|Welcoming Our Future. Celebrating Our Past.|
|Volume 1, Issue 18_____ ______ _______ __ __________ _ __ ________ Wednesday, November 24, 2010|
Tuesday, November 30
CONNECT TO JACK
Have a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving Holiday
The Baltimore City Council would like to wish a healthy and happy holiday season to you and yours. During this season of giving and reflection we would like to offer our sincere thanks and gratitude to the citizens of Baltimore for your daily acts of kindness and good works toward your fellow Baltimoreans. Let us give thanks this holiday season and remember that together we can help make Baltimore a better city for us all.
Coalition Standing for Affordable City Housing
Members of the Asset-Building Community Development Network Baltimore (ABCD/Baltimore) told the City Council on Monday, November 15, that it is making significant progress in strengthening low-wealth communities throughout Baltimore and has further plans to improve the city.
The volunteer-driven organization, part of a statewide coalition of public and private groups, includes many of the leading housing and community development organizations in the city who are interested in making Baltimore and its neighborhoods a better place to live and work.
ABCD/Baltimore’s Allison Pendell Jones spoke to the Council as part of “Showcase Baltimore,” a segment held before Council Meetings that allows community groups to update the city on their progress. Representing its network of over 40 affordable housing developers, Jones said ABCD/Baltimore recently submitted recommendations to the city for its 2011-2015 consolidated housing plan. ABCD will meet quarterly with housing staff to consider further improvements.
“Our goal is to advocate for nonprofits and make sure that they are represented well, their needs are met, and they are heard in the community,” Jones said. “We’ve been a big proponent for pushing for a neighborhood revitalization plan, and we think something that is lacking is an overall vision for the city. We understand this is where the priorities are, but a plan would help us as a nonprofit for our development.”
ABCD/Baltimore still faces a number of challenges for its members and its network. It has only one part-time staff person statewide and the rest are volunteers.
“Affordable housing continues to be a challenge for the city, and ABCD/Baltimore has made a great push to advocate for the needs of the groups that play a vital role in this market,” City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young said. “I have made several successful legislative efforts to improve and expand affordable housing, and the work of groups like this is invaluable.”
Support Transparency and Accountability
The Baltimore City Council on Monday, November 8, 2010, granted President Bernard C. "Jack" Young's Transparency and Accountability Bill (TAB) final approval, and the legislation now awaits action from Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake to become law. The bill would allow proceedings from the Liquor Board, Board of Municipal Zoning Appeals and Board of Estimates, which represent three of the city’s most influential decision-making bodies, to be televised.
Most citizens are kept in the dark about decisions made by these powerful boards – which rule on everything from zoning changes to the awarding of multi-million dollar construction contracts – because they are not currently televised, and the meetings often take place during the day when people are at work.
“Tonight’s passage of my landmark Transparency and Accountability Bill (TAB) is a major step toward true government openness and accountability," President Young said. "I look forward to Mayor Rawlings-Blake’s immediate adoption of this resolution."
Since being elected Council President, President Young has worked hard to ensure that the City Council is focused in a tangible way on government transparency. In April, the City Council passed new ethics legislation that helped make government more transparent by expanding and strengthening the ethics board and clarifying the qualifications for ethics board members. And last month, President Young introduced legislation to enhance the city’s rules governing lobbying.
"With today’s passage of TAB, Baltimore is truly moving in the right direction," the President said. "Together, we are creating a stronger city built on increased transparency.”
Please contact Mayor Rawlings-Blake at 410-396-3835 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to urge her to fully fund the Council President's transparency legislation.
Vendor Development Series for Minority and Women Business Enterprises
Bed Bug Response Meeting
Baltimore World AIDS Day
Highlandtown Holiday Train Garden
| Office of the City Council President
100 N. Holliday St., Suite 400
Baltimore, MD 21202
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