In a new Fox News op-ed, Heritage Foundation President Kay Coles James said she is "grateful" that President Trump is shedding light on the problems affecting Baltimore after the president attacked Rep. Elijah Cummings and called his district a "rat and rodent-infested mess."
James, who grew up in Richmond, Va., on welfare, told "Fox & Friends" Tuesday that she was inspired to write the article to focus on those living in the "deplorable" conditions highlighted by the president, despite the controversy surrounding the Trump-Cummings feud.
"Take the light off that controversy for a moment and look at the people in those communities - and I'm just grateful that we are able to have this conversation," she explained.
"The people who are living in those deplorable conditions need our help. This put a bright light on it and now we can address these issues."
In her emotional Op-ed, James discussed the overdose and death of her 32-year-old niece, whom she called "a product of the inner city."
“How much more are we going to take? How many more are we going to lose? How did the hopes and dreams of our forbearers give way to so much despair? How can we let innocent children grow up in poverty, be exposed to drugs, and see the violence done against their neighbors – and against themselves? Are we mad enough yet that we’re finally willing to do things differently,” James asked in the powerful article.
Trump has called for the opening of an investigation to understand where the $2 billion given to the city has gone - while other lawmakers have called for the allocation of additional funds to fix the poverty and crime rates.
More money will not solve the problem, said James, and she believes Baltimore residents would agree.
Instead, she feels that it is up to the people of the community to build up the "building blocks that belong to civil societies."
"We need to support families, churches, community institutions and then demand of our government that they come in and support those institutions," James explained.
"The left has tried decades of its experiments with miserable results. It’s time to try policies that will actually strengthen families and create good jobs, better educational opportunities, and safer communities."
"At least this latest controversy has brought these problems front and center in the American conscience. Let’s finally be mad enough about the way things have been done that we’re now willing to do them differently."
"Let’s end the political partisanship," wrote James, "roll up our sleeves, and get to work."