Pubdate: Wed, 22 May 2002
Source: Baltimore Sun (MD)
Copyright: 2002 The Baltimore Sun, a Times Mirror Newspaper.
Author: Georgia Corso, Jessica Heriot


Ed Burns' column "City's troubles beyond belief" (Opinion - Commentary, May 
14), is exactly the kind of negative thinking the "Believe in Baltimore" 
program is trying to combat. It's an attitude that says there is no use 
believing in anything -- the problems are too big, too complex, too 
manifold to tackle. Throw in the towel, move to the county if you can. Is 
the "Believe" campaign's message intended for those fleeing the city? No.

It's meant for those of us who are staying and wouldn't dream of moving, 
those of us who love our 15-minute commute, those who have lived in the 
county and found it empty and expensive, those of us who enjoy the human 
campfire that is the city, with all its idiosyncrasies.

It's meant for those who know drug addicts live in every town and every 
county and we will never eradicate them, but who are determined that the 
addicts will not rule.

It's meant for those of us who see a glittering city on the dawn of a new 
sunrise, steeped in history -- not flawless, but beautiful nonetheless.

Is it a crime to spend money on a program that provides a message of hope? No.

We will feel united in our belief, work on the problems, help whomever we 
can, support the police and the mayor and believe in our city.

Georgia Corso


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At last, a shot of truth and honesty for a society addicted to short-term 
fixes, failed policies and now the joke that is the "Believe" campaign. As 
Ed Burns states in his column "City's troubles beyond belief" (Opinion - 
Commentary, May 14), "not a single penny of what must be millions of 
dollars for this campaign went into the pockets of the poor." What is 
needed is systemic change: universal health care, available and affordable 
day care, training programs for mothers coming off welfare, a living 
minimum wage, schools that work and treatment on demand for every addict 
who wants it.

How can any thinking person believe we can solve the problem of heroin 
addiction in our city by arresting addicts and small-time dealers?

Isn't a more rational approach one that views addiction as a health problem 
and harm reduction as the goal?

Jessica Heriot

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