Gersham Cupid, Democratic Candidate for Mayor

 In an effort to educate voters, we will be posting responses to our candidate questionnaire. Questionnaires were emailed to each candidate running for City Council, President of City Council, and Mayor. Candidates have until March 4th to submit. We are publishing results in the order they are received. 

How frequently do you use a mode of transportation other than your car to navigate the city? Based on your experience, where should the city prioritize resources for transportation?

GC: Sometimes I walk to the store but I believe transportation is becoming more of a problem because it is expensive to own a vehicle and many residents can not afford a vehicle. With a more efficiently economy in Baltimore transportation issues will decrease. This is not my expertise and I would have to rely on the experts to make the best decision in this matter.

What role do you believe biking and walking improvements can play in creating a safer, healthier, more livable Baltimore?

GC: I think its a great idea and it is promotes a more healthy environment. With improved communities with local food markets, drug stores, clinics, recreation centers and local schools this is a feasible idea and within our reach.

Are you supportive of the city’s plan to implement bike share in 2016? If so, what do you believe to be the critical components of success?

GC: I think it would be more feasible and cost effective to help everyone own a bike. But I am willing to give bike share a chance but will quickly shut it down if its not working.

Recent audits have discovered that the Department of Transportation struggles to measure key performance indicators. The city’s procurement and project management processes have also faced scrutiny. This has led to significant delays of key improvements to bicycle infrastructure in Baltimore. How will you work to improve performance and accountability of city agencies like the Department of Transportation under your leadership?

GC: Part of my plans to improve city agencies is a accountability and evaluation service for all city agencies. Which gathers real time data and conducts inspections on a day to day basis. My inspections unit will be city wide to fill holes such as these to ensure this does not happen again.

What impact do you see increasing rates of biking and walking in Baltimore having on the public health and safety of our residents? In what ways will your administration invest in the creation of safe places to encourage more people to engage in physical activity?

GC: When our residents is more active this will be great for the health and betterment of our community. We must enforce the law and keep drugs out of our neighborhoods. The key to my administration will the be safety and growth of our communities. I have the experience, team and knowledge to get it done.

A recent study by Harvard economists found that the single strongest factor affecting the odds of a child escaping poverty is not the test scores of his or her local schools or the crime in the community; it is the percent of workers in his or her neighborhood who have long commutes. How do you plan to improve transportation options and commute times for our most vulnerable residents?

GC: We can offer mobility services to our vulnerable residents to ensure they are getting the help that they need.

Often road redesigns that improve the safety for people on bikes or people walking do so in a way that removes priority for single occupancy vehicles. This can look like removing lanes for travel or decreasing available street parking. Can you describe how you would manage public expectations during project implementation, and handle any backlash from constituents that don’t share in the City’s vision for complete streets?

GC: We have to educate the constituents and let them be apart of the process.

What other information about your candidacy would you like to share with our members?

GC: There is a irony of April. April 2015 rioters plagued our streets and only the Baltimore Police Department stood there ground to stop the rioting and looting from spreading city-wide. An election where one of your own who grew up among and served quietly is now running to bring change. Public Safety is the number 1 reason why many good residents are leaving and buying properties in surrounding jurisdiction. With a Mayor at the helm with the experience in Law Enforcement and with a vision for all of Baltimore we can show the world that we are a city that love and appreciate all Law Enforcement agencies for the hard work and sacrifice. We will stop form of violence whether it comes from low lever criminals, police officer who abuse their power or corrupt politicians.