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Lawmakers celebrate multimillion dollar investment, community members say ‘we need more’

Lawmakers, school officials and community members gathered at Henderson-Hopkins school Friday afternoon.

Congressman Kweisi Mfume along with Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen announced a $2.3 million award to East Baltimore Development, Inc (EBDI).

The money will repair roads, update streetlights and replace water mains and service lines.

Work will be completed in the southeastern section of the project area on N. Patterson Park Avenue from Ashland Avenue to E. Eager Street; N. Chester Street from Ashland Avenue to E. Eager Street; and N. Washington Street from Ashland Avenue to E. Eager Street and on Ashland Avenue between Patterson Park Avenue and Washington Street.

“When you drive down the roads, it's bumpy,” said Peter Kannama, principal of Henderson-Hopkins. “The investment means that we care about our community, and we care about our students.”

Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen said the current investments will make the neighborhood more vibrant. A ground-breaking for the project is expected this spring.

While community members look forward to better functioning infrastructure, they are also asking for a grocery store.

“Food is what knits a community together,” said Ron Daniels, president of Johns Hopkins. “This community is in desperate need of a good grocery store that can bring fresh vegetables, meats, and other food products to the community.”

Kannama, the principal agrees. He says there is no walkable grocery store in the area.

Principal Peter Kanama.jpg
Wambui Kamau
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Principal of Henderson-Hopkins K-8 school, Peter Kannama poses for a picture. He says parents are thrilled about the infrastructure investments and looks forward to a grocery store in the next phase.

He also says Henderson-Hopkins is a top food distributor site, giving out 3,000 pounds of food weekly.

EBDI President and CEO, Cheryl Y. Washington also supports adding a grocery store to the community.

“It’s much needed and would attract new residents, retailers and small businesses,” said Washington.

“Today’s announcement is just a beginning,” said Rep. Kweisi Mfume. “This part of town is not forgotten”

Wambui Kamau is a General Assignment Reporter for WYPR. @WkThee