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300 Men March to move headquarters

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Posted at 6:08 PM, Apr 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-20 07:02:32-04
Baltimore's 300 Men March organization is moving to the Broadway East neighborhood, despite opposition that threatened to stop it. 
 
The group bought four abandoned row homes to convert into a new headquarters, which would take them from southwest Baltimore on Washington Boulevard to the east side on the 1200 block of N. Collington Street.
 
But opposition came from two leaders of area neighborhood associations, and City Councilman Warren Branch of the 13th district. The row homes sit in Branch's district.
 
In order to move, the zoning status of the building had to be changed. After filing the necessary paperwork to do so, the group's co-founder, Munir Bahar, said he was notified there were objections coming from Branch's office.
 
By early Tuesday evening, Branch's effort had failed, as the city's Board of Municipal and Zoning Appeals Zoning Board voted to allow the project to move forward. 
 
At a hearing in front of the board, Bahar read aloud a list of names of people killed within Branch's district since the beginning of the year.
 
 
Bahar said he has been a resident of the area for 10 years. 
 
"It's an area that could use our presence and use our full-time intervention," he said Tuesday afternoon before the hearing. "I really don't see how anybody rational, in Baltimore City, could block what we're doing."
 
Branch, though, told the board that it's not "opposition" to the  group, per se. Instead, he said he and the two community representatives that stood with him at the hearing were never notified about the move.
 
"It had nothing to do with the opposition," Branch said. "Whenever you're going to do a project in somebody else's community, it's custom that you speak with the community association."
 
Branch also says there are already programs run in his district to target crime.
 
To that, Bahar said, it's time to try something new.
 
"We don't want to see the same summer as we saw in 2015. That's what we're trying to work towards," he said.
 

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