Building Power Together

From 2011 to the present, we have sustained and expanded a community led development process centered around the needs and aspirations identified from youth and residents. We trust that by listening to and believing in one another that we are building a solid foundation for long lasting community led and owned development. Here are some highlights along the road we have built so far:

  • Created new spaces for community led and owned participatory action research in partnership with Benjamin Franklin High School, Towson University and Free Your Voice.
  • Built a democratic community led tool to implement a vision for development without displacement and Zero Waste in South Baltimore in partnership with the Cherry Hill Community Development Corporation.
  • Raised grassroots donations to take 10 lots out of the speculative market under community control.
  • Developed a community led vision for the development of 10 permanently affordable passive homes in Curtis Bay and another 5 units of permanently affordable homes in Cherry Hill. All homes will be affordable for residents at 50% AMI and below.
  • Secured over 2 million dollars of investment for community owned development for permanently affordable housing and green space.
  • Helped lead development of a citywide Zero Waste plan for a just transition away from burning and burying materials.
  • Gathered input from 1000s of residents and workers across Baltimore to develop a focused priority on developing local compost infrastructure in Baltimore.
  • Supported the development of the youth led zero waste social enterprise, Baltimore Broken Glass, operating on community owned work space in South Baltimore.


“Because it means a lot to me and to the city to make sure that we implement the Zero Waste Plan, and a part of that process needs to lead towards a composting center that can serve communities all over the area.”

Malcolm Heflin

“I have close family members that live in Baltimore – including 2 of my children. I am deeply concerned about the toxic air that they and others breath from incinerated waste. It makes so much sense for Baltimore leadership to develop a better system for food waste – in term of health for the people, health for the planet (methane from landfills) and health for the economy (new job stream).”

Monica O’Connor

“I am a Zero Waste advocate who learned “how to help” from Ben Franklin students, neighborhood residents, and leaders of South Baltimore.”

Mary Pat Clarke

“As a Marylander and someone who cares about the dual crises of climate change and environmental justice, getting food waste out of the waste stream and turning it into usable compost makes perfect sense. We need to ensure the facilities and collection systems are in place to make it happen quickly. It’s good for people, the economy and the planet!”

Laurie McGilvray

“I was inspired by Meleny Thomas’ presentation to the Boston Area Sustainability Group. I believe that we need to come together to bring some justice to the communities who are disproportionately impacted by incinerators in the Baltimore area.”

Leah Holt

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