Community Centers in Historic African-American Communities
There are many historic African American communities throughout Montgomery County including Scotland in Potomac, Sandy Spring in Olney, Plum Gar in Germantown and Good Hope in Burtonsville. The Community Centers located in each community had been severely neglected as the County continued to grow in prosperity and became one of the richest places in the country. Within these centers, not only were rats, sanitation and flooding an issue, but also they lacked sports equipment and even standard sized courts.
The AIM Community Centers campaign brought these communities together with AIM leaders, clergy and congregations, to collectively organize around renovating these four solely neglected centers immediately. This campaign greatly impacted the 3,500 families who were within walking distance of these community centers, particularly the seniors and the low-income, at-risk youth who mostly utilized these centers. In addition, African American people in these communities in particular were, and had always been, treated as second-class citizens by the County. As community centers in predominately white communities received considerable funding, AIM leaders, clergy and congregations members agreed that the lack of funding to these four predominantly African American communities was unacceptable.
AIM leaders and allies demonstrated their people power to the County Council and County Executive by holding a 350 person action. County Executive Leggett attended and promised to allocate 30-40 million dollars to renovate the centers. When his budget was released, however, the County executive broke his pledge and did not include the money for the centers. AIM leaders didn’t take no for an answer — they organized an action with 1,047 AIM leaders, clergy, congregation members and County Council members in attendance. AIM members were successful in getting all of the County Council members to unanimously overrule County Executive Leggett’s budget and in turn allocate 30 million into restoring and rebuilding the community centers.
In the News
Maryland IAF Marches on Homeland Security’s Baltimore Office
Chanting “Clarity! Compassion! No Confusion!” a group of about 50 Maryland immigration advocates marched from Baltimore City Hall to the local office of the Department of Homeland Security on Thursday to demand a meeting with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The group of community advocates and local clergy called on the agency to clarify its policies on detaining and deporting undocumented immigrants. They also asked for information on where those who are arrested are held and requested that immigration officers remove the word ‘POLICE’ from their uniforms, to better distinguish them from Baltimore Police.
Join us for a fun afternoon to raise money for AIM to expand the Dream Academy–affordable after school programming to Montgomery County’s highest needs schools. It’s a fun afternoon and a pretty walk along Sligo Creek with plenty of friends from AIM and our congregations and schools. Get friends, family and neighbors to sponsor you to have even more impact!
AIM Seniors Fight for Pensions for WMATA Workers–Montgomery Sentinel
“No matter what field you’re in, an employee with a good salary [and] benefits is a better employee and able to deliver better services,” Madaleno said. “Do you want a happy, focused bus driver driving 35 people around, or do you want an unhappy, distracted bus driver?”
About 75 people, many of them seniors, attended the news conference, which was hosted by local community organization Action in Montgomery at Church of the Ascension in Gaithersburg. AIM spokesperson Cynthia Marshall said the seniors traveled from retirement communities in the county to support their local bus drivers.