Mayor Scott Announces a More Than 80% Decrease in Squeegee-Related Criminal Incidents, Releases StoryMap
Friday Aug 18th, 2023
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BALTIMORE, MD (Friday, August 18, 2023) - Today, Mayor Brandon M. Scott launched a new site for residents to track the progress of the Squeegee Collaborative. Since launching the work group a year ago and tracking progress over the past several months, Baltimore City has experienced a 81 percent decrease in squeegee-related criminal incidents, while simultaneously connecting more than 150 former squeegee workers with mentors, reconnecting four youth with school, and securing employment for nearly 40 young people.
“Identifying transformative and sustainable solutions for the young people who choose to squeegee at intersections throughout the city has always been a priority for my administration,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “Since standing up the Squeegee Collaborative, we have not only seen a tremendous decrease in squeegee activity in our disallowed zones, but we have connected former squeegee workers with education, employment, and other resources necessary to provide a life for themselves and their families.”
The new data StoryMap site is the latest effort by Mayor Scott and Chief Administrative Officer Faith Leach to employ innovative data tools to drive decision-making and make improvements to city services. The new site will allow residents to track the Squeegee Collaborative's progress using GIS mapping tools and reports to track data trends, criminal activity, and activity among the disallowed zones.
“At the root of this decades-old problem are deeply rooted challenges that require a systemic shift, so we are approaching it through that lens and utilizing the data trends and analytics to guide us,” said CAO Leach. “We have made significant progress over the past several months, but know there is still much work to be done. This site is our concerted effort to ensure the community can monitor progress alongside the administration.”
Since the 1980s, Baltimore has grappled with a persistent challenge with squeegee workers who wash windshields to earn money in high-traffic intersections. While multiple and numerous strategies have been conceived and deployed over the past 40 years, the Scott administration has seen the most success.
On July 14, 2022, Mayor Brandon Scott convened the Squeegee Collaborative – a cross-section of youth, business, community, and government leaders – to develop a city-wide, public, private, and community-based response to the challenges and opportunities squeegeeing presents to the City of Baltimore. In November 2022, the group released the Baltimore Squeegee Collaborative Working Action Plan and began tracking implementation and progress in January 2023.
Led by CAO Leach and Mayor’s Office of African American Engagement Director Dr. Andrey Bundley in conjunction with Collaborative co-chairs Center for Urban Families President and CEO Joseph T. Jones, Jr. and T. Rowe Price Foundation President John Brothers among others, the Squeegee Collaborative has created positive pathways to employment, education, entrepreneurship, and support services for squeegee workers, while providing enforcement strategies that consider the public safety interests of squeegee workers and motorists.
“Seeing the early data and the workforce development opportunities create positive outcomes clearly displays that the holistic approach of the Collaborative is working," said President of Downtown Partnership of Baltimore Shelonda Stokes. "It is promising to know that in partnership with the Mayor’s Office, Center for Urban Families, and T. Rowe Price Foundation, and the Downtown business and non-profit community, we are making a major difference in the lives of the future of our City.”
These efforts have proven successful, and residents will now have the opportunity to track this progress alongside the Scott administration and Squeegee Collaborative.
The new StoryMap site also highlights youth support services, outreach efforts, partners, success stories, and ongoing activities.
Residents can access the Squeegee Collaborative StoryMap site at: https://arcg.is/WrPrm.