Neighbors Seek Solutions to City’s Problems

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     A COALITION of Baltimore City community groups and neighbors will meet this month to develop action plans to address four critical issues facing the city: crime and drugs, sanitation, housing and open space, and youth and education.
     According to Odette Ramos, a Charles Village resident who is co-chair of recruitment for the forums and culminating congress, “Every Baltimore resident is invited to participate” in sharing ideas and finding solutions to the city’s problems.
     The culminating event in the think-tank process will be a Neighborhood Congress Convention, to be held Monday, June 28 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at Baltimore City College High School, 3220 The Alameda.
     Sponsored by Citizens Planning and Housing Association (CPHA), the citizen-based, all-volunteer Neighborhood Congress is designed to create action plans in each of the “critical areas.” Once these plans are agreed upon, all constituents--residents, community and civic organizations, and identified government “partners”--will be deemed accountable for following through on these plans through the involvement of Implementation Teams that will be chosen during the process.
     Over 2,500 city residents are expected to be involved, from over 50 communities.
     The rationale for the process is that this year, a new Mayor will be elected who is not an incumbent. Organizers expect to present the plan to the new Mayor, and will work with the new Mayor in an ongoing process that will continue until the goals are met.
     FIRST, THE FORUMS: Three Solutions Forums will be held, where residents can offer their ideas and suggestions for improving the city’s quality of life:

     At these forums, participants will review data gathered beforehand through surveys, meetings, and phone calls. Then they will provide feedback on possible solutions and goals, and develop new ideas.
     The Neighborhood Congress Convention is funded by The Annie E. Casey Foundation, The Baltimore Neighborhood Collaborative, First National Bank of Maryland, and the Morris Goldseker Foundation, among others.
     For more details, call Lisa Smith at CPHA, 539-1369 or see the website at

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This story was published on June 3, 1999.