The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Baltimore:
Rec Centers Axed

Aug 4, 2014

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake boasts of spending three million dollars to rebuild the Clifton Park rec center. But one new rec center doesn’t make up for all the cuts.

Thirty years ago the city had 130 rec centers. The parks and recreation department employed more than 1,300 workers. But one city government after another said there was not enough money for the rec centers and their budget had to be cut. Politicians closed most of the rec centers and let the others fall apart. A few years ago only 55 remained, and now only 38. The department employs fewer than 400 workers, many part time.

In the push to give tax breaks and subsidize parking garages for downtown developers like John Paterakis, the Baltimore political establishment pushed young people onto the streets and deprived older people of decent recreation facilities.