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Mayor Scott marks one year in office

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Mark Dennis/Courtesy of Mayor's Office
Mayor Brandon Scott is sworn in on Dec. 8, 2020.

Mayor Brandon Scott marked one year in office Tuesday through a video address touting accomplishments and new initiatives and an action plan for the rest of his term. He still faces the same major challenges: the coronavirus pandemic and high rates of violent crime.

The plan is attached to a new data tracker on the city’s website, where residents can monitor new programs and promises, which include a goal of getting 80% of residents vaccinated and bolstering cleanliness throughout city neighborhoods.

He pointed to new programs funded by the American Rescue Plan Act, which gave the city $641 million in stimulus money to be put towards pandemic recovery efforts and infrastructure investments.

He’s earmarked nearly half of the money. About $50 million will go toward violence prevention efforts over the next three years, including support for gunshot victims and citizens returning from prison.

Another $80 million will go to health department efforts centering on COVID-19 prevention and outreach to vulnerable communities, including vaccination and contact tracing and at-home testing. About $55 million will go toward workforce development training and an economic recovery fund; $35 million will fund programs to close the digital divide, such as installing city-owned fiber cable at rec centers.

Another $10 million has been set aside to fund an office to oversee ARPA money distribution. Scott also put ARPA money toward a recent vaccine incentive for city employees, which could amount to roughly $12.5 million.

“These investments are making sure that we not only emerge from the pandemic, but that we emerge stronger,” the Democrat said in his address.

Scott released the city’s first violence prevention plan over the summer, in which he pledged to reduce gun violence by 15% each year he is in office.

“Reducing gun violence, Baltimore's longest standing public health crisis, remains my top priority,” he said.

Emily Sullivan is a city hall reporter at WYPR, where she covers all things Baltimore politics. She joined WYPR after reporting for NPR’s national airwaves. There, she was a reporter for NPR’s news desk, business desk and presidential conflicts of interest team. Sullivan won a national Edward R. Murrow Award for an investigation into a Trump golf course's finances alongside members of the Embedded team. She has also won awards from the Chesapeake Associated Press Broadcasters Association for her use of sound and feature stories. She has provided news analysis on 1A, The Takeaway, Here & Now and All Things Considered.