As a resident of Bolton Hill and member of the State Center Neighborhood Alliance, I was surprised to learn that Gov. Larry Hogan and Mayor Catherine Pugh had toured the neighborhood and were “working together to come up with an alternative plan” for the redevelopment of State Center (“Hogan, Pugh tour State Center, discuss alternative plans,” Aug. 11).
The residents of the communities in and around State Center have been intimately involved with state officials and the state-selected developer in the redevelopment planning for more than a decade — even longer than the current developer. Therefore, I would have thought that our state and city leadership would engage with these communities on any current or alternative redevelopment plans. But, as of today, that has not been the case.
Despite our repeated attempts to meet with the governor to discuss the project, he has made no effort to learn about our aspirations for, and expertise in, what would make our communities prosper and thrive. His lack of response is being interpreted as his disregard for community input and community engagement in reference to this transformative $1.5 billion project for our West Baltimore neighborhoods.
As a result, our communities feel disenfranchised and frustrated, to say the least, with the lack of transparency and our exclusion in the discussions between the governor and the mayor. Isn’t it time for our leaders to come to the table with us so that we can move State Center forward?
John E. Kyle, Baltimore
The writer is president of the State Center Neighborhood Alliance.
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