Q & A with District 11 City Council Candidate Harry Preston V

| April 25, 2016 | 0 Comments

Five Democrat candidates are running for the District 11 City Council seat which holds its primary on April 26th. District 11 encompasses the South Baltimore Peninsula along with Downtown, Ridgely’s Delight, Mount Vernon, Midtown-Belvedere, Seton Hill, Heritage Crossing, Upton, Madison Park, Bolton Hill, and Druid Heights.  The candidates include: incumbent Eric Costello of Federal Hill, Curtis Johnson of Madison Park South, Harry Preston V of Upton, Greg Sileo of Locust Point, and Dea Thomas of Otterbein.

SouthBMore.com conducted a Q & A with the candidates. Meet Harry Thomas V:

CaptureTell us a little about yourself.

I am a Career educator that has fought hard for students to have access to the best possible education with out regard to their Zip Code. I currently teach engineering at Edmondson Westside High School. At Edmondson I also serve as the Career Technology Education (CTE) Department Chair. It is my responsibility to ensure students are able to transition form the classroom to careers and college.

What do you love about South Baltimore?

This city is one of the most beautiful and diverse in the country. I see the challenges but more over I see the possibilities. Having a family that is as diverse as the neighborhoods of our city has given me an entirely different perspective. Additionally, working with the wide variety of students has also kept me on my toes. These students and youth are the lifeblood of our city. And the more time you spend the around them the more you cant help but be excited for the future of our city

What made you want to run for City Council?

As a father and an educator I am often tasked with looking to the future and helping to craft today what will be tomorrow. That requires taking an inventory of current resources and charting a course that will allow us to meet our goals. When I did that for our city and for our neighborhoods; I could not see the future our children and families deserve. I could not see our previous councilman’s commitment to the growth of entire city. I could not see our schools or our neighborhoods  being strengthen. I felt it was my responsibility to do what I could to push us all forward

What are some key issues you plan to focus on if elected?

Investments in our Schools
Investment in Sustainable Growth for our City
Investment in clean and Safe  Parks and Streets

What are your thoughts on Baltimore’s property tax rate? Do you have any proposals for how to lower it?

It’s too High. As we are able to stabilize shrinking communities we can stop the practice of raising taxes to compensate. We should provide additional incentives for city and state employees to not only live in the city but buy in the city. If you are able to get families to buy after receiving (for example) a 10 year deduction that’s still a least 20 more years of non reduced revenue (times the number of people that take the deal). It’s basic economics.

South Baltimore and District 11 have a lot of small businesses. How do you plan on making sure it remains an area where businesses open, stay, and grow?

Businesses need reliable employees and leaders. Our city schools have some of the most highly certified students in all of Maryland. The system is already in place we just need to make sure our city recognizes the amazing resource and properly invests in in it.

How can you help make sure District 11 and the rest of the city are as safe as possible?

A large portion of crime in our city has been a function of space and opportunity; too much space and too little opportunity. We have to start getting families back in the ctity. We must help them to become as invested as possible; that is through home ownership. We need to make sure our schools stay as innovative and successful as possible; so our kids stay in school (or College) and off the street. We need to bring business in that want our workers and bring their existing company families to stay for the long haul. I have worked for years solving these problems partnering with organizations all over the city

This district attracts a lot of new residents and young families. How can you help make sure this is an area they want to stay in?

As a parent with a 3 and a 1 year old I know that parents are looking for strong schools. Schools that have the level of investments that are going to  ensure that families child will receive a world class education. Parents want clean, safe, walk-able,  streets and parks.

Why are you the right choice for District 11?

I am right for District 11 because no one will fight harder for the success of our district than me. I have walked every street uptown, midtown and downtown. I don’t show up for photo opps. I was there before and I’ll be there after. I wont talk about clean up projects because I am too busy actually cleaning it up. I am a published national award winning educator, no one can do as much for schools as I can. I am the only union person in the field and as a former business owner I know how to move the city forward. I will not stop pushing until we be come the example of how we can all Grow, Work and Live Together.

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About the Author:

Creator of SouthBmore.com and resident of SoBo. Graduate of Towson University and owner of Incept Multimedia, a full service video production company. Diehard Ravens and O's fan, beach volleyball enthusiast, dog lover and "bar food" foodie. Email me at Kevin@InceptMM.com and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.
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