People Acting Together in Howard, a multi-ethnic, organizing group of churches, synagogues, and mosques with thousands of members across the County, will hold a public Action in person with hundreds of residents to demand the Council fully fund the construction of a new 50+ Community Center:

WHEN: Friday April 30, 3pm

WHERE: East Columbia Library Parking Lot, 6600 Cradlerock Way, Columbia

ZOOM LINK HERE

The Center is a more complex and intriguing story than it seems on the surface. While it may look like the fight is only coming from a group of seniors who desperately want a larger facility to meet their many needs, the entire Owen Brown community is desperate for a new, nice hub for intergenerational interaction. The reality is that this Center represents the larger issue of East Columbia residents (who are predominantly non-white) being overlooked for County investment time and time again. Owen Brown specifically is 65.9% nonwhite and the only one area of the County without a decent senior center. We must ask ourselves: why is that?

From the beginning, the County refused to make this part of the county a priority and instead decided to only provide a smaller section of the library for a senior center. The activities are far beyond the capacity the current space allows. Community members have been asking the County to construct an appropriately sized Center since 2015 but while discussion and plans have been concocted, the full funding required has never been allocated.

PATH will not stand by as our members in Owen Brown and East Columbia receive unfair treatment. Please join us for an exciting event of dancing, art, and speakers where we will ask for public commitment from our elected officials.

Rev. Tyrone P. Jones, IV, Lead Pastor of First Baptist Church of Guilford and Co-Chair of PATH, , whose members use the center said, “It is imperative that we honor our seniors with the East Columbia 50+  Senior Center that they so desperately deserve. East Columbia serves  more Seniors of Color than any other Senior Center in the county. Our seniors have been fighting for years to see this come to fruition. It is time for the Council to right this wrong of inequity, by fully funding a new building for the East Columbia 50+ Senior Center. Don’t allow our Elders and Sages of the community to suffer another setback due to bureaucracy and budget constraints!”

CONFIRMED:

  • County Council President Deb Jung
  • Councilmember Christiana Rigby
  • Councilmember Opel Jones
  • Del. Vanessa Atterbeary

All County Councilmembers and the County Executive have been invited.

COVID Precautions–The event will be outdoors, masked and socially distanced. There will be a special parking area for participants who want to stay in their cars but still be present. People can also participate over zoom. There will be small group tours of the inside of the 50+ Center for elected officials and press,

CONTACT: Cynthia Marshall, 443-433-8054, cynthia.marshall@metro-iaf.org

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There is also a Facebook Event for those that like reminders on that platform:

People Acting Together in Howard (PATH) and the Community of Owen Brown urge you to show up and show out for the funding of the East Columbia 50+ Center!

For years, the 50+ Center in East Columbia has been overlooked for renovations while the county has diverted resources to every other area. All residents of Howard County, no matter their race or socioeconomic status, deserve to have a safe, spacious facility for their community to use.

Attend our action next Friday, April 30 at 3 pm at the East Columbia Library and 50+ Center parking lot (6600 Cradlerock Way) to hear from key leaders in the community, watch special performances, and participate in some of the Center’s many offerings. We will be following COVID safety protocols outside and encouraging people to attend on Zoom or drive-up as well.

This is a tangible way to support equal distribution of resources in our county in an area that has been repeatedly underfunded. We hope to see you there!

https://www.facebook.com/events/995800271160131/

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Scott E

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