Q&A With Liam Davis, Candidate for District 46 Delegate

| June 20, 2014 | 1 Comments

Liam Davis, a resident of Greektown, is a Democrat candidate for District 46 (map here) Delegate (3 seats available). The primary election will be held on June 24th and the general election will be held on November 4th.

75074_443231029138601_140042717_nTell us a little about yourself and why the areas of the 46th District are important to you?

I am a Baltimore City native living in the community of Greektown.  I’ve always been fascinated with cities, particularly the City of Baltimore.  Growing up in Northeast Baltimore, I always enjoyed spending time closer to the city center.  This is one reason why I decided to move to Southeast Baltimore; I like the hustle and bustle that comes with one of Baltimore City’s fastest growing areas.  As both a Baltimorean and a Marylander, the 46th District is extremely important to me.  I feel that there’s not a single district in the State of Maryland that is as dynamic as the 46th.  We have the port, the inner harbor, the central business district, the stadiums and soon to be casino.  The 46th District is home to leaders in the business industry such as Under Armour, T. Rowe Price, Millennial Media, and Legg Mason.   Our residential communities are both historic and diverse.  All of these factors together make the 46th District the most important legislative district in Baltimore and arguably the State of Maryland.  Representing such a dynamic area is something that I would not take for granted.

Why are you motivated to run for office and potentially serve this district?

The people of Baltimore deserve a representative who is cognizant of the challenges that they face on a daily basis.  The City of Baltimore needs two things.  First, we need to grow our population.  Second, we need to improve when it comes to quality of life issues.  I feel as though I can balance these two crucial factors that ultimately will decide the health of this city.  I have a degree from Towson University in Metropolitan Studies and experience working at City Hall helping constituents with a variety of municipal issues.  We need a hands-on representative who will be visible in our communities.  I plan on being that representative.

What are some ways the state can help the City of Baltimore continue to grow and move in the right direction?

There are a number of things the State of Maryland can do to help improve the City of Baltimore.  Baltimore City is the only major city in the State and we’re one of the most historic cities in the nation.  These two factors alone are good enough reasons for the State of Maryland to invest more in Baltimore City.  One glaring area where we need improvement is infrastructure, particularly in the area of transportation.  Baltimore City currently has the worst mass transit system of any of the major Northeast Corridor cities.  Improving our mass transit system is crucial when it comes to attracting new residents and encouraging forward-thinking development.  Many communities in the 46th District struggle with parking and mass transit is a long term goal in solving this challenging issue.  We also need to focus on making Baltimore more family friendly.  This is why I support utilizing the State’s Program Open Space to invest in our recreation centers and parks.  Recreation centers have the potential to get our kids off the streets and help them channel their abundant energy in a positive manner.  Last, ensuring the health of Baltimore residents is extremely important to me, which is why I am opposed to the proposed Curtis Bay incinerator that will worsen South Baltimore’s already poor air quality.

Many polls have rated Baltimore as an extremely unfriendly business state. What can be done to improve the business climate for all Maryland businesses?

My experience working at City Hall has taught me at least one thing: there’s a lot of red tape that needs to be cut and I’m sure Annapolis is no different.  Again, balance is key.  We need to balance effective regulation with incentives that encourage new businesses to select the 46th District as their new home.   Being situated between Washington DC and New York City, Baltimore and the State of Maryland should be doing more to market our relatively affordable real estate.  Tax incentives can be used to attract growing fields such as green manufacturing and cybersecurity.  The State also must do a better job of ensuring that our residents are trained in skills that the market demands.  These together with increased emphasis on balancing the State’s budget without steep tax increases will go far towards improving our business climate.

Efforts have been in place to lower property taxes in Baltimore City, but much work is needed to make the city competitive with the surrounding counties, as well as the neighboring cities of Washington, DC and Philadelphia. How can the city and state work together to solve this problem?

The safest and most sustainable way to lower Baltimore City property taxes is to get the city growing again.  Baltimore City’s property taxes are primarily decided by the Mayor, City Council, and Board of Estimates.  With that being said, key capital improvement projects from the State of Maryland can help foster growth that will increase Baltimore’s tax base and at the same time, free up money for the City of Baltimore to lower property taxes.  There is also the argument that the tax free status Baltimore gives to large non-profits such as Johns Hopkins should be reconsidered.

How should the city and state proceed with the proposed Red Line? What future transportation or infrastructure projects are important to this area?

The Red Line is one of the most important infrastructure projects in Baltimore’s recent history.  We would be foolish to pass up on this once in a generation opportunity.  Baltimore’s ability to grow is and will continue to be limited by our substandard mass transit system.  The Baltimore Red Line will connect communities, reduce our dependence on cars, and help revitalize communities both east and west of the city’s core.  In addition, construction of Baltimore’s Red Line is expected to generate roughly 10,000 jobs, helping in lowering our city’s stubborn unemployment rate.  The reconstruction of the Howard Street Tunnel is another important infrastructure project that has the potential to dramatically improve Baltimore’s economic well-being.

How can Baltimore City schools and recreations facilities continue to improve?

The recently passed school construction bill will dramatically improve Baltimore City School facilities.  This is great step, however, many of our kids are getting off track outside of school in their own backyards.  Investments via a fully funded Program Open Space will allow the City of Baltimore to open new centers for our youth.  New recreation centers have the potential to help foster Baltimore’s next generation of leaders, keeping them off the streets and focused on positive social interactions.

Why should people vote for you?

I have a vision for this city.  My heart is in this for the people of Baltimore and the City’s future.  We as a society continue to elect politicians who are more focused on quick and flashy fixes rather than long term solutions.  My experience in City Government along with the knowledge I’ve acquired through my studies give me a unique perspective on not only the pressing day to day issues that Baltimore residents face, but also on the big challenges that we need to address in order to thrive as a city.  I hear people all of the time say we need new energy and youth in politics.  Here I am.

About the Author:

Founder and Publisher of SouthBmore.com, longtime resident of South Baltimore, and a graduate of Towson University. Diehard Ravens and O's fan, beach volleyball enthusiast, dog lover, and "bar food" foodie. Email me at [email protected] and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.
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