BUILD Defeats Redlining: BUILD began a successful campaign against bank redlining in 1980, leading to negotiated agreements with Baltimore banks and savings and loans to use the Maryland Housing Fund. More than 500 low-income families acquired home mortgages as the result of these agreements.

Fair Auto Insurance: In the fall of 1981, BUILD held its second convention of 1,300 delegates from 25 churches. BUILD led the fight against auto insurance discrimination by working out an agreement with the Home Insurance Company to base rates for city residents on driving records, saving 1,000 families money on their insurance premiums.

Creation of the Commonwealth Agreement: At its third convention in 1984, attended by 1,700 delegates from 33 member churches, BUILD announced its campaign to reorganize the school system and the establishment of employment for everyone wishing to work, soon to become the Commonwealth Agreement.

Voter Drive: In 1983, BUILD conducted the largest single organization voter registration and turnout drive in Baltimore City in the last 20 years.

BGE Rate Cuts: BUILD forced BGE to cut its drive for a dramatic rate increase in half and halt its effort to form a holding company.


BUILD Municipal Agenda: At its fifth Delegates Convention in November 1985, with 2,500 delegates representing 46 units, BUILD announced its candidate for the Mayor of Baltimore – the BUILD Municipal Agenda. The Agenda focused on housing, education, employment, city services and health care.

Voter Drive: To elect the BUILD candidate, BUILD signed up 75,000 residents during its petition drive. In the fall of 1987, BUILD held its 10th Anniversary Delegates Convention,attended by nearly 2,700 people. The Municipal Agenda was proclaimed the vision for Baltimore by city, state, and federal leaders.

CollegeBound Foundation: By the winter of 1988, Mayor Kurt Schmoke and the Greater Baltimore Committee announced the creation of the Baltimore Commonwealth, a major expansion of the Commonwealth Agreement. As part of the agreement, BUILD created the CollegeBound Foundation by leveraging $15 million from the corporate community for college preparatory activities and scholarships. As of today, The CollegeBound Foundation has assisted thousands of city public school students and provided millions in scholarship dollars.

Nursing Homes Reform: In 1989, one year after 1,000 delegates kicked off an organizing drive to reform the nursing home industry, BUILD successfully championed the passage of a City Council ordinance mandating nursing homes have more patient care equipment and establishing 81 degrees as the maximum temperature allowed in a nursing home.

Ban of Saturday Night Specials: BUILD conducted a successful effort to uphold the state law banning “Saturday Night Special” handguns. BUILD carried its precincts by 10 percent, more than any other organization in the state.

Neighborhood Reinvestment: BUILD and IAF’s efforts resulted in the U.S. Congress passing the Nehemiah Bill in 1987, providing for reinvestment in housing and home ownership in distressed areas.

Nehemiah Homes: Mayor Schmoke, Governor William Donald Schaefer, U.S. Senators Paul Sarbanes and Barbara Mikulski, Congressmen Benjamin Cardin and Kweise Mfume, Archbishop William Donald Borders, scores of other religious and lay leaders, and 800 BUILD delegates attended a historic meeting in March 1988 at St. Peter Claver Church on the edge of Sandtown-Winchester. BUILD announced that it had raised $2.25 million toward the development of 300 homes for low and moderate-income families. Seven months later, Senators Sarbanes and Mikulski announced that more than $4.2 million had been awarded to the Nehemiah partnership by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. With its partner Enterprise Homes, BUILD is the largest non-profit developer of lower-income owner-occupied housing in the city. As of today, BUILD and Enterprise have helped to develop more than 767 Nehemiah homes. Nehemiah has enabled families to develop millions of dollars’ worth of equity and helped to make their neighborhoods much more safe.

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