SECO Letter of Support

Ms. Pamela King April 14, 1998

Open Society Institute c/o Baltimore Community Foundation 2 East Read Street Baltimore, Maryland 21202

Subject: Community Fellowship Program – Glenn Ross

Dear Pam,

I am very pleased that you invited Glenn Ross to submit a formal application for the Community Fellowship Program of the Open Society Institute. The program that he and I discussed involved grass-roots organizing around community health issues in the Middle East neighborhood; it has a clear, realistic, and much needed focus. In my work over the past two years in southeast Baltimore, I can attest to the need for organizing around health issues. Ms. Lucille Gorham of the Middle East Community Development Corporation emphasized that need as well in a recent meeting. She gave many examples of unhealthy behaviors that could be altered through education, and unhealthy community conditions that could be altered through organizing. I can’t think of anyone better suited to fulfill that mission through the Community Fellowship Program than Glenn Ross.

I first met Glenn Ross in the early 80’s when I was the community liaison for the State’s Attorney’s Office and Glenn was an officer of the McElderry Park Improvement Association. This was then an integrated neighborhood north of Patterson Park with a strong, integrated neighborhood association. Glenn worked closely with Lee Libercci, the president who was white. He served as Vice President and later as president and helped a neighborhood experiencing racial change do so positively. Glenn was a representative of the association to an anti-crime advisory group funded by the Eisenhower Foundation. Lucille Gorham was the chair of that group. Characteristically, Glenn approached his role in that group as an activist and not as a passive advisor.

Later, I know that Glenn worked as an organizer for the Citizens Planning and Housing Association and with the Mayor’s Campaign for a Cleaner Baltimore. In both of these positions, Glenn learned how to get the most out of the city agencies involved in sanitation and rodent control. Glenn became one of the best educated and motivated community leaders/activists in Baltimore in terms of fighting the rat problems that plague Baltimore neighborhoods. In this area and others, Glenn is motivated by projects that can make neighborhoods healthier. Glenn is someone with great communication skills, with tremendous respect for other people, a good sense of humor, and a lot of energy.

Please let me know if there is any additional information that I can give you as you consider Glenn Ross’ application. Rest assured that I will work closely with Glenn during the period of his fellowship and that Glenn has a very strong support team that will contribute to the progress of his work.

Best wishes for success in your position with the institute; let me know if there is anything I can do to help you.

Sincerely,

Kenneth Strong,
Executive Director

cc – Glenn Ross Stan Markowitz

Dottye Burt-Markowitz