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The President & CEO's Blog

From John Paukstis, Habitat for Humanity of Metro Maryland, Inc.

Introducing our Race and Housing Web Page

Sadly, our nation has a long history of housing segregation and discrimination that has led to massive gaps in wealth, health outcomes, education outcomes, and so much more.  We must work together to dismantle systemic racism to ensure that everyone has equitable access to communities of opportunity. 

We need to educate ourselves about housing policies that historically have promoted segregation and discrimination in zoning and land use practices.  These zoning and land use practices have prevented lower income individuals and persons of color to access homes in desirable communities.  Habitat for Humanity supports zoning and land use changes that allow for more affordable housing types in all communities of opportunity.

Click here to see our new Race and Housing Web Page.

Your VOTE Will Make A Difference

“Not voting is not a protest, it is a surrender.”

Keith Ellison

Early Vote – (In Person)

Monday November 2

(Onsite registration available)

Election Day (In Person)

Tuesday, November 3

(Onsite registration available)

*Polling places have changed – visit www.elections.maryland.gov to find a polling place near you

Learn more on our Vote 2020 website!

Be At Peace

Do not look forward in fear to the changes of life; rather

look to them with full hope as they arise.

God, whose very own you are, will deliver you out of

them.  He has kept you hitherto and He will lead you

safely through all things and when you cannot stand it,

He will bury you in His arms.

Do not fear what may happen tomorrow.  The same

everlasting Father who cares for you today will take

care of you then and every day.  And, He will either

shield you from suffering, or will  give you unfailing

strength to bear it.  Be at peace, and put aside all

anxious thoughts and imagination.  Amen.

St. Francis de Sales

Know Your Voting Options, then VOTE!

As you all know, Election 2020 is upon us. We want to encourage each of you to make sure your voice is heard by exercising your right to vote. 

Due to the pandemic, voting options in your area may have changed. Make sure you look into your voting options prior to Election Day, November 3rd.

Above is a flyer Habitat created on the importance of voting and important voting dates in Maryland. I’ve also included a link below to Maryland’s Board of Elections. The site has helpful information on mail-in ballot drop box locations, lists of early voting sites by County, and a list of polling centers open on November 3rd. Many regular polling places are closed on Election Day this year, but you can vote at any open polling location in your County.

www.elections.maryland.gov

Today, October 20, is the last day to request a mail-in ballot in Maryland. You can request a mail-in ballot online at the website above. If you decide to vote by mail in Maryland you can track your ballot here: https://voterservices.elections.maryland.gov/VoterSearch

If you have not yet registered to vote in Maryland, you are able to register in person at a polling location during early voting and on Election Day. If you register in person you will need to bring “your MVA-issued license, ID card, or change of address card, or your paycheck, bank statement, utility bill, or other government document with your name and new address.” Learn more here: https://elections.maryland.gov/voter_registration/index.html

If you are voting in a state other than Maryland, you can find more information on how to vote at the following site: https://www.vote411.org/

Stay safe and happy voting.

Your VOTE Counts!

Your vote is your voice on issues affecting housing, education, employment, healthcare and more.

Read an essay titled Why We Must Vote, by University of Baltimore lecturer Ron Kipling Williams, M.F.A. Click here.

Marylanders – Make a Plan to VOTE in the 2020 Election:

Mail in Ballot

Drop your Vote-By-Mail ballot in any drop box

located throughout your county or put it in the mail (must be postmarked by 11/3).

Key Election Dates

Voter Registration Deadline

Tuesday, October 13

Vote By Mail Ballot Request Deadline

Tuesday, October 20

Early Vote – (In Person)

Monday, October 16 through Monday November 2

(Onsite registration available)

Election Day (In Person)

Tuesday, November 3

(Onsite registration available)

*Polling places have changed – visit www.elections.maryland.gov to find a polling place near you

Learn more on our Vote 2020 website!

This selected essay was written many years ago by Reinhold Niebuhr, but resonates with me today:

“We pray to you this day mindful of the sorry confusion of our world.  Look with mercy upon this generation of your children so steeped in misery of their own contriving, so far strayed from your ways and so blinded by passions.  We pray for the victims of tyranny, that they may resist oppression with courage and may preserve their integrity by a hope which defies the terror of the moment.  We pray for wicked and cruel men, whose arrogance reveals to us what the sin of our own hearts is like when it has conceived and brought forth its final fruit.  O God, who resists the proud and gives grace to the humble, bring down the mighty from their seats.

We pray for ourselves who live in peace and quietness, that we may not regard our good fortune as proof of our virtue, or rest content to have our ease at the price of other men’s sorrow and tribulation.

We pray for all who have some vision of your will, despite the confusions and betrayals of human sin, that they may humbly and resolutely plan for and fashion the foundations of a just peace between men, even while they seek  to preserve what is fair and just among us against the threat of malignant power.  Grant us grace to see what we can do, but also to know what are the limits of our powers, so that courage may feed on trust in you, who are able to rule and overrule the angry passions of men and make the wrath of men to praise you.”

From the book: The Essential Reinhold Niebuhr, Robert McAfee Brown

Women Build

Since 1991, Women Build volunteers from all walks of life have come together to build stronger, safer communities.

Though our neighborhoods are comprised largely of women and children, they are also the population most likely to be affected by poor living conditions.  Our Women Build teams provide the opportunity for women to take a proactive step in serving their communities and help families achieve affordable home ownership.

Like many events and community celebrations, Women Build was put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Many Women Build teams who signed up earlier this year were rescheduled from April to September and October. 

The construction of a new home on Houston Avenue, Suitland and the rehabilitation of a vacant foreclosed property on Hawthorne Avenue, Landover is progressing nicely.  We may be wearing face masks and keeping our distance, but the work to ensure healthy and affordable housing continues.

We are so grateful for the participation of a diverse group of women leaders who are making a difference in their community.  I particularly want to acknowledge Mimi Brodsky Kress, Chief Operating Officer of Sandy Spring Builders, LLC.  Mimi has been a long-time friend and supporter of Habitat for Humanity Metro Maryland.  Mimi’s building construction expertise and leadership goes a long way in making our community a great place to live and work.

Please see the featured article about Mimi and Women In Business, in a recent edition of Bethesda Magazine here.

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