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Thursday, May 05, 2005

Martin O'Malley: "Protecting Our Kids" - What a Hoot!

If I recall rightly, Marton O'Malley is mayor of the city with the worst schools in Maryland--rife with corruption and incompetence and continuing to go downhill.

The same city has the highest murder rate in Maryland--where children get shot or firebombed and thugs rule the streets. His solution seems to be to hire a succession of corrupt chiefs of police.

Do the people of Maryland really want this astonishing records of failing to protect and educate children brought to the rest of the state?

From: "Martin O'Malley"
To: "Team O'Malley"
Subject: Protecting Our Kids
Date: Thu, 5 May 2005 14:24:07 -0500

I wanted to write to thank you for your help as we lay the groundwork to run for Governor. As I’ve traveled the state and continue to work hard here in Baltimore, I’ve had the opportunity to meet with so many people who know in their hearts that Maryland can do much better.

Under the present administration, Maryland reminds me of a great power hitter, like Sammy Sosa, who bunts every time he comes to the plate. Most of us have higher aspirations of what we can achieve. We’re willing to do the hard work it will take to get our state moving in the right direction.

Yesterday, we had the opportunity to talk about the work we’ve done in Baltimore to help protect our vulnerable children and our law-abiding citizens. We announced that we are using Baltimore’s budget surplus to better protect children, doubling Operation Safe Kids – our program to protect our children who are most at-risk for committing or falling victim to acts of violence.

We also issued a 10-point plan to reform the Department of Juvenile Services (DJS) and called on the Governor to sign two important bills that will improve juvenile justice in our state.

Please visit our website at http://www.martinomalley.com/ to see the details of our plan and read an article from the Washington Post about the event.

I hope you’ll take a few minutes to read our plan. It’s by no means all that needs to be done. But it represents what we can do, right now, to start changing things. All it would take is some leadership and a little political will.

We all know that Juvenile Services is in freefall, with a $31 million deficit, continuing violence and mismanagement. It’s in the papers. It’s on the TV news. And Maryland’s children and Maryland’s citizens are being endangered by this public safety failure.

Our experience in Baltimore with CitiStat – our performance improvement initiative – tells us that a different course will better protect our children: accountability, transparency and action.

Almost everyone agrees on what makes up an effective juvenile services system. The problem here in Maryland is a lack of leadership… an absence of accountability. There are a lot of reports gathering dust on shelves. But there is no action.

You can read all of our recommendations at http://www.martinomalley.com/, but in brief:

  • DJS should be accountable to the community, and publish performance data – like the number of youth who are re-arrested and whether they get the services they need. We do it with Operation Safe Kids. Taxpayers deserve to know if their investment is doing any good.
  • DJS should ensure public safety – and the safety of kids in the system. We need to rescue kids from the drug trade before it’s too late. And kids who break the law need to know there will be consequences for their behavior.
  • And DJS has to do a better job getting services to children as soon as possible. If a child gets the mental health care or drug treatment they need – right away – they’ll be much less likely to re-offend.
Thanks again for all you are doing to protect our Maryland values and get our state back on the right track. Please forward this email to your friends, so we can build our network of neighbors working for change. If we see the challenges we face as a reason to work harder, together – and not as an excuse to give up – we can’t help but succeed.

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