FIGHTING CRIME, GRIME City residents enlisted in effort


Baltimore launched a campaign yesterday to promote volunteerism in neighborhoods that includes access to a data bank where community groups can find resources to help them combat "crime and grime" and support education.

Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke announced the "Neighbors United" campaign at a noon rally outside City Hall attended by representatives of neighborhood groups and businesses that have donated their services to promote the effort on radio, television and billboards.

Mr. Schmoke said the campaign carries the "simple message" of asking people to clean up their communities, fight crime and support educational programs.

Earlier yesterday, the mayor asked media executives to air public service announcements promoting the program. The spots feature the voice of actor Charles Dutton and the jingle, "Come out, come out where ever you are, working together we can go far."

The television spot opens with a man, broom in hand, heading out the door of his rowhouse to a cleanup project.

The campaign will also be advertised on buttons and bumper stickers with a "Neighbors United" logo -- hands imprinted on the word "United."

Mr. Schmoke said the campaign grew out of a conference a few years ago at which city leaders decided "we needed an ongoing campaign to work with the neighborhoods."

The city has also opened a hot line in its Office of Promotion and Tourism that will connect communities with resources -- such as an architect who will volunteer to design a playground.

Yesterday, city workers signed up community residents who are to offer their services to clean up their own neighborhoods or provide expertise to other communities.

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