Loewentheil Hopes to Crush Crime, Strengthen Schools

Patterson Park resident Nate Loewentheil is running as a Democrat for the Maryland House of Delegates in District 46. (Provided)

Patterson Park resident Nate Loewentheil is known for making noise in the community. Along with partner J.M. Schapiro, Loewentheil organized Baltimore Homecoming, a conference to bring together some of the most accomplished Baltimore natives in order to celebrate and reconnect with the city that raised them and network with those who are shaping its future. The inaugural conference starts Oct. 3.

While organizing such a massive event would fill anyone’s plate, Loewentheil is also an advisory board member of Repair the World, an organization that works to inspire American Jews to give time and effort to those in need.

He’s also running as a Democrat for Maryland House of Delegates in District 46.

“I’m running,” he said, “because I think the state government needs to become more active in addressing the street crime in the city.”

Loewentheil, 32, has lived in Baltimore City for most of his life, becoming a bar mitzvah at Beth Am Synagogue, which he still attends. He grew up in Southwest Baltimore around Hollins Market, where his father owned The Cultured Pearl, a neighborhood restaurant that Loewentheil described as “part Mexican restaurant, part poetry cafe.” From 2013 to 2017, he served as leader of the White House Taskforce for Baltimore City.

Although he still loves Baltimore, Loewentheil said the city isn’t what it used to be.

“I’ve seen the city go through ups and downs over the years, as we all have,” he said. “But the current wave of gun violence and street crime is the worst I’ve seen in my life. It’s a very tough moment for the city.”

Rather than pack up for the suburbs, Loewentheil has created a four-part public safety plan to address the historic increase in murders, muggings, assaults, carjackings and break-ins around the city. According to the plan, one of the biggest areas for improvement is rebuilding trust in the Baltimore Police Department.

“The police department in Baltimore is actually a state agency. Most of the rules and regulations, although not most of the funding, is set at the state level,” he said, adding that limiting barriers to entry could see a fruitful return in the number of residents willing to work for the police department.

“One of the challenges in the police department is recruiting, struggling to fill their ranks,” he said. “The single most common reason that applicants are disqualified is because they smoked pot. If you smoked pot once in the past three years, you are disqualified. It is tied for the strictest rule in the country.”

Although tackling crime is Loewentheil’s No. 1 priority, he says that the state needs to make a larger investment in Baltimore City Public Schools.

“In the long term, we have to address the deeper underlying challenges. I think the school system is at the forefront there,” he said. “We need to be fighting for more state funding for the schools and pushing for accountability and management.”

When Loewentheil’s campaign filed its first finance report with the Maryland State Board of Elections in January, it set a state fundraising record for a first-time House of Delegates candidate. The grassroots support has given Loewentheil a shot of confidence, furthering his commitment to his campaign’s message.

“When I started to campaign a year ago, we had no money, no political support and no endorsements. We just had a very strong message,” said Loewentheil. “The city is going through a crisis of crime and violence and the state has to do more to help the city.”


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