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Brewers Hill Neighbors Meeting Recap - June 2022

Updated: Sep 19

The meeting was called to order at 7:01PM. There were 29 participants in attendance. Location was at Mobtown Brewing Company.


MEMBERSHIP UPDATE

  • 92 active members. 70 members renewed dues and 20 new sign-ups since January

  • About 27 members went into an inactive status. You can still renewal dues via PayPal or Venmo (@BHNeighbors) or credit card

  • Please tell your neighbors who may not know about the association to consider joining. Also, when you welcome new neighbors moving into Brewers Hill, let them know about BHN. The 2021 Summer Engagement Survey had a clear message - most people are unaware there is a neighborhood association. Have them check out the website - www.brewershillneighbors.org and they can sign-up from Membership page at the top! Dues for new members will be prorated to $5 after July 1. Renewals are always the full $10 dues.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • The next dumpster day will be August 27. Reminds will be shared closer to the date

  • Plans for the next Porch & Patio event is being discussed for a fall event this year. We will need about four neighbors to host for this event. Look for an announcement over the summer

  • BHN will again support Graceland Park Elementary school by hosting a back to school supply drive. Brant Fisher will be handling the event and will share details in August.

  • Matt DeSantis from the Baltimore City Planning Department shared that the final open house for Comprehensive Plan kickoff process was schedule for June 15 from 6-8 at 201 E. Biddle Street. He encouraged folks to get involved in the process for the comprehensive and strategic planning for the next 10 days in Baltimore City.

  • The next meeting will be September 13, 2022 as which time a call for nominations will be made for open board positions starting January 1, 2023. The open positions are President, Treasurer, and 3 At-Large Members. Joining the board is a great way to get involved in Brewers Hills and the broader Baltimore community, and it brings new and fresh perspectives on how to lead an organization to keep Brewers Hill a strong and vibrant community.

  • Fill out this form to nominate yourself or someone else (maybe talk to them first). You can always nominate at the September meeting.


GUEST SPEAKERS


Anthony Fitzgerald from SO Baltimore Anthony Fitzgerald is the part owner of new restaurant, So Baltimore, in Brewers Hill at the corner of Fleet and Eaton Street. Malcom Delaney, a professional Italian basketball player, is the other owner. Their vision is to bring a Baltimore themed sports bar/restaurant back to Baltimore, representing the Orioles, Ravens, and other local sports. They are looking to open mid-July to early August.

 A lot of food will be based on crabs with fun drinks like one in the works called the 7th inning stretch

The décor will be sports themed paying homage to local athletes like Cal Ripken, Michael Phelps etc.

They hope to be open for lunch all week. Closing time is planned to be at 1AM with a last call of 12:45AM.

There is seating capacity for 75-80 people and will also have outside seating to accommodate up to 20 people. They have a 7 day liquor license which was transferred and would like to look into a karaoke night but nothing more than that. Malcom and Anthony are locals. Malcom graduated from Towson Catholic High School and Virginia Tech. Anthony graduated from Stevenson University.

Mark Edelson, candidate for District 46 State Delegate Mark started things off saying that we need a proven community leader with a track record of success. He believe he is that person. . He lives on the 2200 block of Fait and has been the president of Canton Community Association for last 5 years.  He is a partner and attorney at Silverman Thompson, adjunct professor at Goucher, and elected on the Democrat State Central Committee for our district 46.

He moved to America at age 15 searching for the American dream and hopes for everyone

to reach American dream. His team and him have knocked on 35,000 doors in the district

Many conversations with neighbors regarding community safety. He reviewed this "3 prong plan" as follow:

1. We have got to ensure that public safety officials have the resources they need to protect and serve our community, training insides and outside the academy on constitutional rights, more public oversight, civilian review boards

2. Reform department of parole and probation – 40% of crimes committed in the city the victim or perpetrator is on probation/parole

3. Invest in community organizations that have had success – prioritizing social work, organizations like safe streets.


He wants to connect Baltimore– we need to fully invest in a public transportation that works for everyone especially when a 1/3 of our neighbors cannot afford a vehicle. This will help lift people out of poverty. Things like a MARC station at Hopkins Bayview, a true east west connector, a water taxi on the Patapsco at Waterview, and the green trail will connect 35 miles of our green spaces.


He thinks a lot about sustainability – ensuring our children have a healthier environment, ween ourselves off our trash incinerator which produces toxic fumes for neighbors in south west Baltimore, more clean energy, investing in community gardens and composting stations (options everywhere in the district). Doing this while stimulating the economy by creating job opportunities, training youth and the workforce, and including small businesses


Why do I want to be our delegate? It’s about family. His parents sacrificed everything to bring him and his sister to America based on the promise of the American education. That promise no longer exists and he will be working each and everyday so that in the wealthiest state in the wealthiest country in the world each child has access to a world class education, a world that is connected, equitable, sustainable, and safe


Contact: www.electedelson.com


Q&A

Q: given what we know about North Avenue (Baltimore City School headquarters) and surrounding counties, what is the plan/your vision/what can you do in Annapolis to break the city of the downward cycle it is in?

A: Most recently at the general assembly they discussed the blueprint for America’s future, which resets how we fund schools around the state and accountability and enforcement of where the money goes (making sure students are passing, have ac and heating). The blueprint needs funding mechanisms to be successful to pay the board and fund the projects. It is not fully funded through 2034 when it needs to be funded. It is almost guaranteed we will legalize marijuana and we have seen a massive extension of sports betting, both should be used for school funding and we should place a lock box on these funds to ensure it goes to schools. At the state level we have subpoena power, in our committees we have the ability to subpoena people from North ave from the top to the bottom.


Q: What happened with the Century 21 schools building program under the stadium authority?

A: A lot of money has been allocated and there are some beautiful school buildings in our most need areas but there are a lot more buildings that still need improvement. The number that don’t have quality heating and AC have been widdled down and the gap has been closed significantly.


Ivan Bates, candidate for Baltimore City State's Attorney People always ask him why he wants this job? The office is decimated, crime is out of control. What makes me think I can do something different? It’s our children. They will make us change our job, profession, where we live, to work a little longer for our future and hope.  As a young prosecutor working a murder case in Cherry Hill, he was so focused on. getting justice for the victim’s family but now as a father he is thinking of his children and other families and children through the city. On his website, he put together 5 pillars

Prosecution (200 prosecutor positions but 133 prosecutors. You cannot do more with less),. We can’t have every specialized unit we want and will not fix this until we fill this position. A lot of former prosecutors have reached out to him, and also he can train young law students. It will take 6-8 years to fix the office but he will start making changes on day 1


He has 25 years of experience as an attorney and working with the Johns Hopkins case for legal handguns, There are 2 types of people with guns. For the bad guys committing crimes, we need to win those trials and until we do, we cannot hold people accountable. They need to be jailed, it is a misdemeanor to carry a handgun, with 3-5 years sentencing. When they get out that’s when the real work begins. They need to

report to probation for 5 years. A lot of these people can’t read and they should get service and be put in a literacy program to then help them get a GED. You can’t work if you can’t read or write,

Regarding trauma – young people often live in rough neighborhoods. The Mayor has put a lot into trauma programs. People go to these trauma programs for 3 years along with probation and they can get their record expunged and get a job and move forward. The SA office must work collaboratively with police department.


Ivan joined the army right after high school. It gave him discipline, structure, leadership, team work and he took that and went to Howard University and then to William and Mary law school. Afterwards, he went to LA and clerked with NAACP legal defense fund. In 1995, he moved back to Baltimore to take care of his aunt. While in Baltimore, he was a law clerk for a judge and worked with the state’s attorney office under Pat Jessamy. He then worked for a law firm and worked a case that went before the Supreme Court. in 2006, he started his own practice.


Contact info: www.batesforbaltimore.com

Q&A

Q: We have had low level crime, lude acts, package thefts, gone to court with some of the victims, seen an exodus from current states attorney’s office over the course of a couple cases over 2 week period, gets the feeling that the states attorney is the JV squad going against varsity because they are not prepared, frustrating – inconvenience, lack of preparedness, unprofessionalism, week of the trial they are asking people to show up when people have to get off work last min, if it wasn’t for the community pushing back he doesn’t feel like the communities voices would be heard, talking with detectives they say people are reluctant to press charges because they won’t stick, seeing people with lengthy histories with no time

incarcerated continue to commit low level crimes and are out on the street doing the same thing over and over again, what would your office would bring that would change that, what about a reporting standard, right now there is a disconnect with the community and the current office

A: 1. Day 1 we are repealing this policy of not prosecuting low level crimes. That doesn’t mean lock up everybody it means we will hold everyone accountable; people get a warning, then a citation which will bring you into community court where you will be given community service in the same communities where your committing crimes. If you can’t do that you will be prosecuted; same thing with drug abuse, it’s a disease and you can go to drug treatment, if you don’t want to go then you can be prosecuted. In 2012 585 people went to inpatient drug treatment programs and there were 53 od deaths; in 2021 58 people in drug treatment and over 1000 od deaths; 2. We have to get the police to buy in, going in day 1 into roll call and look the police in the eye and say we know you can make mistakes but you have a partner here, we

need you do community policing, talk to the community; 3. Need to restock states attorney’s office, need senior lawyers to train new attorneys, need to train officers to write reports, currently some states attorney don’t go to court, he will go to court and try a murder case if he has to, they need to put a case together and how to win in front of a Baltimore jury that has seen it all, we need to change the culture of the states attorneys office from day, fight side by side with people


Q: States attorneys and judges, what’s your plan to connect that bridge so that from intake to

verdict that everyone is pulling in the same direction of justice?

A: A lot has to do with your reputation. A lot of the judges are former prosecutors, a lot of states attorneys don’t know what they are doing and can’t present evidence well even if it’s obvious the defendant is guilty. He has a good reputation, has respect of the police and the judiciary and will be prepared when we go to court. Judges want to be refs they do not want to feel like they are letting guilty people go.


Q: What about perpetrators with mental health issues where incarceration will make things worse for them?

A: Mental health issues is grey area. You either don’t know right or wrong or it’s simply mental health issues. They give nolle pros and just move them along but that doesn’t work. The State’s Attorney’s office needs to move them into mental health court with experienced prosecutors and defense attorneys. His job is also to protect the community. If someone refuses to take medication and kills someone, he takes that into account, but his job is to protect the citizens. He can propose mental health court as a first step.

Sam Cogen, candidate for Baltimore City Sheriff

Sam is running for Baltimore Sheriff, and this office is important! The reason many don’t know about this office is because the incumbent has been in the office for 33 years.

Sam started at the Sheriff' office as an undergrad intern. He worked his way up to a top commander as an assistant sheriff. He retired after 25 years of service to run to become the next sheriff of Baltimore City.

He was part of a fellowship at a police think tank in DC which worked on the Detroit descent degree.

He was also a full time instructor at the BPD police academy in the past.


 The Sheriff’s office is separate from police department, and the sheriff has complete control of their

office. They do not report to the mayor.  The office consists of 235 people, head quartered at circuit court, $21m budget, the enforcement arm of the court, and has full police authority. In fact, the authority of the BPD comes from the sheriff (sheriff predates police by 8 years).


1. Sheriff’s office serves warrants, if in circuit court and on probation and violate probation, repeat violent offenders. Currently, the sheriff’s office is only putting 5 deputy sheriffs out to look for violation of

probation warrants and only arresting 18 people a month. That means that parole and probation officers cannot do their job. The office currently puts 30 deputies to serve evictions compared to the 5 to serve warrants for violent offenders. There is no accountability. He would put deputies to server warrants to get violent offenders off the street.

2. On weekends when courts are closed, deputies should be out in the community working festivals and events as special events officers. The new budget has $1.2m in a drug asset forfeiture account which can be used to spend on overtime. If police work the event, as they do now, then the event needs to pay the police and it takes police away from everyday policing. The current sheriff orders that the jurisdiction of deputies end at the court house door. This is just not true.

3. He would have deputies patrol around the court as a security function of the court. Deputies should assist jurors walking from the courthouse to their cars. In addition, the sheriff’s office should be patrolling the downtown area around the courts and connected to 911 system.

4. Evictions, based on court orders based on non-payment of rent. Sheriff’s office serve

them and these are our most at risk people. Currently in a Baltimore eviction they give them 15 min

to gather stuff and then escort them out, change locks, and d it’s not their concern what happens

to them. The sheriff’s office needs to ask where you are going to go and if they have nowhere, then

they need to connect them to services. If they have kids, they need to call the school and let them know. Currently there is no concern from the Sheriff's office on providing public service to those that are evicted.

5. Squatters are another problem,. Sometimes they extort the landlords and are scamming landlords with fake lease agreements. BPD will not investigate it if you show a lease, but they have fake leases. Then you have to go to circuit court which takes 3 months. The Sheriff's office would easily be able keep track of the scam or run a criminal investigation. In addition, people are illegally renting property without lead paint inspections or other required safety inspections. They may be splitting the house into a multi-unit illegally. Renters can file a complain for those landlords not following safety inspections. Landlords without renters licenses cannot use sheriff’s office to do an eviction since the landlords were breaking the law. These items are not currently enforced. Overall, the sheriff can step up public safety and housing safety.

The office does not currently have technology and, what is used is outdated. On day 1, Sam would implement new technology that is causing waste and inefficiencies is how the office should operate.

and inefficiencies


Contact info: www.baltimoresheriff.com


Q&A

Q: Is your goal to change squatters laws?

A: The police department is not doing investigations on people stealing the value of the house from you, it’s a scam that has perpetuated because it’s not being enforced, we don’t have to change the law, we just need to be smart about how we investigate them and assign detectives to this to do true investigations, then take it before a judge, no one is currently looking at squatting from a criminal investigation perspective, police dept is not doing those investigations so it’s easy for people to do this scam

Q: Given that the current sheriff didn’t show up to his own budget hearing, do you have

experience with these meetings?

A: Yes, he has testified at the budget hearings the last 4 years and has the experience and knowledge of operations and budget.



Augusta Christensen, candidate District 46 State Delegate Augusta was not on the agenda but had attended the meeting. Since there were a lot of candidates attending, and to be fair, she was invited to speak for about 5 minutes since the meeting was coming to a close.

Augusta is a lifelong Marylander with a passion for service who loves Baltimore and wants to see the city thrive.  After years of helping Democratic women run for office, she is answering the call herself. With a decade of experience in politics and relationships with dozens of legislators, Augusta is a proven leader who will get results for the district and the city at large

Contact info: www.augustaforbaltimore.com/


CLOSING REMARKS

The board is discussing how meetings will be handled going forward. The virtual meetings have been helpful and easy and seems to draw a good number of participants. Possibly there might be an alternating schedule of in-person and virtual. Details will be shared once a decision has been made.


A questions was asked about the DPW project. At the time of the meeting, all the north/south streets had the new main installed except for the 600 block of Fagley. Now the east/west streets were starting. Based on the timeline for the 8 north/south streets, it was suggested hopefully that the 15 east/west streets would be complete by October. The expectations is that the new main is being installed on all streets first and then, after that is complete, all streets will begin getting hooked up to the new main. BHN is reaching out to DPW for them to come to the September meeting to provide an update on the project and completion.


Tiffany Walker introduced herself. She is the interim community liaison for the Department of Transportation. She can assist with any transportation issues for District 1. Contact info: Tiffany.Walker2@baltimorecity.gov


ADJOURNMENT

Meeting was adjourned. Thanks and appreciation was given to Mobtown for hosting our meeting. The next meeting will be September 13, 2022 at which times nominations will be taken for President, Treasurer, and At Large for the next term starting January 1, 2023.





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