BALTIMORE'S NON-PROFIT Community Law Center is 10 years old. Instead of throwing a big birthday party, the organization celebrated the milestone by publishing a manual that tells what it has learned about legal actions that can be used to revitalize neighborhoods.
"The driving force in developing a comprehensive strategy for your neighborhood should be: Think Big," the book urges. "Be as inclusive and far-reaching as possible. Dream. Make a list of anything and everything you want to see happen in your neighborhood."
The manual then offers nuts-and-bolts advice on developing and implementing a comprehensive strategy, finding missing property owners and raising money. It details what organizations (and individuals) can do about code enforcement, anti-drug campaigns and vacant house rehabilitation and includes an extensive list of contacts that may be useful in pursuing strategies.
The Community Law Center (366-0922) is in a good position to give these tips. Since 1989, its staff and volunteer lawyers have been engaged in pioneering work to try to figure out how to handle Baltimore neighborhoods' increasing problems with vacant houses and drugs. As a result, such legal remedies as vacant house receivership and drug nuisance abatement programs have been created.
"Revitalizing Baltimore's Neighborhoods: The Community Association's Guide to Civil Legal Remedies" is a publication like no other in educating citizens on doing investigative ground work and collecting information to build a case. It is a welcome addition to every activist's arsenal of tools.
Pub Date: 1/16/97