Thirty-six-year-old Brandon Scott is Baltimore’s newest mayor — and the city’s youngest in over a century, according to NPR.
The dapper mayor sported a fresh afro and fade to his swearing-in ceremony on Tuesday.
Mayor Brandon Scott… 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. pic.twitter.com/fBjZtwRaHf
— David Collins (@dcollinsWBAL) December 8, 2020
The Park Heights native’s mayoral campaign centered on racial inequity, bringing professionalism back to the city’s government and addressing the city’s homicide rate. According to CBS Baltimore, the Maryland city's homicide rate is one of the highest in the nation, and it’s growing. Scott acknowledged that the city has been plagued with issues, but he also added he was ready to dive in and get to work.
Brandon M. Scott is the 52nd Mayor of Baltimore, working to end gun violence, restore the public’s trust in government, and change Baltimore for the better.
Mayor Scott is dedicated to building a safer and more equitable city.
— Brandon M. Scott (@MayorBMScott) December 8, 2020
Scott spoke about the major tasks that await him in his new role during the ceremony.
“We cannot accept this as normal in our city,” he said. “We must also understand that these dual emergencies of violence and this pandemic exacerbate the underlying and obvious inequities facing residents of Baltimore. I am humbled by the task before us and I have hope, but I am not naive to the challenges we face.”
According to the young mayor’s website, his political rise began when he was elected to the city council in 2011. Not only was he the youngest member to be appointed to the committee in the council’s history, but Scott’s colleagues unanimously voted him as city council president in May 2019. As president, Scott launched the first-ever legislative plan to build stronger and safer neighborhoods and invest in the city’s youth population.
In the role, he tirelessly worked to reduce Baltimore’s violence and relaunched quarterly meetings for the city council’s Baltimore Police Department (BPD) Oversight team.
In June, Scott stressed the significance of defunding the police department and allocating those funds to various agencies to assist the community.
“Baltimore must re-allocate its budget away from the current dependence on the police department. We must diversify our investments into agencies that focus on proactively developing our young people and communities,” he wrote on Twitter.
Baltimore must re-allocate its budget away from the current dependence on the police department. We must diversify our investments into agencies that focus on proactively developing our young people and communities.https://t.co/aDDa7ySCF1
— Brandon M. Scott (@MayorBMScott) June 9, 2020
According to NPR, Scott’s plan for gun violence in Baltimore, which he refers to as a “public health crisis,” would encompass studying how weapons come into the city and forging a strategy to reduce group violence.
“That means looking at how we deal with substance abuse, trauma, housing opportunity, especially for those that we know are living in the neighborhoods where the violence is,” the leader explained.
Scott also wants the mayoral position to relinquish some of its power, the news outlet reported. The office has controlled much of the city’s spending and has absolute authority in distributing state and federal funding. Scott has advocated for legislation that would reduce the number of city council votes needed to override a veto. The law would also allow council members to allocate money where they saw appropriate.
Got it shaped up because you knew it was picture day ????????
— ladbroke (@ladbroke) December 8, 2020
Although Scott has hit the pavement running as Baltimore’s new mayor, he made it clear that he’s no knight in shining armor when it comes to facilitating change in his hometown.
“Am I going to wipe away hundreds of years of inequity in Baltimore? No,” he told NPR. “But someone has to be the person willing to put the bricks at the foundation of a better city.”