INDY HAMPDEN IN THE CITYPAPER
This week's CityPaper has a story about Independent Hampden. It's very thorough and very balanced.
It is, however, unfortunate to see City Councilwoman Belinda Conaway misrepresent our movement like this:
Likewise, City Councilwoman Belinda Conaway (D-7th) says she was flooded with e-mails about the proposal from supportive city residents, though many of them were not from the Hampden area.
“It started last Friday [Aug 12]—I got a whole lot on Friday,” Conaway laughs. “And on Saturday, too, but now it’s kind of tapering off a bit. But e-mails are funny things. Anyone can send e-mails, and just because someone sends an e-mail in support of this, it doesn’t mean they are part of the [Hampden] business community or the residential community. So you can’t just put everything on the e-mails. We will need to make sure that this is something representative of what the residents and business owners want.”
So to update what we are doing.. We have contacted the Hampden Community Council and have discussed presenting our plan to them in their September meeting in the hopes of getting their endorsement. We will likewise be doing the same with Hampden Village Merchants Association.
That should quell Ms. Conaway's concern that this movement "is something representative of what the residents and business owners want." Having only attended a couple HCC meetings, I can't say whether Ms. Conaway has ever been to one (but I will note that Ms. Clarke did attend the large HCC meeting that discussed the Rotunda redevlopment, and I did not see Ms. Conaway there.) However, I have been a member of the HVMA for 5 years, and I have not once seen Ms. Conaway, who claims to be concerned about what the "residents and business owners want" to every show up to even so much as introduce herself.
So while we're working on these other angles, we still need your help.\
If you live in Hamdpen or if you are a merchant of Hampden, please email Ms. Conaway and Ms. Clarke and tell them you are a resident or a merchant and that you support Independent Hampden.
Ask them what is the status with this (from Ms. Clarke):
I am asking City Council President Sheila Dixon to request an opinion from City Solicitor Ralph Tyler on the legality of banning national chain operations from the Hampden Business area (ie, that area within the Hampden Commercial urban renewal area.) (Individual Council members must forward requests for Solicitor opinions through the President.)
If legal, this restriction could be accomplished through an amendment to that urban renewal plan.
Also, please urge all your neighbors to email them too.
Baltimore City Council
Mary Pat Clarke - 410-396-4814
Belinda Conaway - 410-396-4810