Door Stories: Week of July 10th, 2017

Over the past week, I’ve knocked on hundreds of doors, and talked to dozens of neighbors in the McElderry Park Community and Patterson Park Neighborhood.

These encounters are important for a couple of reasons. First, they give me a chance to introduce myself: I’ve been in office for just six months and need to meet as many folks as I can. Secondly, these encounters give neighbors a chance to tell me what’s most important to them.

In McElderry and Patterson Park one thing stands out: people really care about improving things for themselves and their neighbors.
In Patterson Park, I talked with Alex, a young father who wants to make sure that all children — his little one included — have access to quality public schools. This was common among young families who were interested in staying in Baltimore, but who thought that the schools here were lacking critical resources to be effective learning centers.
A lot of folks talked about public safety concerns. Everyone who raised the issue of public safety said that teens and young adults need to have more organized summer/after school activities. “Kids who have summer jobs, or who work in apprenticeships and training programs are too tired to get themselves into trouble!” said one neighbor.
Investing in our kids also means caring about the environment they live in. Keeping our streets and alleys clean came up in a lot of conversations. No surprise, because clean streets are signs of cohesion and stability, both of which help to repel social disorder and deter crime. I helped two neighbors file 311 complaints for rat abatement, also called the “Rat Rubout” program. The problem location involved two adjacent vacant homes, each of which has major infestation in the untended backyards. I will follow up to see that those sites are treated, and will work with my city council counterparts to see if we can get the rat holes sealed.
Folks who know me are used to seeing me picking up trash on the streets of our neighborhood, everywhere I go. I’m really pleased to have a new staffer, Patrick, who also cares about keeping our streets clean. He even carried an extra bag with him for that purpose!
welcome to the team, Patrick!
Listening, learning and helping. That’s why I’m on the doors. I’ll keep listening to and telling #ourstories, and I look forward to hearing yours.