Baltimore has by far the deadliest air in America, with over 1,000 people dying every year from air pollution-related diseases. Coal-fired power plants, trash incineration, and highway emissions are giving our children asthma, exacerbating respiratory illnesses, and contributing to untimely deaths across our area. This is inexcusable, especially when we have so many urban neighbors along the Eastern Seaboard with substantially cleaner air than we have here in Baltimore. We need to move toward clean, renewable energy so that no young life is cut short by the deadly emissions from last century's technologies.
One out of four Baltimoreans lives in an areas where they cannot easily access fresh, healthy food. This is not an abstraction or an estimation. 1 in 4 people in our city live in a place where the only places to buy food or drink are convenience stores, fast food restaurants, and liquor stores. Never mind organic or gourmet food - many of our neighbors don't even have access to a basic, mainstream grocery store.
This is an environmental and public health crisis that we can solve with ready and available resources like the Maryland Fresh Food Financing Initiative, so that every neighborhood in our city can have access to nutritious food.
Lead Paint and Lead Pipes
Lead poisoning, whether from ingesting the flakes or dust of leaded paint, or from drinking water from leaded pipes, causes lifelong brain damage, especially in young children with developing minds. It should then come as no surprise that a city whose children have been exposed to lead from neglected rental units and decaying plumbing for decades suffers from disproportionately high levels of violent crime. This is environmental racism at its most severe.
The facts of lead poisoning and the harm it causes to individual minds and entire communities cannot be refuted or altered. But that does not mean we are powerless. We can create jobs and prevent continued suffering by abating the lead paint in older houses, by finding and removing lead pipes under our streets, and by removing the lead pipes from our public schools.