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Two-hundred and fifty persons will canvas northeast Baltimore on Nov. 3 in an effort to get voters to the polls and to remind Annapolis that not only does Baltimore matter, it votes.

This aggressive get out the vote effort was organized by Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development (BUILD), an affiliate of the Industrial Area Foundation that has been active in Baltimore for over 35 years. The organization looks to unite citizens, schools, and faith-based groups to advocate on issues important to the city, such as jobs and education.

“Monday’s action is our organization’s effort to remind our elected officials that Baltimore matters,” said Sherrell Savage, a community organizer with BUILD.

Though Baltimore is by far Maryland’s largest city, there are currently no Baltimoreans in the three most powerful seats in Annapolis: president of the senate, speaker of the house, and governor. With Monday’s day of action, BUILD wants to help send a message that issues central to the health of Baltimore City should not be ignored.

Among those central issues are jobs and education says Savage, two areas that have coalesced in the 21st Century School Buildings plan, under which the city has received more than $1 billion for school renovations and new school construction.

“We want to make sure that the jobs that are provided as a result of the school construction campaign, that there’s local hiring that is done with that effort,” said Savage.

The day of action will begin with an assembly at 6 p.m. at St. Matthew’s Catholic Church at 5401 Loch Raven Blvd. The 250 BUILD leaders that are expected to attend will then spread out to target the northeast Baltimore precinct in which the church is located.

According to Savage, this precinct not only has the highest number of registered voters, but also the highest numbersof voters in the last general election, presenting an important opportunity to show that Baltimoreans can still get out and vote in force.


ralejandro@afro.com