Downtown Baltimore Child Care, Inc., a non-profit agency, operates two high quality centers in the city which were made possible by a number of employer contributions, including the University of Maryland Medical System, University of Maryland at Baltimore, Baltimore Gas & Electric Company, First National Bank of Maryland, Waverly Press and AT&T (through its Family Care Development Fund).
The consortium approach ensures that employers are removed from the liability issues and from the demographic challenge of keeping a center fully enrolled. (Many on- or near-site single-employer centers have closed because of inconsistent annual demand.) Resource and referral services are great, but will frustrate parents when good child care is not available.
Employers and communities need to focus on creating more of this very scarce resource.
Nancy L. Kramer.
The writer is executive director of Downtown Baltimore Child Care, Inc.
Unreasoning Fears of the 1960s
Editor: ''Is Race Steering History?''-- your Jan. 25 editorial -- voices skepticism over U. S. District Court Judge Alexander Harvey's conclusion that ''the practice of blockbusting no longer exists in Baltimore County.'' You pointedly assert that ''house-hunters should not hesitate to change agents'' if they suspect them of racial steering, thereby implying that steering is in fact practiced by the real estate industry.
Your editorial does a grave disservice both to the industry and to the community which it serves.
For years, the Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors has actively campaigned to promote equal housing opportunities throughout the Baltimore area. The board has conducted extensive educational activities and has participated -- with the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development -- in the creation of a wide-ranging program to ensure the implementation of fair-housing programs throughout the Baltimore area. The board has recently earned the recognition from HUD's Baltimore office for promoting the most progressive fair-housing program in Maryland.
Given the industry's concentrated effort to ensure fair-housing practices, it is not surprising that, in the recent litigation with Baltimore County, the county could not cite a single instance of racial steering or unfair housing practices against Realtors to justify the non-solicitation law. The complete absence of any such evidence fully supported Judge Harvey's conclusion that ''the practice of block busting no longer exists in Baltimore County.''
Nor was Judge Harvey alone in reaching such a conclusion.
A few years ago, the Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors successfully challenged the ban imposed in certain areas of Baltimore on the posting of ''For Sale'' signs. In striking down that prohibition, U.S. District Court Judge Herbert Murray stressed that Baltimore has ''progressed far beyond the fears which characterized the 1960s.'' He concluded that the community is ''too strong and vibrant to hide behind a regulation which deliberately seeks to limit knowledge about an important event in the community, sale of a home.''
I sincerely believe that The Sun erred by resurrecting the ghost of ''race steering'' and by failing to recognize the extent to which the community and the Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors have surmounted the unreasoning fears of the 1960s.
Brandon F. Gaines.
The writer is president of the Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors.