Welcoming Our Future. Celebrating Our Past.
Volume 2, Issue 46____________________________________________Wednesday, December 7, 2011



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Thursday, December 8
5:00 PM City Council Meeting
Du Burns Council Chamber, 4th floor, City Hall

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Everyday Heroes: Soccer Without Borders

Jill Pardini instructs Baltimore youth participating in the Soccer Without Borders program.

When 28-year-old Jill Pardini first walked onto a field with nothing more than an idea in early 2009, she knew she had her work cut out for her. Iraqi boys were in one group, Nepali teens in another, and a conglomerate of Congolese youngsters playing on their own. But Pardini also saw potential.

Two years later, Pardini’s hard work and dedication have turned a casual hobby into an initiative that is improving Baltimore’s communities. The Soccer Without Borders program, which combines competitive soccer with tutoring, mentoring, and other life guidance, has become an invaluable part of the lives of its participants.

And those same teenagers are now taking the field together.

When Pardini, who lives in Waverly, was tackling public policy at a graduate program at Johns Hopkins University and an internship in the Maryland Office for Refugees, she found Baltimore to be a hotbed for refugee populations from all over the world. A former soccer player at the University of Iowa, she thought the sport may be a key to improving the lives of the city’s young refugees.

“I started with just a few soccer balls and remember thinking that the refugee community leaders were wondering, ‘What is this young girl possibly going to do?’” Pardini said. “And we had 62 kids show up that first day.”

Seeing the surprising turnout, she contacted Soccer Without Borders, a California organization that began in 2006 to address the lack of safe spaces where young people feel cared for, have a voice and can experience the joy of sport; lack of opportunity for youth to actively explore social issues and community challenges; and lack of social capital and access to potential opportunities for education, employment and personal growth.

With permission to bring the program across the country and into Baltimore, Pardini started getting the word out. Volunteers helped to organize the 13-week program in the fall of 2010, tutor the youth, provide refreshments, and write grant applications to secure funding. Soccer Without Borders includes kids between the ages of 11 and 19 that came to Baltimore as refugees from 11 different countries.

“We only have two rules. Everyone has to speak English and perform well in school,” Pardini said. “You can see drastic improvement in their speaking skills.”

And the joy of participating in Soccer Without Borders has many of the kids vastly improving their performance in the classroom.

“There’s a lot of overlap between the program and school,” Pardini said. “A teacher will call and say a kid hasn’t been doing work, and a kid won’t be able to start a game. One student was so devastated that he wasn’t able to play in a game because of failing to do work in school. It’s really a way to push these kids to do well.”

Jill Pardini and refugee children sport their Soccer Without Borders shirts and enjoy a local soccer game.

At the program’s start, there were rough patches. Without knowledge of how to execute a kickoff to start a game or a throw-in, Jill’s early team struggled in games. But then, a player from Eritrea dribbled through the whole opposing team and scored a goal, and the whole Soccer Without Borders team sprinted from the sideline to mob the young star and celebrate with him on the field. Despite the referee’s pleas to keep her team on the sideline, Pardini looked on as her kids rejoiced. They were losing handily, but they were happy.

And the transformation has been obvious.

When Pardini first met a boy from Africa, he showed up to practice in his jeans and t-shirt, and he said he would get beat up if he wore his soccer uniform, which is shorts and a “Soccer Without Borders” shirt, to school. Eventually, he and three other students became so proud with their participation in the program that they wore their shirts on school spirit day at Digital Harbor High School.

This year, Pardini received a fellowship grant from Open Society Initiative-Baltimore that will allow her to focus all of her attention on growing the program. She envisions several full-time employees, an indoor location to run clinics and practices, involving local college athletes in mentoring programs, and a full-service aspect that will help kids with everything from paying BGE bills to getting driver’s licenses. 

“I want to build a competitive and formidable soccer club that really helps these kids and lets them enjoy the program,” Pardini said. “It’s getting really exciting.”

For more information about Soccer Without Borders, check out the website at, email Pardini at or use Twitter or Facebook.

Join the 71st City Council's Swearing-In Ceremony

Details for the public and members of the media are announced for the swearing-in ceremony of the 71st Baltimore City Council.

The ceremony will take place at the War Memorial Building (101 N. Gay Street) on Thursday, December 8, 2011. Members of the public and elected officials will be allowed to enter the War Memorial Building beginning at 9 a.m. The ceremony will begin promptly at 10 a.m. The day’s theme is “Partnerships: the Building Blocks of Progress.” In keeping with the theme of the swearing-in, a number of elected officials from neighboring jurisdictions will be on hand to deliver remarks.

WHAT: The Swearing-In Ceremony of the 71st Baltimore City Council

WHEN: Thursday, December 8, 2011
Doors open at 9:00 a.m. Ceremony begins at 10:00 a.m. and ends at 11:15 a.m.

WHERE: War Memorial Building
101 N. Gay Street Baltimore

CONTACT: Lester Davis, Office of Baltimore City Council President Young, (443) 835-0784 or

PUBLIC: Members of the public will be allowed to enter the War Memorial Building beginning at 9 a.m. on the Gay Street side by accessing the front steps. Members of the media will be allowed to enter the building at 8:30 a.m. to setup.

Members of the public are encouraged to take public transportation. The nearest available parking garage is the Baltimore Street Garage at 15 Guilford Avenue. The following items are prohibited: large bags, backpacks, signage, food and beverages.

Congratulations to Mayor Rawlings-Blake

Dear Baltimoreans,

Please join me in congratulating Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake on being sworn into office as the 49th Mayor of Baltimore City on Tuesday, December 6. I will work with her to make sure Baltimore continues to be a great place to grow!

Bernard C. “Jack” Young
President, Baltimore City Council

Here is a snapshot of the many meetings, events, discussions and visits Council President Young engages in on a daily basis as he works to strengthen Baltimore's communities.

Council President Young helped the Mt. Washington Garden Club, National Heritage Area, Federated Garden Clubs of Maryland, and Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks on Wednesday, November 30, dedicate a Blue Star Memorial in memory of all the men and women who have served the U.S. Armed Forces.
Council President Young spends time with students at Mother Seton Academy on Thursday, December 1.

Council President Young waves to onlookers at the Mayor's Annual Christmas Parade in Hamden on Sunday, December 4.

Resources for Doing Business with Baltimore City

Click HERE for a list of helpful contacts and information that will help companies and individuals do business with the city. City Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young has a fond appreciation for the importance of small businesses, how they fuel our economy and how they facilitate jobs and a better quality of life for our residents.



Holiday Festival of Trains
Friday November 25 through Saturday, December 31 from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM (11:00 AM on Sundays)
Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum, 901 W. Pratt Street
Celebrate the holiday season at Baltimore’s largest holiday display of toy and model train layouts. Santa arrives by locomotive to the Roundhouse at 10:30 am on November 25. Weekend train rides and photo opportunities take place with Santa through December 21, and with Frosty the Snowman through December 31. It’s a train load of fun that's become an annual holiday tradition!
For more information, visit

16th Annual Flavors of Federal Hill
Thursday, December 6 from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Federal Hill
This is everyone's favorite tasty tour of the neighborhood. Groups travel to seven different local establishments for food, drink, and fun. Tickets are $55 and include food and drink.
Call 410-727-4500 or order online at

Maryland Made Easy: 2012 Symposium on Job Creation
Friday, December 9 from 9:30 AM to 12:00 PM
Miller Senate Building West, 11 Bladen Street, Annapolis, MD 21401
Hear from respected thought, business and policy leaders about the steps necessary to improve the economic climate in Maryland and nationally. Understand what a recent statewide survey of business owners revealed about new startups and entrepreneurs. Learn what business and government are doing to support economic growth and job creation in Maryland. Share your feedback on how to make it easier for businesses to thrive in our state.
To register, visit

Holiday Hop for the Animals
Friday, December 9 from 8:00 PM to 1:00 AM
The Ottobar, 2549 N. Howard Street
It's the holidays, but not every animal has a home. Join Baltimore Bully Crew, Maryland SPCA, B-More Dog, BARCS, Charm City Animal Rescue, B-more Humane, and bands, DJs, a raffle, a silent auction, and much more! Tickets are $15.
For tickets or more information, visit

Holidays on Harford
Saturday, December 10 from 10:30 AM to 4:00 PM
Locations along Harford Road
Get into the holiday spirit with your family & friends! Enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner, and shop at a local retail store or gallery. Enjoy the festive atmosphere and look for Santa and his Elf in a motorcycle sidecar on Harford Road!
For more information, visit

Baltimore Reads Holiday Fair
Saturday, December 10 from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Baltimore Reads Book Bank, 501 N. Calvert Street
Baltimore Reads will hold its second annual holiday fair for kids and their families. This festive day features a visit from Santa, story time, and gift giveaways for kids. Kids who attend will also be invited to take home free books from the Book Bank. Lunch and other refreshments will be served. Receive information on volunteering and community service projects for teenagers, as well as information on classes and other Baltimore Reads activities. For directions or additional information, visit or call 410-752-3595.

Poinsettia Tour
Saturday, December 10 from 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM
2501 Madison Avenue
During this annual poinsettia tour, visit the historic homes of the Upper Eutaw Madison area in Baltimore's Reservoir Hill. Get a glimpse of the past through some of the city's most beautiful homes. Tickets are $10.
For more information, visit or email

Union Square Cookie Tour
Sunday, December 11 from 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM
1401 Hollins Street
Union Square residents will provide tours of over 20 homes while serving their favorite holiday cookies. The tour showcases the unique architecture and character of this historic neighborhood. Union Square is famous for pre- and post-Civil War architecture and homes that have maintained the original Italianate style both inside and out. The neighborhood is marked by period street lamps, brick sidewalks and stately row homes. The homes boast ten to fourteen-foot ceilings, wood floors and detailed plaster walls. Highlighting the tour is the H.L. Mencken House, a national historic landmark. Additional attractions in the area include the Union Square Park which features a Victorian era fountain, the B&O Railroad Museum, and Hollins Market. Tickets for the Union Square Cookie Tour are $15 in advance and $20 on the day of the event. Tickets and guidebooks will be available on the day of the tour, starting at 11 a.m. at 1401 Hollins Street, where the tour begins.
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit, call 443-388-2407 or email

Financial Fitness Series: Tax Credits and Tax Planning Tips
Tuesday, December 13 from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Enoch Pratt Library, 400 Cathedral Street
Attend this workshop and find out what tax credits are available to maximize your refund. All it takes is a little knowledge and planning. Explore how to use exemptions and deductions, manage your withholdings throughout the year, and take advantage of tax credits.
For more information, visit

First-Ever Downtown Holiday Market
Tuesday and Wednesday, December 13 and 14 from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Center Plaza
Discover unique holiday gifts created by local artists, and take care of your holiday shopping during lunch!  More than 30 craft and artist vendors will showcase crafts and gifts what will range from hand-crafted ornaments, jewelry and gift cards to warm winter outerwear, gifts for the home & more! Free hot drinks will be handed out to shoppers as they browse. The market will also feature local food vendors, who will be selling warms snacks & lunch specials. Also, be ready for a special visit from Santa from 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m.
For more information, visit

Operation: UPlift Charity & Donation Drive
Wednesday, December 14 from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Ronald McDonald House Charities of Baltimore, 635 West Lexington Street
This event is the kick off to building the empire for Operation: UPlift, which focuses on mentoring and motivating youth and young adults as well as helping them to create a better tomorrow for themselves. Will you join us in helping families in our community and providing a home away from home for seriously ill children? You may donate items needed at Ronald McDonald House or adopt a family for a night for $15. This covers the cost of a visit for a family who may be financially unstable.
Please R.S.V.P by Friday, December 9 via email to or 443-825-6900.

Sustainability and Healthy Foods Grants
Applications due by Thursday, December 15
The Office of Sustainability is offering $1,000 grants to Baltimore City public schools for projects focusing on Sustainability and/or Healthy Foods.
For more information, call 410-396-1670 or email The application can be found at

Chesapeake Bay Trust's Awards Program
Applications or nominations due by Friday, December 16 at 5:00 PM
Each year, the Trust recognizes outstanding achievements by educators and students who work to engage Marylanders in efforts to protect and restore the Chesapeake Bay and local waters. Currently we are accepting applications for the awards outlined below especially for teachers and students.  To apply and for more information, please visit the Trust’s Awards Registration Page.
The Teacher of the Year Award is given annually to a teacher who motivates and inspires students by promoting environmental awareness and stewardship.  The winning applicant will receive a $2,500 award to go toward funding Trust-approved environmental field trips and/or outdoor education work at their school or organization.
The Students of the Year Scholarship award provides a $5,000 scholarship to a Maryland high school or college student who has shown an outstanding commitment to environmental stewardship, Chesapeake Bay restoration and community involvement.
The Honorable Arthur Dorman Scholarship award provides a $5,000 scholarship to a Maryland high school or college student who demonstrates a commitment to improving the health of the environment and the Chesapeake Bay and who, as a student of color, exhibits exemplary leadership in promoting diversity and inclusion in his/her school and broader community.
Do you know someone who fits the bill?  Then we encourage you to nominate teachers for the award and ask you to help identify eligible students and encourage them to apply as well.  APPLICATIONS MUST BE SUBMITTED ONLINE AT WWW.CBTRUST.ORG
For more information, call 410-974-2941 ext. 107.

Harbor East Holiday Events
Sunday, December 18 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Harbor East, 800 Block Aliceanna Street
There’s nothing like city sidewalks for the holidays. On December 3, the streets of Harbor East will come alive during “Joy Jingle Jam.” Enjoy live performances, photos with Santa, and more. On Sunday, December 18, browse for holiday gifts and discover the art of ice sculptor Sean Fitzpatrick. Specially made “snow” will thrill visitors throughout the day. Shoppers can receive three hours of free parking with same-day receipts totaling $100 and a voucher from a Harbor East merchant.
For a complete list of shops, restaurants, entertainment, and promotions, visit

Historic Tax Credit Workshop
Monday, December 19, Wednesday, January 18 and Tuesday, February 21 from 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Baltimore Heritage, 11 1/2 W. Chase Street
Starting to think about a home renovation project for next spring? Or even next month? If you’re doing work on your historic house, you may be eligible for the Maryland Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit program which offers generous incentives for home-owners in designated historic districts. With over seventy historic districts across the city, thousands of Baltimore homeowners are eligible for a 20 percent tax credit on rehab projects from roof repair, wood window restoration, or even a replacement furnace. Baltimore City also offers a historic tax credit that can help control the growth of your property taxes for up to a ten year period. Join Baltimore Heritage for one of our three upcoming historic tax credit workshops for an introduction to the state and city historic rehab tax credit.
For more information, call 301-204-3337 or email

Winter Solstice Celebration
Thursday, December 21 at 7:00 pm
First Unitarian Church, Charles Street and Franklin Street
This annual celebration includes songs, poetry, drama, a symbolic extinguishing of the old year’s fire and lighting of the new, turning the Wheel of the Year, and giving thanks for blessings. Seasonal sweets will be available for tasting. The event will also include blessing of newborn babes.
For more information, email or call 410-252-6074.

Kwanzaa Family Day
Wednesday, December 28 from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Baltimore Museum of Art, 10 Art Museum Drive
This free celebration of community and family features a special performance by Keur Khaleyi African Dance Company and fascinating stories brought to life by actress Maria Broom. Come and create your own African textiles and hand-held treasures!
For more information, call 443-573-1700 or visit

Family-to-Family Mental Illness Course
Saturday, January 28 from 10:00 AM to 12:30 PM
Govans Boundary United Methodist Church, 5210 York Road
Tuesday, February 21 from 7:00 PM to 9:30 PM
Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church, 905 Frederick Road
Wednesday, March 28 from 7:00 PM to 9:30 PM
Kingdom Harvest Christian Center, 12 Gwynns Mill Court
Family to Family is a free 12-week course sponsored by NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) for close relatives of individuals with severe mental illness. The course teaches the clinical treatment of major mental illnesses and the knowledge and skills that family members need to cope more effectively.  Topics include: communication skills, coping techniques, brain biology, medications, advocacy and more and are taught by trained family members. NAMI Metropolitan Baltimore is sponsoring three classes this winter/spring session.  Participants must call to register.
Classes fill quickly, so call today at 410-435-2600.

Office of the City Council President
100 N. Holliday St., Suite 400
Baltimore, MD 21202
410-396-4804 (p) 410-539-0647 (f)
Copyright (C) 2011. All rights reserved.
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