Branding Inner Harbor a 'poverty zone' is insulting

May 16, 2011

As a long-time resident of Baltimore's Inner Harbor, I take exception to the moniker "Inner Harbor poverty zone" (May 13). Furthermore, I'm active in the community, and this is the first time have heard our area referenced in such a manner. I was aware of the vile treatment ESPN workers received from that Disney-owned chain, but the issue had nothing to do with the Inner Harbor.

If the employees of businesses at the Inner Harbor have labor grievances, there are ample venues to address them on the city, state and federal level. Branding a community that has made such an enormous contribution to Baltimore a "poverty zone" is insulting. Also, there was no mention as to the legal status of workers who are experiencing difficulties with their bosses. It's no secret undocumented immigrants fall prey to unscrupulous and unfair labor practices, and The United Workers must take this into account.

Throughout Peter Sabonis' commentary, the word "allegedly" was prevalent, so the labor claims have not been put to the test. My suggestion to The United Workers leaders is that they take the disputes to the appropriate agencies that handled such matters. It is unfair to brand our Inner Harbor community a "poverty zone." In fact, I think Mr. Sabonis owes all of us an apology!

Rosalind Ellis Heid, Baltimore

The writer publishes The Inner Harbor Network, a community newsletter.

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