You all are something special. I hope that everyone that has participated experienced the same kind of fascinated joy as I did watching the contributions come in yesterday . I put a widget on the right side of the screen to show our progress and found myself clicking back throughout the day. Whether it was the wave of $50 donations in the morning or the generous $250 anonymous match at $1,000 in the afternoon, you all made this project your own, and for that I am very grateful.
We're well on our way, but the last $1,000 has always proven to be difficult. I appreciate all of you that have shared this project on Facebook and would hope a few more of you may consider doing the same. As I've contacted many of you to say thanks (still getting through the list, I promise to get to you), many have said "I just really like the idea." The idea being a model for ending homelessness based on self-responsibility. "Here is your opportunity. Do not waste it."
You cannot prepare for a job interview in the woods. A Burger King sink will not make you clean enough to get the job. There is no time for completing applications when you have to spend so much of your day planning for food. When we talk about true homelessness (referenced here as "living in the woods"), it is important that we understand the quicksand nature of this kind of situation. That problem is why "Housing First" is such an important concept and one that we are promoting here.
Now for the thank you's:
Sean Patrick's Pet Spa (Certain to get my business in the very near future)
Jeff & Deirdre Robinson
The Paterson Family
Joe Willmott (the man with the Plan)
Those are some great folks right there.
Baltimore City is coming down hard on liquor stores, with an initiative last week to close stores in bad neighborhoods, and a bill this week prohibiting them from selling snacks to minors. As I've said many times before, these laws that appear facially valid and high-minded almost always end up with unintended consequences. In this case, I can certainly foresee a 15 year old being prohibited from buying his family food while his two parents are at work, and having no where else to make this small part of their family unit work. There are some exemptions to address this, but I can't see this Council considering every circumstance across Baltimore. If you don't want kids at liquor stores, work on building the business community and rehabilitating neighborhoods.
O'Malley still puts the likelihood of a special session on gambling at 50-50 despite an earlier committee vote that was unable to support such a session. At this point in time, it is curious that the Governor and the General Assembly would not just wait until the next regular session to evaluate expanded gambling in the State. Special Session's have a multitude of very serious faults, including no restrictions on fund-raising, that make a regular session, particularly due to the money at stake, preferable.
Lindsey McPherson gives a play-by-play on the spat between the County Council and Howard Hughes at last week's Council session. This early period is about defining roles and relationships going forward. It should be expected to be rocky. And I would respectfully suggest to VP DeWolf that there is a difference between cooperation and obeisance. Everyone is excited about the future relationship between Howard Hughes and the County, and I think you will find many advocates on your behalf. The Council is not aiming to push you off your mark or undercut your position. They are just doing their job to maintain the County's position and ensure that they maintain control of those things that they are intended to have control over.
Andrew Metcalf of Columbia Patch suggests that the Downtown Partnership Bill may be amended with regard to membership. I think this is great news, even it does not disturb the majority stake Howard Hughes would have on the Board.
Featured Blog Post of the Day: I'm giving WB a twofer. First, he has a great post about all of you and what makes this "blog thing" so much fun. Second, although I hesitate to make future ice cream night's out into line-waiting-slogs, Jane and I have been going to Scoop Ahh Dee Doo for a few weeks now and it is...well...probably the best ice cream I've had in Howard County. Not only do I recommend WB's favorite (Honey Graham), but also the must-try Salted Caramel. (The two also go well together in the same cup).
That's all for today. Have a great Wednesday doing what you love!