WHERE JUSTICE, PUBLIC HEALTH & ENVIRONMENT MEET
By McKay Jenkins, author, scholar and BBGJ Outreach/Communication Action Group member
"On the late July day that President Trump called my hometown a “rat and rodent-infested mess” where “no human being would want to live,” I found myself dumping 200 pounds of compost into a vegetable garden across the street from a Baltimore methadone clinic. The compost had been cooking in my backyard for almost a year and included a dozen large Hefty bags of leaves from our silver maple and black cherry trees and..."
READ THE FULL "UNDERWATER NEW YORK" ARTICLE HERE
By Avelino Maestas The Steering Committee of the Environmental Stewardship Summit hosted its third public event last week to unveil the results of our members’ Vision and Platform for a Blue, Green and Just Baltimore. The process was a continuation of our work from June, when 65 Baltimoreans gathered to brainstorm ideas to improve the air and water quality of our city, and reduce the inequalities that exist between our city’s richest and poorest neighborhoods.
At our June Summit, residents split into four groups to crowdsource solutions and opportunities along distinct areas: Air and Water; Land and Land Use; Climate, Resiliency and Justice; and Transparency and Accountability. The groups generated hundreds of ideas, and the Steering Committee met several times in the months since to categorize, refine and distill those ideas into a concise vision for our work.
The Steering Committee also crafted a draft Platform we will use to engage candidates in the upcoming primary in Baltimore City. We will offer our elected officials a bold, uplifting Vision for the future, and our Platform will prompt them to address our issues. It will also gives us a framework to hold them accountable once in office.
Jenn Aiosa, Executive Director of Blue Water Baltimore, skillfully presented the Steering Committee’s Vision and Platform. You can view her presentation below. The Vision can be read here. We are still completing the platform.
This process isn’t finished. We received some incredible feedback during the Sept. 16 Summit, and we hope to incorporate that into a final version. If you have feedback or questions about the proposed Platform and Vision, send an e-mail to email@example.com.
Next Steps Also during Monday’s summit, volunteers split into subgroups to begin planning the mayoral candidate’s forum in early 2020. We formed groups to discuss Planning, Communications, Outreach, Action and Research. These groups will help ensure we have the best representation at the event.
In the coming months, we’ll further our outreach efforts to find more Baltimoreans who share our desire for a Just, Blue and Green city. And, we’ll keep you in the loop about all of that.
We’ve already secured a host location for the Mayoral Candidates Forum, and a notable broadcast journalist to serve as a moderator or co-moderator. Once plans for the Forum are finalized we’ll let you know.
Sharing Thoughts on Legacy Niamh McQuillan, another member of our Steering Committee, asked our Summit attendees to think about their place in the community; how we all envision our work to improve the environment; and what we hope to leave as a legacy. We then summarized those thoughts with a few words and phrases; these were submitted to Niamh and organized into the following word cloud!
About the author: Avelino Maestas is a member of the BALTIMORE ● Blue+Green+Just Steering Committee.
An Alliance of Environmentally-Minded Non-Profits and Community Activists Holding a Common Vision for Health, Safety and Prosperity for all Baltimoreans in This New Epoch of Climate Emergency