March 2021: City Council and COVID-19 Vaccine
Thanks to all 44 friends, neighbors, and guests that tuned in for the PPNA Community Meeting on March 8, 2021! We loved hearing introductions from new homeowners, announcements from familiar faces, and updates from PPNA. The full digital recording is available below. Read on for the meeting recap, featuring:
Zeke Cohen, Councilperson for Baltimore City District 1, on illegal dumping, calling out Comcast, and Healing City Baltimore
Gina Baez from the Baltimore City Health Department on the COVID-19 vaccine rollout and reaching hard-to-reach populations
Announcements and updates, bringing in even more neighbors to learn about PPNA
Postcard drop: PPNA would like to connect with even more neighbors in our area. As part of a larger outreach/engagement initiative, we'll start by dropping a postcard to every household. We're looking for neighbors who are willing and able to walk by some houses and drop a postcard in each mailbox. Interested? Fill out this google form.
COVID-19 vaccine: Mayor Scott announces Baltimore City COVID-19 vaccination distribution plan, focusing on older adults. Click here to view announcement (March 5, 2021).
Highlandtown Preschool: Highlandtown Preschool is hosting Open Houses for Summer and Fall; click here to RSVP. Also, Highlandtown Preschool is gearing up to launch open classrooms for two-year-old students in January 2022. Fill out this google form to express interest.
Food and diaper giveaway: The Food and Diaper giveaway is going on at William Paca Elementary School every Wednesday at 11:00a. Stop by to get a produce box or baby supplies. Contact Cheryl Bryant to volunteer: email@example.com.
Community Composting: Community Composting bins are available 24/7 for dropping off your household compost! Located at E Baltimore Street x N Streeper Street. Click here to learn more.
Save the date! On March 20, 2021 from 10:00a-2:00p we'll have an Open House and Launch Celebration where you can drop off your food scraps, ask questions about composting, pick up a free five-gallon bucket to collect your food scraps at home, see a sample of the compost that's created by your food scraps, and celebrate this community initiative. Please wear a mask and practice social distancing. Questions? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Glen Middleton is the District 1 Community Liaison for Mayor Brandon Scott. Contact Glen: email@example.com, 443-257-8114 (phone).
Jelisa Glanton is a Homeless Outreach Worker with the Mayor's Office of Homeless Services (MOHS). MOHS supports community members experiencing homelessness. Click here to learn more about accessing shelter in Baltimore City. Contact Jelisa: Jelisa.Glanton@baltimorecity.gov, 410-361-9675 (office), 443-835-8277 (cell), 410-545-1862 (Street Outreach Team).
Larry Nunley is the Community Liaison for the Department of Public Works (DPW). To submit DPW requests, use the 311 app, and then follow up by forwarding the information to Larry. Contact Larry: firstname.lastname@example.org. 443-615-2626 (cell).
Matt Achhammer is the Community Liaison for the Baltimore City Liquor Board. Use the 311 app to submit liquor board complaints. Contact Matt: email@example.com, 410-241-6525 (cell).
Matt DeSantis is the Southeast District Community Liaison for the Department of City Planning. Contact Matt: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shaakira Gill is the Community Liaison for City Council President Nick Mosby's Office. Shaakira can connect you with city council opportunities for Economic and Community Development; Education, Workforce, and Youth; Health, Environment, and Technology; Public Safety and Government Operations; Rules and Legislative Oversight, and the Board of Estimates. Contact Shaakira: Shaakira.email@example.com, 410-925-0484 (cell).
Zeke Cohen, Councilperson for Baltimore City District 1
Illegal dumping: On March 8, Zeke introduced the Neighbors Against Predatory Dumping Act, a law that doubles the fines on illegal dumping. Illegal dumping is predatory. It happens overwhelmingly in disinvested neighborhoods. Use the 311 app to report instances of illegal dumping. Click here to read more.
Calling out Comcast: There is a digital divide in Baltimore City. 40% of families in Baltimore lack access to in-home Wi-Fi. During the pandemic, students have reported that they do not enough broadband to successfully complete their online coursework. Those that currently do and do not have internet access are closely aligned with historically redlined communities of Baltimore. Lack of reliable internet access disproportionately impacts communities of color. In January 2021, the City Council requested a formal investigation into the problem of Comcast's price gauging, and setting a cap on data usage. Click here to view Baltimore Sun article (January 27, 2021). In February 2021, the City Council hosted a press conference at City Hall to discuss Comcast's announcement that they are doubling the speed of their Internet Essentials Package.
Healing City Baltimore: The Elijah Cummings Healing City Act went into effect on March 10, 2020. This is the first bill in the United States that allows a city to legislate trauma informed care. 36 Baltimoreans recently got together for the first meeting of the Trauma Informed Task Force. Stemming the tide of trauma is critically important for the mental and physical health of people in our city. Click here to learn more about Healing City Baltimore.
Contact Zeke: firstname.lastname@example.org
Gina Baez, Baltimore City Health Department
The City of Baltimore plans to have 80% of it's residents vaccinated against COVID-19 by February 2022. ~55% of Baltimore residents will be vaccinated at mass vaccination sites. ~45% of Baltimore residents will be vaccinated at neighborhood health clinics and pharmacies. ~5% of Baltimore residents, including special populations and hard-to-reach populations, will be vaccinated by mobile units.
Mobile units will focus on special populations and hard-to-reach populations such as older adults, Latinx neighbors and immigrants, people experiencing homelessness, Orthodox Jewish communities, young men, pregnant and lactating women, and people with disabilities.
This is the plan for achieving herd immunity in Baltimore City. If only a few people are vaccinated, then the disease spreads very fast. But if lots of people are vaccinated, then the disease can’t spread very far, so the whole community stays safer.
Vaccine hesitancy is a huge barrier to vaccination. Baltimore City is deploying mobile teams for listening sessions, and training peer educators from within communities. People listen to their peers more than medical institutions and politicians. Instead, we are relying on trusted messengers such as friends, acquaintances and faith leaders to help.
Communications campaigns will be tailored to specific populations to address myths and misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines.
For more information from Baltimore City: batlimorecity.gov/covax or 410-396-2273 (phone)
For more information from Maryland: Coronavirus.maryland.gov to find a vaccine site near you
At the time of prepping mobile units and communications campaigns, we would love volunteers to support these efforts. Contact Gina directly to express interest.
Contact Gina: email@example.com.