Baltimore City

The Baltimore City Committee envisions a healthy and productive environment that supports community revitalization in Baltimore City.  Our monthly meetings focus on actions that work towards this goal.  We meet on the third Friday of every month, 9-11, at various locations around the City.

Recent speakers at our meetings:

  • Baltimore Development Corporation President William Cole
  • Baltimore City Police Commissioner Batts
  • The MTA regarding their new route changes
  • International Rescue Committee
  • Delegate Maggie McIntosh(D-43)

Next Meetings:

Friday, September 16:  Update on Project CORE.  location: Stadium Place (details soon)

Friday, October 21:  Tiny House movement – Greg Cantori.  Location TBD

Friday, November 18: Meet the New City Council Members, and dialogue on the community development agenda – Location:  CHAI – 5809 Park Heights Avenue.

Friday, December 16:  Topic:  CDN’s Policy Agenda, Guests: Members of Baltimore City’s Delegation have all been invited. Location:  Strong City Baltimore, 3503 N. Charles Street, 21218

 

Working Groups

The Baltimore City Committee has 2 working groups who meet as needed:

Vacant Properties working group: This group’s focus is to eliminate vacant properties in Baltimore. They have been working with Baltimore Housing on transparency in the Vacants to Value program and providing feedback to them as needed. The group is looking into several other issues to address, such as tax sale and insurance for property owners next to a vacant house.

Walkable Communities Working group: This group’s focus will be on determining the areas where there are walkable communities, and the areas that still need them. To make a community “walkable” residents in the community can walk to green space and/or recreation, shops and restaurants, stores where they can get their basic needs, great schools, and transportation to get to places that are not walkable. The working group will determine its scope and it will be reported here once determined.

Highlandtown mural

In May of 2015, following the Uprising, the Baltimore City Committee came together to determine what community development organizations should be doing differently, because what we are doing now is not addressing the issues that surfaced as a cause of the Uprising.  The City Committee decided on three initiatives:

  • Learn from our peer cities as to what the community development industry is doing to address poverty, red lining and similar issues.  CDN held a meeting with Philadelphia and New Jersey counterparts in July to start this discussion.
  • Integrate workforce development into community development in a more strategic and comprehensive way.  Our conversation with Elisabeth Sachs at Job Opportunities Task Force was the beginning of that work.
  • Advocate for more dollars for community organizing. Lack of organizing lead to residents not advocating for themselves or their communities in the affected area.  Organizing is critical to neighborhood change. CDN is starting the work around this area.

In 2013, the Baltimore City Committee went through a process to determine its recommendations to the Mayor to further her goal of bringing 10,000 new families to Baltimore in 10 years. After surveys, discussions, and voting, the recommendations are listed here in no particular order:

  • Lower taxes, in particular establish a Transferable Homestead Tax Credit
  • Invest in schools
  • Enhance and create walkable communities (the areas where Baltimore did grow are areas that are walkable – areas where families can walk to parks, to get their basic needs, to spend a night out, etc.)
  • Demolish or rehab vacant houses (according to BNIA, the areas where there has been growth in Baltimore are areas with less than 4% vacant housing).

To further these recommendations, the Baltimore City Committee created the two working groups listed above, and CDN assisted in the passage of the Homestead Tax Credit Carry over legislation in the general assembly in 2014.

The Baltimore City Committee is led by a volunteer Leadership Team who are community development practitioners that represents each area of the City. The Leadership Team determines the speakers for the meetings and helps guide the working groups.  The Chair of the City Committee is Chris Ryer, Executive Director of Southeast CDC.

Posted here are the notes from the past few Baltimore City Committee meetings: