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You Won’t Hear Much About This Out Of Baltimore.

Washington Monument in Baltimore circa 1902.

With all the stuff going on in Baltimore and the back and forth between political groups, you probably won’t hear much about this:

Many a morning, 58-year-old Millie Jefferson finds herself outside her home in West Baltimore, sweeping her front steps and picking up trash on her block. Monday, she had some unexpected visitors.

Dozens of volunteers gathered near her home on North Fulton Avenue and started bagging garbage and weeding, too. They were inspired by Scott Presler, a Republican activist from northern Virginia who started a social media campaign to help clean up Baltimore’s 7th congressional district in the wake of President Donald Trump’s tweets about it last month.

“We can’t do it alone,” Jefferson said. “It makes me feel good to see that there are still some good people and good communities that want to see better.”

The volunteers donned gloves and wielded rakes and weed wackers as they combed through trash dumped in the neighborhood and hacked away grasses peeking through the sidewalks. Beneath a pop-up tent, they signed a poster with the words “Americans Helping Americans.”

What may be more of interest is who organized the effort to do what the City government wouldn’t or couldn’t do:

“I’m thankful that [Trump] brought attention to Baltimore,” said Presler, a conservative commentator with several hundred thousand followers on Twitter. “It’s important to know that although we are the best, freest, greatest country in the world, we still have our problems, and we can’t look at the world just through rose-colored glasses.”

The Republican president’s tweets drew widespread criticism for their attacks on Democratic U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings and his congressional district, which the president described as a “rodent infested mess.”

Presler is a “gays for Trump” activist who has been linked to the anti-Muslim group ACT for America, which the Southern Poverty Law Center lists as a hate group. Presler worked there from February 2017 to 2018, his Facebook page says.

Although there were a few “Make America Great Again” hats in the crowd, Presler said the focus Monday was to “Make Baltimore Clean Again.”

A gay Republican?

There goes that left leaning meme that Republicans hate gays out the window.

This caught our eye as well:

David Clark, a 54-year-old longtime resident of the neighborhood, said Trump’s tweets unfairly pointed the finger solely at Cummings for Baltimore’s problems, but added that the volunteers were welcome.

“It’s needed, because our communities are hurting economically,” he said. “So, when people are hurting economically, it doesn’t spur them to do something about their community because they’re more worried about getting a job or keeping the one they have, which isn’t sufficient. They’re more worried about putting food on the table or paying their bills to come outside.”

Generally speaking, a home is the most expensive thing people will ever buy. Letting homes and neighborhoods decay hurts people economically as the value of their investment drops. We understand the sentiment, but allowing trash and garbage to pile up around your home and neighborhood doesn’t make the area better.

People – even the poor or “disadvantaged” – can take the basic steps to keep their homes and neighborhoods clean. Doing so not only helps the property values, but it encourages investments from other companies. After all, if you had a choice to build a store or a factory, which would you choose? A depressed neighborhood that is clean? Or a depressed neighborhood that is dirty and the residents don’t care?

No matter how you feel about the controversy surrounding Baltimore, it is a good thing that volunteers stepped up to make a difference.

EDITOR’S NOTE: While the Washington monument in Washington DC is more famous, the first monument to George Washington is in Baltimore and seen in the picture above.



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