Bring People Together
According to the United States Surgeon General, loneliness is a public health crisis in which the negative impacts rival cigarette use. Unfortunately, isolation has risen and community engagement has dropped. We must empower community and volunteer groups to bring people together.
Support Community Events and Festivals
Our unique, beautiful neighborhoods hold many events throughout the year. Our event organizers too often do not receive adequate resources from the city. In addition to providing grants or law enforcement support, the city must bring tourism agencies into the fold to draw more people to these amazing community gatherings.
Reform the Event Permitting Process
The city must make it easier for event organizers to complete the permitting process. Too often community leaders, volunteers, vendors, marketing teams, and law enforcement find themselves in a form of logistics limbo. The process must be reformed so that timelines for approvals are made and met.
Enhance Senior Citizen Outreach
The U.S. population is aging at a high rate. We must make investments now to ensure our older population is cared for and provided resources that will help them enjoy fulfilling lives. Our senior centers must be fully staffed – offering programming for their residents and/or participants that build community and elevate their physical and mental health. Additionally, I will support more funding towards grant programs that assist senior residents with receiving healthy meals, connecting them with advocates, managing their finances, and modifying their home for energy efficiency. As a council member, I will also work to deliver case management services in senior centers to ensure our community members have access to the resources they need.
Expand Farmers Markets and Access to Fresh Produce
Baltimore City should consider creating new publicly run outdoor markets to encourage community building, provide vending space for local businesses, and expand access to nutritious food. We should also explore ways to incorporate the open food cart concept – expanding upon the Arraber model– into plans to grow healthy food access in our communities, especially those in food deserts.
Promote Mental Health Resources
Baltimore should spread awareness of non-profit, federal, state, and city mental health services through robust public health campaigns. For example, the new mental health 9-8-8 helpline is an important, free opportunity for those who need immediate assistance.
Promote Baltimore as a Welcoming City
All Baltimoreans should feel safe, no matter their race, gender, creed, country of origin or sexual orientation. As your council member, I will fight for marginalized people whose concerns are too often neglected. We must identify policies or systemic problems that negatively impact people of color, religious minorities, members of the LGBTQ+ community, or women and immediately address them. As your council member, I will strive to make Baltimore a welcoming city to all people who are interested in visiting, working, worshiping, or living here.
Support Healthy Eating and Fitness Outreach Programs
According to the State of Maryland, over 40% of our fellow residents are diabetic or pre-diabetic. We can and will improve long term health outcomes for all Baltimore families if we increase awareness of and provide opportunities for healthy living. We should prioritize funding programs that do on-the-ground community outreach encouraging healthy eating and fitness. Additionally, we should support public-private programs that distribute nutritious food to those who need our support or live in food deserts.