Save Our Cities launches 'Dollars for Jobs' drive Goal is to create 3,000 positions BALTIMORE CITY

June 24, 1993|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,Staff Writer

The local Save Our Cities chapter kicked off a drive yesterday to raise money to create 3,000 public works jobs.

Dubbed "Dollars For Jobs," the campaign seeks to raise $250,000 from individuals, communities and corporations, said former Rep. Parren J. Mitchell, co-chairman of the local chapter, at a news conference at Baltimore City Hall.

Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke pledged a matching grant of $250,000 in municipal funds.

The first day of the drive netted $2,517, said co-chairwoman Sister Katherine Corr.

Mr. Mitchell said the proceeds will be used as "seed money" to create 3,000 public works jobs in Baltimore in such areas as housing construction and renovation.

He said the group will try to convince the federal government to give the group $10 for each $1 raised.

Save Our Cities is a national organization that urges the federal government to invest more money in urban areas. The group organized a march on Washington last year to draw the government's attention to problems in the cities. Another march is planned for Aug. 28.

Mr. Mitchell said the organization committed itself to a fund drive after President Clinton's economic stimulus package was killed earlier this year by a Republican filibuster.

"Despite the best efforts of our friends in Congress, the federal government has turned its back on the cities . . . on unemployment, which is ravaging cities," he said. "But, we're not going to let that happen. We're going to show that we care."

About 50 people attended the news conference, including Mr. Schmoke, Council President Mary Pat Clarke and Rodney Orange, president of the Baltimore chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Sister Katherine said that after talking to members of various communities, Save Our Cities discovered that unemployment was the primary concern of most residents. This, and a desire to "awaken" the federal government, were reasons for organizing the fund drive, which has no deadline.

"It isn't just about money. It's a symbol of the coalition, a symbol of people's priorities and a symbol of making the government sit up and listen," she said. "They find money for everything else. They should find money for what people want."

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