Homicides more important than home assessments

December 31, 2009

It was disheartening that the top story in Tuesday's Baltimore Sun was not the rising homicide rate but lowering assessments. The lack of focus on the fundamental issue of violence hinders progress in the city by pretending it isn't there. Presenting the murders as isolated incidents rather than part of a larger, systemic problem does not help us understand, analyze or stop the violence.

The murder rate, about half the rate of New York City - which has 8.5 million, or 13 times the number of people in Baltimore and which announced today the fewest homicides on record - should be a central issue for all of Baltimore and front-page news. We all need to confront the realities of the poverty that ravages our city and is the root cause of this high murder rate.

Further, the article does not address what is being done by the city to end this violence, if anything. Things can change, as evidenced by New York City's lowered murder rate; we need to follow their lead and move toward a better future for our city.Danielle Shapiro, Baltimore

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