On Monday, May 13th, 2019, nearly a dozen leaders and team members from BUILD and its jobs movement, Turnaround Tuesday, showed up at the groundbreaking ceremony for the official start of construction of Port Covington, a 235-acre, $5.5 billion redevelopment project in South Baltimore.
After long, hard-fought negotiations with city officials and Sagamore Development Company, BUILD leaders helped secure a $135 million community benefits agreement featuring a 30 percent local hiring mandate and a 10 percent on-site affordable housing requirement, as well as millions of dollars towards education, workforce development, youth jobs and empowerment, and environmental restoration (for the full 38-page agreement, click HERE).
Among the high-powered array of speakers (including Mayor Jack Young, City Council President Brandon Scott, Lieutenant Governor Boyd Rutherford, Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger, and Sagamore President Marc Weller) was our very own Terrell Williams, co-director of Turnaround Tuesday. Williams closed the ceremony with an inspiring speech, highlighting the importance of Sagamore’s community-mindedness: “Baltimore needed a grand vision,” he said, “and [Port Covington developers] had that vision and have set a precedent for how to use tax increment financing for the community.”
Williams then donned a hard hat, a shovel, and a gleaming smile and posed for the ensuing paparazzi alongside some of the most powerful people in the city.
The event was rainy, but it was a shining moment for everyone involved. In the coming months and years, though, BUILD will have to work to maintain the pressure they have exerted on Sagamore and the city government. We are committed to holding them accountable to their agreement and ensuring that enough local workers are trained to fill the 30 percent mandate.