Cities are like gardens; we cannot command their growth ("The mayor's mission," Dec. 11). Families, like plants, need good soil in which to put down roots and flourish. The "good soil" of Baltimore has always been its churches and synagogues. These provided the moral and spiritual center around which families lived, neighborhoods grew and developed.
Everything else — school improvement, crime reduction, entrepreneur investment, job creation, sanitation, family structure and functioning — depends on this moral and spiritual ground which, by the way, is not primarily the job of government.