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District 13 Spotlight - March 2024

Updated: Apr 1

As we celebrate Women's History Month, it's imperative that we honor the remarkable achievements and contributions of women who have left an indelible mark on our communities. One such extraordinary woman who has personally inspired me and countless others is Beatrice "Bea" Gaddy, affectionately known as the "Mother Teresa of Baltimore." Through her unwavering dedication to social work and community activism, Bea Gaddy exemplified the true essence of compassion and resilience.

Her tireless efforts to combat homelessness and poverty in Baltimore earned her widespread recognition and countless accolades, including induction into the Maryland Women's Hall of Fame.

From founding the Patterson Park Emergency Food Center to spearheading the annual Bea Gaddy's Thanks for Giving Campaign, Bea Gaddy's legacy of service and generosity continues to inspire generations. Despite facing her own battles, including a diagnosis of breast cancer, Bea Gaddy remained steadfast in her commitment to serving others until her passing in 2001.

As a councilman, Bea Gaddy personally inspired me to do the work I do, reminding me of the profound impact that one individual can have in creating positive change. Today, the work of Bea Gaddy lives on through the Bea Gaddy Family Centers, Inc., and the dedication of her daughter, Cynthia Brooks. As we reflect on Bea Gaddy's extraordinary life and legacy, let us draw inspiration from her example and recommit ourselves to the pursuit of justice, equality, and compassion for all.

Councilman In the Community

Baltimore's Greektown came alive on March 24th with a vibrant parade celebrating Greek Independence Day! The streets were a kaleidoscope of color as traditional dance groups in ethnic costumes proudly showcased their heritage. From energetic children to esteemed Orthodox clergy, the parade pulsed with the spirit of Greek pride. Delicious ethnic food filled the air with enticing aromas, making this a celebration for all the senses. If you missed this chance to immerse yourself in Greek culture, be sure to mark your calendars for next year's event!

Me and my team joined Mayor Brandon Scott and other elected and community leaders, for a press conference urging the Maryland House of Delegates to not accept the cuts to the Highway User Revenue (HUR) funding passed by the Senate as part of the BRFA for fiscal years 2026 and 2027.

Making Good in the Community

I'm proud to highlight "Making Good in the Community," an organization providing a haven for children in our district. Their dedication to our youth is truly inspiring. Recently, we awarded a grant to founder Dwayne Richardson in recognition of his hard work and unwavering commitment to the 13th District. Let's continue to support organizations like "Making Good" that make a positive difference in our neighborhoods.

Congratulations to Bird’s Eye View

The Birds Eye View organization has soared to new heights in empowering the youth of our community. Through their innovative programs focused on teaching children videography and cinematography skills, they are igniting creativity and cultivating talent in the next generation.

With the support of the grant provided, Birds Eye View is making a tangible difference in the lives of young individuals, providing them with the tools and knowledge to express themselves through the art of filmmaking. By fostering a passion for storytelling and visual expression, the organization is not only equipping children with valuable technical skills but also instilling confidence and a sense of accomplishment.

Through hands-on workshops, mentorship, and access to professional equipment, Birds Eye View is opening doors of opportunity and broadening horizons for aspiring young filmmakers. By nurturing their talents and providing a platform for their voices to be heard, the organization is shaping the filmmakers of tomorrow.

I am proud to support Birds Eye View and its mission to empower youth through the transformative power of filmmaking. Together, we are inspiring creativity, building confidence, and laying the foundation for a brighter future for our community.

Congratulations to AsKidsFoundation

The Askids Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to mentoring and coaching youth, is renowned for its exceptional work throughout East Baltimore. Their commitment to empowering young individuals and fostering positive development has made a profound impact on countless lives in our community. This year, recognizing their invaluable contributions, I am honored to provide support to the Askids Foundation through a grant. Together, we will continue to uplift and inspire the youth of East Baltimore, ensuring a brighter future for generations to come.

Congratulations to McElderly Park

The McElderry Park Community Association Inc. serves as a cornerstone of revitalization in East Baltimore's McElderry Park neighborhood. Named after the influential McElderry family, the area boasts a rich history dating back to the early 19th century. The association is committed to preserving this heritage while enhancing the neighborhood's vibrancy and unity.

Through initiatives like the Baltimore Mural Program and community gardens, they strive to beautify the area and foster local pride. With walkable streets and essential amenities close at hand, McElderry Park offers residents a vibrant urban lifestyle. I proudly support the association's efforts to build a stronger, more inclusive community for all.

Congratulations to S.O.N’s Organization

In the heart of Baltimore, amidst the challenges of urban life, there arose a beacon of hope in the form of the S.O.N (Surviving Our Neighborhoods) organization. Founded by Ebony McClenny a resilient mother who tragically lost her son to the harsh realities of gun violence, this nonprofit emerged from personal tragedy to become a force for change. Driven by the founder's unwavering commitment to prevent other families from enduring similar pain, S.O.N was born.

The organization's mission is clear: to provide vital resources to vulnerable youth and families in underserved communities affected by trauma. Through initiatives like free trauma and PTSD therapy, mental health counseling, and pro bono educational materials, S.O.N aims to break the cycle of violence and empower individuals to thrive despite their past experiences. Their holistic approach acknowledges the strengths of each individual and fosters resilience in the face of adversity.

What sets S.O.N apart is not only their dedication to providing tangible support but also their innovative spirit. By leveraging partnerships, embracing new ideas, and investing in the professional growth of their team, they continuously strive to improve and expand their impact. Their efforts ripple throughout Baltimore, offering a lifeline to those who need it most and embodying the spirit of community resilience.

I proudly support S.O.N with a grant this year, he recognizes the invaluable role they play in the fabric of Baltimore. Their work not only transforms lives but also strengthens the entire community, making Baltimore a better place for all its residents. With S.O.N leading the charge, there is hope for a brighter future, where every individual has the opportunity to heal, grow, and thrive.

Congratulations to AGOGE Project

The Agoge Project stands as a beacon of opportunity and support for the youth of the Belair-Edison neighborhood in Baltimore. Founded by a dedicated Baltimore City Public Teacher who witnessed firsthand the lack of out-of-school programming available to his students, this organization was born out of a desire to fill that crucial gap.

Grounded in principles of accountability and mentorship, The Agoge Project offers a multifaceted approach to youth development. From boxing and mixed martial arts to gardening, nutrition, and school tutoring, the organization provides a diverse range of activities in a positive and nurturing environment.

This new space will serve as a safe haven and supportive environment where the children of Baltimore can not only learn and grow academically but also explore their passions and talents. The Agoge Project is not just about providing educational resources; it's about empowering young individuals to reach their full potential and succeed in all aspects of life. With dedication, perseverance, and a community-driven approach, The Agoge Project is transforming the lives of Baltimore's youth, one child at a time.

This year, it's with immense gratitude that we were able to support the AGOGE Project as a token of appreciation for their invaluable contributions to our community. Their tireless efforts in providing a safe haven and empowering environment for the youth of Belair-Edison are truly commendable. Through their dedication to mentorship, education, and holistic development, the AGOGE Project is making a profound impact on the lives of Baltimore's youth. I am honored to stand alongside such an inspiring organization, knowing that together, we are building a brighter future for our city.

Congratulations South Clifton Park

The South Clifton Park Community Association embodies a steadfast commitment to advocacy and unity, working tirelessly to uplift residents and enrich the fabric of our neighborhood. With a focus on securing top-tier amenities and resources, including parks, libraries, and community centers, our organization ensures that every member of our community has access to the essentials that enhance their quality of life.

Central to our mission is the cultivation of strong bonds between neighbors, fostering a deep sense of camaraderie and belonging. Through collaborative initiatives and inclusive programs, we empower residents to actively participate in shaping the trajectory of our neighborhood's growth and development.

Our aspirations extend beyond infrastructure; we aim to create a vibrant, safe, and inclusive environment where every individual feels valued and supported. By advocating for the interests of our residents and championing positive change, we lay the groundwork for a stronger, more resilient community that thrives for generations to come.

I proudly stand alongside the South Clifton Park Community Association, recognizing their tireless efforts to improve our neighborhood's collective well-being. Together, we will continue our shared journey of empowerment and progress, ensuring a brighter future for all who call our community home.

Congratulations to the Broadway East Community Development Corporation

Exciting news! We're thrilled to announce that we've been awarded a grant to support so many initiatives around East Baltimore.

This grant reflects our commitment to fostering positive change within our community. By investing in projects that empower our youth, like tree planting, we're not only beautifying our neighborhood but also nurturing future leaders.

Thank you for your continued support in making initiatives like this possible.

State of the City

Accompanied by the Chief of Staff Michelle Lee, we had the privilege of attending the State of the City address, a momentous occasion where our city's progress and future direction were outlined. As representatives of our community, we listened attentively to the Mayor's vision for the city and eagerly absorbed insights into upcoming initiatives and key areas of focus. It was a valuable opportunity to engage with fellow city leaders, gain perspectives on pressing issues, and reaffirm our commitment to serving the residents of our vibrant and dynamic city. Together, we left inspired and energized, ready to continue our collaborative efforts in driving positive change and prosperity for all.

Tragedy In Baltimore

I am deeply saddened by the tragic events that unfolded with the collapse of our Francis Scott Key Bridge. The loss of two construction workers and the presumed loss of four others is a heartbreaking tragedy that has shaken our community to its core.

My heart goes out to the families and loved ones of Alejandro Hernandez Fuentes, Dorlian Ronial Castillo Cabrera, Miguel Luna, Maynor Yassir Suazo Sandoval, Jose Mynor Lopez, and Carlos (last name-unreleased), whose lives were tragically cut short while simply doing their jobs. The pain and grief that their families are experiencing are unimaginable, and my thoughts are with them during this difficult time.

I commend the swift and tireless efforts of the authorities and first responders who have been working tirelessly in recovery and salvage operations. Their dedication and bravery in the face of such a devastating incident are truly commendable.

As we mourn the loss of these lives and await further developments in the investigation, we must come together as a community to support one another and offer solace to those who are grieving. Let us honor the memory of those we have lost by reaffirming our commitment to safety and ensuring that such tragedies are never repeated.

May we find strength and unity in the face of adversity, and may the memories of those we have lost be a guiding light in our journey toward healing and recovery.

As we come to the end of this newsletter, let us reflect on the remarkable stories of resilience, compassion, and community spirit that have filled its pages. From celebrating the legacy of trailblazers like Bea Gaddy to uplifting the impactful work of organizations like S.O.N, Birds Eye View, and the Agoge Project, we have been reminded of the power of individuals and collectives to effect positive change.

Yet, amidst our celebrations and achievements, we are also reminded of the fragility of life and the importance of coming together in times of tragedy. The recent events surrounding the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge serve as a poignant reminder of the need for solidarity, compassion, and unwavering commitment to safety in our communities.

As we move forward, let us carry forward the spirit of unity and resilience that defines our city. Let us continue to support one another, uplift those in need, and work together towards a brighter, safer, and more inclusive future for all residents of Baltimore.

Thank you for your dedication, your passion, and your unwavering commitment to making our city a better place. Together, we can overcome any challenge and build a community where every individual thrives.

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