and for you to brag on 25% reduction. So people say, Well, you it couldn’t go up it has to go down, though it actually could go go up. What do you attribute it to? When you because I mean Come I say streets, all the things that you’ve been back when you were in a council and all that, why here and now how has it changed recently
Brandon Scott 05:23
was about is about having that coordinated approach, right? Something that we didn’t have before. We were for decades, all of my life, putting all the responsibility to reducing homicides, on the backs of women and men and BPD. And then never was their sole responsibility investor. Now we have a complete, comprehensive approach to public safety. So it is the work that we’re doing through our group violence reduction strategy, which is monsy BPD, the state attorney, our federal partners, everyone working together and folk and doing it in this way. You’re not going out and saying that everybody that looks like me and east and west baltimore should be put in handcuffs just because they breathe in like they did when I was growing up, right? I had haven’t been sat down on the curve many times just because I was walking to the store.
Nestor Aparicio 06:08
And I think for people to listen, you should have some palpable anger about that. Well, I am a little angry about that you were angry enough to make a change, you ran for a
Brandon Scott 06:17
honor roll student in high school being pulled out of my car, when I’m a student coming home from St. Mary’s College, right? When literally, there are people shooting and killing each other around the corner, and then talking to those people, they’re talking to me, the college student. Now we focus in a different way. We identified through a group violence reduction strategy, starting in the Western District, Now historically, most violent, who are the most at risk to be the victim or perpetrator of violence going to them and saying, We know what you do. We want you to stay alive, this is your last chance to change. They actually get a letter from me personally, this is this is what we want you to do. If you do not do that. The consequences of what happens when we bring the law enforcement side is solely on you. And some folks have taken us and taking the resources and change their life. Some folks haven’t. They called our bluff, and then we had to show him that we’re not playing. That’s when you see these press conferences, me and the state’s attorney and Attorney General, and our federal partners saying like, hey, they kept operating after we told them to change your life. We’re not playing with these folks, and then also a focus on guns. We’ve taken over 1700 illegal guns off the street this year, the work of safe streets, and Montse to intercede in bonds before it happens in ways that no one else can, right the investments that were historical investments that we’re making in the not just education, but Recreation and Parks and the things that we did this summer, actually, I’m going to be talking about in a short few minutes, those investments into recreation and parks here at Mako because they’ve seen it and folks around the state now wants to see how we’re making those investments. It’s about all of it together, the jobs and opportunities that are now coming. We had 7800 Young people in Newport this summer, the programming that we did through the be more this summer campaign. Well, we get them ready for jobs. And they work in real jobs. Now. It’s not like when we were coming up, and it was just, you know, they cut grass or they made sandwiches. I had the opportunity before Friday night game at Kenan Joe’s to walk around the stadium and talk to every single YouthWorks employee that works at Camden Yards learning game day operations, learning how to do all of this to something that you know, you can turn into an actual career. And they’re learning those things. They work at BG E they work at Hopkins, they work in my office, right? That’s how we keep our young people engaged. Then we went to them a group of them 300 and say, What kind of fun activities do you want to see this summer? And they gave them to us. And that’s why we had this team, Pool Party series where we had hundreds of we had be more lit, we had 3000 young people come through events that they designed simply for them this summer. And then you saw all the negativity around young people really died down this summer because we were engaging him in
Nestor Aparicio 08:55
that way. I’ll get to pools in a minute because there was a hubbub on that on that side or not. But yeah, for guns and for getting guns off the street. And no debt Ramos honorable from the 14th sat here a little while ago and said, these are people settling peace with guns. And you’ve talked about that on my program, going back five, six years ago now long before you even run for mayor. If there’s no gun, they can’t solve the beef with the gun. Exactly. Right. Exactly. Fundamental Right. pretty fundamental.
Brandon Scott 09:21
They’d have to resolve it in different way. And I think that we and it’s something as as a co chair for me as Against Illegal Guns. We’re going to continue to bolster this up. Yes, we have to make sure there’s accountability for anyone who uses a gun in the crime. You saw when we made an arrest in the Brooklyn mass shooting, right? That young man has to be held accountable, but also necessary when we know the majority of the weapons that we recover come from other states, right? You and I know some kid from West Baltimore didn’t go to Alabama to buy that gun, right? That we have to hold the traffickers and in some cases, the manufacturers responsible like the ghost gun company who myself Have another mayor’s is suing because they’re purposely going around rifle gun laws that allow people to rightfully own hand guns in our country and selling them to teenagers to people who are prohibited and allowing them to build guns at home, something you shouldn’t be able to do, you should have to go through the rigorous process of owning a gun because you can end somebody’s life with that they’re a manufacturer, we’re gonna be we’ve been going after traffickers, we’re gonna go at the manufacturing, we’re gonna go after gun dealers, who will anybody who’s participating in the flow of illegal guns into our city, we’re going to be focused on them, not just the person pulling the trigger, we’re gonna start with them and go up the chain because everybody has to be held accountable. When someone loses their life and people are dying. This isn’t the 90s This isn’t the 80s people aren’t dying in the hundreds over things like oh, drug money and stuff like that. We have people in the last few weeks right? Shooting people because Oh, my wife left me for someone else. Or we got into Internet beef. You said something about you sent my my girlfriend a message on Instagram, that basic level conflict, not just in Baltimore, but across the country and across the state, as you saw and some other on the horrific events, right. We saw that and out in the county with the with the event out at the Sky Zone is basic level stuff. People are not well mentally is exacerbated and resolute conflict resolution like, hey, if she leaves you for someone else, she’s not sure if you don’t own her anyway, right? You shouldn’t be trying to take violence out on her or her new partner. Those are the kinds of things that people are dying over. And that as you know, is a lot more complicated to deal with than the normal stuff that folks are talking about
Nestor Aparicio 11:45
are the things that people say why can’t go to the city because of what I watched on Fox News.
Brandon Scott 11:50
Or they should not watch that.
Nestor Aparicio 11:53
Mirror Brandon Scott joining us you snickered about the pools thing or not. blend that into kids going back to school man and people can can rag on YOU LOVE YOU HATE you put your commitment to young people. Yeah, that’s that’s the foundation of like, I know you I know that you are I know you’ve had a gun held on you. I know all of that. But I think people out there they wonder how this in September we get kids back to school get them in the classroom because that’s really where it starts. Right? Yeah, and
Brandon Scott 12:23
I think the pools thing I’ll take a look. We I said Nestor and you can pull the tape your sports guy, alright. In my State of the City speech, early spring that we were going through this transformation process with our pools. We have the new drill apart pool, which I know you’ve seen, which is a fabulous, fabulous facility. We have pools must like our rec centers that haven’t been touched since they were built. I said way back then, that Patterson Park pool was going to be closed for renovation because you can’t renovate pools in the wintertime. In fact, pretty much after September in Baltimore, you can’t renovate pools. So the local councilman, talk to some of my staff and they wanted to see if they could try to get the pool open this summer for a small period of time. I actually said no, we should pull the band aid off on this over 50 year old pool, close it down the same and brag about it next man right and close it down the same exact way that we had to do Dru Hill, right and brag about it and say like, Hey, we’re gonna have to go to Dru hill because we had real Park closed for not one year for two years because of the pandemic. And now everyone loves it. Because we’re making this investment. We just started the renovations of Ambrose Kennedy. Then we have Patterson Park coast to wander all of these poo Ambrose Kennedy’s poor Nester until we pulled out a few weeks ago, right? They had a metal fence in the middle pool to divide deep and shallow. Why was that ever acceptable? And that’s the kind of and what pissed me off about these comments about pools. Because yes, I’m closing the pool to renovate it. Right? Because these pools have been left in to Tiri for decades, and we can’t allow our family to have these substantive facilities any longer. But it’s going to come with a little the same way with schools, right? We renovate the schools. We had to close them now
Nestor Aparicio 14:11
I’m about to retest. I’ve seen him a couple of times. I gave him a hard time. Dundalk high got done and that was Kevin cameras and then and then my elementary school Colgate was 100 years old. Yeah. And you know, kids are in trailers. And now you come now it’s beautiful is right. It takes time to build.
Brandon Scott 14:27
Right we did 28 new schools over the last few years in Baltimore City more than any urban school district in the country. And now with the new middle brands rec center, K Hill rec center reopened and so on the reopening Bocek, right and now with Parkview rec center gotten through rec center, the one and Curtis Bay in Brooklyn that are going to be going to be brand new as well. It’s really ushering in a new level of investment and showing people in these communities that they matter again, because they’ve been ignored for so
Nestor Aparicio 14:56
long. Well, look, man, you’re not going to be the mayor once the red line gets here right now. Though I will be retired for sure. Do something else. So you know, but Governor more came by you were a part of city council when Larry Hogan was a part of killing the red line being anti Baltimore, right there, by the way, yeah. But when I see when I come down here to Mako and I see people talking about Baltimore, good batter that there is this rejuvenation is important. You know, I mean, and we needed to be the economic engine, we needed to be successful and thriving, and all that this energy that goes on with the Democratic, a group of people in Annapolis who want to help you federal money, and I’ve talked to Ben Cardin, I’m gonna put a spin on it, about helping Baltimore, you’re not going to be here to tip your cap, roll that, but with a red line, and with the road to nowhere, and these massive sort of federal projects are going to benefit Baltimore, speak to our audience about that, and how that you’re gonna be facilitating that in the call now. It’s about yours, right?
Brandon Scott 15:58
I always tell folks, when folks say to me, Minister, what do you want your legacy to be? Right? And they say, I always tell them. Remember, when I took office, city government was in shambles in the middle middle of a worldwide pandemic of the legs we’ve never seen. Everyone doesn’t get to be the person that comes to reveal a nice new, fancy thing. Oh, man,
Nestor Aparicio 16:19
you keep black hat every time you close the business people. Yeah, Johnny had that in the count
Brandon Scott 16:23
and counting, literally. But now, just as important as the person who lays that last fancy thing at the top are the people who built the foundation, because if the foundation is weak, everything else shall crumble, that I revel in this, this role of being the person that gets to put that infrastructure down, to start to build the schools and rec centers to start the highway to know where to work with the governor to restart the redline. Because when it’s done, folks will history will look back and say, These are the folks that were in on the ground level. This is how they got done. And this is why we, as they say, stand on their shoulders. I know I stand on the shoulders of folks like Elijah Cummings and Kirk smoke who came before me, right? Someone was standing on my shoulders, and it’s my job to make sure that they have the strongest foundation possible so that they can take the city to his highest highs.
Nestor Aparicio 17:15
Scott is our guest here. We’re down here at Mako Talk brought to you by our friends at the Maryland lottery celebrating 50 years. We’re celebrating 25 years here as well. You know, I you talk about this foundation and these decisions being made the amount of money and and the red line and where that will go get your in on these meetings. What? What should folks know about that money that’s coming in here?
Brandon Scott 17:38
Well, one, they should know that that listen, is in the initial phases, we know that we have kind of a blueprint from before. But what we want to make sure is that we’re connecting from Social Security out to Bayview making sure that West Baltimore and Western Baltimore County right they’re all get the things that they need to be able to make it to these jobs that Tradepoint and other places so that we can really become a city and a region of 20 or 21st century transportation. That’s what this is all about. And I look forward to working with our partners to make it happen and I know I gotta run because I got some other ones to do. But thank you very much sir. As all wheels are
Nestor Aparicio 18:14
ravens win championship first. Well,
Brandon Scott 18:17
Oreos only because the season ends, folks, but they both gonna
Nestor Aparicio 18:20
win. I’ve had from from every March for you today. Let’s go football. Always. Bye. Thank
Brandon Scott 18:27
you Coco’s next time.
Nestor Aparicio 18:29
Everybody wants to go to I don’t know, man. goes next time. Maybe you went. Senator Van Hollen.
Brandon Scott 18:34
We’ll switch it up. I’ll take you to the place that one best piece of Frank’s pizza next time.
Nestor Aparicio 18:39
That’s not a crab cake towards a pizza.
Brandon Scott 18:41
I know it’s a piece of dough. You still have to try something different. All right. All right.
Nestor Aparicio 18:46
Mayor Brandon Scott Jr. dropped the mic. I liked the sound of that. There it is. He just dropped the mic. We’re down here at Mako our friends and wind donation to set us down here as well. 866 90 days we need to talk about my bed my dance moves. I forgot. I was gonna talk about the Janet Jackson 866 90 nation you buy tunes you get to free our friends at Raskin global, the American dream and a pretty good crab mallet as well. We’re back for more down here in Ocean City. We got great guests. We’re going to be joined by Congressman Chris Van Hollen. Excuse me, Senator Chris Van Hollen going to join us as well as others. I’m making a mess of it. We’re in Ocean City back for more right after this.