Thousands Rally in Annapolis for Baltimore City School Construction
Around 3,000 parents, grandparents, students, teachers, principals, advocates, and community members gathered in Annapolis on Monday night to show their support for the "Block Grant Bill" (HB860/SB743). The ACLU worked with its partners in Transform Baltimore and the Baltimore Education Coalition (BEC) to plan the rally and show the overwhelming support for the "Block Grant Bill" and the city school system's 10-Year Plan to renovate or rebuild all city schools in the next 10 years. Click here to tell your elected officials that you stand with all of Baltimore in supporting the "Block Grant Bill"!
Performances by the Margaret Brent Elementary and Middle School Choir and the City Springs Step Team got the crowd pumped up early in the evening. After the energetic performances the crowd was ready to hear from the ever expanding group of elected officials ready to get on board the "Block Grant Express" which first accepted passengers last October. The animated crowd chanted "Better Buildings, Better Baltimore, Better Maryland!" throughout the evening as speaker after speaker took the podium to announce their support of the Block Grant Bill!
Elected officials including the Lieutenant Governor, Anthony Brown, spoke to the crowd in support of the plan. "We cannot accept a band-aid approach to maintaining the state's oldest schools," said the Lieutenant Governor to the spirited crowd, "We need to rebuild Baltimore's crumbling schools and we need to do it now." The Speaker of the House, Mike Busch, also spoke to the crowd and announced his support for the Block Grant Bill and said Baltimore City has waited "too long" for new buildings. Senator Verna Jones-Rodwell and Delegate Curt Anderson, Baltimore City Delegation Chairs, rounded out the cast of State elected officials by once again affirming that the "Block Grant Bill" was the number one priority for Baltimore City elected officials this session.
The final elected official to speak for the evening, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake made it very clear that the children of Baltimore City will not wait another year. "We will not take 'no' for an answer," she proclaimed to the thousands in the crowd. "When the confetti falls on the last day of session, we will have a deal for Baltimore Schools."
(Photo credit: Terra Hiltner)