Save Our Youth, Save Our City Campaign: In response to the crisis of youth violence in the city, every major candidate running for Mayor and City Council President in 2007 endorsed BUILD’s Save our Youth, Save our City Campaign at a BUILD convention attended by 1,000 members. BUILD signed up 10,000 voters to support its agenda which grew out of conversations with more than 500 young people. On the agenda: To create 30 fully staffed, high-quality recreation centers, to double the number of summer jobs for youth, to provide an additional 2,000 young people with after-school opportunities, and to create a $100 million fund to rebuild blighted city neighborhoods. BUILD continues to work to make sure these promises are kept.
BUILD Youth Team: After engaging young people in its Save Our Youth, Save Our City campaign, BUILD founded the BUILD Youth Team, composed of 25 youth leaders. The team is conducting neighborhood canvasses throughout the city, creating a video about the need for more recreation opportunities, and is helping design a new recreation center planned for Lake Clifton park. The BUILD Youth Team has participated in all of BUILD’s major actions and negotiations and has helped lead several of them.
Lake Clifton Recreation Center: The state of Maryland delivered $1.2 million to the city for the planned recreation center. Building is expected to begin in late 2010.
Neighborhood Improvements: BUILD organized residents in South Clifton Park, Darley Park, Broadway East and the Oliver Community to work with the city to conduct large-scale clean-up efforts, on strategic demolition of vacant housing, and on allocation of police foot patrols to begin to eradicate neighborhood blight and improve families’ quality of living. BUILD also began a membership recruitment drive in west and southwest Baltimore and launched anti-gang efforts in those communities. In addition, BUILD engaged Baltimore Development Corporation to clear and predevelop a site for a new full service supermarket in Howard Park.
TRF Development Partners and Preston Place: BUILD worked with its partner The Reinvestment Fund and Tony Deering, chairman of the Rouse Company Foundation, to secure $10 million in private investment to fully fund TRF Development Partners, a 501(c)(3) partnership between BUILD, TRF and the Rouse Company Foundation. Mayor Sheila Dixon awarded 155 properties near Memorial Baptist Church, providing TRF Development Partners a critical mass of land to begin constructing Preston Place, a development with 122 new and rehabbed affordable homes. The first 25 homes have now been built and TRF will build additional homes over the next three to five years.
A Push for School Repairs: BUILD supported Child First by helping organize a campaign to challenge Dr. Andres Alonso, Baltimore Schools CEO, to make desperately needed repairs to Child First schools. Dr. Alonso stepped up and met the challenge by allocating $2.8 million for school repairs. As a result, classes that had not had heat in 10 years were finally warm.
School Intervention Initiative: With Child First, BUILD co-founded High Expectations, a youth intervention initiative that works in two schools to help provide students a safe, stable, nurturing environment in school. The first year results show dramatic reductions in expulsions and suspensions.
YouthWorks Campaign: BUILD raised $60,000 to help the YouthWorks Campaign to provide an additional thousand young people with summer employment.
Westport Revitalization Plan: More than 100 residents, Westport Academy parents, and members from Bethany Baptist Church and Mt. Winans Baptist Church invited TRF and BUILD to assist them in creating a neighborhood revitalization and implementation plan.
Greenmount Housing: TRF Development Partners secured $2 million in tax credits to support the development of 70 lofts in Greenmount.
City Gardens: BUILD partnered with Civic Works and other allies to create community gardens in Darley Park and Oliver communities.
School Improvement: BUILD cofounded the Baltimore Education Coalition with New Leaders for New Schools, ACLU, Maryland Charter Schools, and Advocates for Children and Youth which grew into a movement of 30 organizations that organized in Annapolis to help prevent a $32 million state cut to Baltimore City public schools.
10 Percent Is Enough Campaign: BUILD joined Metro IAF to launch an anti-usury campaign to cap interest rates at 10 percent.