Baltimoreans have come together for a better Baltimore
Baltimore: Since Freddie Gray’s death and the Baltimore uprising, many Baltimoreans have come together for a better Baltimore. Many nonprofits benefiting communities in Baltimore have been formed since Baltimore’s unrest.
One of the groups is the Coalition for Transformation and Betterment of Baltimore. The group is also known as “Stand Up Baltimore”, and on Monday, they held a rally at the war memorial in downtown Baltimore, where almost a year ago, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake announced the charges against six Baltimore city Police Officers in the wake of Freddie Gray’s death.
As the rally got under way, the group was introduced and a prayer began with more than 12 nonprofit organizations that came together to speak. Each group spoke for 7 minutes. The rally was held one day before the primary election, aimed not to promote candidates, but to get people to go out to vote.
Derrick Chase, founder of the organization, talked about plans aimed at changing the narrative of Baltimore from dysfunctional to functional. One of the plans he announced at the rally was a plan to divide the city into grids, where neighborhoods would be separated and ranked according to their needs. The neighborhoods would then be assigned a block captain. Resources from the participating nonprofits would be applied where they are needed.
Participating nonprofits will be asked to promise three hours a month. Their time will be dedicated to the targeted neighborhoods and after four years, by the next election, we will have a blueprint for Baltimore’s future. We’ll be in a position to present a platform instead of receiving one, he said. He also said, “There are a lot of things going on. Were systematically trying to unify the efforts”
“The world is watching Baltimore, so we have to take the initiative to make the change we want and start by voting”, said Kenneth Frasier of Operation Hunger USA who also spoke at the event. Last year’s voter registration was 362,000 and this year it is an estimated 374,000.
The event speakers spoke of local organizations, the city’s needs, and what is being done to address them. The Coalition for Transformation and Betterment of Baltimore is made up of more than 120 local groups and organizers. Organizers at today’s event said, “There is a feeling of peace and unity, but it’s going to take everyone coming together to attack the deep seeded issues to see change in some of the neighborhoods.”
Other organizations are rallying and holding peaceful marches throughout the week in memory of Freddie Gray, as well as to commemorate the one year anniversary of the Baltimore City riots.