BALTIMORE—This week, Community Data Fellows from Black Leaders Organizing for Change, CASA, Baltimore Votes, and the No Boundaries Coalition began a city-wide effort to survey 10,000 to 12,000 Baltimore City residents as part of a collaborative project spearheaded by Open Society Institute-Baltimore (OSI) called Blueprint for Baltimore:2020 and Beyond.
The survey, available online at osibaltimore.org/blueprint, asks Baltimore residents to identify their priorities on a wide range of public policy issues, including education, public safety, and housing. The data collected will be community-owned and used to create a public report that will be the basis for a series of mayoral and City Council candidate forums in the spring.
On Saturday, the Data Fellows attended a four-hour training facilitated by HR&A Associates, a national organization that provides technical support for city surveys used to leverage municipal change. They have supported similar efforts in Portland, Oregon, and Houston.
HR&A and the Data Fellows went over the content of the survey, identified questions that are likely to come up as it is administered, and compiled an FAQ of answers. The training also included a panel discussion on Data Equity, with Tre Murphy of Black Leaders Organizing for Change and the Black Census Project, Morgan State University Professor and 2012 OSI-Baltimore Community Fellow Dr. Lawrence Brown, Julius Maina of the U.S. Census Bureau, Miriam McKinney of GovEx, and Kenneth Morales of Problem Forward.
The Data Fellows will spread out across the city and conduct the survey by doing house-to-house canvassing, attending community meetings, and conducting online outreach in coordination with OSI, which has enlisted a network of about 30 grassroots and neighborhood groups, listed below, that have signed on as Community Partners for the Blueprint project, agreeing to distribute the online survey to their constituents and encourage them to participate so their voices will be heard.
Community partners include Strong City Baltimore, Baltimore City Community College, Pleasant Hope Community Development Corporation, Free State Justice, Central Baltimore Partnership, Progressive Maryland, Youth Empowerment Society, Baltimore Harm Reduction Coalition, Baltimore Algebra Project, United Workers, Center for Urban Families, Highlandtown Community Association, Hamilton Hills Neighborhood Association, Moravia Walther Improvement Association, Glen Neighborhood Improvement Association, Inc, Cuthbert, Hayward, Cordelia Community Association, Matthew Henson Community Development Corporation, Reservoir Hill Improvement Council, Inc., Village of Violetville, Inc., Key Highway Community Association, CityLab Baltimore, AIA Baltimore-American Institute of Architects, Baltimore Chapter, Gwynnbrook-Garriwood Neighborhood Association, Reclaiming Our Community, Evergreen Community Association, Inc., Jonestown Planning Council, Inc., and Charles Village Community Benefits District.
Support for the Blueprint for Baltimore comes from Open Society Institute-Baltimore and the T. Rowe Price Foundation.