I received an email as following which calls CA to halt hiring their new CEO and campaigns for Columbia Association Board of Director Election. I have never seen such action before. When an organization in Baltimore put the money into CA election, it seems strange. What is the purpose of such campaign?
I saw a few developers’ names in the list and CA owns many lands in Columbia. That is one connection I can think of for the moment.
Here is the letter:
Your name was among those recommended by a Rouse Project Steering Committee Member to receive this early announcement of the organization’s launch. We hope you’ll take a moment to learn more.
The Rouse Projectis a budding coalition of leaders, residents and businesses that have come together to pursue a more vibrant and inclusive future for Columbia. Inspired by James Rouse’s vision and the ideals upon which Columbia was founded, we share a common belief that more can and should be done today to:Ensure our community is fully welcoming and inclusive.Protect and enhance amenities to meet the evolving needs of our residents.Promote equally connected and prosperous villages.Cultivate vibrant entertainment, art, culinary and cultural experiences.
PROGRESS IS ON THE BALLOT THIS APRIL
Our work begins with the Columbia Association (CA) Board elections on April 24th. As the “keeper of Columbia’s vision,” CA is responsible for leveraging the significant investments we make in annual CPRA assessments to protect and strengthen all of the unique attributes and values that have traditionally made Columbia a highly desirable place to live and work.
The many years of service by current Board Members is commendable, however, the glaring lack of diversity on the Board – in age, race and income – sits in stark contrast with the diverse communities they were elected to represent. We believe it is time for new leadership that:Reflects the diversity and experience of the people it serves.Reimagines the priorities and vision of the CA Board to better align with the needs of Columbia residents, businesses and nonprofit organizations.Addresses antiquated systems of governance that fall short of modern best practices.Promotes ongoing community engagement and participation.Addresses social issues like equity and inclusion in a more relevant and public manner. HELP RENEW COLUMBIA’S PROMISE
This is your call to action. The most important thing we can do now is spread the word to our neighbors, friends and colleagues. We’ll keep you updated as each village finalizes its voting and candidate processes. For now, we ask that you:Visit our website and pledge to vote in the CA Board election on April 24th.*Forward this email to 10 friends and encourage them to do the same.Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to receive timely information and help spread the word.If you are a dynamic and passionate CA lien holder interested in serving on the CA Board or know of someone who might be, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
I wrote a short article on the Baltimore Sun ( which will be shared on Howard County Times, Columbia Flier).
I am worried about the lack of coherent plan and long term vision for the county. There is a plan to relocate the central library in the 2016 Downtown Columbia TIF plan. Now the County Executive and County Council changed hand, there has not been any discussion (or serious discussion) any more. Recent discussion on the Toby theater, Downtown Culture Center, Affordable housing prompted me to write this article. Columbia will be totally built out soon and we need to process with caution on every land use.
I also shared similar concerns during yesterday’s BOE and County Council meeting. Where do we find school site land for the students from planned 30,000 population for Downtown Columbia?
Any decisions we make today will have a long-term impact for our future. One example is the Turf Vally development where APFO requirement was waived and no school site was reserved. Now we need pay over 6.5 million dollars for an elementary school site (around 10 acres). If they planned/reserved for a school site 20 years, it was probably free.
The reality is that people made those decision some time ago either moved up or retired. We are bearing the consequence now. I believe we can do better.
I was interviewed by Maryland Public Television last year and it was shown around 49:12. How we can revitalize Columbia villages and re-ignite Jim Rouse’s vision to continue the prosperity and hope, diversity and inclusion will be the challenge for all of us here.
Today, we kicked off the 50th birthday celebration of Columbia. My whole family joined the event in the mall. I probably will not see its centennial birthday, but my daughter and son will. This is where they grow up and this is their hometown.
I purchased a brick from Columbia Association as well, which will be put in the Lakefront area. Even I die some day , the brick will stay and the Lake Kittamaqundi will be there.
I will continue to run for the CA Council representative for another term. It is fun to be there and serve the community.
Discussions on race, class and culture seek to help make Columbia a more inclusive community
Columbia residents are being asked to take part in a series of facilitated small-group discussions on the intersections of race, class and culture — sessions that will help people find common ground and learn from fellow community members who are different from them.
“Columbia was founded on the inclusion of all people. As we celebrate Columbia’s 50th year, it is vital that we provide a space for community members to intentionally engage with and listen to others different from ourselves,” said Jane Dembner, director of planning and community affairs for Columbia Association, which has helped organize the discussions as part of Columbia’s 50th Birthday celebration. “This exploration will help keep biases in check and also make us question assumptions we make about other community members.”
The goal of ColumbiaDialogues is to create a personal and collective commitment among participants to help make the community more inclusive.
“We want participants to nurture trust, explore our differences and recommit to inclusion as the way of life here in Columbia,” Dembner said. “This is important as Columbia is ever more diverse and needs now — more than ever — to work to make sure we remain an inclusive community.”
ColumbiaDialogues is the result of a collaborative partnership of representatives of faith-based, educational and civic organizations as part of Columbia’s 50th Birthday celebration. The Howard County Public School System’s Office of Cultural Proficiency is providing the trained facilitators for these dialogues.
Each small group will reflect the diversity of the Columbia community so that they can learn from each other. Sessions will begin this spring. Visit ColumbiaAssociation.org/columbiadialogues to learn how to participate. Space is limited. The deadline to apply is Tuesday, March 28. If interest exceeds capacity, CA may hold additional sessions in the future and/or encourage other organizations to sponsor similar sessions.
Columbia Association (CA) is a nonprofit community services corporation that manages Columbia, Maryland, a planned community that is home to approximately 100,000 people and several thousand businesses. Additional information about CA is available at ColumbiaAssociation.org.
Thank several Indian Americans for their invitation to join the Diwali celebration. It is a celebration for light, for hope and for better. We, as a community, the best in American , should overcome differences and seek for equality, respect and civility.