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Home > The Glover Report > The Glover Report: Housing Authority of Baltimore City In the Spotlight: Gilmor Homes' Sex for Service Scandal

The Glover Report: Housing Authority of Baltimore City In the Spotlight: Gilmor Homes' Sex for Service Scandal

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Housing Authority has a lot of questions to answer regarding treatment of people in Baltimore's public housing units. Living conditions are despicable: mole, rodents, broken features, no heat, no air.

By Doni Glover, Publisher
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(BALTIMORE – October 21, 2015) - In a day and time when we have the most technologically-sophisticated lifestyle of any era of mankind, when we have degrees from the most prestigious of academic institutions known to man and live in homes our ancestors could only dream of, I submit to you today that the use of common sense escapes us over and over again.

Given the melee that unfolded beginning in West Baltimore at corners like Reisterstown & Gwynns Falls, Penn-North, and Gilmor & Presbury, one would think common sense would have at least stopped by for even a brief moment in the time since the unrest where these corners became focal points of international media attention. After all, it was the worst round of civil unrest in the City of Baltimore in 47 years. Baltimore’s hidden dirt came to the forefront as media professionals from every outlet imaginable were amazed at the terribly impoverished conditions in which tens of thousands of black people live.

Unfortunately, the post-Freddie Gray report on community progress is not where it could be. Where it was hard to look and not see an elected official during the protests, now it is hard to look and see hardly any elected officials at all today.

Truth is, they are looking harder at their campaign-status than they are at servicing, for instance, the people of Baltimore who were disaffected most by the unrest.

Granted, a few businesses have been blessed to reopen. Further, some are being helped even now.

But I’m talking about the people, like those who live in Gilmor Homes, the public housing development closest to the Freddie Gray turmoil.

For years, these residents have been dealing with deplorable living conditions. What has come to become today’s headline story has been ‘out there’ for a while. Now, the chickens have come home to roost.

I believe in my heart of hearts that City Hall knew about it for some time, but, like so many other issues in Baltimore’s public housing, it was swept under the rug. On the news this evening, they showed a clip of the Mayor of Baltimore, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, saying that she would absolutely not replace Paul Graziano as Housing Commissioner of the Housing Authority of Baltimore City.

This makes me think about the ‘thug’ comment. If a thug is a “criminal who is brutal and violent”, then quite possibly our elected officials are indeed thugs, too.

The women who spoke up today represent – probably – countless others who were too afraid of speaking up about the ‘sex for service’ scandal reported at Gilmor Homes. They were afraid of being evicted. They were threatened, according to testimonies.

Personally, I feel like a coward for not doing more to bring exposure to these conditions at Gilmor Homes. Truth is, the people were afraid to talk. And so, I commend them for standing up today. They are true heroes and sheroes who dare not be oppressed any longer. The stories touched my heart: that could be my sister, my aunt, my grandma. That's why I am so proud of the brothers and sisters at Gilmor, Mcculloh Homes and elsewhere who stood today in solidarity, stating to the universe that they are “sick and tired of being sick and tired.” God bless them in every good way possible for not having "the spirit of fear, but of love, power and a sound mind."

Like Fannie Lou Hamer, the voting rights advocate extraordinaire, like Harriet Tubman … and countless others, these people did the unthinkable: They went public. They stood behind their convictions. Despite the threats, the lynchings - both then and now, despite all of the recourse, these men and women stood boldly before the world and spoke truth to power.

I am so proud that they had the heart and courage to tell the truth and shame the devil despite … the thugs. Politicians knew all about this. I know because I watched as brave-hearted soldiers like Lucky Crosby told them about it. Lucky is a union rep at Housing and constantly stays in trouble because he simple does his job and tells the truth.

Thugs, however, make it so that people like Lucky – and the victimized public housing residents (most of whom are black women) under the Housing Authority of Baltimore City are silenced and relegated as insignificant when those who know them know otherwise.

Something to remember when the next election rolls-around, I guess. You see, common sense would have tried to help those people in Gilmor Homes as soon as Freddie Gray happened. Ok, fine! You had not paid attention to the poor people prior to the civil unrest in May; I get it. However, after a Freddie Gray occurs, you should be out there busting your butt every single day to make up for lost time. Trust me, it would be appreciated.

But these politicians, in my estimation, are not interested in fixing North Avenue, a major thoroughfare through the heart of Baltimore. They are not interested in fixing North and Milton on the Eastside. No. Politicians play like they don’t even see Park Heights and Edmondson Avenue because grown people do things differently. Grown people see the need and fill it. Period.

What I find is that we have a lot of politicians, seemingly, with the O’Malley Syndrome; wanting a promotion without having done an effective job in the current station.

Consequently, nobody fixes anything. They act like it’s not even there. They figure these are poor people who do not vote. And that, my friends, is the love that black people get from fellow Democrats. Elections roll around and, once again, some guy comes thru with a smooth tongue and sharp looks and tells all the black people to “vote for the Democrats.”

My thing is accountability. People say whatever they have to in order to win a seat, but their actions repeatedly fall short of their very own words. Not one elected official was noted by the protestors: not one! And thus, today we have the Gilmor Homes’ chickens who have come home to roost. Cock a doodle do!


BTV Video Reports

 

graz

Oct 21, 2015
Gilmor Homes, McCulloh Homes, Others in Public Housing Lack Any Confidence in Housing Commissioner:
Vote of no-confidence in Baltimore's housing leader

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