More than 250 people rallied in support of new building for East Columbia 50+ Center on April 30th. The elected officials who attended were : Councilmembers Opel Jones, Christiana Rigby, Del. Vanessa Atterbeary, and former County Executive and Delegate Liz Bobo.
From Rev. Paige Getty of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Columbia:
From Rev. Tyrone P Jones, IV of First Baptist Church of Guilford:
“This Senior Center has been part of the general plan for Howard County for many years now. The plan started under our last County Executive. Our current County Executive and now our lawmakers in Annapolis have all done their part to move forward on this long-overdue project. Plain and simple this project is about Equity! More Seniors of Color use this community center than any other in the County–and all of the other Senior Centers have been updated or rebuilt. Building the East Columbia Senior Center is about more than providing adequate space, this Project is about honoring those who have helped to build the fabric of our community! This is about providing support and needed care to our Elders and Sages who have lived in Howard County for many generations.
Our Seniors, Elders and Sages deserve:
An Adequate space for Recreation!
More than 3 rooms in a library for Revitalization and Rejuvenation!
A place, not just small space for forging Relationships and taking advantage of Resources!
The well-deserved Justice of a New Senior Center in our community–that really serves the entire county–is now up to the County Council. Last year the Council put up the roadblocks that kept the center from being rebuilt. Right now, they are in a position to continue to stop progress or to create more Equitable Justice.
Today, after hearing these stories, we are now obligated, and we must be dedicated (in a good way) to do everything in our power to achieve Justice! When we hear these stories, their stories become a part of our community story! The African Philosophy of Ubuntu says, “I Am Because We Are”. That simply means that we are in this together! We know that our seniors and our community deserve better. We know that this fits into a long-standing pattern of racial inequity in our county.
When we know there is injustice, we must act!
So now, it is up to us. PATH, seniors, everyone here, WE have to make some noise through action! We have to make it so that our elected officials who have NOT committed to a New Senior Center can’t even turn around without hearing about it.
We have to be dogged in our determination and relentless in reach. We have to send emails. We have to make phone calls. We have to testify on May 10 at the County Council Meeting. We are obligated because we now know the needs of our seniors and we have heard their stories, we cannot turn our backs on our Community now, we need to obligate our elected officials to do the right thing. We do not have a 3rd reliable vote on the County Council.
So, this is what I need you to do. I need you to fill out the back of your flier. Provide us with your name and contact information. Share with us what your commitment is to work on this campaign.
People watching via Zoom, you too are obligated to do your part!! Contact inform will be in the chat!!
This is a COVID Friendly gathering, so we can’t yell out loud, but HONK after me!
“We will not rest, until we get a Yes!” HONK!!
“We want Justice for our Seniors!” HONK
“Our Elders deserve Better” HONK “Our Community Deserves Better” HONK!
Please fill out the forms and hand it in…
“We will not rest ’til we get a, yes!”
Here are additional photos from the event: