Community Development

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The MAHCC's vision is that neighborhoods and communities should be safe and attractive places to live, learn, work, visit and play.

One of the challenges urban and suburban jurisdictions increasingly face is that new neighborhoods are often formed at the expense of older ones with the result that, instead of the new enhancing the old, quality of life deteriorates in the latter, so that older neighborhoods lose sustainability and attractiveness. Consequently, the quality of life is eroded and property values suffer. Back in 1972, when MAHCC leaders invited Maryland Governor Donald Shaeffer to be the keynote speaker for a business and community banquet which celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the founding of Silver Spring, Dr. Jorge Ribas persuaded Governor Shaeffer to appropriate $15 million for the revitalization of Downtown Silver Spring which was already in severe decline. Dr. Ribas and his wife Sharon argued about the need to act swiftly as resident were voting with their feet and relocating to the nearby City of Columbia in Howard County.

They argued that safe and attractive communities with good schools and stable populations, i.e., low transiency and unemployment rates, would attract businesses that create more jobs, help support necessary infrastructure and enrich the communities they serve.

The MAHCC believes chambers of commerce and government agencies in their areas of service have a shared responsibility to ensure, as communities change and evolve, that older neighborhoods retain their vitality. Therefore, the MAHCC views its role as a facilitator in an ongoing dialogue among civic leaders, businesses, and governments. The MAHCC is particularly proud of serving on Wilmington Mayor Dennis P. Williams' Advisory Economic Development Committee to address many of the issues which confronted Silver Spring 30 years ago

The MAHCC works with businesses, government at all levels, neighborhood associations and non-profit agencies to encourage businesses to invest in the communities they serve, and to assist with the provision of essential services and maintenance of adequate infrastructure (parks, libraries, schools, recreation centers, etc.).

Each entity plays a unique and key role in this joint endeavor to foster pride in the community, to encourage sustainability, to ensure that government services (police, schools, libraries, health centers, etc.) are accessible and adequate, and to maintain open channels of communication so that the public is kept informed about plans and positive steps being taken. This kind of commitment and collaboration will help ensure that communities have the qualities investors value and that will attract families and businesses to live and work in those communities for years to come.

 

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