(BALTIMORE – October 7, 2019) – The purpose of this communication is to repudiate false accusations and misinformation directed towards Druid Heights Community Development Corporation (DHCDC) regarding a decision made by the Druid Heights community residents in 2016, to develop the proposed Cab Calloway Park.
DHCDC has invested 45 years working hard, side-by-side with the community to ensure the total revitalization of Druid Heights and surrounding neighborhoods. The community’s plans include affordable homes, economic development, open space for children and youth, a virtual classroom for environmental education and a public park as part of the City’s Green Network. The plans met the approval of the impacted community after multiple public outreach events, focus area meetings, surveys and sessions to develop plans and consider any alternatives. Following years of neglect and disinvestment in the area, the community has continued to forge ahead to realize its goal of a safe, stable, healthy, attractive, sought after neighborhood. All plans are community approved and driven.
DHCDC embraces and respects the cultural history of the community and has taken steps in the approved plans to recognize and honor that history. In spite of increasing attacks and bullying, the community still plans to designate the west side of the 2200 block of Druid Hill Avenue as “Druid Heights Cab Calloway Park.” The park will be used to highlight the many people who have called this community their home and/or worked to better the lives of its residents. In recognition of these cultural icons, community plans include inscribing the names of famous and non-famous icons on bricks and marble stairs from the blighted houses throughout the park. The community sees such a place, as a natural complement to the work of Druid Heights, Penn North, Upton and the Pennsylvania Avenue Main Street Program to develop the famed Pennsylvania Avenue corridor (just 3 blocks away) as the newly designated Black Arts & Entertainment District.
In his disrespect for the community and this organization, Peter Brooks has used underhanded methods to continuously bully DHCDC including hacking DHCDC’s website and inserting his online petition collecting signatures and possibly money from people in the name of the Druid Heights Community Development Corporation. Further, upon discovering that the community would view the final design for the park at its September 28, 2019 monthly community meeting, Peter Brooks (professional media instructor) engaged in a media campaign falsely informing people that a vote to demolish 2216 Druid Hill Avenue was part of the meeting’ agenda. He tried to rally people to attend the community meeting to stop a nonexistent vote. Peter Brooks and Marti Petrelli (Marble Hill) deliberately gave out false financial and other information to people in hope of causing confusion and distrust of DHCDC at the community meeting.
For too long, Peter Brooks has been spreading fiction and false statements against DHCDC. On September 28, 2019, Peter Brooks arrived at the community center with Marti Petrelli, Brian Hawkins (Brook’s associate), Marc Apter (public relations expert) and Mark Reutter (Baltimore Brew reporter). Peter Brooks and his entourage tried to bully their way into the center. They staged an upset in the lobby that was recorded by video, posted online and edited to make Peter Brooks look like a victim, as community residents were asking the group to leave. Peter Brooks and his entourage were refused entrance into the center in order to prevent their planned disruption of the community meeting. Baltimore City police officers escorted Peter Brooks and those with him out of the building.
The Druid Heights community looks forward to the new park that will offer weekly live entertainment and other community enhancement activities. Recent additional interests in this area have been met with respect and sincerity.
We have welcomed and met with various legitimate parties to discuss their interest and ideas for affordable housing development projects in the Druid Heights community. The end result must be community buy-in which supports our mission to cause, encourage and promote a self-empowered community. All proposed projects must be from reputable organizations with high integrity. The proposed activity must be viable, in the best interest of the community and, accompanied with verifiable requisite capital support. Ultimately, DHCDC will continue to work with the community to ensure that all benefit is to the community.
Druid Heights Community Development Corporation Board of Directors
Druid Heights Community Development Corporation
2140 McCulloh Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21217
Phone: (410) 523-1350
Fax: (410) 523-1374