This year 1000 Friends of Maryland begins a new chapter: Dru Schmidt-Perkins has stepped down after two decades of amazing leadership, and I have the honor of being the new Executive Director. It is a privilege to begin my tenure with a great legacy of success, excellent staff, and an enthusiastic and engaged board. Most of all I am excited by the possibilities of what we can accomplish with supporters like you.
Like many of you, I am alarmed and angered by what is going on in DC and at the federal level: environmental protections rolled back; innovative renewable energy programs curtailed; transit initiatives stifled; and community development funding eliminated. The politicians in DC have abandoned just about all principle components of smart growth.
Therefore, we need state and local leadership to show new ways to incorporate smart growth into Maryland’s future to improve our economy, environment and social equity.
1000 Friends of Maryland is doing this by building diverse, effective coalitions, and taking on complex issues within our communities and in Annapolis. Because of this, we bring positive change to Maryland. We have made important progress, but we have a lot more work to do. With your generous year-end gift, we can continue to:
- Advocate for smart, sustainable local planning and make sure those plans are implemented. We are excited to be engaged in this important work in Charles, Calvert, Frederick, and Anne Arundel counties.
- Reform state-level planning processes to create more renewable energy, equitable transit options, and healthier neighborhoods.
Finally, in 2018 we will focus on bringing innovative, community-based smart growth principles to the Baltimore region to help create vibrant and inclusive neighborhoods based on social justice and community engagement.
In closing, I ask you the following simple questions:
- With Maryland’s great reputation as a smart growth leader, Why Not Here to demonstrate what we can do to create innovative solutions for our local needs and be a national model?
- As the politics in DC remain gridlocked and without leadership, Why Not Now to take up the challenge and develop the solution and leadership?
- And in partnership with our great supporters and coalitions, Why Not Us?
Please support our coalition building and leadership at both the state and local levels, especially in this time of divisiveness. Please invest in 1000 Friends and in Maryland’s future today.
Together we have already accomplished so much. And together we can, and must, do even more for our state and as a beacon for the nation.
Thank you for all your support and encouragement.
John Campagna, Executive Director