Catherine Pugh, mayor of Baltimore, seems to be everywhere but nowhere, an elusive figure in a high-profile job at a time when the city needs a bold leader to kick some butt and get the staggering town moving again.
There’s a rhythm to cities. Cities live, cities die, cities are born again and thrive. A few years back, Baltimore seemed to have found its groove. Good things were happening all over town, and, most of all, there were signs of hope. Then Freddie Gray’s death occurred, which appears to be the line of demarcation between then and now, hope and despair, go and stop. Life in Baltimore as we knew it ended in the spring of 2015. For if an alien from outer space dropped down in the city and asked a Baltimorean to take me to your leader, the Baltimorean wouldn’t know where to go.
Baltimore is paralyzed right now, under Pugh’s watch. That might seem a harsh judgement, but it comes with the job of elected leader of a big city. The buck stops at Pugh’s desk, but it’s her job to deflect the buck before it arrives.