A crowd of 80 residents attended BaltimoreRENEW’s quarterly city-wide meeting on January 24, 2017. The atmosphere was electric, with our host’s conference room packed to capacity and more residents listening from the conference room doorways and nearby hall.
Guest speakers Nneka Nnamdi and Changa Onyango discussed the ICBC co-housing initiative, which includes both rental and affordable home ownership options, and presented #FightBlightBmore, an app which won them a Kaiser Permanente Social Innovation Challenge award. This app allows residents to photograph, describe and categorize blighted properties, which are then automatically tagged with GPS coordinates and recorded. You can provide feedback to Nneka and Changa by taking the #FightBlightBmore survey, which is anonymous and vital to improve this app’s usefulness or email them for more information.
Guests Ty Hullinger, Christian Lafferty and Amanda DeStefano, who represented North East Housing Initiative (NEHI) and the Baltimore Housing Roundtable, spoke about Community Land Trusts, which are a shared-equity model that allows the community to take control over the redevelopment of a blighted area. NEHI’s next meeting is Tuesday, February 21st at 6:00 PM at Holiness Church of Deliverance located at 3442 Ravenwood Avenue. The Roundtable meets on the last Thursday of each month at 6:00 PM at 2640 Saint Paul Street. For more information on either event email amanda.
Guest Shana Roth-Gormley, who represented Community Law Center (CLC), shared information on various workshop opportunities, including “How to Start and Maintain a Nonprofit Organization” and “Building a Foundation for Stronger Communities.” CLC is Maryland’s only legal services organization and its 425 volunteer attorneys are dedicated solely to representing neighborhoods and the nonprofit sector. Email Shana for more information.
Presentations ended with Councilmen Brandon Scott (District 2) and Ryan Dorsey (District 3) addressing the crowd and emphasizing the importance of cross-community involvement and cooperative efforts to dissolve the arbitrary lines that divide our city. The 2nd District’s office can be reached at 410-396-4808 and the 3rd District’s can be reached at 410-396-4812.
To conclude the meeting RENEW board members emphasized the strength of a collective voice in tackling nuisance and vacant properties and asked residents to join our effort – 42 responded by registering for either Individual or Association Memberships. Even more identified their interest by placing stickers on our Baltimore City Neighborhood Map, showing where they live. For more information about BaltimoreRENEW send us an email.