Virtual Community Meeting, May Minutes
Thanks for tuning in for the PPNA Virtual Community Meeting on May 11! COVID-19 has forced the world in to a new way of doing business, and we're happy to present a COVID-friendly format for PPNA Community Meetings. Of course virtual meetings are no substitute for the joy of in-person connection, so know that we too are looking forward to the day where we can reconvene safely with our neighborhood community at St. Elizabeth's church.
In the meantime, read up on what you missed, or scroll down to find the recording. As always, please get in touch with your thoughts/feedback/reactions, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We heard from Councilwoman Shannon Sneed of District 13, Councilman Zeke Cohen of District 1, and the PPNA Board about what we're doing during COVID. There are many ways of getting involved during this unprecedented time, and we are happy to continue supporting you and well as having your support. Here's the recap of what we covered:
PPNA Memberships: PPNA is a membership-based organization. Your annual membership sustains PPNA as a 501c(3) organization so that we can continue providing small grants, community programming, and support for you. Click here to purchase or renew your membership. Email email@example.com to check the status of your membership.
Speaking of PPNA Treasurer, neighbor and PPNA Board Member Daniel Millay and his family recently moved to Florida. Congratulations on the move! And now PPNA is actively seeking a volunteer to step into this role. We are indebted to Daniel for the infrastructure that he brought to PPNA, and we look forward to working alongside another neighbor in sustaining these efforts. Interested? Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Calling all renters, landlords, or property management companies in our area: The PPNA Housing Committee is working to support our neighbors who are struggling to pay rent due to COVID-19. If you or someone you know is a renter, landlord, or property management company within PPNA, we want to hear from you. Let us know your situation in an email to Pat Lundberg at email@example.com.
For Zoom-room fun: There's no place like home! Rep your favorite Baltimore-based scenery with a virtual background for your next Zoom meeting. Baltimore-based Zoom Backgrounds are courtesy of Live Baltimore; click here to download.
The Baltimore Development Corporation recently launched its Small Business Assistance Fund, a $3.5M grant program designed to aid Baltimore City businesses who have NOT been able to secure COVID-19 relief funding. This discretionary grant program is NOT first-come/first-served, and will be accepting applications from now until May 15, 2020. Applications will be assessed by need, with preference shown to businesses that are minority and/or women-owned and which are located in a Baltimore City Main Street (and/or Retail Business District). The grant's full selection criteria, terms, and conditions can be found by clicking here.
Have you taken the 2020 Census yet? Click here to get started.
Opportunities to combat food insecurity:
Breath of God Lutheran Church is seeking donations of your time or money to support with feeding families in our area who are food insecure. $200 per day goes towards 800 meals and 200 snacks per day on weekdays for about 100 adults and 200 kids. Donate electronically by clicking here, or, contact Alyssa Kaplan at firstname.lastname@example.org to volunteer your time.
Southeast CDC is the non-profit partner for four Community Schools in Southeast Baltimore: John Ruhrah Elementary/Middle in Greektown, Highlandtown 237 Elementary/Middle, Tench Tilghman Elementary/Middle in CARE, and William Paca Elementary in McElderry Park. 100% of your donation will go towards groceries and household items for the highest-need families in these school communities. Click here to donate.
Many immigrant families in our neighborhood with and without U.S. documentation will not be covered by the CARES act. Some of our neighbors and friends are low-income families who DO pay taxes, and were employed pre-COVID working hard to construct our buildings, clean our offices/schools/streets or serve food. They will not have help as they lose work or experience the illness first-hand. Mairin Srygley is organizing grocery sponsors for individual families at $50 or $100 per month. You have the option to connect with the family directly, and in return you will receive a thank you picture from the family, a copy of the receipt, and a picture of the purchases. Any full or partial donation or sponsorship really helps. Donate electronically (venmo: @msrygley) or contact Mairin at email@example.com for more information.
Shannon Sneed, Councilwoman for District 13
Shannon is running for City Council President. Vote by mail on June 2.
Shannon will bring hard work, transparency, and cooperation to her leadership in city government.
For combating crime, Shannon intends to: hold the Mayor, Police Commissioner and State's Attorney accountable, crack down on repeat violent offenders, and establish 'Community Service Aids' for community health needs that will free up officers from non-emergency calls.
For improving schools, Shannon intends to: shift more financial resources towards the school system, implement recommendations of the School Safety Task Force, support a fully elected School Board, and advocate for new revenue streams to increase schools' funding.
For closing the wealth and opportunity gap, Shannon intends to: guarantee residents under 18 a job, apprenticeship, or training opportunity; expand opportunities for minority contracts; crack down on wage theft; and ensure that municipal workers earn $15/hour.
For reforming City Hall, Shannon intends to: fund the Ethics Board, implement annual auditing, and reform the Board of Estimates.
For protecting our environment, Shannon intends to: protect our water supply, invest in equitable clean up of our neighborhoods, and improve our tree canopy.
For modernizing our streets, Shannon intends to: protect the walkability of our neighborhoods, fund MTA for more safe and reliable transportation, and invest in safer traffic approaches.
Zeke Cohen, Councilman for District 1
Zeke is running again for Councilman of District 1. Vote by mail on June 2.
Zeke's team is working alongside the Fund for Educational Excellence help combat the digital divide in Baltimore during the COVID-19 crisis, with the aim of realizing a more equitable education for Baltimore City students who are now learning from home. Click here to donate to the Emergency School Closure Family Support Fund. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org about donating your gently used or refurbished electronics to support Baltimore City students with education from home.
The Baltimore Neighbors Network provides a virtual community of trained volunteers to offer hope, comfort, and social solidarity to our neighbors in this time of need. BNN also enlists pro bono clinicians to help address the looming epidemic of loneliness and isolation that COVID-19 will create. Click here to volunteer your time and join the network.
Una Communidad Unida is a collaborative food distribution effort that is taking place in Southeast Baltimore. Big thanks to the contributing organizations: Breath of God Lutheran Church, Gallery Church, Comite Latino, Centro Sol, Southeast CDC, Zeke Cohen's office, Brooke Lierman's office, and many others. Click here to sign up for packaging or delivering food for distribution throughout southeast Baltimore neighborhoods. Contact Monica at Centro SOL with questions or concerns: email@example.com.
Zoom Recording, PPNA Virtual Community Meeting, May 11, 2020 (53:04)