I have always believed if I was going to live somewhere I should take an active role in the activities and governance of the neighborhood. My main goal as a recent member of the Rodgers Forge Community Association Board was to try to get people involved and to foster a better relationship between the Board and the community. My proudest accomplishment during my time on the Board was heading a committee that wrote new by-laws for the community which clarified the role of the Board and setup new election procedures to ensure better representation.
Last fall, under the new by-laws the annual meeting was larger and has more community participation than it had for years.
Before moving to Rodgers Forge I was actively involved in setting up the Charles Village Benefits District, which provided additional, security, sanitation services, and economic development programs over and above what local government provided.
Since my early days I have seen the potential for people working together to bring about change and make all of our lives better. In 1968, my high school, as with many others, broke down into racial conflict and disturbance. The principal, who had been trying to find a solution, called me into his office. It seemed that my name had kept coming up from all the separate interest groups as the only one they could agree on to trust. I could see the power people finding common ground. When I went to college I majored in Public Address and Group Communications at Northwestern, which specifically focused on group dynamics and community organizing. When I moved to Baltimore I immediately became involved in the issues that were important to my community.
That involvement has continued through the present, where I have tried to do what I can to help get a healthy environment for students at Ridgely Elementary school, or to support county teachers in their quest to be able to use their time to plan and teach, instead of filling-out.
Read Art in Action, to learn about how Art has dealt with real community issues.