CCA Public Meeting
Tuesday, November 28, 2017
The meeting started at 7:05PM at the United Evangelical Church. Doug Kaufman, President, welcomed everyone for coming and for showing interest. Doug thanked the Rev. Cathy Oatman for use of the church and for Pizza & Wing Factory for the food.
Lamp Post Lighting – Torbin Green:
Torbin spoke for a few minutes about the Lamp Post Lighting event. This annual event is a fundraiser for Believe in Tomorrow and is a family-friendly event that will now be held on a Friday, December 8. The businesses decorate poles with festive things for families. Torbin said this will be his last year helping with this event since he is moving on to other family-friendly events. Firetrucks and Santa, as well as eggnog and hot chocolate will be there.
O’Donnell Square Brick Fundraiser – Doug:
Doug spoke on behalf of the committee chair, Lauren Mallon Davino, who unfortunately could not attend tonight. The next brick installation ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, December 16. There will be 35 bricks installed at the Linwood Avenue and O’Donnell Street area. People having bricks installed have been notified. People can also purchase a duplicate brick to keep or give as a gift. The next order will be done in February.
All money raised goes towards the O’Donnell Square Park improvements.
Canton Canopy Update – Michael Woollen
Michael reported that 43 trees have been planted on Hudson Street so far due to a grant for $18,050 received. More will be done in the spring. Some people are paying for pits themselves. He said Canton Canopy needs help with their website. Emails can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. It was noted that the southeast district has the worst tree canopy in the entire state so these initiatives are important.
SE Baltimore Police Department – Doug:
Doug spoke to Major Clinedinst. However, he cannot make it tonight due to the funeral of Detective Sean Suiter early on Wednesday morning. Doug emphasized what the police have been saying to be aware of your surroundings and don’t have packages delivered to your home if no one will be there. Places that can receive packages in this area are: Vircity (Can Company), 2910 On The Square and Canton Games.
Canton Dog Park – Doug:
In Jayne Miller’s absence, Doug said there is a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the City and the Canton Dog Park that was signed to extend the terms.
Public Safety Committee – Doug:
The CCA is looking for volunteers. One of this committee’s earlier initiative was to get light bulbs for residents’ porch lights. There is already one person who volunteered. Adrienne, a Board member, mentioned a meeting at Hampstead Hill Academy on Wednesday, November 29 at 5PM with the organization BUILD (Baltimoreans United In Leadership Development).
Seniors Committee – Doug:
Doug would like a committee to focus on seniors in the area. Ms. Joi has expressed interest in helping.
Presentations - Doug:
State Delegate Brooke Lierman could not be present tonight due to the recent birth of her child.
State Delegate Robbyn Lewis:
Delegate Lewis thanked Doug for the welcome and said it was good to see everyone. She wants to hear questions, ideas, etc. Robbyn lives north of Patterson Park.
State Delegate Luke Clippinger:
Delegate Clippinger lives in the Riverside area and is Assistant State’s Attorney in Anne Arundel County. He works on economic matters in the House of Delegates.
Luke is focused on hearing about crime saying we have a lot of challenges, and we need to target the violent ones. There is focus on juveniles. Many cases get diverted for various reasons. He said once they get in the system, about 75% of the time nothing happens. It is hard to get information on this from the City State’s Attorney office. Sometimes witnesses don’t show up in court. There is legislation in the works to force witnesses to come to court. Luke and others are working with the Abell Foundation on these problems.
There were a few questions and answers. Robbyn said this is a public health issue. She cited Operation Safe Streets and how it has benefited McElderry Park.
Nate Loewentheil – Candidate for State Delegate:
Saying the CCA is a non-profit group, Doug introduced Nate who is running for the House of Delegates.
Nate was glad to hear our delegates speak about crime. He said for him it is personal. He goes to vigils and has heard stories about crime. He said we don’t have to accept this. He feels we need more from the State.
He was appointed to President Obama’s Task Force for Baltimore City after April 2015. His ideas are community policing with State aid for the Baltimore City Police Department; and Community Block Grant Programs. There were no questions.
Stormwater Stencils – Doug:
Cassie Kelly couldn’t be present tonight. There are some stencils in the area. Cassie wants to do more probably in the spring and needs volunteers.
Baltimore City Dept. of Public Works – Doug:
The Community Liaison, Larry Nunley, couldn’t be present tonight.
Maryland Fight for $15 Campaign – Bridgette Dumais:
Bridgette spoke for a few minutes about the reason to implement the $15 an hour wage across the State.
They are looking to help business owners and workers. There is a meeting Monday, December 18 at 6PM at 5011 Arbutus Avenue. There were a few questions.
State Senator Bill Ferguson:
His background is that of a teacher. He has seen what children in the City face with support issues.
He would like to expand opportunities. The Senator would put Hampstead Hill Academy up against any school in Baltimore County, Montgomery County, etc. He said the funding system was doing great until the recession.
He feels education is our main issue along with the issue of crime. There will be more to come about his bills for education.
He feels we need to have the State and City partner better. The Senator said that the four of them (Robbyn, Luke, Brooke and himself) work together and are always in touch.
There were a few questions. One involved budgets. For both the City and State the elected officials cannot add funds; they can just cut.
Citation to Doug – Senator Ferguson:
Bill presented a Citation to Doug (thinking his last meeting) for his passion and dedication to the community. Doug said he is appreciative of the CCA Board who does tremendous work in the community. He feels the meetings are well attended.
Candidate for City State’s Attorney – Thiru Vignarajah:
Mr. Vignarajah is running against the current City State’s Attorney, Marilyn Mosby. He is a former federal and state prosecutor. He was Deputy Attorney General of Maryland. He said it is heartbreaking to see what has happened and has dedicated his life to fighting crime, but not in the spotlight. A lot of the staff was lost in the current State’s Attorney’s office. There are one in three shootings that result in death due to larger bullets, more shots and being shot close to the head. He feels he has a plan to cut homicides in half in three years.
Upcoming CCA and Partner Events:
Board meetings are held the first Tuesday of the month (except July and December) in the Broom Factory on Boston Street at 7PM. They are open to CCA members.
The Southeast Police Department has CRC (Community Relations Council) meetings the first Monday of the month at 7PM.
The EDC (Economic Development Committee) meets the second Monday of the month at 6:30PM in the Broom Factory. This committee deals with various issues here in Canton.
The Public meetings have been scheduled for 2018: 1/23 – Board elections; 3/20, 5/22, 9/25 and 11/27. They are here in the church and usually in the basement unless there is a large turnout.
A flier “Support a Polystyrene Ban in Baltimore City” was distributed by someone from Councilman Zeke Cohen’s office. Doug said the CCA doesn’t have a position yet. We can vote yes, no or no opinion. He would like folks to offer opinions by emailing email@example.com.
A flier was available from Northstar Baltimore about the mentoring program – firstname.lastname@example.org.
The meeting ended at 8:40PM.