Though I’m approaching 80, and with all due respect to Howard County Councilmembers Opel Jones and Christiana Rigby, I’m diametrically opposed (and I don’t see myself as being harsh and unfair in this case) to spending one dime on the East Columbia 50+ Center unless the contract to do so goes to a Black contractor (”‘It is time to reinvest in this community’: Hundreds rally in support of East Columbia 50+ Center renovation,” April 30.
It’s an abhorrence and an abomination for Howard County, with a budget of $4 billion, to allow development to move forward without one given the county’s history of minuscule Black participation in county government contracting. After all, we are spending $130 million to build a new courthouse with no accountability regarding Black people getting development contracts.
Let’s ask ourselves: How much more of this injustice must Howard County’s Black community be expected to tolerate? That’s especially true for Black county residents who pay high taxes and there are many. How much longer must this injustice prevail? Short of this construction going to a Black contractor, please no $5.5 million in county funds to build a new East Columbia 50+ Center.
Let’s respect what Jim Rouse, developer of Columbia, expected the community to be.
Sherman Howell, Columbia
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