Case Statement

A Better Baltimore: CPHA on the Frontline

Several alarming trends in Baltimore threaten the health of our neighborhoods and the vitality of our city and region. CPHA is on the frontline as a first responder to identify and address these issues with innovative, community based solutions.

Political involvement is declining and community leaders are aging with too few young leaders emerging to drive the continued development of our neighborhoods.

  • From 1999 to 2011, voter turnout in Baltimore City’s primary elections plummeted from 48% to just over 22%.
  • In many neighborhoods, most leaders are 65 years or older, and there is no succession plan.
  • Younger residents are not engaged, leaving many civic associations struggling to survive.

Transportation is inadequate to connect people to jobs and resources.

  • The average commuting time in our region is more than one hour.
  • A recent survey reported that 2/3 of graduating students are likely to leaveBaltimorein large part due to its poor public transportation system.

Public policies fail to encourage sustainable, inclusive, and opportunity-rich neighborhoods.

  • Ineffective housing policies do not provide adequate opportunities for moderate-income families to live in opportunity-rich communities
  • Housing policies and a legacy of disinvestment by both City and State Authorities perpetuate neighborhoods of concentrated poverty.
  • The foreclosure crisis touches almost every Baltimore neighborhood. According to a Krieger School of the Arts and Sciences study, 194 of the city’s 200 census tracts experienced at least one foreclosure.  The average was 58 per tract or 5.2% of occupied housing stock.
  • Foreclosures have a proven adverse effect on children who are displaced from schools.


These are disturbing trends for a city that prides itself in the strength of its neighborhoods and the engagement of its citizens.

CPHA consistently leads the way by identifying ways to improve the quality of life in communities by engaging  citizens in leadership development initiatives that:

  • Train a new generation of civic leaders at the neighborhood, city-wide, and regional levels to be politically active and to advocate for themselves and their neighborhoods.
  • Help communities stem the tide of foreclosure by distributing foreclosure awareness information door-to-door in neighborhoods with high foreclosure rates.
  • Advocate for more effective public transit options such as the proposed red line and improvements to bus routes.
  • Promote policies that encourage sustainable, inclusive, and opportunity-rich neighborhoods throughout the region with access to employment, open space, and quality retail
  • Leading a collaboration to pass and implement Baltimore City’s Inclusionary housing legislation.
  • Connect neighborhoods to resources and/or developers to advance community development plans at the neighborhood level


CPHA shows citizens how to make their communities better.  For 72 years, CPHA has been the honest and trusted broker capable of intervening and coalescing divergent views into constructive solutions. CPHA’s legacy as a first responder to the emergent needs of the region include the launch of the City Fair, removing alcohol and tobacco billboards from neighborhoods, prohibiting landlords from dumping property from evicted tenants on our city streets, and leading effective grass roots campaigns that support neighborhood stabilization. CPHA is preparing for the next 70 years by using the latest training and advocacy tools to develop the next generation of civic leaders. CPHA knows Baltimore can be better!

Support CPHA and its critical mission to engage and prepare citizens to improve their neighborhoods to make Baltimore a more robust city.  [Visit the “Join CPHA” page for opportunities to get engaged!]