Mayor Rawlings-Blake Launches Westside BioPark Public Safety Initiative
|Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake
of Maryland, Baltimore officials, city leadership, and community
leaders at the University of Maryland BioPark for a briefing on the
start of the Westside BioPark Public Safety Initiative on Aug. 19.
The Public Safety Initiative is one of a series of such events that the
mayorýs office is conducting in neighborhoods throughout the city. The
weeklong efforts bring together representatives of all city agencies --
including fire, police, health and parks and recreation departments --
to canvas a given neighborhood, addressing as many problems as possible
and recording others for future solution. The Westside BioPark
Initiative partners the city departments with the University of
Maryland, Baltimore, tenants of the University of Maryland BioPark and
community groups in five areas of West Baltimore - Franklin Square,
Union Square, Poppleton, Hollins Market and Barre Circle.
Each day, as part of the initiative, five groups will canvas the area
knocking on doors, checking to see if residents need various services
including drug treatment, mental health assistance, streetlights
repaired, dump sites cleaned up, broken curbs addressed, and more.
Services can be provided on the spot or the problem can be slated for
At the briefing in the BioPark conference facility, Rawlings-Blake said
the Public Safety Initiatives give city officials and employees a
chance to speak one-on-one with residents to evaluate progress and
determine where more resources are needed.
"We are here to serve you, and we want to make sure we're getting it
right," Rawlings-Blake said. "The goal of the Public Safety Initiative is to see how can we work together using all of the resources we each
bring to the table, and how to best use those resources to get the job
done. I believe we are able to do more, and the only way we will do
that is through partnership."
Each day through the remainder of the Public Safety Initiative week,
different events give city residents the chance to interact with their
officials and service providers. On the evening of Aug. 19, a Mayor's Youth Commission
Block Party will take over the 200 block of Fremont Street. On Aug. 20
at 6 p.m., a community walk featuring the mayor and Councilman William "Pete" Welch will begin at the
BioPark and end at Carter Memorial Church at 13
South Poppleton Street. The Mayor's Cabinet in the Community meeting
will follow at the church from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. On Saturday, the Hollins Roundhouse
will host a Back to School party from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., featuring
employment services, health care providers and pro bono legal services
for parents, and fun activities for children.
On Aug. 19, the first day of door-knocking, the briefing included
numbers on how many residents were connected with needed services. The
teams knocked on 483 doors, and 140 were opened. The fire department
installed 37 smoke alarms. Substance abuse officials referred 12 people
for outpatient drug treatment and three residents were referred to
inpatient programs, including one who was given an intake date for the
following day. Twenty potholes were reported for repair, as well as
nine curb sections, and 39 curb cuts that needed to be addressed. Six
houses were boarded up, and 140 street and alley cleaning referrals
"What we see here is what's possible," said Rawlings-Blake. "This about
making people know that whatever they're going through, they're not
alone. We're here to connect them with resources."
Members of the UMB community turned out at the briefing to express
their commitment to the same goals as the Public Safety Initiative
taking place in the university's neighborhood.
"This place holds a special place in our hearts," said Steven A. Hanssen, senior
director of development for BioPark tenant Wexford Science & Technology.
"We care about the community around the BioPark. One of our goals is to
make the community around the BioPark that much better."
Jane Shaab, BioPark senior vice
president, told the mayor that her visit to the BioPark boosts the
community outreach that UMB strives for every day. "Thank you very,
very much for your attention to this neighborhood," Shaab said. "The
reinforcement of having you here is just tremendous."
|Posting Date: 08/19/2014
|Contact Name: Karen Robinson
|Contact Phone: 410-706-0023
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