Baltimore’s new mayor: Goal is to ‘preserve’ people’s lives

BALTIMORE (AP) — Baltimore’s newly elected mayor was sworn into office Tuesday after he was elected on a platform of reducing crime, investing in schools, streamlining City Hall and creating opportunities for young people.

Democrat Brandon Scott raised his right hand and took the oath of office at City Hall’s rotunda. Now, Baltimore’s 52nd mayor faces the monumental task of moving the city past one of its lowest points.

“We will celebrate our wins, but this term is fundamentally about doing the hard work to put Baltimore on a better path,” Scott said after he was sworn in. “I am not a savior for our city. No one is coming to save us. We have the ability to save ourselves, but we can only do that together.”

The city has recorded more than 300 homicides for the sixth year in a row, and its population, businesses and tax revenues have not been spared by the coronavirus pandemic.

Scott, 36, served as city councilman since 2011 and became council president last year. His peers selected him for that job after Mayor Catherine Pugh resigned amid scandal and then-council President Bernard “Jack” Young rose to take her place.

Scott in June defeated Young and a slew of other Democrats for the party’s nomination to lead the majority-Black city. He then defeated Republican Shannon Wright, a nonprofit executive.

With his parents standing behind him, Scott said his goal is to “preserve the lives of all Baltimoreans.” He said the consequences of not having an effective crime-fighting strategy in Maryland’s largest city “are measured in the loss of Black lives.”

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