The Howard County For All (HCFA) Kick-Off Event today at 7:00pm in Columbia. Here is information about the event via Facebook:

Howard County for All is a community advocacy organization dedicated to social and economic diversity in Howard County. Please join us for our kick-off event as we host a panel of speakers who will address inclusive and affordable housing in Howard County.

This panel will include:
Candace Dodson Reed, (moderator), co-host of Elevate Maryland, Alec MacGillis, politics and government reporter for ProPublica, Lawrence Lanahan, author of The Lines Between Us: Two Families and a Quest to Cross Baltimore’s Racial Divide

The event will be held at: Slayton House (10451 Twin Rivers Rd, Columbia, Maryland 21044)

Here is additional information about HCFA via their website:

Our Statement of Purpose

Humanity’s central challenge is to make space for more people while simultaneously improving the quality of life for everyone, present and future.

While this challenge faces us at all scales – globally, nationally, regionally – it is locally where we have the chance to make the most difference, and where we’ve decided to focus our collective efforts.

The challenge we face is more than housing, to be sure. It is the inclusion of new people into our communities—socially, culturally, economically—and our institutions—schools, businesses, faith communities, etc.

But how this challenge most prominently manifests itself locally is in housing policy. Zoning. Redlining. Redistricting. The choices we make as a community to draw lines (or not), to raise fees (or not), to make an effort to extend a helping hand (or not).

We all must be concerned. Regardless of how you feel about development, about the physical attempt to make more space, it will not stop. Heavy handed attempts to fight developers exacerbate the worst of the industry, add to our infrastructure woes, and force confrontation rather than collaboration, all while ensuring the most vulnerable are excluded from the conversation and our community.

How we respond to the challenge of housing policy will define the future of our community for generations.

We believe:

· Howard County should be open to all, a place where people from all walks of life are welcomed to fully participate in our community.

· Howard County is strengthened through inclusivity and dedication to social and economic diversity.

· Howard County must create and maintain a variety of housing options alongside a commitment to long-term affordability to realize these values.

Our goal, then, is to expand housing opportunity in Howard County through education, advocacy, and capacity building.

So much is out of our hands, but we can decide how we respond. We can build bridges or walls. We choose to build bridges. Will you?

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Scott E

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