Safer neighborhoods? Fewer vacants? Baltimore survey seeks priorities of city’s often unheard population
Renee Greene stood in the dining area of Lexington Market, concentrating on the paper questionnaire in her hand. On the second page, she paused. “Better parks, less trash on the streets, fewer vacant homes ... I want all of them! Why do I gotta select just one?” she exclaimed. The 53-year-old Latrobe Homes resident was one of more than a dozen people on a recent afternoon filling out a survey called Blueprint for Baltimore, which seeks to identify the priorities of 10,000 to 12,000 Baltimore residents ahead of the 2020 mayoral election.
About half of the responses are expected to come from in-person outreach efforts like the one at Lexington Market, which was organized by West Baltimore advocacy group No Boundaries Coalition. The rest will come from people who take the survey online by Dec. 7, said Evan Serpick, director of strategic communications at Open Society Institute-Baltimore, which is spearheading the initiative. OSI-Baltimore has committed $150,000 to fund the survey project in 2019 and 2020, and the T. Rowe Price Foundation will donate $100,000, Serpick said.
The survey asks residents whether they think their neighborhood is a good place to live, and to identify the most important factors that they think would help make it better. Several questions ask Baltimoreans what they would prioritize if they had control of the budget, and which initiatives they would support when it comes to issues like education, housing and public safety.
Source: The Baltimore Sun