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Neighborhood leaders feel unheard and burned out after years of mounting concern

Posted at 6:13 PM, Jun 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-14 18:13:15-04

BALTIMORE — Neighborhood association presidents tell WMAR-2 News while they're doing all they can to improve and engage their neighborhoods, without the help of the city, they're getting burned out.

There's no investment over here where you see in other places that have stronger representation this would never happen," said Bif Browning the president of the Union Square neighborhood association.

He says without businesses nearby to leverage their demands with the citizens, they've been left behind.

He shared the Union square community he represents has crumbling park infrastructure without lights which too often become a hot spot for crime.

That same crime finds its way into just about every block in Carrolton Ridge that Derwin Hannah represents.

"I live on Bentello street. We’ve got dirt bikes up and down the block all day long. We have open air drug markets all day long. We have shootings randomly. We have our kids outside playing they cant even go outside and play," Hannah said.

"We don’t have no presence of no policeman, no kind of authority, no one to protect us around here and I can imagine how the seniors feel," added Dorothy Paige who represents Poppleton.

the group tells us they're fed up with the increasing crime, illegal dumping and lack of access to improve their own parks calling the city's lack of responsiveness 'frustrating.'

"It actually reinforces that bad behaviors of the community that we’re trying to change," said Kintira Barbour from the Mount Clare community council.

But when they do have a conversation with leaders, they tell us all they get is lip service.

We’ve had meetings over and over. We’ve done walks with the mayor and the teams and you know all of this stuff results in nothing," said Hannah.

That's something they say has to change sooner rather than later.

"We can all be stronger and thriving with just a little support but we have no support at the moment," Browning said.

“If the city would step up and lend a hand, two hands, it would help us a lot. We wouldn’t feel so burnt out, so lost, doing it like we’re the only ones doing it," added Paige.