There is no better way to make a statement at your inauguration than spotting a clean afro with a fade when you are the youngest person to be elected mayor in Baltimore in the last 100 years. 37-year-old Brandon Scott was recently sworn in and he is a man on a mission to change “Baltimore for the better.”
The Baltimore native is the tenth consecutive Democrat to be elected as mayor of the city and this win is critical amid controversies surrounding his predecessor with regards to a book scandal which brought negative traction to the party.
This is the second time Scott has achieved a major feat at a young age. In 2011, he became the youngest person on the Baltimore City Council at the age of 27 and then he was unanimously elected in 2019 as President of the Council.
During his tenure at the council, Baltimore saw a facelift. Scott was the first council leader to develop and release the first-ever “City Council President legislative agenda, focused on building safer, stronger communities, cleaning up city government, investing in Baltimore’s young people, and centering equity,” according to the Baltimore City Mayor site.
Baltimore has had to grapple with drug abuse and gun violence which have been aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Scott, at his mayoral inauguration this month, assured the people change will happen but it won’t be overnight and he needs everyone on board.
“Putting Baltimore on the right track, like setting a new and better course for America, will not happen overnight, and it won’t happen in one year, but it will happen with hard work and smart decisions. If we put aside our differences, we will move forward as a city united.
“Join me in uniting our city so that we can do the hard work to chart a better course for Baltimore. I’m ready to get to work, I know you are, too.”
Scott has already begun work. He ran for mayor promising to end racial inequity and he believes gun violence is “a public health crisis”. He intends on putting stringent measures in place to curb the menace.
“I know you agree that the status quo cannot continue and under my leadership, it will not. Under my leadership, we will chart a new way for Baltimore,” he said in his first speech as mayor.
The young mayor is also ready to relinquish some of his power as he believes absolute power corrupts absolutely. So to tackle this, he will create checks and balances in the city council by reducing the city council votes to enable them to override a veto when necessary and for members to allocate funds appropriately to benefit the people.
Scott grew up in Park Heights amid violence. He saw his first shooting before his 10th birthday and went to schools that had no heat or air conditioning while witnessing challenges Black communities faced, NPR reported.
“It is also abundantly clear that we have our work cut out for us. My commitment to you Baltimore is that I will always be honest about our challenges and always hard work hard to set our city on a better path,” Scott said.