To the Editor:
I cannot remember the last time anyone publicly thanked an activist, a volunteer or a building association for their work. The gratitude the Fell’s Point Community Organization’s expressed at the December 11 meeting (Dec. 19 Baltimore Guide) should be emulated throughout the city. Baltimore has an abundance of activists, volunteers and community organizers, but they are usually taken for granted. And if one of them should happen to make waves, then there’s the usual tsunami of criticism and complaining.
These folks donate their time, expertise, effort (and sometimes money) to challenge the status quo or to fight to improve a neighborhood. It’s about time those “unsung heroes” were recognized.
What would downtown Baltimore look like if protesters hadn’t fought the super highway scheme decades ago? Would we have any parks or green space left if community groups hadn’t stood up to developers or greedy city agencies? Sadly, activists are seen as gadflies and busybodies, but remember it takes courage and dedication to get involved. When was the last time you hugged a volunteer or your condo board president?
Community organizers don’t seek recognition; they seek ongoing improvement to our environment. Volunteers don’t expect praise, but would like to feel as though we were part of a team—not just unpaid help. Members of building associations should be respected as valuable assets, and not just background noise.
Bravo, Fell’s Point Community Organization for setting an example. We need more of this!
Rosalind Ellis Heid