Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Long Branch Neighborhood Initiative (LBNI) General Meeting - March 5

Long Branch Neighborhood Initiative (LBNI) General Meeting
Thursday, March 5th, 7:30 p.m., Community Lounge
Long Branch Community Center

Maura Lynch, Assistant State's Attorney and Community Prosecutor for the Silver Spring District, will be our special guest on Thursday, March 5th. She will talk about a state law known as Nuisance Abatement which can be used by community groups as a tool to expel drug dealers and prostitutes from our neighborhoods. (Those of you living in the Bradford Road-Plymouth Street area will remember the 72-hour eviction of drug dealer, pimp, and gun runner Paul Mitchell back in the late 1990s. This was accomplished through the Nuisance Abatement Act. It was breath-takingly fast!)

Maura will also talk about a special effort now being made in the Carroll Avenue-Quebec Terrace section of New Hampshire Estates. It draws on the model used in the Bradford-Plymouth neighborhood and also on Glenville Road to bring various stakeholders to the table -- in this case, landlords, tenants, home owners, code enforcers, police, prosecutors, and, by extension, other agencies of government -- to address issues, especially those relating to crime, gangs, drug dealing in the buildings, safety of the residents, code compliance, and quality of life for the residents.

Many of us have become very cynical and are apt to say, "Been there, done it." But, those who remember the Bradford-Plymouth effort run by residents Katie Sargent, Rose Bernard, and Noreene Stehlik will understand just how powerful these groups can be and how much change they can make for the better.

Maura will be able to answer your questions about how your community can organize itself and work with others to address long-standing issues using Nuisance Abatement. There are specific situations in which it applies, so it will be helpful to you to come and learn about the process in detail.

This will be the second meeting of LBNI as it revitalizes itself. We appreciate everyone's interest and encouragement and hope to see you all again, plus other folks as well.

Someone once asked, "Where do we start?"

The answer is "Start somewhere!"

If you have any questions or you want us to know about something going on in your community, please contact me.

Thanks a million!

Jim Johnson
8511 Flower Avenue, No. 3
Silver Spring, Maryland 20912-6638

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