The Solutions Summit aims to harness the vast energy and many ideas generated in the year after the uprising into a very real action plan for three key issue areas, a consensus blueprint that we will encourage Baltimore’s new mayor and city council to adopt and against which we will monitor their progress.

We will arrive at this blueprint by convening a series of forums leading up to the Solutions Summit on November 12, four days after Election Day (venue will be announced soon). The timing is meant to reinforce the idea that civic participation does not end on Election Day. Bringing about real, lasting change requires ongoing commitment from all Baltimoreans.

The process will be guided by four co-chairs and three planning committees, one for each issue area:

  • Jobs
  • Criminal and Juvenile Justice
  • Behavioral Health

Each planning group will consist of 7 to 9 leaders in the field, drawn from non-profits, academia, and community members. Working with a paid consultant, each working group will plan a half-day public forum (venues and dates TBA) to identify key action items for the new mayor and city council relevant to its field. The planning group will come into the forum with suggestions and ideas for action items, but also be open to input from attendees.

The forums will also include opportunities for community members to offer their own testimonies, stories, concerns, and hopes for Baltimore in “listening booths,” which will use these stories to create video presentations for the Solutions Summit.

After the forums, the planning groups will agree on lists of action items, and, working with the consultant, produce a public report that describes the process and discussion, including action items that were considered and discarded, and offering explanations for what was included and what was not.

On November 12, once the new mayor and city council have been elected, we’ll gather in a venue to be announced for a free full-day summit where we’ll debate, discuss, and, using mobile technology, vote on the priorities that we will present to the new leadership. The summit will also be a celebration of civic participation. It will include music and dance performances, food, art, and addresses from prominent Baltimoreans. 

Once it is completed, this blueprint will be publicly submitted to the new mayor city council and OSI will closely monitor their progress implementing it in a series of public evaluations.

For more information, please email solutionssummit@opensocietyfoundations.org.

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